Now that we know how to boost our self-esteem going into a relationship, what do we do when we get there? No matter how much we learn to love ourselves, we all have moments of insecurity where we think, “Do they find me annoying. I look fat in this. I’ll get hurt if I let them in”.
As human beings we all have this innate predisposition to seek out “love”. Harlow (1958) showed this through his study involving monkeys. The baby monkey always sought out the warm cloth mother instead of the hard wire mother in stressful times. Bowlby (1969) and Ainsworth (1973) found that the infant forms an attachment to their mother, which is carried through into their adult relationships. If we have formed a secure attachment during infancy, well lucky us! These are the people who are confident and self-assured in their adult relationships.
However, some of us are not so lucky and can many people form anxious or avoidant attachment styles, leaving us feeling vulnerable and insecure in our adult relationships.
In this part two of our Valentine’s blog series, we will check out some steps which might be helpful in combatting insecurities that arise in a relationship.
- Take a moment to assess yourself. Monitor your thoughts and emotions. People with the anxious or avoidant attachment styles explained above generally tend to have insecurities within their relationships (Bowlby, 1969; Ainsworth, 1973). By identifying what style you engage in, it makes it easier to combat.
- Stop comparing your relationship to everyone else’s. You’ll only end up driving yourself and your partner mad. There is no “perfect relationship”. Even Beyonce and Jay-Z have their ups and downs. What works for one couple may not work for you, so instead of investing your time and energy (and stress) into comparing yourself to others, invest yourself into finding what works for you and your partner.
- Maintain a level of independence. Your independence is what makes you “you”, and it’s very important not to lose that. By maintaining your own group of friends, your own hobbies and goals, you can still retain your sense of identity separate from your partner.
- Have that uncomfortable conversation. Don’t avoid the elephant in the room. By brushing things under the carpet you end up ignoring little problems which can very quickly grow into big problems. It does nothing useful, it only acts to increase your insecurity and paranoia. Addressing things will help you grow and become a stronger couple.
- Don’t ignore your gut feeling. There’s a difference between paranoia and a gut feeling. You will know if the relationship just isn’t working, trust your intuition. If you have problems trusting in yourself, it might be useful to speak to a mental health professional who can help you with this.
MyMind also offers relationship counselling for couples who wish to rebuild their love. Call us on 076 680 1060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to a member of our team.Book appointment