Being Insecure Has Ruined A Lot Of My Relationships, But I’m Working On It

I’ve always been insecure. Growing up, I was the bespectacled girl with the low self-confidence, and this just got worse as I got older and started dating. Relationships seemed to magnify my own insecurity issues, and those issues ruined love for me on more than one occasion for so many reasons.

  1. I held back out of lack of self-love. It’s so damn true what they say about needing to love yourself before others can love you. I didn’t truly understand this until I was in a relationship with a guy who genuinely felt for me, but I couldn’t be myself around him. I was so held back by my own insecurities and fear of being hurt that I prevented our love from progressing.
  2. It’s hard for someone to love my flaws if I’m so afraid of them. I was always super insecure about my flaws, physical and otherwise to the point that they crippled me. If someone had to look at them, I’d want to curl up and die. It made it really hard for someone to get close to me when I was spooning my self-hatred.
  3. I expected men to cheat, and guess what? They did. I was always insecure about what I could bring to a relationship and what men wanted from me. This then grew into fear that my partners would cheat on me. Eventually, they would, which would make me feel even less worthy than before, causing a cycle of insecurity. My fears were literally pushing people away.
  4. I never allowed myself to be happy. When I couldn’t feel secure in a relationship because of my own issues, I couldn’t chill and enjoy the moment. I was always afraid that the relationship would end and the guy would leave. God, it was exhausting and worry over what might happen sucked any joy I could experience in the present time.
  5. I didn’t feel worthy, so I settled for less. Since I didn’t love myself, I didn’t believe I deserved love, so I would settle for crappy guys who either made me feel wanted (and took advantage of my kindness) or the guys I’d try to fix so that they’d love me and make me feel worthy. What BS.
  6. My insecurities and lack of confidence were readily apparent. I never walked with confidence or stood naked in front of a guy without feeling like I was hideous. It’s crazy but it was how I felt. This obviously lessened any attractiveness I might have had. How could anyone allow themselves to find me attractive if I was always pointing out my flaws and putting myself down? It’s like I was practically saying, “No, you really shouldn’t be with me. Look at all my flaws! You can do so much better.”
  7. I didn’t realize looks are not the only things guys want. A lot of my insecurity was tied up in my physical appearance. I was always worried I wasn’t pretty enough, but then a guy I dated who found me attractive lost interest and it wasn’t because of my looks. It was because of my lack of confidence. This was a huge wake-up call.
  8. I was always competing. Since I was so insecure, it was only a matter of time before I started comparing myself to other women. It felt like a sick competition, but I didn’t realize that I could never win. There’d always be someone prettier or thinner. This state of mind wrecked my relationships. No one wants a girlfriend who gets jealous when a pretty girl is around or keeps expecting her guy to want someone else.
  9. I shut down to protect myself, but it caused me harm. Feeling I wasn’t worthy of love meant I would shut down my feelings and end relationships before I got hurt, but that was stupid because who’s to say how things would have gone if I had had the courage and self-love to give happiness a chance?
  10. I’m the only one who could fix my insecurities. I thought that if a partner loved me and my flaws, this would make me valuable and help me feel more confident. But it’s BS to depend on another person for self-worth. I realized I’m the only one who can fix my insecurities and I’m so glad I did. I’m so glad that I stopped waiting for other people to make me feel good about myself. I used to feel confident about myself when my relationship was going well, and then crap about myself when it wasn’t. I had become a yo-yo, buoyed up by someone else’s opinions of me. But then I cut the strings.
  11. Don’t get me wrong: I still feel insecure sometimes. I get some bad moments of feeling I’m not worthy of love, and self-love really is a process – I know mine still needs a bit of work. But at least whatever I’m feeling now is about me and I’m not allowing other people to cloud my value. I’m also not looking for relationships to fix me, but rather I’m trying to grow every day so that I can have the healthiest ones.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.