Reducing Insecurities Within A Relationship

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jerry Crimmins, PsyD, LP
Updated March 29, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Insecurity in a relationship may look like jealousy, sensitivity, a need for constant reassurance, difficulty accepting oneself, or excessive analysis of situations and comments. When one or both partners experience insecurity, it's possible for these feelings to have negative impacts on the relationship. However, there are several methods of addressing insecurity and alleviating its impacts, such as identifying the root of the insecurity, cultivating self-love, and combating anxious thoughts. Open communication with your current partner and online cognitive-behavioral therapy may be other effective ways of working through feelings of insecurity and preventing them from affecting your relationship.

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Finding it challenging to overcome insecurity?

How insecurity can show up in your relationship

Whether it's you or your partner, someone who feels insecure may show common signs in their relationships day-to-day. Here are a few possible manifestations of insecurity in relationships:


Someone who feels insecure about themselves and their value may worry that they're in danger of being replaced by someone their partner likes more. This may take the form of constantly checking on their partner's whereabouts or quizzing them about the opposite sex.

A need for validation

The root cause of insecurity is often low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. In a relationship, this may take the form of the insecure partner constantly requesting reassurance and validation from the other.


Someone who experiences feelings of insecurity may be especially sensitive to words or actions from others that trigger these insecurities. They may interpret a neutral comment from their partner as a targeted and disparaging remark, for example.

Difficulty accepting themself

Since insecurity can often stem from low self-esteem, it may make sense that it could also manifest as a person's inability to accept themself as they are. This could take the form of constantly trying to change themself or holding themself to impossibly high standards.


Someone with relationship insecurity may spend a lot of time analyzing the little things their partner says or does, looking for clues that they're about to be abandoned, leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Insecurity in a relationship can present in many ways, some subtler than others. Regardless, insecurity may have the potential to cause tension in relationships of any kind.

Why insecurity can be damaging to relationships

When someone consistently experiences and acts on feelings of insecurity, it can result in a negative relationship with their partner. Over time, some people may become exhausted from constantly worrying and feeling like they must defend their actions to quell their partner's jealousy. They may grow tired of providing frequent validation, especially if the partner who feels insecure struggles with low self-confidence.

Being in a relationship with someone who can be hypersensitive may also be difficult, as their partner might feel like they must walk on eggshells to avoid offending or hurting them. To avoid this type of friction in the relationship, the partner who experiences feelings of insecurity may need to address the root cause and work on open communication.

Finding it challenging to overcome insecurity?

How to address feelings of insecurity

If it’s your partner who is dealing with feelings of insecurity, your own power to help them through it may be limited. The person who experiences these feelings must typically work to figure out where the insecurity comes from and address it at the root. Some potential sources of insecurity in a relationship could be:

Low self-esteem

One study on the topic defines self-esteem as “an evaluation of one’s own goodness or worth or a personal assessment of how well one is doing in areas that the individual regards as important.” Low self-esteem or self-confidence can contribute to someone feeling insecure. Low self-esteem may lead to feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy, which may make a person constantly question the validity of their partner’s actions and feelings for them.

Past relationships

If someone important to you broke your trust in the past, that wound might affect your current relationships. This type of experience could have been in a childhood relationship, such as with a parent, or with a previous romantic partner. Sometimes, a significant betrayal of trust like this can lead to challenges in feeling safe in subsequent relationships.

Fear of being alone

Someone who fears being on their own may cling to their romantic partner and constantly worry that they’ll leave them. If being alone is a person’s biggest fear, it could make sense that they’d frequently be concerned about their partner leaving them, causing unhealthy behaviors in the relationship.

The cause of a person’s feelings of insecurity is usually specific to them and their unique life experiences. It can be difficult to dig down and identify where such feelings might come from. If you want to get to the source of your own insecurity, you might consider seeking the guidance of a therapist. They may help you identify the experiences in your past that could be causing you to feel this way in your current relationship, and they may assist you in discovering tools and strategies to overcome them. Research suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be an effective treatment for increasing self-esteem, which is often a key contributor to feeling insecure.

There are a few additional strategies you might try to work through insecurities in a relationship. First, anything you can do to increase your own sense of self-love is typically recommended for people in this situation. Spending alone time getting to know yourself, recognizing your own value, and practicing being kind to yourself may all help. It may also be useful to identify things that trigger your feeling insecure.

What types of comments or situations lead you to feel a rush of insecure emotions? Knowing what they are can be a major first step toward not letting yourself be controlled by them anymore.

Finally, learning to combat negative self-talk may also help with feelings of insecurity. If you can learn to challenge automatic thoughts about not being good enough or unfounded fears that your partner has one foot out the door, you may find yourself feeling more safe and confident in a healthy relationship over time.

Online therapy for relationship insecurity

Feelings of insecurity often run deep, with sources that can reach back as far as childhood. Uncovering them and changing your patterns of thinking can be challenging. If you’re interested in seeking out a therapist who can help, it's important to know that there are many mental health professionals available to assist with this kind of work in fostering healthy relationships.

One convenient option to consider could be online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp, where you can get matched with a therapist who you communicate with from the comfort of your own home. Research suggests that clients may be able to build even more personal relationships with their therapist through online visits than in person, which may be helpful in building the necessary trust to allow them to assist in overcoming this challenge in a new relationship.


When one or both people in a romantic partnership live with insecurity, it can have harmful effects on the relationship as a whole. Insecurity can manifest in numerous ways, such as a need for validation, jealousy, sensitivity, excessive analysis of situations and comments, and difficulty accepting oneself. Insecurity may stem from past relationships, a fear of being alone, low self-esteem, social anxiety, or a combination of multiple factors. There can be many ways to work through insecurity, including cultivating self-love, combating negative self-talk, and working through the root of the insecure feelings. You may also find cognitive-behavioral therapy, whether in-person or online, to be a beneficial tool in alleviating insecurity and reducing unhealthy arguments.

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