Why You May Be More Insecure Than You Think and How to Fix It

Why Perception is Reality and Why You May Be More Insecure Than You Think-2
We all have strengths and weaknesses.

From reading my emails, I would think that mine are pretty obvious.

I’m experienced…but that may make me more rigid in my beliefs.

I’m opinionated…but also prone to rubbing people the wrong way.

I’m logical…but it can be hard for emotional people to connect with me.

I’m balanced…but that can be frustrating when you want me to take your side.

Some men think I’m a sell-out to women for demanding better behavior from men.

Some women think I favor men because I often play devil’s advocate with women.

The only reason I bring this up is because I think it’s important to know how you’re perceived by others.

Believe me, the truth hurts, and it’s far easier to not acknowledge others’ perceptions at all.

I mean seriously, do you think it feels good to confess to tens of thousands of women that I can be perceived as cold, masculine, stubborn and rigid?

There’s how you see yourself. There’s how others see you. The two don’t always line up.

Of course not.

And while I may not entirely agree with the assessment myself, the point is that perception IS reality.

There’s how you see yourself. There’s how others see you.

The two don’t always line up.

I recently encouraged you to take my quiz, 20 Signs You’ve Wasted Time on the Wrong Men and Don’t Know How to Choose the Right One.

You quickly filled out a bunch of boxes, in which you admitted to relationship behavior that indicates a level of insecurity.

And maybe, when you finished the quiz, you received a score that said you were insecure – and that score really stung.

After all, you don’t FEEL insecure.

You look in the mirror and see an attractive woman.

You know you’re kind and generous to loved ones.

You’ve got ample evidence that you’re bright and competent at work.

So, how dare my little quiz suggest that you’re insecure?

This is where perception becomes reality.

Because it doesn’t matter whether you FEEL secure if you ACT insecure.

If you are stuck in a relationship where you give but don’t receive…

If you are afraid to have an authentic conversation with your partner…

If you’ve stayed with a man for over three months who was not your boyfriend…

You have acted insecure.

These actions send a loud and clear subliminal message to men:

You don’t value yourself enough to speak your mind.

You don’t value yourself enough to demand fair treatment.

You don’t value yourself enough to expect commitment.

And if you don’t value yourself enough to expect more from men, you will continue to get less than you deserve from them.

Listen, I can’t tell you if you want to make any changes in your life.

I continue to be challenging even though it doesn’t always win me fans. But at least I understand how I’m perceived.

By taking my quiz, you were finally able to see how men perceive you – whether it’s confident or insecure.

Below are the overall results of the quiz. I have to say, the results didn’t surprise me:

20 Signs Chart2
That’s right.

96% of women act insecure when it comes to relationships.

First of all, I hope you see that your experience is NORMAL.

It’s normal to be insecure around men… But just because it’s normal doesn’t mean you have to continue your pattern.

It’s normal to be insecure around men, put up with subpar treatment, and waste time on guys who make for terrible relationship partners.

But just because it’s normal doesn’t mean you have to continue your pattern.

If your behaviors are more insecure than your personality, you now have actionable information – and I want to give you even more of it.

In a couple of days, I’m going to share some incredible free video content that teaches you how to be your most confident self wherever you go, and command proper treatment from the men you value most.

I hope it has a deep and instant impact on you.

Until then, thanks for being brave enough to face the truth about how you’re perceived.

I’m proud to call you my reader and my friend.

Warmest wishes and much love,

Your friend,

Evan

Join our conversation (48 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Lois

    I didn’t take the test since from question one it seemed like it was designed to give you these results.
    Also I am sometimes perceived as opinionated and rub people the wrong way.
    It is your blog so it is fine If you want to delete this comment.
    this comment makes trouble over an issue I don’t want to fight, since I think your blog is really good.

    1. 1.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It’s not “designed” to do anything. I asked 20 questions that are correlated with insecure behavior. You answer yes or no. If you’re confident, you’ll have a lot more no answers. Most people were somewhat insecure. That’s reality; I didn’t skew how people answered the test.

    2. 1.2
      ScottH

      I think what you’re noticing is that most of the people who come to this blog are of the insecure (anxious) attachment style and they mostly have been tangled up with avoidant people who leave them struggling to find answers.  Secure people generally wouldn’t be seeking out this kind of information.  There might be a few avoidant people here but Evan’s readers are far and away anxious people (myself included).  I saw something on BR I think, or maybe it was here but it was to the effect that when you meet the right person, you won’t be up all night doing google searches trying to understand their behavior.

      1. 1.2.1
        Clare

        ScottH,

         

        “when you meet the right person, you won’t be up all night doing google searches trying to understand their behavior.”

         

        Boy oh boy, is this true. After spending years with men who were wrong for me… and in my defence, I really did learn something from each relationship and each heartache, both about myself and about the sort of person who was both right and wrong for me. But anyway, I found myself feeling anxious and insecure in one relationship after another, to varying degrees of course depending on the relationship. But by the time I met my current boyfriend, my radar was reasonably well-calibrated. Anyway I was amazed to find with him, and this is still true, how I never spend time trying to “figure him out”. He just always put me at ease and never gave me anything to fret about. Our relationship was easy, comfortable and loving from the get go. There was, and still is, a little bit of residual anxiety from past relationships, about “can someone so wonderful really want to be with me” but that is fading more and more with time, as I see he is just as happy in the relationship as I am and so there is no one-up, one down dynamic, no reason to be insecure. We’re just happy together. I don’t even think about insecurity. And I’m not afraid to talk to him about anything.

        1. ScottH

          another thing- listen to the conversations you have with your friends.  Are they along the lines of:

          1.  s/he did this the other night.  can you believe it?  what the hell does that mean?  S/he got upset with me when I said blahblah.  I didn’t mean anything bad by it.  And she never asked me to explain before erupting into an emotional tirade.  WTF….

          2.  things are going OK.  It’s not all that exciting.  I mean, s/he’s nice and all that but….

          3.  we’re going to the festival this weekend and then dinner with his friends and we have a long weekend planned and everything is going swimmingly.  Sex isn’t the best I’ve ever had but it’s plenty good.  We’re able to talk about things that bother us and nip any issues in the bud.  I’ve really come to admire him/her.  Etc….

        2. Clare

          ScottH,

           

          I think my conversations with my friends are more along the lines of feeling embarrassed about how happy I am, and just wanting everyone to be this content.

  2. 2
    Christine

    Ouch, boy did it hurt getting that “insecure” score.  But it’s good to know the truth, in order to go on a different path than the one I’ve been on before. While I’m with a great guy now, my prior insecurities haven’t just gone away and I know I still need to work on them. For instance, a couple of times early on in my relationship, there were times I was afraid of really speaking my mind about certain things that bothered me.  I was insecure that I’d lose him if I wasn’t the “cool girl”.  Well, my boyfriend sensed it and said there’s no way I can really be that happy with everything he does, because he knows he’s not perfect.  One night, the stress of holding things in overwhelmed me and I burst into tears.  I felt much better after we had a good, authentic conversation.  He just wished I had communicated my concerns sooner, and not put myself through so much mental agony holding it all in (that’s a fair point–he really does want to make me happy but can’t do that if he doesn’t always know how.  He’s not a mind-reader.  I promised to try communicating more openly with him).

    I’m also still insecure about my weight and age, although my boyfriend likes me as I am.  I’m a size 4 right now at 5’4″–but admit I felt better about myself when I was a size 2.  Some of my mother’s nagging about what a fat pig I am now doesn’t really help matters.  Well, I still want to do better in the nutrition and exercise departments, but will try to be more focused on being healthy than fitting some magazine cover aesthetic.

    I think the age-driven online dating process (seeing so many men prefer younger women) distorted my view of my age for a while (mid-30s). Sometimes I still wistfully look at pretty younger women, or back at my younger photos.  I sometimes wish I could be that young and pretty again and still have so much of life ahead of me.  Well, until my boyfriend gives me “tough love” and tells me to please stop talking like I’m 80 haha!  And hey, I know rationally that all those prior rejections are moot now, after finding one great guy who sees me as special.  Thanks for letting me vent, hope everyone here undertakes a healing journey to greater confidence.

    1. 2.1
      amaryllis

      Christine,

      At 5’4″ and that size, you are far from obese. Trust me, I know. I’m a few years younger and twice your size. The most important thing I learned about beauty is that it’s in the eyes of the beholder and if you’re hot enough to attract your beholder, you’re done honey. Doesn’t matter what other people think.

      1. 2.1.1
        Christine

        Thanks–on some rational level I do know that, but sometimes have that insecurity anyway.  But I am getting over it!

  3. 3
    Just saying

    Hi Evan. Just a question about women acting insecure. There seems to be so many men these days who act like absolute arseholes (yes, again this is a perception since arsehole men are more likely to approach and initiate than non arseholes men)  so my question is, would refusing poor treatment from these kind of men force a change in their behaviour ? After all, men being “logical” beings and responding to incentives, would that not be an incentive for them to act more decently to women ? You say not to accept poor treatment from men, but if this was all men could give and women really need men for children and families, would not this force a woman to concede to such bad behaviour ?

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I think you’re oversimplifying it.

      To me, this works on an individual level, not a societal level. Which is to say:

      That if you follow my advice and develop a zero tolerance level for assholes, it’ll mean you will never get mistreated for long. You’ll either be single or in a good relationship. That’s practical.

      But since not every woman in the world is in on this advice – and insecurity is far more commonplace than confidence – there is no full-on asshole-boycott that will change men. Assholes will continue to seek and haunt insecure women. It’s possible that if they get dumped enough, they may learn the error of their ways, but it’s not your job to teach the men of society a lesson. It’s your job to keep folding your hands until you find a winning one.

      Put it this way, for all the men that are assholes, you will never run out of decent men who want to start families. Promise.

      1. 3.1.1
        annie

        what it means for me is that I am single.  I successfully notice and won’t tolerate selfishness, misogyny, entitlement etc….   so I walk away.  Well done me, I’ve been doing that for 8 years now, but men who want an equal and men who are capable of treating a woman like a person first and with respect, they don’t necessarily approach you in their droves just because you are good at rejecting the ‘assholes’

        1. Karl R

          annie,

          You’re absolute correct. Good, respectful men who treat you like a person first don’t approach you in droves just because you’re good at kicking assholes to the curb.  Unless I actually see a woman dating an asshole, I have no clue whether she’s good at getting rid of assholes.  If I observe her in a long-term relationship with an asshole, I know she sucks at getting rid of them.

          Getting rid of assholes saves you the pain and trouble that comes from dating assholes.  It does absolutely nothing to attract good men (except ensuring that you’re not stuck in a relationship with an asshole when a good man comes along).  Attracting good men is a different skill set.

           

          How to attract a good man:

          Evan discusses this extensively (elsewhere).  I’m just going to paraphrase some of what he’s said.  His advice matches my own experience.

          1. You can’t specifically attract good men.  You can attract men (or not), and some of those men will be good.

          2. Men approach women we find attractive (whatever that means to us as individuals).

          3. Men approach women that are available.  This is an area where some women have difficulties (possibly including you).

          4. Men approach women that seem approachable.  This is another area where some women have difficulties (possibly including you).

           

          On being available:

          First, don’t be in a relationship.  This is where it’s helpful to reject of assholes quickly.

          Second, if your workplace, book club, art appreciation society and jazzercise class have no single men in them, you’re not really available.  You need to be in places where single men will meet you.

          Third, if your schedule is booked 24/7/365, you’re also not available.  You may be meeting men, but you also need to have time for a relationship.

           

          On being approachable:

          Many women have body language or mannerisms which give the impression that they are guarded, suspicious, defensive, angry, preoccupied and/or disinterested. Generally, without even being aware that’s the message they’re projecting.

          Decent, socially-adept men will pick up on this message (whether it’s intentional or not) and they will respect the woman’s desire to be left alone.

          Socially clueless men will be oblivious to the message.  Assholes won’t care about what the women want … so they may approach the women anyway.

          Fortunately, this is a fairly easy problem to correct.  When you’re around single men.  Relax.  Make eye contact.  Have a genuine smile.

           

          When I started dating my wife, I had no idea whether she was good at getting rid of assholes.  (Based on what she told me about her long-term relationships, she’s not.)  But I found her attractive (as do many men), and everyone finds her extremely approachable.

  4. 4
    Cherry

    Christine, 30s are the best age! I am 41 and finally feel secure with my age. I felt too old at 26, too old at 31, then 39. Now I am so happy I am not 60 yet 🙂 🙂 Enjoy!!!! Yonger photos usually come with less experience, money, and in general, a lot of insecurities. When you are in your 30s you know what you want from men, life, career. You enjoy life more and care less what other people think about you.

    1. 4.1
      Christine

      Thanks Cherry for the kind words–I was like that too, actually felt too old at 25 (and looking back on that, I can only shake my head and wonder what I was thinking haha! Who knows, maybe some day I’ll look back on this and think the same thing)  Good to know that the best is yet to come.  I’m still working on that insecurity but am getting gradually better at it (at least have gotten better about not tolerating crappy behavior any longer.  I still got involved with the wrong men at times, but at least recognized the bad behavior and cut them off sooner than I did in my 20s).

      1. 4.1.1
        Cora

        I’m 33 and dealing with age insecurity for sure. I am finding myself attracted to younger guys and feeling insecure at my age at the same time. I just love life so much – it’s the first time the aging process is really hitting me – I’m realizing it is happening. I think we need to appreciate ourselves for what we have though – some people are born with deformities and other health issues – we need to learn to love ourselves! 🙂

    2. 4.2
      SMC

      Hi Cherry.  I have to say I’m enjoying my 50’s.  Had a great time in my 40’s too.  Didn’t know zip in my 30’s and 20’s and wish I had known then what I know now.  (Though I still didn’t know enough about men up until just recently, even though I’ve been married.)  And sure, the dating pool for someone my age is smaller, I guess, but I don’t find myself having any trouble attracting men.  Decent men at that.  The only thing I fear, if I should have to go that route, is the beast known as online dating, and only because of what I’ve read in the comments here on the blog.  At least I’ll know to not take it too personally when I’m shot down because of my age.  Oh WELL.  But ladies in your 30’s, do not fear the 40’s or 50’s.  They can be WONDERFUL, because with age truly DOES come experience, wisdom, smarts, joie de vivre, etc.  And if you’re lucky and developed a good sense of humor, even better.  And men find those qualities attractive.

      I’m going to shoot pool tonight and will be meeting three delightful young men who I think are going to ask me to be on their newly-forming team for a local league.  They are probably my son’s age, but when they asked to share my table last week, we had the best time playing doubles, so much so that one of them took my phone number, not for a relationship (I’m taken and so is he, and besides, he’s waaaay too young for me) but so we could line up times for future games, all four of us. Was one of the most fun Tuesday pool nights I’ve ever had.  And this on a day when I thought my present relationship was in shambles. I only say this to illustrate that with age comes, well, MOXIE.  So while you might not wish to be “older” yet, don’t fear it either.  Enjoy your age, whatever that may be!

      1. 4.2.1
        Christine

        Thanks for the encouragement that the best is yet to come!  I remember a crotchety professor in college, who told us that we weren’t old enough to know anything.  In hindsight, he was absolutely right LOL!  I really didn’t know anything in my 20s, or even early 30s.  Someday I might look back on myself now and think I still didn’t know anything in my mid-30s either!

         

        1. SMC

          LOL Christine!  Me neither regarding my 30’s!  It’s all a huge waste of time to lament the fact that we’re not “young” anymore, the trick is to have a blast right-now-this-very-minute.  I get a kick out of seeing jaws drop when I reveal my age to someone, be it male or female, though I might stop doing that this year.  Or maybe not.  My mother is 81 and jaws drop when she tells HER age too.  🙂

        2. Christine

          I think you’re right.  There’s a lot of gloom and doom talk I’ve seen about aging…so it’s nice to see some more positive perspectives on that!

          If anything, I often think it’s a good thing I found love a little later in life, as opposed to earlier.  Me and my guy tell each other that we wouldn’t have even liked each other’s younger selves, let alone fallen in love with them!

           

  5. 5
    ScottH

    Perception is NOT reality.  Your perception is your reality and the gap between your perception and true reality is a reflection of your mental health.  This is proven over and over here on this forum and in many other places if only you choose to observe it.  Even the title of this blog indicates this- you’re more insecure (true reality) than you think (your reality).

      1. 5.1.1
        ScottH

        are you at a loss for words?

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Not at all. Just surprised since you’re usually very nice and complimentary. No desire to fight. Just letting your comment through without comment myself.

        2. ScottH

          In no way did I mean to be adversarial or critical, just sharing my thoughts.  “Perception is reality” is something I’ve struggled with over the years until I realized that perception isn’t necessarily reality but one’s own reality and the two aren’t always the same.  That’s all.   I appreciate the discussion.

    1. 5.2
      Cora

      I understand what you’re saying here.

      Perception is reality.
      Perception is not reality.
      What is reality anyway? 🙂

      Basically, what we perceive is our own truth and our own reality. But, what you perceive is your reality. It both IS reality and IS not. It is subjective and open to interpretation. 🙂

      1. 5.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Perception is reality:

        If everyone thinks you are an insufferable jerk and you think you’re nice, it doesn’t matter what you think. Reality (perception) always kicks in. So yes, perceptions are subjective, and yet most of us can agree if someone is cute or smart or annoying or insecure.

  6. 6
    Cherry

    This is what psychologists tell couples at the therapy. She has her subjective reality, he has his subjective reality. The true reality is somewhere in the middle. And yes, the gap between your perception and true reality is a reflection of your mental health.

  7. 7
    Rebecca

    I got labeled “mildly insecure” in the quiz results, but it didn’t bother me much since I think the questions that got me that label were describing behaviors from two or three decades ago. I tolerated different behavior from men and boys when I was a teenager than I have since college, but the instructions for the quiz were to consider your entire relationship history, so I did. I suspect I’m not alone in growing into a happier sense of myself

    1. 7.1
      Barblicious

      I said the same thing, looking back on a nearly 30 year history of dating to complete the quiz certainly doesn’t sum up my current level of security (or insecurity) as it were. Had the quiz asked about say the last 5 years, the result I was given would be far “better” – in terms of desired results.

      But I have to say, a quiz saying women are insecure is a laugh. The entire world is out there manipulating females from day one TO BE INSECURE. That is how they sell you products, keep you in lower paying jobs, and that is how patriarchy works. DUH. Women are insecure, big shocker. HAHA Sorry but it has to be said.

      1. 7.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Barbara, if you are insinuating that I am part of the patriarchy and manipulating women into being insecure, then you have an extremely warped interpretation of what I do here – which is primarily about empowering women to understand men and act with confidence when dating.

        1. Barblicious

          You are incorrect sir – I was not insinuating that.

          Sorry but not sure what made you leap to such an assumption?

          I was merely suggesting that your results aren’t the least bit surprising, since something as general as “women are insecure” is like saying “men want sex” or “dogs wag their tails” or “water is wet”… it sorta seems like common knowledge.

          Maybe women in general don’t see themselves as being “that” insecure because it is our “normal” mindset given how were are raised. So it is great women are seeking knowledge and trying to not be the doormats we have been previously taught to be.

      2. 7.1.2
        SQ

        I think we are all insecure to a degree by nature. The difference between a person who seems insecure and one who seems confident is usually what they chose to project.

  8. 8
    Katie

    I’d prefer to know more about how do i make myself secure.

    1. 8.1
      Karmic Equation

      My simple solution is to (1) recognize your fears, (2) not let fear control your behaviors, and (3) force yourself to react to your bf’s behaviors the same way you react to your best girl friend’s behaviors.

      You can be afraid to lose a man, but you shouldn’t behave in a way that’s easy for him to see that.

      Recognize that when you get anxious if he doesn’t respond to your text immediately or even within a few hours, that means you’re afraid. If you REPEATEDLY text him to try to get him to reply, that SHOWS you’re afraid (and perhaps a closet psycho). So, text him once. Don’t wait with bated breath for him to reply. Go and do something to distract yourself (like shopping or getting a spa treatment 🙂 ). Then when you get his reply take a deep breath, let go the anxiety, anger, resentment that had built up and text him as if he replied right away.

      My motto is “Don’t ever let him see you sweat.” There’s always a way to behave that doesn’t show fear. Being bitchy is NOT one of those choices, however, because bitchiness is simply covering up the fear. Always behave as if what he did is normal (because your fear made it seem abnormal — for example, do you get mad or afraid that your best girl friend has decided to dump you because she didn’t respond to your text right away? No, you don’t. THAT is a normal reaction. Your fear that your boyfriend no longer wants you because he didn’t text back right away is an ABNORMAL reaction.) — So always ask yourself, if my best girl friend did this, how would I react? And force yourself to react the same way with your boyfriend.

    2. 8.2
      Karl R

      Katie,

      Don’t try to make yourself be secure.  As Karmic Equation suggested, make yourself act secure.

      This is why Evan said, “Perception is reality.”  If you act secure, your dates/boyfriends will believe that you are secure, and will react accordingly.  It’s not your perception that matters.  It’s their perception that will be crucial.

       

      An example of how this works:

      In 2007 I met and got to know a really cool woman at my church.  One Sunday I asked her for her phone number.  The following day I called, got her voice mail, and left her a message asking her out (to see a museum exhibit that interested me).

      Was I nervous about what response I would get?  Of course. I liked her. I thought she was cute.  I was fairly certain she was attracted to me. But you never know.

      Next day: No response.

      Same thing for the following two days.

      An insecure person would start blowing up her phone, wanting to know whether she’d gotten the message, or demanding to know why she hadn’t responded.

      After three days, I stopped wondering what her response was.  The lack of response was an answer.

       

      Five weeks later:

      I finally saw her at church again.  I went up, chatted with her, and treated her exactly the same way as I had before getting her phone number.  I did not mention the phone message.  (There was no need to.)

      After some small talk….

      Her: “Oh … I got your message.  The answer is yes.”

      Me: (slightly startled pause)  “Well … that exhibit is no longer at the museum, but I’m sure I can find something else interesting to do.”

       

      A week later we had a terrific first date.  We dated for several months, but ended up due to completely incompatible goals.  If it weren’t for those incompatible goals, there’s a chance that we could have ended up getting married.

      I never asked her why she hadn’t called back.  (She volunteered the information: she accidentally deleted the voice mail and didn’t have my phone number.)  I never asked her why she hadn’t simply tracked me down at church the following week.  (When we broke up she mentioned, “I thought we’d date once or twice and that would be it.  I didn’t expect I’d like you so much.”)

      So at the start of things, she wasn’t that interested in me.  It would have been easy for me to sabotage the relationship by acting in an insecure manner … the way I instinctively wanted to act … the way most people would act.

      Instead, I squashed those instincts and acted secure.

       

      Becoming secure is a lot more complicated.

      1. 8.2.1
        Caroline

        I like what both Karl and KE said. It’s a combination of  “faking it till you make it” and learning to be happy with yourself as you are and continually improving. At some point after my divorce I finally realized that “the worst thing that could happen” if I didn’t get married again/found a significant other was that I would inevitably be alone. I realized being without a SO didnt mean I wouldn’t have the love of my sons or my family (I’m very close to my sisters and parents). I’m immeasurably grateful to have reconnected with my sisters. Although I love and care deeply about my current guy; I am secure enough finally to know I would be happy with my life if things changed. I guess I’ve finally realized I’m good enough as I am-at 55-whew that took awhile:)

  9. 9
    Irina

    Interesting test, thank you for sharing it.

    When i was filling in the test, i was filling in “yes” several times to things that have happened >5 years ago, situations that I’ve learned from and would never repeat. My approach to and view on relationships did change somewhat throughout my 20’s and into my 30’s 😉

    Therefore, I think it’s possible to get an “insecure” score, although that is not representative of your current state of mind and your current “reality” (however you choose to define that, I’m staying far away from that argument). So I’m curious and want to test a hypothesis: waht will happen if you 1) fill in the test completely truthfully or 2) fill in the test taking into account what kind of behaviour from men you would and would not be willing put up with now.

    I suspect it’s quite possible that people in their teenage years and twenties feel more insecure about themselves and relationships, but that this gets better with age. However this test does not account for this change over time. I still think it’s a good and interesting test, just pointing out possible risks of bias 😉

     

  10. 10
    SparklingEmerald

    The first time I took the test, I used my ENTIRE relationship history including High School.  I got a score of 13.  I decide to take the test again using ONLY my dating history post divorce so I could have somewhat of a measure of how I have progressed.  On the second test, I got a score of 5.  I think the narrative descriptor for 13 was “insecure” and 5 was “a little insecure”.  I can live with that, and in fact, I was happy (but not really surprised) to see how much better I did in this incarnation of dating.

    Even though I’ve have a wonderful boyfriend for a year now, I still have some issues with my weight and age, even with my guy constantly telling me I’m gorgeous.  I’m not morbidly overweight, I am about 5-10 pounds over what the height/weight scales say is my healthy weight range.  I live a healthy life style but just can’t seem to shake off (or walk off, or bike off, or exercise off) those 5-10 pounds.  I’ve decided to stop fussing and fretting over every morsel I eat, as my over all health is very good, (and my waist to hip ratio has been rated in the healthy range)  and most people think I have a nice figure (and my boyfriend thinks I am beautiful), but in the back of my mind, I still wish for the figure I had when I was in my 20’s.  (In my 20’s, I ate mostly junk food and yet had a very slim, almost too skinny figure, now I struggle to maintain a weight of just a few extra pounds, eat very healthy and hike, bike and walk much more — oh well)

    So I guess I can live with an insecurity score of 5, since I think most women do feel insecure about their weight and most women over 35 are insecure about their age.

    I think a healthy amount of doubt is good for relationships anyway.  There is no 100% guarantee that any relationship will last forever.  Knowing that no one is obliged to stay with someone who doesn’t fill their needs and make them feel good, even if married, can actually be a motivator to keep bringing the best version of yourself to the relationship.   In can also give you the courage to walk away if your relationship partner consistently stops bringing his/her better self to the relationship and starts treating you poorly.

    1. 10.1
      Christine

      Thank you for this post–it makes me feel less abnormal in having these insecurities, even while having a wonderful boyfriend who tells me how beautiful and youthful he thinks I am.  I really appreciated reading this.  I think at the end, we all have our insecurities, but we just need to learn not to get overwhelmed by them.

    2. 10.2
      GoWiththeFlow

      SE

      FWIW a new study from the CDC came out that showed that the BMI associated with the longest life spans is the loeer range of overweight category..  So physiologically, your weight is ptobably just right.

      As for the quiz, I consciously answered considering my whole dating history.  I did improve and make healthier decisions as time went on, and I’m sure my score would have been lower if I only included the last 1/3 of my dating years.  I just wish my rate of improvemrnt would have been faster!

  11. 11
    Cora

    Thanks for this post. Sorry I accidentally posted this comment on the quiz page but I meant to put it here. I just did the quiz also and got ‘mildly insecure’ which seems about right. I agree that if we want respect we need to expect or require it from others – not let them treat us poorly, etc. I read your other article about being secure, anxious our avoidant and it really got me thinking. If many of those secure types are married or in a relationship, it is hard to find someone. I am attracted to the secure types but haven’t met a single non-married or engaged one yet. I have dated here and there but not much over the past year – I seem to go in spurts as to when I have the energy to invest fully into trying it again. I want to have high standards – meaning, I want to be with someone who is safe, values me as a person, respects me, who is stable in general, etc. loving, caring and all that. But, I tend to go into dating now not expecting anything – and hoping for “the best” aka hoping he is stable, not clingy, dramatic or planning out our futures on the first date. I Just hope for a good time, to get to know someone, enjoy each other, etc. the basics. But, it hasn’t gone very well and my standards almost seem to be dropping lower and lower – ie: hoping I don’t accidentally date a guy who will later end up stalking me (as this happened recently). I want to date and have hope for it, but it is not easy. I need to read more of your articles on here. Thank you for this great content…it’s opening my eyes to some things that will help me with the dating situation.

  12. 12
    lisa

    I realized that my live in boyfriend don’t give me attention….never compliments me, verbaly and emotionally abuses me when angry, never looks at anything I do right, but always critisizes me for everything I do wrong. Hes on GooglePlus where he has lots of followers, mostly women. He compliments them all the time on how beautiful they look. I was sending him notes and quotes on google plus wanting him to say something back or give me the same amount of attention he gives perfect strangers. Instead, he blocked me and restricted me from following him on google plus and unfriended me on facebook. He says Im very insecure and you know something? HES RIGHT!!!! Because I put up with him for a year. I now realize I have no choice but to leave. I deserve more than this.

    1. 12.1
      Rebecca

      You’re right, Lisa! You deserve better!

      1. 12.1.1
        lisa

        This is bt far the worst relationship I have ever been in. I’ll be 5o in two weeks. If I had to deal with these types of men, I would rather be single for life. Im trusting God for my future mate. Hes the ultimate matchmaker

  13. 13
    Lucy

    I’ve recently been reading the novel Immortality by Milan Kundera. He reflects a lot on our legacy and how we can’t as individuals do much to shape it. The book is full of insightful passages. But something which I read yesterday  were his reflections on the notion of the self and how our perception of our self can be completely different to how others perceive it. In fact, the self is an unknown quantity. Therefore some philosophers have got it wrong about “being true to ourselves”. Others’ perception of us is our self!

    Sorry to get to the point – I have thought about how this applies in everyday social situations including dating. No one is going to know whether or not I am really insecure or not, nor spend much time thinking about it. But if my behaviour suggests I am insecure, then I am insecure to the outside world. I know how I act is important and there’s no denying it.

    After reading this post, I am not thinking about my insecurities regarding how I look (everyone usually doesn’t like something about they look) but insecurities on a behavioural level and in terms of knowing my worth (something I could definitely work on more).

    I think it’s quite liberating to realise that you can’t do anything to change what someone thinks about you.

  14. 14
    KK

    A confident man creates the feeling of trust with a woman. A woman will feel emotionally safe with a man who is emotionally available, honest, trustworthy and authentic. These are emotional character strengths she can respect and admire in a man. A man of character and emotional depth is a man who knows who he is and likes himself. His love for himself is so strong he does not need to gain the acceptance of others by trying to be something he is not. His strength is not physical so much as it is in the clarity of his mind and emotions. These are character strengths that a woman not only admires, but feels safe with. He is not a weak man that will bend to the whims of other people. She can trust him to be who he is. 

  15. 15
    Sandi

    This is a very interesting topic. I’m actually very insecure, I didn’t even bother taking the quiz because I’m well aware of how broken I am (still in my 20s and have suffered a few heartbreaks and still kind of finding my feet around the dating kingdom). From my past relationships and friends’ past relationships, I’ve noticed in most cases insecure people somehow attract each other. An insecure woman will attract a jerk, who- by being a ‘jerk’ proves to lack a steady sense of self and therefore insecure because he gets an ego boost from treating other people poorly, making them feel inferior to magnify his ‘superiority’. I’m not insinuating that it’s impossible for insecure women to attract healthy secure men viceversa, but when you’re at a point where you think you’re secure with yourself (say, hopefully I get there) how do you then distinguish the difference between those who are actually ‘healthy’ from those who aren’t? I mean considering during courtship and early stages of a relationship both parties are pulling the ‘I ooze confidence’ charade to impress you and then when you’re already invested, half way through the relationship tangled with feelings their true colours begin to shine. Upon realising how controlling, demanding or possessive (unhealthy) they are, you suffer once again another disappointment while you angrily untangle yourself as you flush them out of your life. Please shed some light. Thanks.

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