My high school girlfriend was an assistant for the school wrestling team and I was afraid she was going to leave me for a wrestler with a stronger body. I expressed this insecurity to her, and she did her best to assure me that was not going to happen.
Another girlfriend early on had many more sexual partners than I had, and I sought reassurance that the way we made love was satisfying to her.
This pattern of seeking reassurance for my fears continued well into adulthood. It was as if, by someone else assuring me that my fears were groundless, I could relax in the relationship.
But I wasn’t relaxed in these relationships. I was insecure. Even when I got that reassurance, there was a part of me that replayed those anxieties and fears, seeking confirmation for them.
I was afraid that someone else would love the woman I was with “better” than me.
At times I was afraid that I was more committed to the relationship than they were.
I feared that I wasn’t strong enough, rich enough, sexy enough.
All the women up until about age 29 gave me absolutely no indication that any of my fears had a basis in reality. Yet, I would continually experience those fears.
And then, finally, it happened.
I entered into a relationship that validated all of my darkest fears and insecurities.
She was an incredibly attractive, witty, sexually voracious woman, and I fell for her hard. We spent as much time as possible having sex, talking, diving in deeply with one another.
And, yet: The fact is that I wasn’t enough for her.
She violated our relationship agreements several times though, to her credit, she told me about it. Our relationship wasn’t exactly traditional anyway, but it still hurt. Each time I did my best to forgive her, but it brought up all of my deepest insecurities.
I wanted her to reassure me of all those things that I had wanted other women to reassure me of.
That I was enough. I wasn’t.
That she was as committed to our bond as I was. In a way she would say she was, but her commitment didn’t look anything like mine.
Then she fell in love with someone else. She spent a massive amount of her time and energy texting back and forth with him though he didn’t live in the same city. He was older than I was and, in many ways I feared that she saw him as “better” than I was.
It broke me. I became a nervous wreck. We had many multi-hour conversations processing what was going on in our relationship. I became guarded, continually looking for those ways in which she was not committed.
The relationship continued for some time after that and descended into some truly awful emotional and physical cesspools that I don’t need to describe here.
Thankfully, I eventually exited after nearly a year of “trying” to do so.
On the other side of it, all of my fears having been, finally, validated, I no longer had much to be afraid of.
I had already experienced every single one of my fears about relating in painful detail.
I was finally able to ask myself a question I’d never really considered: “What kind of relationship do I WANT?”
In the past, I had kind of “fallen into” romantic entanglements on accident, and dealt with what presented itself within them. It worked until it didn’t.
I didn’t have the confidence to say “no” to relationships that were destructive to me. In a way, getting my heart broken in exactly that way was the greatest gift this woman could possibly have given me.
I now have the ability to powerfully choose the connections I desire because my power is located in myself rather than my partner. I don’t need her to tell me that the worst won’t happen. I am no longer controlled by my fears of what could happen, so I am more able to exist in a place of positive creation with my partner.
If you’re insecure in your relationships, this is a journey you must go on for yourself. You don’t necessarily have to get your heart broken in the way that I did, but in order to have a healthy relationship you must come to a place where you have faced your insecurities and taken responsibility for them.
The act of facing your insecurities REQUIRES that you become comfortable with experiencing your own discomfort.
Once you do, you will find that your relationships enter a new phase of greater authenticity, depth, and sexiness. After all, true confidence in your own value is the sexiest thing you can bring to a relationship.