Why do people frequently feel insecure in relationship?

It is quite frequent that we have some friends who are very insecure about their relationship.  They keep worrying about being abandoned by their partners and being doubtful about partners’ love.  Insecure people often overreact to their partners’ behaviors, such as reading texts or texting.  They may worry about their partners betraying them and confront their partners.  They also tend to think in a dichotomous way.  For example, they may associate their partner’s certain common behaviors as a sign of not loving. 

On the contrary, some people avoid developing intimate relationship because of their low sense of security.  When they meet someone who could be a suitable partner, they would rather keep distance and refuse to develop a closer relationship. Even after they are having ambiguous relationships with the ones, they prevent relying too much on their partners emotionally, trying to stay independent in the relationships. 

In psychological perspective, the issues of feeling insecure mentioned above can be explained by the Attachment Theory. In 1998, Bartholomew and Shaver characterized four attachment styles in adults, which are secure, preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant and fearful-avoidant styles. People of secure style have positive views on themselves and others. They seldom worry about partners leaving them and they do not avoid intimate relationships. People of preoccupied style may be too devoted to intimate relationships. They think negatively towards themselves but positively towards others. Therefore, they are afraid of being abandoned by partners but they do not avoid intimate relationships. People of dismissive-avoidant style think positively towards themselves but they lack confidence in others. They are not afraid of being abandoned but they resist having intimate relationship with others. People of fearful-avoidant style think negatively towards both themselves and others. They are afraid of being abandoned and they avoid intimate relationships at the same time.

Except for the secure style, all other attachment styles may lead to relationship issues with ones’ partner. For examples, preoccupied people always require their partners to prove their love towards them. It makes their partners feel suffocated in the relationships. The development of attachment styles in adults originated from the attachment styles with parents in childhood, so it is complicated to cope with the attachment problems in intimate relationships. Generally, we can start from learning how to be more aware of our emotions and thoughts. First, be introspective in our behavioral patterns related to attachment styles and try to avoid behavior, which could impair our intimate relationships. Furthermore, it is important for us to cultivate self-compassion.  As all of us share common humanity, so we have both strengths and weaknesses. In fact, not only the secure people deserve love. All of us can enjoy harmonious and fruitful relationships if we can cultivate awareness, mutual respect and trust in our intimate relationships.

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