The Difficulties of Loving an Insecure Person

Be wary when establishing a relationship with an insecure person. Because, in addition to being frustrating, it can lead to suffering in the relationship. Find out more here.
The Difficulties of Loving an Insecure Person
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 22 February, 2023

Linking up with someone who doesn’t love themselves, who lives with doubts, insecurities, fears, and gaps that others must temper, nurture and fill, can be as dangerous as jumping out of a plane without a parachute. That’s because those who don’t know what they want, turn love into a deadly game of immaturity and subtle irresponsibility.

They’re the kinds of people who doubt everything, even the feelings their partners profess for them. Indeed, in this kind of relationship, you’re forced almost constantly to show them your affection. Almost without realizing it, you become a figure that clothes their fears, dispels their doubts, and must perform almost heroic acts in order for them to love you.

This leads to exhaustion because you’re offering everything while receiving nothing. Consequently, sooner or later, your relationship will suffer extreme wear and tear. So, what lies behind the kinds of people who doubt everything? What goes on in the mind of the individual who needs constant praise and fears abandonment almost every day? Find out here.

“If you want to know where you are going, first find out what you are running from.”

-Alejandro Jodorowsky-

Embraced couple symbolizing linking to someone wrong
Having to offer constant displays of affection to an insecure person causes great exhaustion

The difficulties of loving an insecure person

When most of us start relationships, we want to build happy, dignified, and meaningful bonds. We want genuine partners, valuable lovers, and mature people to build our lives with. Those who are solid and enriching. This is what we crave above all else. However, the reality is often disappointing.

Dr. Sandra Murray is a professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo (USA) and an expert in relationships. She claims that loving spouses who are characterized by personal insecurity can become psychological saboteurs.

She also states that many women often start relationships with insecure men just after leaving a complex and stormy relationship with a narcissistic partner. It seems that suddenly discovering someone who, at first glance, doesn’t seem so focused on themselves is attractive. Indeed individuals who are fallible, shy, and insecure at the same time appear to be so much more human.

However, once they start to live together, they discover certain downsides. Because these people are like the tip of a complex iceberg that arises from nowhere with whom others can’t avoid colliding. Therefore, we end up with cold, distant, and even destructive relationships.


The behavior of these really insecure individuals who suffer great internal struggles and are afraid of everything has varying origins. As a rule, their changes in behavior, great neediness, and deep deficiencies are explained by two realities:

1. Insecure attachment and anxiety

Attachment styles define the way we bond with our parents in childhood. An investigation conducted by the University of Milano-Bicocca, (Italy) claims that relational well-being is nourished by secure attachment styles. They’re bonds based on trust, independence, and maturity.

However, people defined by an anxious or insecure attachment are dominated by restlessness, fear, and even constant jealousy. They don’t trust others, fear abandonment, and need more displays of affection. The cause originates in their childhood, as they had caregivers who didn’t meet their needs.

2. Possible underlying mental disorders

The insecure person usually exhibits anxiety problems and has a personality marked by neuroticism (emotional instability). The way in which they’re dominated by alterations in their way of relating may hide certain psychological disorders that should be treated.

Couple Talking With Psychologist About Attaching To The Wrong Someone
Behind insecurity, there can be anything from an anxiety disorder and depression to a traumatic childhood. Professional care is essential

The consequences of loving an insecure person

As we mentioned earlier, insecurity can be attractive to us. There’s something endearing, sweet, and even seductive in profiles that are vulnerable and admit their fears, doubts, and limitations. Moreover, many people fall in love with these people thinking that they can change them. In effect, they want to act as their saviors by providing security and temperance to these fearful personalities.

However, we must make it clear that in a relationship, no one can or should act as a savior or a hero to those with low self-esteem. Nor should they have to try to magic away their fears or manage their limiting attitudes.

There’s a really simple reason for this. It’s the fact that nobody can change their personality from one day to the next. It’s even less likely if an individual exhibits a psychological problem that needs addressing. Furthermore, the consequences that an individual can suffer when bonding with an insecure person are many and varied. They’re as follows:

1. Relational exhaustion

Insecure people are characterized by a constant need for external approval and recognition. They don’t know what they want which means they suffer from low self-esteem. They’re like a flat bicycle tire that needs to be disassembled and ‘inflated’.

Therefore, if you have an insecure partner, you have to constantly validate their shortcomings. This is exhausting.

2. They’ll break your heart

Insecure people display erratic and capricious behaviors, suffer emotional ups and downs, and are constantly changing their personal goals. So, if you live with an insecure and immature partner, it’s like giving your heart to someone who doesn’t know how to take care of it and instantly loses interest in it. However, the next day they need it like the air they breathe.

3. They want to control you

The need for control is also a common trait in insecure individuals. This lack of personal security often gives way to distrust, doubting the relationship, and fearing abandonment, deceit, or betrayal. Therefore, an insecure partner may try and control you in almost every way.

As you can see, linking up with a partner who hasn’t invested in their personal growth, who’s made up of fears, and who’s incapable of investing firmly and healthily in a relationship can be one of the worst possible moves to make.

What can you do if your partner is insecure?

There are degrees of personal insecurity. Some people are fully aware of it and try to manage and temper it as much as possible. However, there are also those who, far from seeing it and accepting it, defend themselves from it by dressing up in armor. Anyone who gets too close to them is doomed to suffer. While the delicate and fragile being inside the armor remains safe.

The first step that you must take if you love an insecure person is to get them to accept their responsibility and recognize that their insecure behavior is the origin of your unsatisfactory relationship.

At the same time, you must ensure that you maintain your own lifestyle and that you don’t end up being subservient to their needs. In this way, you won’t waste your breath inflating their low self-esteem, nor will you get on the kind of emotional treadmill where you’re sometimes adored and at others ignored. Because having a relationship with someone who doesn’t know what they want can unbalance your emotional state.

Wise love isn’t fickle. Those who truly love know what they should care for and fight for. In a healthy relationship, permanent insecurity doesn’t exist. You don’t want a partner who loves you completely one day but not the next. You need to find a dignified, colorful, and enriching love. Therefore, if you have an insecure partner, ensure they seek professional help to heal their fears and understand the origins of their insecurity.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Casullo, M. M., & Liporace, M. F. (2005). Evaluación de los estilos de apego en adultos. Anuario de investigaciones12, 183-192.
  • Hazan C, Shaver P. Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1987;52(3):511-24. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.52.3.511
  • Salazar Gutiérrez, S. G., & Sotelo Castro, A. F. (2021). Influencia del apego adulto sobre la dependencia emocional en las relaciones de pareja de estudiantes universitarios.
  • Chicomin Torres, J. C. (2021). El apego inseguro en la infancia y su repercusión en las relaciones de pareja en adultos.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.