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The insecurity in love

Blog written by the psychologists at Psinove. We explore topics related to psychology and psychotherapy, daily challenges, and reflections.

The insecurity in love

When two people relate, they start from their human essence of primary search for security. This is the foundation that allows growth; only in security does love flourish.

Security, in romantic relationships, doesn't mean dependency, but it also doesn't mean absolute independence. These two concepts are easily confused within relationships: some say they do everything together and can't live without each other, which at first glance may seem loving and secure, but upon deeper observation often means exactly the opposite, it means dependency and primarily insecurity, individually and relationally, fear of loss and abandonment defended with anxiety for fusion. On the other hand, when members of a couple claim to be very independent, each having their own life, living in separate houses and never arguing, upon closer inspection, we can also find insecurity, fear of closeness and emotional vulnerability, defended with distance and avoidance.

Security in love is achieved through Interdependence, in a search for balance between connection and freedom, between sharing and accepting differences, between being and letting be, between risking and understanding, between staying and letting go, between dependency and independence, understanding that we can be better with others, but we are whole if the other is not there, and being whole when we are with the other. Simultaneously being free and choosing to live that freedom with the other.

An insecure relationship with people with insecure attachments leads to two opposing forces often coming together: those who need to be closer with those who need to be more distant... it seems like a paradox, but it's the most common combination in marital therapy and relationships in general. Those who need closeness feel an unconscious attraction to someone autonomous and independent, but when they distance themselves, they suffer from anxiety and despair and make intense efforts to bring them closer. On the other hand, those who are more autonomous feel attracted to the emotional intensity of the more dependent person, but when the other gets too close, they feel suffocated, blocked, controlled, and afraid to open up their emotions too much.

If initially the relationship starts with attraction and possible complementarity, the more the person with anxious insecure attachment seeks closeness, the more the person with avoidant insecure attachment distances themselves, and the more this latter distances themselves, the more the other desperately seeks not to be abandoned, and the more the other individualizes and emotionally protects themselves, and so on, in a destructive cycle of the relationship...

These insecure loves, between people with insecure attachments, did not come to these adult relationships securely. It was also in insecurity that they were loved as children.

Insecurity (or security) in love is a continuum, a process that begins in the development of the first primary relationships with parents (or other primary caregivers), from the baby's gestation during pregnancy, through friends and first loves in adolescence, to adult romantic relationships and relationships with children who are born anew. At each stage, in each relationship, there is the possibility of reinforcing this insecurity, but also the opportunity for repair, change, individual and relational growth.

Being in a relationship is as essential as it is arduous, and if there is insecurity, it's even harder, however, the potential within each of us not to define ourselves by what they tried to define us as, is immense.

In each relationship, we have the possibility to transform the relationship with ourselves, to take responsibility for doing better, for seeking trust and security, for looking at ourselves and others with compassion, for listening and expressing ourselves emotionally, in an interdependence that allows us to be connected without fear of sinking into closeness or being rejected in individuality.

Living in insecurity in love can be very painful, but sometimes couples live in comfortable insecurity, in uncomfortable comfort they become accustomed to, in an insecurity that seems safe to them because it is all they have known up to that point, and daring to venture into the unknown is often too difficult.

It takes some courage, but building healthy security in a true relationship of self-love and mutual love is possible. Are you ready to try?

Article published on Sapo 24

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