Magazine article Psychology Today

Undone by Insecurity

Magazine article Psychology Today

Undone by Insecurity

Article excerpt

( UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM )

I finally met agirl I could trust and be with. She said I gave everything anyone could ever want from a guy but that I was insecure, and she found that repulsive. I acted jealous but did everything else right. We were together 16 months, and I learned a ton about why I was insecure. Before it blew, she gave me so many chances, but I kept trying to explain how I had changed, and that upset her. I feel I have overcome my insecurity, but explaining that to her pushed her away. She just wanted me to act secure, not tell her I wasn't insecure, which only made her think I was still insecure. I want to start over with her, but I obviously didn't know what to do before.

YOUR EXPERIENCE EXEMPLIFIES an important fact of relationships: Insecurity is an unattractive trait. And some women find it especially unappealing in a man. What's more, there is such a thing as too much information. Think of the situation as akin to buying a car. Most women want to know that the model they are interested in has a motor that is strong, will take them where they want to go, and will run for a long time. They don't want to know how it was built or what adjustments have been made to get it into running condition. They simply want to be able to rely on it. She's right: Spilling is itself a display of insecurity. What is universally sexy is the opposite of insecurity, confidence, and it is one of those things that can only be demonstrated, not declared. That is not to say that vulnerability has no place in relationships. …

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