In turn, the connection suffers. This fuels more insecurity, and the resulting behaviors become even more troublesome. Often the whole cycle comes to an end when the insecurity becomes too much for the relationship to bear.
1. End your search for perfection.
There is no perfect relationship. There is no perfect partner. There are only human beings who may or may not have a shot at something wonderful together. Expecting perfection from your partner – or from yourself – creates the kind of pressure-filled environment insecurity thrives in. Let it go, and make an effort to embrace your partner’s unique flaws. More importantly, learn to embrace your own. As Jodi Picoult wrote, “You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
2. Stop reading your partner’s mind.
While you’re at it, stop expecting them to read yours. The most damaging relationship problems tend to come from poor communication, and nothing fuels this quite like mind-reading. If you are upset with your partner, tell them so. If you sense a disconnect on their end, ask them why. This sounds simple, but it’s actually a difficult and courageous act.
3. Respect your partner’s boundaries unconditionally.
If your partner tells you that something you do is making them uncomfortable, it is important to listen – even if you think the request is a silly one. To you, asking “What are you thinking?” may be a benign way to connect. To them, it may feel like an attack on their mental privacy. Respecting these preferences without teasing or judgement will create a safer space for your partner to open up.