Insecure men are sneaky. They can be friendly one day, mean the next and back to being nice in a few days- but only after they have pushed you to your limit.
Usually, insecure men in relationships have a pattern. You have to recognize the signs in time to avoid a broken heart.
In the beginning, they seem to be a perfect match. You get butterflies in your stomach when you meet. He flatters you, pays attention to your needs, even appears to be anticipating them. He wonders out loud why you accepted the date when you’re so much better than him.
He treats you so well and you get along great. It’s like you’re in sync, soul mates. It makes you wonder where this will go, maybe he’s the one you’re going to marry.
At some point in your romantic relationship, things start to change. His love and affection turns to overwhelming obsession. He needs constant reminders and proof of your love. You feel suffocated.
Insecure people doubt their worth and lack self-confidence. Their self-image is so fragile, they need people around them to constantly praise them.
Related: Insecurities in Women
In order to recognize insecure men, pay attention to their behavior from the beginning. It can save you from a difficult break-up and a lot of pain. If they do most or all of the following signs, they are most likely insecure.
- Top Signs of an Insecure Man
- 1. Lack of a personal life
- 2. He’s jealous of your ex
- 3. He says ‘I love you’ too fast
- 4. He makes you the center of his universe
- 5. He needs to be revered
- 6. He’s jealous of people around you
- 7. He threatens to leave
- 8. He bad mouths his exes
- 9. He stalks your social media
- 10. He checks your phone
- 11. He’s too attentive
- 12. He thinks you are cheating on him
- 13. He wants to be around you all the time
- 14. He expects you to make him happy
- 15. You’re walking on eggshells
- Can a relationship work with an insecure man?
- The Takeaway
Top Signs of an Insecure Man
1. Lack of a personal life
He hasn’t introduced you to any of his friends. He doesn’t interact with his colleagues outside of work. He doesn’t have any interests or hobbies. He doesn’t like to go fishing or do anything creative, he doesn’t play sports.
After the charming beginning, he seems to have run out of things to say. The relationship became boring.
It looks like when he’s not with you, he’s just at home waiting to see you again. Because of his insecurity, you are his only focus in life.
2. He’s jealous of your ex
Even though you’re done and over your ex, insecure people thinks otherwise. He’s convinced that you still have feelings for your ex partner.
He doesn’t feel like he’s good enough, so you must be missing your ex.
It’s even more difficult when you have kids and you need to interact with your ex. An insecure man would imagine you want to restore your family, even if you can’t stand your ex.
3. He says ‘I love you’ too fast
You just have a few dates and your boyfriend declares that he loves you right away. It feels great, you’re delighted. But part of you wonders what exactly he loves about you. You barely know each other. It's a sign of insecurity.
Saying ‘I love you’ should come naturally, not out of fear. It’s weird to hear it after you only met twice for meals, though. It’s an even bigger red flag when he pushes you to say back "I love you". What should be a special moment turns into fuel for his ego.
4. He makes you the center of his universe
He keeps telling you from the beginning how you’re so important to him. You’re perfect, you’re his everything in life. It’s a lot of pressure. He hasn’t seen you after a run or when you’re laying around the house. You feel like you always need to look and behave impeccably.
When the relationship is not perfect anymore, he gets a huge blow. Because you’re his everything. He places all the responsibility of his happiness on you.
5. He needs to be revered
He’s always fishing for compliments for a confidence boost. Trying to get you to say how smart/ attractive/ amazing he is. And when you do, he doubts it. You have to work hard to make him feel good about himself and ease his insecurity.
Everyone likes to be appreciated and admired. Insecure people are exhausting with their need for constant validation.
6. He’s jealous of people around you
He doesn’t like your friends or the fact that you hang out with them. He doesn’t like others taking you away from him. You’re even guilty of spending time with your family. He’s jealous that you go out for a drink with your colleagues.
He makes a point of always calling and texting, to see what you’re doing and with who.
It seems like he does this out of love. And it may feel like you’re looked after and cared for. This possessiveness quickly turns into tension. You start feeling uneasy, restricted, confined.
7. He threatens to leave
He plays mind games to test your love for him. Your husband (or boyfriend) doesn’t really want to break up with you, he’s only looking for more validation. He may be wishing that you would make a grand gesture, in public, to prove your love. He could pretend that he’s moving out, so you have to cling to him. If you don’t engage with his mind games, he’ll change them. He’s too set on not losing you. He’ll make it look like he’s giving you a second chance.
8. He bad mouths his exes
He claims that all of his exes were awful. They were the reason the relationships didn’t work. He takes no responsibility, he was always an ideal partner. It might be true that he had a string of bad luck. Or it may be him that brings bad luck.
You will be compelled to take him under your wing, care for him and make sure he’ll never be hurt again. Unfortunately, this would not be healthy or sustainable. He needs to fix himself and practice self-care. The guilt of not completely protecting and loving him would be draining.
He always follows everything you post. He immediately likes and comments on everything you post. He could ask you to brief him on your updates before you post them. It may be cute for a while, he wants to be involved in your life. Then he starts to tell you what pictures and content you should or should not post. He makes it ostentatiously clear online that he is your partner. His possessiveness can even get him in a fight with your male coworker over a Facebook like.
10. He checks your phone
He’s always hovering over you when you’re talking on the phone or texting. He needs to know who you’re talking to. He can get suspicious that you’re talking and making fun of him. Or that you have another suitor. This could be the behavior of someone who recently got cheated on. But taken to the extreme, it’s unhealthy behavior. Discussions and reassurance should be enough for him to stop.
11. He’s too attentive
He’s always bringing you flowers, presents. He showers you with all his attention and affection. It’s nice to receive gifts, but receiving too many becomes suspicious. Like your boyfriend is trying to make up for something. He might believe the more stuff he offers you, the more you’ll love him. He will use the gifts to make you feel guilty when you try to leave him. He would say you were only using him.
12. He thinks you are cheating on him
He gets jealous when you speak to the waiter too much or if a guy friend calls you. He keeps worrying that you are looking or actually found somebody better than him. It’s not that he doesn’t trust you. He’s just so insecure, that he believes everyone you meet is going to be better than him.
He might think that you’re with him out of pity and will soon move to someone from your own league.
13. He wants to be around you all the time
Whenever you’re apart, he doesn’t let one hour pass without contacting you. It’s nice to be wanted and not have to play a waiting game. But in this situation his attention becomes too much, though. It’s disrupting your regular life, as you have to engage with him all the time. On top of that, he makes you feel guilty for having time for yourself. He expects you to skip on hanging out with friends and running errands, in order to be with him.
14. He expects you to make him happy
We tend to empathize and match our attitude with people close to us. That doesn’t mean our happiness and fulfillment are someone else’s responsibility. An insecure guy counts on you to keep his spirits up. When you’re busy or having a bad day, he’ll get upset. He needs you to make everything better for him. You have to get over your difficult time and focus on him. He could even think you don’t love him anymore. There is a lot of pressure in always being responsible for your partner’s mood.
15. You’re walking on eggshells
Being called out on something is not pleasant. But there needs to be a good dose of constructive criticism in your relationship. Insecure guys are so sensitive, that everything you say is offensive. You cannot criticize anything they do or say because they get defensive and upset. Everything they do is correct and they never say the wrong thing. Their brittle self-image cannot handle anything but praise.
Can a relationship work with an insecure man?
Yes, it could work if the man admits he has insecurity issues and is willing to work on them. You alone can't change him, no matter how much you love him. If he is willing to change, the best thing you can do is support and encourage him.
Many women fall into the trap of thinking that they can change their man on their own, but all they end up with is a broken heart, unfortunately.
Insecure men look like they will treat you like a princess, shower you with love. In reality, they’re just looking to flatter their ego. They are the ones doing everything for you, even though they don’t care about your preferences. Knowing yourself and having healthy boundaries should be priorities in a relationship.