5 Things Men Do That Make Women Feel Insecure In Relationships

Dating experience | |
Updated On: May 6, 2024
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What makes a woman insecure in a relationship? Women are simple really. To them, it’s the little things in a relationship that matter the most. It’s the everyday simple gestures, like appreciating her, understanding her needs, and spending time with her, as compared to impressing her with luxury gifts.

However, even if they take care of the little things, men can still make women feel insecure. My friend, who’s in a happy relationship, shares with me, “Despite our overall joy, there are many instances where my guy drives me to the edge of insanity. Especially when it comes to my feelings of relationship insecurity. There is nothing worse than when I feel neglected by him — And he doesn’t even know what he’s doing!”

To understand female insecurity psychology and to make sure you don’t end up making your girlfriend doubt herself – or you – take a look at these five things men do to make their girlfriends feel insecure. Now you’ll know what not to do.

Why Women Feel Insecure

As per this article, American journalists, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, wrote the seminal book The Confidence Code which explores a phenomenon in our society: “Men are almost always more confident than women, even when the women are equally or more talented.” Now apply that to romantic relationships.

It’s really not rocket science to know the answer to: What can make a woman feel insecure in her relationship? It’s hard-core societal conditioning, and it’s not just women who are affected. It’s also men who are conditioned to not be vulnerable. The bottom line is that she loves you. She wants you to show affection to feel loved and validated by you. Now even though you may not be straight-up cheating on her, there are certain behaviors or statements that can trigger your partner’s insecurities.

Related Reading: Relationships And Lessons: 4 Things You Can Learn About Yourself From Past Relationships

  • Too many jokes and making comments: Have you two reached that point in your relationship where one of you is always pulling the other person’s leg? As charming as that may be early on, it can sometimes mess with a woman’s mind and even cause low-self esteem in her. There is a good chance you do not mean any harm in what you say to her. However, she might start thinking that you have high standards which she cannot match
  • Her past experiences: There is research which suggests that repeated negative experiences or patterns due to caregiver/partner rejection can lead to emotional baggage and messy feelings of insecurity. This means, you may not be doing anything wrong, but are somehow touching her pain points from childhood or past relationships
  • Sexual experience: Another important factor as to why a woman may not feel secure in a relationship is because of the sexual relationship between her and her partner. A study indicates that lower sexual self-esteem and higher sexual anxiety decides the extent to which a woman feels insecure in her relationship
  • Lack of self-love: Women’s insecurities about body image or their perceived value in others’ lives are things that keep them up at night. If your girlfriend feels inadequate at a personal level, she will not feel enough in her relationship with you either. In such a case, she may even need professional help or a therapist to help her walk through this
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Signs Of Insecurity In Women

When a woman feels unhappy in her marriage or her relationship due to feelings of insecurity, there are signs you will definitely pick up on. While every woman copes with her difficult emotions differently, there are some general characteristics of insecure women and how they act when they don’t feel good about themselves.

Remember, there are no grave dangers of dating an insecure woman like a few scary movies will have you believe. Though it may not be a huge problem, it does pave the way for dissatisfaction in the long run and many relationship arguments. So if you are looking for a warning sign that your current partner is feeling insecure in your relationship, then you have come to the right place today. Here is what insecure behavior in a woman might look like:

girlfriend feels inadequate
Constant insecurity can break a relationship apart
  • She feels jealous: This is commonly what insecurity in a relationship looks like. Whether it comes to men or women, insecure people display this first sign of internal conflict early on. She might be jealous of your friends, the other women you socialize with, and those whom you may prioritize over her
  • She taps out of situations: When an insecure person does not feel good about themselves, they tend to become reclusive. Instead of dressing up and accompanying you to parties, she would rather stay home. She could be insecure because of her body image issues, her lack of success in life, or what people might think of her
  • She is not thick-skinned: Due to a lack of self-worth, an insecure woman will never be able to take a joke about herself. In fact, if you keep messing around with her by making comments in a fun manner, she might jump to negative assumptions as to how you feel for her. She will assume that you do not love or respect her, when in fact you are just playing around
  • She is a people-pleaser: Your insecure girlfriend does not just want to be liked by you, she wants to be loved by everyone else in the room. This is one of the most obvious signs of self-doubt in a woman. Even when she dislikes someone, you will notice how she will go the extra mile to be kind to them, just so she can feel appreciated by them
  • She’s defensive and acts out: A woman’s insecurity can manifest in many ways which can be ugly and uncomfortable. Some insecure women are always looking for the upper hand in a dispute and will not settle an issue unless they believe they have won. They are always concerned with being right and might become quite defensive in the face of criticism
  • She needs you to constantly validate her: One of the common signs of female insecurities is that she cannot go without your attention. If you stop communicating with her for a while because you are busy or stop complimenting her the way you used to, she will instantly sound the alarm and start acting like a clingy girlfriend. A woman who is feeling insecure requires constant reassurance from those around her
  • She compares herself to your exes: When there is stability and security in relationships, one does not feel the need to ponder about whom their partner dated previously. Which is why this is one of the signs of insecurity in a relationship for a woman. She may feel compelled to outshine your ex. She might even constantly stalk your ex on social media
  • She has body image issues: One of the most common things you will notice about an insecure partner is that she’s sensitive to body image perceptions. You must use caution when making comments about her body since even the most benign things can make her feel worse. This might require professional intervention

Related Reading: 10 Signs You Are In A Truly Stable Relationship (Even If You Feel Otherwise)

5 Things Men Do To Make Women Feel Insecure

No matter how secure a woman is, the way most men behave in relationships can shake the self-confidence of even the strongest ladies. At times, men seem to make statements that are enough for a woman to doubt herself and her credibility. It can truly affect her self-esteem and make her spiral. For example, saying something like “You’re overreacting, you don’t know what you’re talking about” during an argument is a sign of gaslighting. And might just end up causing significant harm to anyone who’s at the receiving end.

Even though you don’t actually mean to deceive your partner, it can leave long-lasting scars on their emotions. This can lead to more lingering issues in the future. Sometimes, what makes a woman insecure in a relationship isn’t even as sinister as blatant gaslighting. An offhand comparison with a friend or a colleague may just be enough to make her question herself.

Yes, insecurity in relationships has many forms. When such remarks are made ever so often, without realizing the damage they cause, it can end up being detrimental for one partner.

So, what makes a woman insecure in a relationship? Being insecure in a relationship, sometimes, has nothing to do with what the other partner says. By not complimenting her when she’s put an effort into dressing up for you or by giving her backhanded compliments, you might just make her feel as though she’s not enough. Not appreciating the things she does for you is almost always a cause for concern.

Let’s get right into the top 5 things that men do to make women feel insecure, so you can make sure you’re not partaking in any inconspicuously harmful behavior.

1.  A habit of white lies and keeping secrets

female insecurity psychology
Telling lies is the one thing women hate

You headed straight to your friend’s place and told your partner that you had a very important work meeting. You could have told her the truth, and it wouldn’t have caused any problems. Such lies may seem inconsequential, but they end up causing trust issues in the future. Avoid making excuses and hiding things from her. Come clean.

My friend Tony’s girlfriend, Jess, would often get upset about his white lies. He would lie to her about how long he’d take to reach the restaurant or what he was doing at home to avoid any unnecessary arguments. But this would make her feel insulted.

When your partner finds out about all the white lies you tell her, like lying about the gender of a colleague or lying about where you are, all it’s going to do is give her more reason to doubt everything you say. You’d react that way too, wouldn’t you? Being honest and trustworthy are the two important ingredients in any healthy relationship. Telling lies is one of the things women hate, and it can become the root cause of insecurities in the relationship.

Related Reading: 10 Things To Do To Gain Trust Back In A Relationship After Lying

2. Ignoring on texts is one of the things men do that upset women

What makes a woman insecure in a relationship? This is one of the more common things men do without realizing how insecure it can make their partner feel. While it may be a very small act to you, it can trigger a whole wave of emotions for your partner who might see it as a sign that you do not love her anymore and are perhaps even getting sick of her.

One Reddit user shares how insecure she gets when she feels a difference in the frequency of her boyfriend reaching out to her. She says, “Yes. I get attached easily, and since I’m a habitual person, it can mess up my head when my boyfriend doesn’t call me as often as he normally does. What normally helps me is to keep myself busy with other stuff so I don’t overthink.”

If you are a guy reading this, here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • She sees it as disrespect: For you, it might just be a text that you want to respond to later. But to her, it feels like disrespect, especially if it keeps happening. She might be thinking that this is not how guys text when they like you. It may trigger the underlying root causes of her own insecurities. She might feel like she is bothering you or irritating you, or that you do not want to be with her
  • Try to allay her concern: Take our advice and hear us out. She’s not begging for a response the minute you send her a text, but the least you can do is let her know you’re busy, which is why you cannot have a longer conversation with her
  • Text example: Texting something along the lines of “Hey, I’m a little busy right now. I’ll text you later” should make her feel better. However, if she’s texting you every five minutes after you’ve told her you’re busy, that’s a different story

Related Reading: 11 Examples Of Self-Sabotaging Behaviors That Ruin Relationships

3. Ignoring her in a social setting can harm stability and security in relationships

If you want a woman to feel secure when she is with you, this is the last thing you should do. First, you invite her to your friend’s party, and she’s excited to have a good time with you and your friends. However, as you arrive at the event, you get so caught up with your friends that it takes a really long time for you to realize that your girl has just been sitting in the corner.

Sure, it may not happen if she has other friends at the party or she has the bubbliest personality. But if she doesn’t know anybody there or isn’t too much of an extrovert, you’ve pretty much abandoned her. And this is not going to sit well for your relationship, especially if she has abandonment issues.

As you can see, what makes a woman insecure in a relationship might not even be about what you say to her. Sometimes, it’s your silent but rude behavior that makes her feel insecure and trigger her pent-up issues. Your friends might’ve pulled you away and kept you busy, but when you’ve been away for an hour with no sign of contact, it’s bound to make her feel lonely

We’re not asking you to carry your girl around on your arm for the entire evening, but make some effort to check in on her. If you are a new couple, it is better that you learn this early on. Keep glancing over at her or give her a quick kiss sometimes, even if you are mostly separated at a party. She will appreciate it, and it might allay her fears of losing you.

Related Reading: I Don’t Think I Love My Husband Anymore

4. Not considering their opinion makes women insecure

Insecurity in a relationship also crops up when partners make individual decisions, without giving too much importance to what the other has to say. It can actually do a lot of harm to one’s mental health because of how neglected they may feel.

  • Take her opinion on small and big matters: Ranging from everyday decisions like where you’re going out to eat or how you’re going to approach the finances of your household, to big decisions like family planning and the future of your relationship. Not discussing things with your partner before making up your mind about something is bound to make them feel insecure
  • Introspect on the lack of trust and respect: Once you make her feel like she has no say in the decision-making, you’re pretty much making it apparent that your relationship lacks mutual trust and respect. Don’t make any important decisions like moving to another city or changing your job without counting her in. After all, you are building a relationship together, and it will only make her feel less important if you do not consult her
dealing with insecurity

5. Your girlfriend feels inadequate when you don’t talk about your past

Want to tackle insecurity in your relationship? Get those skeletons out of the closet. For you, your previous relationships may not matter anymore, but it is always good to be open about it with your new partner. Doing otherwise can trigger insecurity in a woman. Hiding unpleasant things about your past or lying by omission will only make her feel insecure if she finds out about them someday.

Stop analyzing what you should or should not tell her because you are worried it will affect how she sees you. While we understand that it takes time to get to a stage where you can discuss anything at all, try not to be dishonest with your girl. She can overcome insecurity if you are willing to clear things up.

Moreover, it is important to get her side of the story as well. Learn about her past, and you might understand her triggers and what perhaps makes her insecure today. One Reddit user talks about how their past experiences affect their insecurities in their present-day relationship, “In my case, it’s an ingrained distrust and fear from past experiences and emotionally abusive relationships. I’m currently in the most healthy relationship I’ve ever had, but I still struggle with insecurities popping up, even when they aren’t relevant to my current partner. Therapy and being open with my partner about what triggers it and how I’m working through it has helped me a lot.”

Key Pointers

  • Women feel insecure in relationships due to past toxic relationships, a lack of self-love, or feeling disrespected in a relationship
  • If she’s insecure, she will probably not take too well to being teased, she won’t be able to manage her jealousy, and she might even avoid social situations
  • Consider her opinions and value her place in your life openly to make her feel less insecure 
  • Don’t ignore her in social settings or ignore her texts for too long so that she does not feel neglected

Dear men, now you know. Stop doing the above things to the person you love the most. It might be unintentional, but as you are aware of it now, it will affect the well-being of your bond. So start over in the relationship if you must. Tell her how you feel about her, show her how much you love her, and enjoy a relationship free from feelings of insecurity. And ladies, please do not keep any unreasonable doubts in your head. Be precise and clear and, yes, vulnerable.

If you think the personal issues affecting your relationship might be getting out of hand, then seeking professional help for your relationship is always a good option as a form of self-care. It can help decode past traumas, which could be the reason for controlling behavior, self-sabotage, and unrealistic expectations in your relationship. Luckily, Bonobology’s skilled panel of counselors is only a click away.


1. What do women feel most insecure about?

What a woman feels most insecure about depends on what she values most in the relationship. However, most women will start feeling insecure when their partners disregard their opinions, don’t respect them, or blatantly ignore them in pursuit of some “personal time.” A lack of physical touch between you two might also make her feel unwanted.

2. Why is my boyfriend trying to make me insecure?

In all likelihood, he’s probably doing it without even realizing it. In that case, the best thing to do is to let him know as soon as possible about the damage he’s causing. However, if he’s doing it with full knowledge of the impact, there’s probably a lack of mutual respect and trust in your relationship.

3. What are the signs of an insecure woman?

The signs of an insecure woman include being overly jealous, always needing validation and compliments, and being sensitive to body issues. They may feel insecure around their loved ones in general, and not just you.

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