15 Big Signs You’re Dating An Insecure Man

Dating experience | |
Updated On: April 11, 2024
dating an insecure man

Prince Charming alert! But hold on, that intense love bombing might be a sign of trouble. At first, he showers you with attention, making you feel like a queen. But soon, his neediness takes over, and he turns into an insecure boyfriend. He demands your time 24/7, texts blow up your phone, and jealousy becomes his middle name. This isn’t love, it’s insecurity playing mind games and dating an insecure man can turn suffocating.

By the time you notice the red flags, you might be deeply involved. Before you get tangled in his web, learn how to navigate this situation and protect yourself. ️It’s important to understand his insecurity and work toward healthier relationship dynamics. We’ll help you understand his clingy behavior and, maybe even, help him ditch the neediness that is turning your bond into an unhealthy relationship.

15 Sure Shot Signs That You Are Dating An Insecure Man

Dating someone with insecurities can strain a relationship, even if you love each other deeply. Insecurities erode trust, a vital part of a healthy relationship, leading to fights every day and constant reassurances due to unrealistic expectations and excessive neediness. It’s mentally exhausting and quickly turns into an unhealthy relationship. If this sounds familiar, you might think, “My boyfriend is insecure”. Understanding the signs of dating an insecure man is crucial to confirm your suspicions and address the issues. Brace yourself, because there’s quite a list of signs of an insecure man to look out for. Here are 15 such sure-shot signs of insecurity:

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1. He spends all his time with you

Is your boyfriend always glued to you, with no friends or hobbies of his own? Does he get jealous when you spend time with others? If so, these are major insecure boyfriend signs. He probably doesn’t have a social life and is jealous of yours. His world only revolves around you, almost as if he doesn’t know how to function individually. If your partner’s presence makes you cry out loud: “I am tired of my boyfriend being insecure and clingy”, it’s possible that he sacrifices his interests to be with you constantly. 

Related Reading: 15 Top Signs Of A Selfish Boyfriend

2. He wants to gain control over every aspect of your life

If you deal with an insecure man, know that one of the classic signs of a controlling insecure boyfriend is that instead of giving you space and respecting your opinions and boundaries, he will want to meddle with every aspect of your life – from how you dress to who you spend your time with. It can be suffocating to deal with an insecure partner like this. You may feel like you’re losing yourself to keep him happy and your toxic relationship afloat. If you can relate to this, know that it’s one of the surefire insecure man red flags.

3. He always plays the victim card and tries to manipulate you

Look out for signs of an insecure man who tries to gain your sympathy and intends to control you by portraying himself as a victim of bad past relationships. When he talks about his exes, you might see him emphasizing how he was mistreated and avoiding discussing his own mistakes or weaknesses. He tells sob stories about his past bad relationships, always painting himself as the wronged one. But when it comes to his own flaws? Nothing. Insecure men may play mind games when they don’t get what they want. They twist the truth, manipulate words, and shift blame to test your devotion.

4. Feelings of jealousy are second nature to him

If you are dating someone with insecurities, know that this is another classic sign of an insecure and jealous boyfriend. Insecure men and jealousy go hand in hand. It’s quite possible that he:

  • Is jealous not only of your male friends but also of any man who tries to come close to you
  • Doesn’t like it if you have close relationships with your girlfriends
  • Gets angry if you buy them gifts or go out of your way to do things for them

Sharing her story, this Reddit user says, “He was just very concerned if I was talking to or in the company of other men but always framed it as not trusting them to not hit on me. He guilted me about going to the gym because “other guys might check you out” and “are you trying to look good for other guys?” If a male friend called me on the phone, he was always nearby. If I was going to a study group… he wanted to know if there were going to be guys there. He’d often make digs at my outfits “why are you wearing that? Other guys might check you out”. He was convinced my gay coworker was hitting on me just because he was a man.”

Boyfriend insecure about other guys is a clear red flag in any relationship and can become a breeding ground for a host of other problems, such as lying, trust issues, and incessant fighting.

Related Reading: How To Get Out Of A Controlling Relationship – 8 Ways To Break Free

5. Needing constant reassurance is one of the signs of an insecure man

This is one of the problems with dating an insecure man. If your boyfriend constantly seeks praise and compliments, he’s like a plant craving sunlight. Without them, he feels worthless and irritable. It’s like you’re endlessly dusting his ego by showering him with compliments to make him happy. He always needs assurance of your love. He craves compliments about his looks, skills, and even his performance in bed. Anything less triggers anxiety and depression. The constant need for validation is like a puppy chewing on your shoe – endearing at first, but soon irritating.

6. He always stalks your social media, keeps a check on you

Is your partner constantly keeping tabs on your social media activity? If he:

  • Notices every like, comment, and follow on your Instagram as if he’s a detective
  • Is always updated on your online escapades, from Facebook updates to your latest TikTok videos
  • Gets upset over learning about your plans through Twitter before you tell him directly
  • Snoops on your phone or peeks over your shoulder to see who you are talking to
  • Asks who you’re talking to
  • Demands to see your messages

… know that this overwhelming obsession could be one of the signs of an insecure person in a relationship. This controlling behavior stems from insecurity, fueled by the fear of losing you or any secrets being kept, even during innocent tasks like checking emails or texting friends.

7. He never accepts his mistakes

This Reddit user relates her experience: “Always has a reason everything that goes wrong is someone else’s fault, and especially specifically targeted at him… If anything goes wrong in your relationship, it’ll be your fault, and he’ll probably accuse you of doing it on purpose because his ego can’t handle that it might be consequences of his own behavior.”

One of the signs of an insecure person in a relationship is that he will never accept his mistakes or take responsibility for his actions. If he does something wrong, he will start blame-shifting, placing the entire responsibility on you or someone else. A man with low self-esteem and insecurity issues finds it hard to say, “I’m sorry, I messed up.”

Related Reading: 11 Painful Signs Your Partner Is Taking Your Relationship For Granted

8. He wants to hear praise, not criticism

An insecure guy often craves compliments and reassurance, constantly questioning himself to fill his lack of confidence. He seeks validation to feel good about himself, often worrying about his appearance. However, he’s sensitive to criticism, even if it’s well-meaning. Trying to discuss changes or suggest improvements in behavior can lead to silence or avoidance. Communication with an insecure guy, especially about relationship issues, can be challenging. It requires patience and understanding to navigate these conversations effectively and to strengthen the relationship.

make an insecure guy feel secure
An insecure boyfriend wants to spend all his time with you

9. He doubts your loyalty and commitment

Is your boyfriend insecure about other guys? One of the insecure boyfriend signs is that he either accuses you of cheating on him or insinuates that you’re pursuing other romantic interests while being in a relationship with him. He is always suspicious about your motives and keeps testing your loyalty with mind games. “If you love me, you will do this” or “If you love me, you won’t do that”  – threats and ultimatums like these become routine when you are dating an insecure guy, causing you to lament, “My partner’s insecurities are ruining our relationship” or “My boyfriend is insecure and it’s annoying.”

Related Reading: 8 Ways To Overcome Insecurity In A Relationship

10. He is unpredictable and experiences frequent mood swings

Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells every day? Does his mood swing from sunshine to storm based on little things? This might be insecurity showing its ugly side. One of the signs of an insecure man is that he often lets outside influences, even your interactions with others, dictate his happiness. This can lead to:

  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Angry outbursts
  • Aggression if you try to talk about it

Remember, their anger isn’t your fault, but it’s not okay either. You shouldn’t be constantly justifying yourself or be made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe at home. If these insecure man red flags are making your life stressful, it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship.

11. He lacks confidence, has insecurity issues, and projects them on you

Watch out for signs of insecurity in your relationship. If you deal with an insecure man, know that insecurity often stems from low self-esteem, leading to negative self-talk. Watch for statements like “I always say the wrong things” or “I’m such a loser.” If your guy: 

  • Showers you with gifts and sweet words but becomes pushy or rushes things
  • Is afraid to express different opinions because he lacks confidence
  • Avoids offering his own thoughts, fearing it could upset you 
  • Lacks real friends and spends all his time with you

… it might be a red flag. His overwhelming feelings can turn into possessiveness, which is not a healthy sign. Insecure individuals may cope by projecting their fears and insecurities onto their partners, unlike confident men, who are secure within themselves and know how to take responsibility for their actions. Here’s what an insecure man may resort to:

Some insecure individuals may overcompensate by bragging or showcasing achievements to mask their underlying feelings of inadequacy.

Related Reading: 8 Relationship Problems You Can Face If You Had Toxic Parents

12. He is clingy and emotionally dependent on you

Does your boyfriend seem like he’s glued to you? Maybe it was sweet at first, but now his clinginess and overwhelming obsession are annoying and make you feel uncomfortable. A man uncertain and insecure about his role in your life may exhibit clingy behavior. This strong desire for constant closeness can be overwhelming and unappealing. An insecure man relies excessively on the relationship for emotional support. By staying close, he seeks security but may also harbor fears of other men entering your life. 

This Reddit user says that her boyfriend “can’t stand to be apart… and wants to spend every minute together… We spent one night apart because he got off late and I was too tired to drive over… The next day he repeatedly told me how much he missed me the night before… He also never wants to do things with his own friends anymore unless I tell him I have plans with mine.” Classic clingy boyfriend signs we think!

13. He tries to flatter you and shower you with attention and gifts

Does your boyfriend shower you with gifts and call you his soulmate after a coffee date? Hold your horses! This intense whirlwind can be exciting, but it might also hide insecurities. His over-the-top gestures could be a way to ‘buy’ your love instead of building a genuine connection. True love takes time, not two-second declarations. Being someone’s everything sounds sweet, but it’s a heavy crown to wear, especially when things get rocky.  Don’t get swept away by the glitter. Look for genuine connection, not just grand gestures, to build a healthy and lasting relationship.

14. He lies, exaggerates the truth, or tries to gaslight you

Unlike confident men, an insecure guy often lies to make himself seem better or out of fear of not being accepted. He might boast about his looks or skills, comparing himself to others. This insecurity can lead to lots of fibbing and exaggerations. Gaslighting, a sneaky form of manipulation, involves lying or distorting facts to make you doubt yourself. It’s harmful, causing confusion and low self-esteem. If your boyfriend’s constantly stretching the truth, it might be one of the common signs of insecurity and a lack of honesty.

15. He threatens to break up with you to test you and make you stay

An insecure boyfriend keeps breaking up with you due to his attachment style developed from childhood experiences of inconsistent love. He’s hypersensitive to any signs of distance in the relationship, using threats of leaving as a defense mechanism against emotional pain. This form of controlling behavior (arising from an insecure attachment style) leads to an unstable and toxic relationship, with breakup threats becoming a test of your loyalty and a way to boost his fragile ego. Whether you plead for him to stay or not, he often takes back the threat, fearing the loss of the relationship.

Related Reading: How To Get Out Of An Unhealthy Relationship: A Step-by-Step Guide

11 Tips To Deal With An Insecure Boyfriend

Insecurity often stems from past hurts and unmet needs, needing time and support to overcome. Both you and your boyfriend must work together, taking small steps and celebrating progress. Patience is key for noticeable changes in behavior and the relationship. Remember, you can make an insecure guy feel secure and reassure him about your relationship, but real change happens when he commits to improving himself. Support him on this journey, but let him take the steps necessary to grow and heal too.

how to have a relationship with an insecure man
To deal with an insecure person in a relationship, talk about the issues that stem from his past

Here are 11 tips on how to deal with an insecure man in romantic relationships:

1. Evaluate your own conduct and behavior in the relationship

Although we don’t approve of his controlling or insecure actions, it’s worth considering if anything you’re doing is causing them. What seems harmless to you might be significant to him, especially if he doesn’t show insecurity in other areas of life. Pause and reflect on whether your actions contribute to an already toxic relationship. If so, making small changes could greatly improve your dynamic with him and help you deal with an insecure person in a relationship.

Related Reading: 18 Ways To Show Someone You Care

2. Extend your support and understanding to him

Genevieve Bachman, a colleague at work, shared that her boyfriend was very controlling. He picked out her outfits, texted her constantly at work, and insisted she talk to him on the phone during lunch. 

“To deal with an insecure and jealous boyfriend is not an easy thing, I learned that the hard way. Colin, my boyfriend, would always be glued to me and try to control parts of my life that were truly none of his business. Things got better only after I sat him down and talked about the issues,” she said. Are you still wondering how to deal with an insecure boyfriend? Improving communication can help address issues and understand each other better, making it easier to deal with an insecure person in a relationship. Remember, you’re dealing with an emotionally fragile person. Therefore, choose your words carefully and be kind. Keep your promises and try to meet realistic expectations.

3. Show him that he is important and that you care

We often hear of grievances such as: “My boyfriend is very insecure and is always pushing me away” or “My boyfriend is insecure and it’s annoying.” When this happens, make an effort to let your insecure guy know how much you value him. This will make him realize that his insecurities are baseless. Here are some ways you can let your man know how much he matters to you:

  • Make small, romantic gestures, like getting him his favorite dessert or getting him something you know he has wanted for a long time
  • Post something cute for him on social media
  • Initiate plans to spend quality time with him
  • Keep him updated about your plans for the day
  • Drop him an occasional text to tell him that you’re thinking of him

4. Encourage him to discuss his past with you

Your boyfriend’s insecurities might not have one simple cause. It’s possible he’s dealt with tough experiences in the past, like bad relationships or a difficult upbringing, that may have made him feel insecure. To understand him better and help him heal, encourage him to open up about these past experiences in more detail. But, remember, this may not be easy for him. You can:

  • Be patient and a good listener
  • Pay attention to what he says, even if it seems like a rant about something small
  • Listen and empathize to help him understand where his insecurities come from and work through them together

This will ultimately strengthen your relationship and help him feel more secure. However, keep in mind that you can’t fix him alone. If his behavior is affecting your well-being, it’s important to seek professional help together or consider if the relationship is healthy for you.

Related Reading: 55 Unique Ways To Tell Someone You Love Them

5. Steer clear of the temptation to lie to him

How to have a relationship with an insecure man? When you know that telling your insecure boyfriend the truth will only result in yet another argument or fight replete with tears, hurtful words, and angry outbursts, harmless white lies can seem far more appealing. However, if you lie to him and he catches on, his trust issues and insecurities will increase manifold. If you’re dating an insecure man, as hard as it may be, be honest with yourself and with him.

6. Make plans with your friends that include him

One of the problems with dating an insecure man is that he may have a hard time trusting your friends or other people you hang out with. In such a situation, how to deal with an insecure boyfriend? Well, if your boyfriend feels uneasy when you hang out with your male friends, include him in your plans. Let him meet them and get to know them better to ease his suspicions. Often, fears are worse than reality. Maybe he’ll end up liking your friends and realizing there’s nothing to worry about. As he sees your platonic relationships with your friends, he’ll become more trusting of you and them.

7. Tell him your concerns about the relationship

Communicating with an insecure partner is tough, but essential to address issues. Bottling up frustrations leads to resentment, worsening the situation. Openness and honesty are vital for a healthy relationship, allowing vulnerability and mutual support. To deal with an insecure man, encourage sharing fears and problems in more detail, and offering constructive criticism, but be mindful of how you express concerns to avoid making him feel attacked. If you’re wondering what to say to your boyfriend when he feels insecure, here are some examples:

  • I feel hurt and humiliated when you don’t trust me
  • I know you have been through a lot, but it would be nice if you could find a way to believe that it’ll be different for us
  • I wish you would ask me directly if you have any questions about my life rather than snooping behind my back
  • While I appreciate that you’re protective of me, I’m an adult and perfectly capable of making my own choices

Related Reading: 12 Signs Of Insecure Women And How To Avoid Them

8. Give him time to improve

You cannot expect your insecure partner to change overnight. Give him time and space to work on his insecurities. However, this does not mean that you put up with abusive behavior. If you don’t see any desire to change or signs of improvement even after a significant amount of time has passed, then it might be time to call it quits for the sake of your sanity and well-being.

more on dealing with insecurity

9. Approach a therapist

An insecure partner drains a relationship. In such a case, you may wonder how to deal with an insecure man. If you and your boyfriend are serious about improving your relationship, individual or couples therapy could help. If he’s open to it, support him in finding a good therapist who can offer guidance and constructive criticism to work through his problems. Encouraging him to seek professional help is the best step forward to save your romantic relationship. 

Bonobology’s skilled counselors can assist you through this journey.

10. Watch what you say

Are you still wondering how to have a relationship with an insecure man? Try not to say anything to intentionally hurt your boyfriend. Yes, you have every right to voice your opinion and share your side of the story, but you must do it calmly. Be mindful of these little things, so that you do not upset him needlessly. You may not exactly know what to say to your boyfriend when he feels insecure, but make sure to not say these hurtful things:

  • You’re such a loser
  • I hate the idea of spending time with you
  • I could’ve done so much better than you

Related Reading: 21 Elements Of Developing Respect In A Relationship

11. Do not joke about his insecurities

If you’re still googling how to deal with an insecure man, well, this is one good suggestion. Making jokes about your partner’s insecurities, whether in public or private, can severely damage a man with low self-esteem as well as your relationship. Insecurities and low self-esteem are real struggles. Teasing or poking fun at vulnerabilities, even unintentionally, can cause major damage to his well-being. Respect his feelings, both in public and private. Building trust and a safe space is key to a healthy relationship. Therefore, choose kindness and understanding, instead of jokes that could leave lasting scars.

Key Pointers

  • Dating an insecure man can be a stifling, frustrating, and emotionally draining experience
  • An insecure man tends to be needy and clingy in relationships, wanting to have you all to himself and may not understand the concept of personal space
  • Insecure behavior is often rooted in past emotional trauma and hurt and can be corrected with the right help and support
  • Being empathetic, patient, and understanding is the best way to help your partner if he genuinely wants to heal and change
  • It’s perfectly okay to end the relationship if it’s getting too much to handle. Your well-being is most important

It is true that an insecure partner drains a relationship. But dating an insecure man doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in a dead-end relationship. You just have to be wise, kind, and patient to ensure that the insecurity does not get worse over time. Help him stay on track and not get disheartened by small setbacks. At the same time, if things do not improve despite you giving it your best shot, walk away. If the relationship begins to take a toll on you, end it.

FAQs

1. Can being insecure ruin a relationship?

An insecure partner drains a relationship and can make your dating experience quite unsatisfying. Constantly fighting their insecurities can be a lot of work. An insecure guy is overprotective, possessive, and jealous; exhibits low levels of self-esteem; and can be controlling. These attributes are signs of a bad relationship and can lead to doom.

2. How does one reassure an insecure boyfriend?

Be supportive and understanding to make an insecure guy feel secure in romantic relationships. Discuss his childhood, past experiences, and bad relationship issues with him, and suggest relationship counseling to get over his insecurities.

3. Is insecurity a sign of love?

A little bit of insecurity exists in everyone and it could be a sign of love to a certain extent. But if insecurity dictates your relationship dynamics, then it becomes unhealthy very quickly.

4. What to say to an insecure boyfriend?

Be gentle, understand his issues, compliment him, and involve him in your life. Keep showering him with care and kind words to make him believe that you love him dearly.

5. Are insecure guys worth dating?

If his emotional insecurity is playing havoc with your life and relationship, and if you have tried your level best to assure him that there is no reason to be insecure, you have done your bit. If he still doesn’t understand and continues to hurt you, it might be best to break up. It is worth dating a person who understands his insecurities and is willing to. If they don’t, then it’s probably not worth it.

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