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How to confidently ditch your dating insecurities

How to confidently ditch your dating insecurities

By Margot Carmichael Lester

Insecurity can derail success in many areas of our lives, yet we often avoid dealing with it directly. We may ignore it, attributing negative outcomes in our lives to other people’s actions. Or we let it get in the way of making good decisions and end up settling for less than we deserve. In extreme cases, we even let it overwhelm us, creating a paralysis that keeps us from getting what we want… especially when it comes to love and relationships.

Beth Moore’s book So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us helps to identify how each person’s insecurity manifests itself in daily life and what steps are necessary to kick it to the curb forever. We recently sat down with Moore to talk about her book, recognizing your own sense of insecurity, and the hidden impact it can have on your dating life.

Q: What motivated you to write So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us?

Moore: I was sick to death of insecurity dogging me and robbing me of life’s rich seasons and experiences. I had a feeling there were others who were sick of it, too. We live in a media-driven culture that constantly pours gasoline on the embers of insecurity. None of us living in this culture will find security accidentally. It’s simply divine. The journey made a huge impact on my life. I hope and pray that just maybe it might impact someone else’s, too.
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Q: How does this insecurity manifest itself?

Moore: The same insecurity that causes [one] person to seek the spotlight causes the second person to avoid it at all costs. Insecurity’s most common denominator in women is the need for constant self-appraisal, even if it’s hidden quite well underneath a confident exterior. This self-appraisal comes in forms of doubting yourself and niggling concerns and thoughts, such as: Do I measure up to her/him? Does he/she measure up to me? Do I have a place in this space? Am I the winner or the loser here? How do I rate? Do I matter at all? Does the other person matter at all? Is there any way to take control here? Am I fatter or skinnier? Am I smarter or better? Am I pathetic or am I great?

Q: Why is insecurity so hard for some singles to shake off?

Moore: I chose the subtitle “You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us” because insecurity poses as a friend — and it’s been with us a mighty long time. It claims to always look out for our best interest, checking to see whether or not we’ve been slighted or if we should feel threatened. But instead, that insecurity keeps us offended and paranoid and turns friends into competitors.

No matter what our belief system, sooner or later, all of us will come to the conclusion that self-absorption makes us miserable. If we are not secure, we are insecure and it’s not doing us any favors. It can’t. It makes us too self-aware, and we won’t find contentment in our relationships and spheres of influence.

Q: How does insecurity affect our romantic relationships?

Moore: Insecurity leads to making bad choices when choosing a mate. It will cause us to choose and attract the kind of people who we don’t want or need in the long run. Insecurity means never seeing your own self or others with real accuracy; it either inflates or deflates one’s sense of self accordingly. For this reason, it can rarely lead us to real romantic matches. It either causes someone to end up in mismatched relationships, codependent relationships, or, worst of all, dangerous relationships. In its most toxic form, insecurity will attract emotional predators.

You can’t find true love with an untrue heart. Insecurity, at its very core, is self-deception. Unfortunately, most insecure people choose mates from a place of insecurity rather than from what their hearts actually desire. As I’ve told many singles over the last year, anybody who likes you when you’re feeling insecure is taking advantage of you. Dump him or her and deal with your insecurity problem so that you can attract a healthy person.

Q: What’s the first step to take in becoming more secure when you’re dating?

Moore: We think, “This is just the way I am. I can’t change. It’s too deeply ingrained in my personality.” That is a lie; insecurity makes a fool of us over and over again. It’s time to do what it takes to get rid of that insecurity forever.

The first step is to realize that we have all been created as we were meant to be. Then, once that realization hits, quit obsessing inwardly and look outward for guidance. It is possible — no matter who you are, where you’ve been, or how well you’ve hidden your self-torment from others — to find strength in others whom we respect, such as a parent or mentor. Why? Because we have someone greater than ourselves to gain strength from and ask for advice.

Are you ready to say so long to insecurity and get on the path to finding your match? Then stop obsessing and start celebrating yourself today. True love will come to you, drawn by the light of self-confidence that you radiate.

Margot Carmichael Lester is a Carrboro, NC-based freelance writer and coauthor of Be a Writer: Your Guide to the Writing Life. For more advice from Beth Moore on love and relationships, read Looking Up When Life is Looking Down and Loving Well Journal.