Decoding Love-Related Confusion: Insecurity and Self-Esteem in Relationships

Decoding Love-Related Confusion: Insecurity and Self-Esteem in Relationships

love confusion

Love has been the subject of thousands of pages by theologians, philosophers, screenwriters, and many more. It’s something that intrigues us all and at the same time confuses us all. It’s human nature to understand what love means to us, what we are looking for in a relationship and why we want to seek companionship with one particular person. On our quest to answer these questions, many times, we find ourselves tangled in a web of emotions, unable to understand the true nature of our feelings. We might feel more confused than ever, with many hidden factors affecting the dynamics of our relationships.

Love confusion is a state of uncertainty or mixed feelings and emotions that can appear in your relationships. It involves complex interactions with many factors including — insecurity and self-esteem. These can manifest in your relationships in the form of insecurities like jealousy, fear of abandonment or an excessive need for validation. Low self-esteem can lead to a rise in insecurities.

Decoding Confusion in Love

Confusion and doubt in love occur in the context of romantic relationships. To briefly explain, an average human may experience three types of varying love. One is platonic love—the love between friends and individuals. Next, we have familial love — love for your biological family members or even chosen families. And finally, we have romantic love — a romantic attraction you feel for another person filled with intimacy and passion.

When we talk about love confusion, love, in this case, refers to the deep attachment and emotional connection between two individuals with feelings of affection and attraction. Oftentimes, one might question the strength of the relationship and ask these questions to themselves—Does my partner love me? Is our relationship strong enough to survive? Are the compliments they give me true or spoken just because we are in a relationship?

You might question why your partner loves you and sometimes you might even push your partner away because you’re afraid that they might not like you anymore because of your inadequacies and flaws. These feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem may lead to doubts about your relationship. This might even lead to low satisfaction in the relationship.

Self Esteem and Love

Love and self-esteem are closely related aspects. Researchers throughout the years have found a correlation between self-esteem and relationship satisfaction. Jaffar et al. (2021) found that low self-esteem leads to low relationship satisfaction. Studies have repeatedly shown that people with high self-esteem levels have better and happier intimate relationships than those with low self-esteem levels (Fincham and Bradbury, 1993; Hendrick, Hendrick, & Adler, 1988; Murray, Holmes, & Griffin, 2000).

When someone has low self-esteem, they often believe that they are not deserving of love and affection. Any act of love shone towards is subjected to doubt. They might feel confused when love is offered to them because they might question the motivation behind it. They might feel that the compliments are misplaced and undeserved. It’s important to understand and interpret where your thoughts are stemming from. Having this awareness can help you boost your self-esteem. This will help you quell the love confusion and lead you to live a satisfying relationship.

You can boost your self-esteem through:

  • Self-acceptance: Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are and accepting them.
  • Setting Realistic Goals: Small successes boost self-esteem. You should set achievable goals in your relationships.
  • Self-Care: Physical and emotional well-being are important to make you feel good about yourself.

But that doesn’t mean a person with high self-esteem cannot experience love-related confusion. They might be more selective and overthink their choices. Norms about what a relationship should be like and society’s norms and standards can affect your self-esteem. This can give rise to insecurities, especially if you don’t meet these standards. A person with such insecurities might doubt whether they are worthy of the love they are receiving.

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Insecurities and Love

Insecurities mean that you feel inadequate and flawed in the relationship. There are many ways you might feel insecure in a relationship. Although your partner might be being clear about how much they love and care about you, your insecurities make it hard for them to truly internalise these reassurances. When we talk about love confusion, we are talking about how your insecurities and issues with self-esteem may confuse acts of kindness and love from your relationship partner as something negative.

You might misinterpret their actions and this might put a strain on your relationship. Your experience with relationships that didn’t end well, personal doubts, low self-esteem and societal pressure can all lead to insecurities. These insecurities further lead to overthinking and misinterpretation of the actions and words of your partner. Over-analysis of your relationship can lead you to magnify your doubts and confusion. This will lead to a lack of self-assurance and self-worth. You might not be able to fully embrace the bliss and happiness of a relationship and this might lead to you falling out with your partner.

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Loving and learning to love is not difficult. You might face obstacles while navigating this journey but with self-awareness and personal growth, you can address the love-related confusion. Share your feelings and fears with your partner and communicate with each other. By understanding your self-esteem and insecurities and the thoughts that occur because of them, you can strive to foster healthy and happy relationships.

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