We have all experienced feelings of insecurity at some point in our relationships.
These feelings often stem from uncertainties about the status of our relationship, a lack of confidence, and a sense of not being good enough.
And in most cases, insecurity arises from jealousy, whether it’s related to past or current relationships.
Overcoming insecurities about a partner’s past, particularly concerning past lovers or relationships, requires a joint effort.
If you are dating a guy who is insecure about your past, here is a list of things you can do to help both of you and save your relationship.
1. Use Discernment to Know What It Is About Your Past That Makes Him Feel Insecure
A person’s past can be pretty broad. At times, it is hard to pinpoint when and where we mentioned something from our past that hurt our partner’s feelings.
I remember being on a date with a guy I was dating, and I received a call from one of my girls.
While talking, we mentioned the name of a guy I was once involved with, and actually, it was a negative comment that we were making about him.
Once the call ended, we continued with our date, but something felt off.
Then weeks later, in a fight, my boyfriend bursts out, “I’m not Joe. That’s why you’re like this! Isn’t he a better man than I am? After all, he can give you everything that I can’t.”
And at once, it hit me. All of our fights had resulted from that simple mention of a name.
If I had been smarter about it, the moment I felt something was off, I should have tried to retrace my steps—from things I did to my speech and conduct. That way, I could have known what brought about all that pain and anger.
Remember, the point is to use discernment; you don’t need to ask.
Nagging him with questions such as, “What is it about my past relationships bothers you so much? Is it A or B?” only worsens the situation.
He will keep saying all is okay while deep down he is hurting, and you will get increasingly frustrated because you know he is keeping something from you.
2. Avoid Bringing Up Your Past
The more you bring up your past relationships, the more your boyfriend feels “lesser than” compared to the other men you have dated.
And even though he knows all about how the relationships ended and that you cannot go back, perhaps because the guy moved away or married, he is left wondering if you regret leaving that other guy and hence only settled for who was available.
As I mentioned in the introduction, he begins to feel like he is not good enough, leaving him insecure.
Words sting; they cut like a knife. It is easy to get over physical pain than harsh and painful words spoken in anger.
Such words tattoo themselves in the heart, and no matter how much you try to wipe them off, there is just no way of ‘unsaying’ them.
Therefore, avoid mentioning people you have been with and things you have done in the past while arguing with your boyfriend to avoid hurting him intentionally.
The fight will end, but the man you will be left with will be a jealous one, feeling unsure of the place he holds in your heart.
3. Reassure Him
Again, the main cause for insecurity in a relationship is feeling like we aren’t good enough.
Your boyfriend probably feels like, if given a chance, you would run back to the arms of one of the guys you have dated in the past.
In most cases, the type of guy we date is not the type of guy we settle down with.
Maybe you dated guys who appeared to have everything figured out; a good job, a nice house, and a ride.
Now you are dating a guy who’s trying to work his way up from the bottom, and so he thinks he can’t make you happy.
You can reassure your boyfriend that you are with him by choice. You didn’t settle.
Then mention stuff you love about him that makes him different from anyone you have ever been with.
When doing so, avoid comparing those qualities with those of the other guys. For example, instead of saying, “My ex never made me laugh as much as you do,” try saying, “I have never had anyone in my life make me laugh as much as you do.”
Or instead of, “None of my exes were as hardworking as you,” you can say, “You are the most hardworking person I have ever met.”
Tell him that you love him as often as you can, and accompany that with a unique quality or talent he possesses.
Since insecurity causes a lack of confidence, assuring him that you care about him and he is the best thing in your life that you wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world will help build up his self-esteem.
4. Be Patient
It might take him time to get over the insecurity resulting from your past.
As time goes by, your love will grow stronger, your bond will strengthen, and your boyfriend will have no reason to be jealous of people you cut out of your life a long time ago.
In the meantime, work together to create new memories by engaging in activities you haven’t participated in with anyone else.
Don’t be afraid to casually ask him how he’s doing without being too invasive.
As mentioned earlier, we don’t want to bring up the past. However, we want to know if there is some progress in fighting the negative emotions and if there is a way we can make the load lighter.
When the time is right, you can communicate openly about your past.
Only agree to have that conversation when your love for each other has deepened, and tread carefully.
His intentions for asking about the past may be genuine, but his wounds could still be painful.
Pick out what is healthy to talk about as you deem fit, depending on where you are in your relationship.
Encourage him to shift his focus to the present, the here and now, rather than dwelling on events that occurred a long time ago.
5. Watch Out For Manipulation
While you acknowledge your boyfriend’s pain, do not allow him to take you on a guilt trip over what you did in the past.
The past is like a shadow; everyone, including your boyfriend, has one. And nobody is a saint. Each of us has a part of our past that can hurt someone.
Therefore, you shouldn’t feel guilty about a past you cannot change, even if you made mistakes.
Does your boyfriend bring up your past when he wants something from you? Or whenever you are in a fight? Or worse, when he’s caught in a lie?
Your history is yours alone, and he should not use it to try and control your life.
If you sense that he is only taking advantage of you, that is a red flag that you are in an unhealthy relationship, and you should get out before it’s too late.
When left unresolved, insecurity could bring a once beautiful relationship to its bitter end.
In most cases, people advise you to leave your insecure partner to deal with his issues, which worsens the situation.
If you are in a relationship because you genuinely care for that other person, you should view their troubles as your own and do whatever you can to make things easier for them.
In doing so, however, it is crucial to keep your eyes and senses wide alert for manipulation.
Caring about someone doesn’t mean letting them take advantage of your kind heart.
So if your boyfriend is insecure about something in your past, support and reassure him, and do your best to protect him from hurt.
While doing so, make sure that his insecurities are a genuine concern and that he is not using your past to have his way.
You may also want to check: