My New Girlfriend Is Driving Me Crazy!

In reality no-one can ever make someone else feel fully safe and secure. Deeply insecure people grip onto the fantasy of finding the ‘perfect’ loving and fully attentive parent/partner – without seeing how unrealistic and damaging this fantasy is to any adult relationship.

Go to the profile of Maxine Harley
Sep 12, 2016
Upvote 1 Comment

Q I’ve met a lovely woman from online dating and things are going well after a couple of months – apart from her insecurity! She wants to know who my ‘phone calls and texts are to and from; where I’m going and who I’m talking to (even what it’s about!). She’s always asking how much I like her, and almost begging to be loved but it’s such a turn off that I’m seriously thinking of ending it with her. It’s so draining – nothing I say or do seems to reassure her. I do like her – apart from all this needy stuff which looks like it’ll be a ‘deal-breaker’ for me. Should I just end it with her?

A You are right when you say that nothing you do seems to reassure her… and it probably never will.

That’s not to say that you should end the relationship with her – but she does need to know that her insecure neediness is seriously damaging the prospect of the relationship developing further; and that you can’t ever soothe this anxiety and fear for her – she HAS to learn how to do that for herself!

This works both ways…there are of course many needy, insecure men, who also find it hard to trust a woman and believe they are worthy of her love and time.

When we rely upon someone else to make us feel safe, whole, complete and loved we are reacting and operating from the anxious Inner Child deep inside us. Our primitive needs for safety and security are then prominent and we aren’t using our sensible ‘Adult’ functioning – or our ability to soothe our own fears.

In reality no-one can ever make someone else feel fully safe and secure. Deeply insecure people grip onto the fantasy of finding the ‘perfect’ loving and fully attentive parent/partner – without seeing how unrealistic and damaging this fantasy is to any adult relationship.

When this ideal loving scenario was missing in childhood, they can then arrive in adulthood with the raw ache of needing and demanding totally focused love - and the reassurance and promise that they’ll never be rejected or abandoned again.

In this way our early emotional attachments set up the template for our later relationships.

The good news is that a more secure attachment in adulthood CAN be learned – with the right self-care and the right partner (i.e. someone who understands the deeper yearning and fears of the needy insecure person, and is willing to help them to grow beyond their childhood template. However, they should expect many tests and challenges to this along the way!).

The irony here is that the insecure, needy person behaves in this way as an attempt to avoid the very thing they are more likely to attract. They probably will be rejected because of their needy, clinging and possessive behaviour.

They then get what they most feared – being ‘dumped’ or ‘abandoned’ – which will probably be a part of their own life Script, which they keep setting up in the hope of getting a different outcome.

Same drama script = same outcome

If they get together with another insecure person both their anxieties and fears can become magnified. Or they might cling to one another for ‘safety’ as if on a life-raft in a storm, and become ‘inseparable’ – but losing sight of their own identity and needs.

Desperate people will tolerate and settle for poor relationships rather than be alone - and this in turn affects any children they may have.

This is not to say that your girlfriend is ‘settling’ with you – I’m just pointing out the far-reaching effects of insecure attachment in childhood and how this can affect adult relationships

You have a choice

(1) End it now – explaining that you don’t want to have to be explaining yourself (assuming you aren’t doing anything that would arouse even a securely-attached person’s doubts); and that you are looking for a different type of relationship. Avoid any blame, shame or criticism of her behaviour.

(2) Help her to help herself and to heal her own emotional wounds and learn how to soothe and support herself. She may want to start counselling for this (or I have a short online self-help *course that she might be interested in instead – see You must include an agreement between you that she stops the needy insecure behaviour in the meantime – even though this will probably cause her fears and panic to escalate.

You both have an important choice to make.

(* Online self-help course is called - '3 Steps To Sort Yourself Out - without therapy!' and looks at the three steps of past, present and future.)

Maxine Harley (MSc Integrative Psychotherapy)

MIND HEALER & MENTOR - where you'll find lots of free resources to help understand and overcome a troubled childhood.

Go to the profile of Maxine Harley

Maxine Harley



Go to the profile of Diane Priestley
Diane Priestley almost 2 years ago

Another insightful and helpful article from Maxine on an important issue; how insecurity can wreck a relationship. Insecurity and jealousy usually come from the unresolved pain of past betrayal and/or rejection; emotional wounds that are hard to heal. I know this from experience. As Maxine says the healing is the responsibility of the wounded while a caring, understanding partner can be supportive of the process.