When we talk about the basis on which our affections work, we can easily think that the experiences that a person has lived can determine the lens through which he/she perceives life and the interpersonal relationships that he/she has built. But how important are the early experiences we live in our childhood? Can they affect the process of developing insecurity in love?
Let’s start with the concept of attachment style from Jhon Bowlby. What is attachment? It is the behaviors that result in a person obtaining or retaining the proximity of another differentiated and preferred individual. The importance of early relationships with parents or primary caregivers, that is, with attachment figures, is a crucial element in the formation of dependent personality traits.
Security or insecurity in love
In some cases, people do not establish an adequate secure attachment style and can establish dependent relationships with others. Such relationships create a feeling of insecurity in the person. It is due as their family and their home do not constitute the secure base of love, care, and attention that they needed during their formation and growth. So, it is here where the basis of a secure or insecure attachment determine. It is the way of perceiving and developing an individual’s interpersonal relationships that will depend on it.
When an infant receives affection, spoken with love and with words of encouragement while in his/her mother’s womb, the infant can enjoy the loving touches from the parents after the infant is born. The infant’s needs can be met when he/she is comforted in moments of anxiety or sadness, and when the parents are available whenever they are needed.
When affective needs meet, the infant will build a secure attachment toward his/her primary caregivers. He will have a solid foundation to build future interpersonal relationships. This happens when concepts of love and what it means to interact with other people are clear, and later, in adult life, the person will be able to enjoy healthy interpersonal relationships in which he/she can feel happy, fulfilled, and loved.
Insecurity in love since the beginning of life
When the opposite happens: when, from his/her life in the womb, the baby feels rejected, feels neither loved nor expected, when he/she is born and does not receive enough love, words of affection, or caresses, when he/she cries and is not comforted, his/her needs are not met. When he/she experiences difficulties due to having poor communication and/or relationship with the parents or primary caregivers, the attachment formed will be an insecure one, leading to experiencing insecurity in love.
That baby will not feel loved or supported and will feel that his/her needs are not important. He will feel that the demands for affection are illogical and have no foundation. So, he/she must seek his/her value in other people because it has not been given to them.
He/she will feel that they must seek to increase his/her self-esteem through the approval and admiration of others, he/she will not know how to establish a healthy interpersonal relationship; He/she will not know how to face and solve problems effectively. His/her concepts and guidelines for life as a couple or family will be distorted because he/she was a victim in his/her early childhood.
Two possible scenarios
As we can see, they are two different scenarios. In one scenario, those who have formed a secure attachment since childhood will be able to establish healthy interpersonal relationships. He will do it from a base of emotional intelligence, love, happiness, understanding, high self-esteem, and self-worth.
The second scenario generates insecurity in love
However, the other scenario is a negative one. There the person has a base of insecurity, fear, anxiety, fear of abandonment, and unmet needs. In this scenario, the person will function for manipulation, emotional dependence, and a search for the approval of other people. He will do that to achieve the value that was not received and the level of self-esteem that is so needed. He will seek the love that is longed for, though the person does not know how to achieve it.
When a person is based on insecure attachment, he/she feels empty or with his/her emotional needs unmet, he/she will try to fill that inner emptiness through a relationship with another person, and will not know how to be alone in his/her internal world.
That person will seek the interpersonal relationship he/she has established — with a friend, counselor, church pastor, family member, boyfriend (or girlfriend), or spouse — to feel the love and security that experiences have not provided.
The problem arises when the fear of rejection, of not acceptance by others, or of not being loved dominates the person’s behavior. It distorts the fundamental concepts of healthy human interactions.
How to make a self-analysis
It is not an easy task to analyze our interpersonal relationships from an “outside” perspective or to be objective. For this, we would need to visit internal spaces in our memory. Places that store painful memories about experiences that scarred us. These places determined our perception of friendship, love, attachment, and all the foundations of a healthy relationship.
But, to overcome the effects of insecure attachment, you must first understand what love is from God’s point of view. In 1 John 4:18, we read: “In love, there is no fear, but perfect love casts out the fear; because fear carries with its punishment. Whence, he who fears has not been perfected in love.”
In true love, there is no room for fear. You must accept and understand that you must love yourself as God loves you: with infinite, constant, unconditional love. Love yourself as you are. Love your essence so that you can fully see who you are and who others are.
Value yourself so that you do not seek your value in the other person. Work on the emotional deficiencies that you can identify. If you have resentment or hate towards someone from your past, ask God to help you forgive that person. To overcome what he/she made, you must not seek to solve the things of the past while seeking approval in the present.
How to deal with your insecurity in love
If you feel abandoned, understand that God is with you and always will be. He accepts you as you are and will help you value yourself for who you are. Love without expecting to be loved the same way, not all of us love with the same love language. Do not seek other people for the qualities that you do not find in yourself. So, work to improve and give the best of you, without looking for them to approve of everything you do.
Get some alone time, do not become careless or lose yourself in trying to meet other people’s expectations. Do not disappear into who you are. You will do it by trying to please your friends, your partner, co-workers, church brothers or sisters, pastors … nobody. Have a sincere and true relationship with God. This way, you will be able to fill the emptiness you feel inside. Besides, you will be able to love and receive love as God loves you to be from the moment He created you.
Pray to God and ask him to transform your heart, to break your schemes and preconceptions based on fear. Love without expecting to receive anything in return. Strengthen your love and self-worth so that you can establish interpersonal relationships of full happiness and love.