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Can we talk insecurity in dating?

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cmego posted 10/30/2013 08:09 AM

Insecurity in men is something new for me. My dating experience is fairly limited for the most part. Light dating, but only one "real" SO in the past 3 years.

Being married to a NPD, the ego was huge. Ex never showed an ounce of insecurity, he was never vulnerable to me, there was always a mask on. Most of the time I felt that IF I did compliment him, his head was so big it wouldn't fit through the door. He was/is always gregarious, friendly, outgoing, top of his class, big important jobs, very successful on the exterior.

Now that I'm dating more, I keep hitting insecurity in guys. They want to know if I find them attractive, are nervous around ME, and I am realizing that men have as many insecurities as I do. The last two guys are also BS's. Which, I believe the rejection from infidelity in men ...I don't almost take the physical rejection harder than the emotional rejection.

It feels uncomfortable to me to compliment a guy, especially a guy I'm really just getting to know. I've been conditioned that men aren't insecure. So, I see this great looking guy and it surprises me that he is insecure.

How do you guys handle this when you are first getting to know someone?

beforeandafter posted 10/30/2013 10:06 AM

Hope this helps a bit, but even guys who HAVE healed and don't need other people to tell them they are attractive like to hear it, every once in a while. "Good morning, Handsome" goes a very long way, without showering the praise nonstop. I would think even guys who don't overflow with self-confidence could get a line like that to pump them up for a couple days, or at least clue them into the thing that matters--that YOU find them attractive. As for me, I've been with the person who needs to be told over and over, and that insecurity ultimately led me here thanks to my xww.

I would like to think that if one is back into dating, then one is also beyond those superficial insecurities. If they are ready, that is.

cmego posted 10/30/2013 10:17 AM

I would like to think that if one is back into dating, then one is also beyond those superficial insecurities. If they are ready, that is.

I don't know that I necessarily agree with this statement. My IC and I talk about doing the final healing (for me) when I get into a supportive relationship. My self confidence about my physical appearance was shot after 20 years with a gay man. It was rejection for 20 years, basically. I can rationally look at the situation and say, "Of course, he rejected me because he was gay." But the reason why doesn't change the fact that I was. Not only that, ex didn't care if I found him physically attractive, I was called a "nympho" because I wanted sex.

I'm confident about everything in my life except for my looks, which I am working on.

I guess everyone, for the most part, is insecure about something. I'm just wondering how other people handle those insecurities early in dating? I'm not going to announce "You aren't ready to date because you are insecure".

kg201 posted 10/30/2013 11:14 AM

I just started dating about two weeks ago. I have had three dates. I felt the most insecure on the first. I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve and I am comfortable talking about anything, including my insecurities, if the topic is relevant to the moment. I think one way to handle this is see whether the man you are seeing is open to talking about those insecurities. Putting a name to the behavior and acknowledging it can reduce it. You would also get a sense of how open/self-reflective the guy is, which is another piece of information for you as you decided if you want to develop the relationship.

InnerLight posted 10/30/2013 12:21 PM

I found it helpful to focus on how the experience he gave me was enjoyable (or not!) so I would give compliments like: It was fun to walk in the park with you, I really enjoyed the conversation we had while we were on the bench....

I gave less compliments like 'you are handsome' which I think are too embarrassingly direct for the men I was with.

I wanted to resonate with a man who felt happy giving me a positive and pleasurable experience so I made sure he knew when he was doing this.

I ended up with a guy who does feel happy making me happy and I tell you it is a wonderful thing. He has his insecurities, but he showed enough strength of character and ability to please me to help me see beyond those insecurities.

I don't think I would enjoy hearing all about insecurities in the first few dates...

better4me posted 10/30/2013 12:45 PM

I like InnerLight's take on this for the beginning stages of getting to know someone. Compliment the experiences you've shared "You're easy to talk to", "Thank you for opening the door, I really like when a guy does that" rather than physical attributes. If he asks directly "Do you find me attractive?" I'd answer directly, but really I wouldn't particularly like being asked that...what do my actions show? Have my actions let you know I find you attractive? Words are cheap anyway (But I think that may be some of the baggage I've got, being complimented and cheated on at the same time!)

I guess everyone, for the most part, is insecure about something.
YEP!So having insecurities, doesn't mean we are flawed, just human.

Interesting reading the guys' take on this! Thanks guys!!

kg201 posted 10/30/2013 12:56 PM

One other thing I thought of...many of the guys I have read about on SI point to the insecurity of being rejected by their wife for another man. I know that for me it is a bit different. I have confidence that I'm a good guy, and that I have a lot to offer a woman. I think the thing I am most insecure about is whether once I meet someone I like (like this past weekend) that I will overdo it in terms of trying to stay in contact (like I have been doing the last two days...unfortunately). I am telling myself I will not contact this woman today...and so far so good. I am insecure about the timing and the steps of this whole dating thing, since it has been 18 years. Some guidance from my dates about what they want, and how they are receiving my attention (too much, too little) would help out a lot.

I have also heard from some women that they are worried about being with a man that needs someone to take care of him. One of my responses was that I don't need someone to take care of me, just someone that cares about me. It's that last sentiment that I also have insecurities there someone who will open themselves up enough to care about me (and I can imagine that some of the other insecurities you hear, "am I attractive" are related to this same sentiment).

cmego posted 10/30/2013 13:36 PM

I tend to tell the guys upfront I don't like constant contact in the beginning. The guys that call/email/text more than once a day are a bit smothering. I like contact generally every other day/once a day in the early stages...after the first date and while waiting for the next date.

One of my friends pointed out that my date sounded very nervous. I kinda asked him about it last night, and he didn't confess to being nervous...but he said there were some "awkward moments", kinda like I feel when I have to tell a guy my ex is gay. I think I was seeing nervousness.

But even a guy being nervous is new to me.

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