Men are trained by society to hide their feelings. Showing emotion is seen as a sign of weakness for men. But for women, this is a real problem when it comes to relationships. We all know that communication is key to any functioning relationship, but what happens when you don't know what a guy is thinking? The fact that they tend to bottle up their emotions, anxieties and insecurities means that most women are left playing the guessing game. And that's never a good thing for the relationship. Guys are very good at putting up walls.
But the truth is that guys really do worry about relationships just as much as girls do. Sometimes even more. Sure, they sometimes worry about different things, but their insecurities are every bit as strong. So how do you find out what your partner is insecure about? The number one thing to do is try to have a conversation. But if that fails, you can actually get a pretty good idea of what guys worry about from Reddit. There's tons of confessions on this site about male relationship insecurities, and some of them are actually pretty interesting.
16 "I feel like I care way too much"
Some guys are guilty of not showing their emotions enough, but there's another side of the spectrum to consider. Some guys actually show too much emotion - or at least that's what they worry about. This makes sense though, especially when the guy is seemingly caring more about the relationship than their partner. Seems like a pretty logical thing to get insecure about. As one Reddit user admits:
"Once I start getting serious with a girl, and I develop real feelings. I begin to get major anxiety about every small problem or disappointment in the relationship, I feel like I care way too much. I'm outside of a relationship extremely confident and a complete person, I'm always happy. But as soon as I get into one I start fretting and getting worried, trying to read her mind and make problems that keep me up at night."
15 "I got depressed, and when she dumped me, it almost felt like a relief"
Depression is something so many people struggle with today, and a lot more work needs to be done to make sure that people are aware of this struggle. Relationships are of course a pretty huge source of depression, with many people driving themselves crazy about their partners. But for some people, relationships can cause them to become incredibly insecure. Such was the case for this Reddit user, who admits that when he was dumped, he actually felt a sense of relief:
"I got so insecure to the point where I got depressed, and when she dumped me, it almost felt like a relief. I'd be anxious all day, always worrying about it and when it was over, its like there was nothing to worry about anymore! It was just over and done with it and I soon got out of my depression. "
14 "I am so inexperienced, and then the girls recognize it and stop talking to me"
Lack of experience can also be a huge source of insecurity in a relationship. In this day and age, if you haven't had certain experiences by a pretty young age, you run the risk of being ridiculed and even ostracized by your peers. Some people tend to hold onto their virginity for a long time, but this is typically seen as a more attractive quality in women than females. In many people's view, men are supposed to be experienced with women. But what happens when that's just not the case? As one Reddit user admits, it causes massive insecurity:
"Having to pursue, make all the moves, and what not just makes me so diffident about the situation since i am so inexperienced, and then the girls recognize it and stop talking to me. Repeat this over and over and you have my lackluster love life."
13 "That she'll be unfaithful"
In terms of evolution, men have evolved to be incredibly competitive with other males, especially when it comes to women. When a guy is with a girl, one of his worst fears is that another guy will tempt her and cause her to cheat. It's this instinctual fear built into every man, and in many cases it can actually get in the way of a functional relationship. If this has happened before to a guy, you can understand why he's worried about getting cheated on. In the words of one Reddit user, his biggest insecurity is...
"In the early part of the relationship, that she'll be unfaithful. But as time goes on and our relationship solidifies that pretty much goes away. After a while I guess I don't really have any insecurities at all... Huh. Never thought I'd say that."
12 "She's going to lose interest and drift off"
We all know that when relationships first begin, there's a huge spark and everything is interesting and amazing. That's because you're experiencing things for the first time, and your pheromones are pumping. But what happens when that spark fades away? Well, that's when a relationship is truly tested, and in the words of one Reddit user, his biggest insecurity is...
"Everything will be great, but then, without any apparent argument or anything, she's going to lose interest and drift off. She'll not even be very upset about it ending. I'll ask what went wrong and get some platitudes or white lie reasoning that doesn't remotely fit the observed facts and behaviors. So goes every relationship in my history, so I suppose my insecurity in a future relationship would be, were i to have another, which I don't expect to, that no matter how great everything seems and how reassured I am, there's a good chance that overnight it'll peter out for no apparent reason."
11 "I'm petrified of being in a new relationship and taking my shirt off for the first time"
When it comes to being in a relationship, eventually you're going to have to share some pretty intimate experiences with each other. This includes becoming familiar with each other's bodies, underneath the clothes... But what happens when you're massively insecure about your body? Well, as one Reddit user explains, taking off his shirt is definitely his biggest relationship insecurity. And as it turns out, he has a really good reason...
"I have a fair few scars on my left arm and wrist, and a particularly bad burn on my chest from a 4 year spell of depression when I was in college and University (UK education here). I'm in a position now where I've come to terms with how my body looks, but I'm petrified of being in a new relationship and taking my shirt off for the first time. I know that anyone worth being with wouldn't freak out or anything like that, but somehow there's not much solace in that for me."
10 "That she doesn't really like me but instead likes the potential to manipulate me"
We all know that there are people out there who are very manipulative. Some call them sociopaths, some call them narcissists, but whatever word you use, they're definitely not the best choice for a relationship. They'll try to use you, and everything will be about them. For guys who have had experiences with girls like this in the past, it makes total sense that their biggest relationship insecurity is the fear of being manipulated once again. In the words of one Reddit user:
"That she doesn't really like me but instead likes the potential to manipulate me into pretending to be the character in her script of life that she intends me to be. That she will trade up as soon as she finds a "better" model. Every woman I've ever dated, save one, has done all of the... no. Wait. Every woman I've ever dated has done all of the above. So. My fears aren't unfounded. A pattern has been established."
9 "That I feel too much and they don't feel the same as I do"
Unrequited love is probably something that we've all struggled with in the past. Very early on in life, we learned the hard lesson that just because we have strong feelings about someone, doesn't mean they feel the same way about us. But what if that person lies? What if they lead you on, telling you that they feel as strongly as you? Well, this is something a lot of guys are insecure about, and we can totally understand this fear. In the words of one Reddit user:
"I guess my paranoia is that maybe that I feel too much and they don't feel the same as I do. I have a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeves and I know that isn't necessarily always a good thing. So I worry that maybe I can be a little overbearing or full on. I'm working on it. I do want to be in a relationship, it's just finding the right person for me."
8 "She is just keeping me around for entertainment"
One of the worst feelings in the world is feeling like you're only a source of entertainment for people. They think you're just someone to laugh at and joke about, like a clown. This is a crushing feeling because you realize that these people have not a care in the world about you or the way you feel. But what happens if this happens in a relationship? What happens when you get the feeling that someone just sees you as a joke, and never takes you seriously? For a guy, this is extremely damaging to the often inflated male ego. In the words of one Reddit user, one of his biggest insecurities is...
"I'm always convinced that I'm being played. That when she is with her friends she is laughing about this guy who thinks he's got a shot but she is just keeping me around for entertainment. I know this fear is irrational and I never have any reason for it, but it's always there."
7 "I'm always left waiting for the other shoe to drop and for her to fade away"
Sometimes, we get so used to rejection and breakups that we live our life just waiting in fear for it to happen. The catch 22 of this situation is when you live your life like that, you damage the relationship and actually increase the chances of you getting dumped. It's a vicious cycle. One guy on Reddit admits that he gets insecure to the point where he's just waiting for that fateful moment when it all comes crashing down...
"When things are going well, I'm always left waiting for the other shoe to drop and for her to either fade away or for her to get mad at me and cut everything off. It's a total conditioned response. It's like a hamster in a cage when the lever they press for food occasionally will shock them. I'm seeing a girl where this hasn't happened yet which means I'm living in fear of the day of when the shock finally comes."
6 "That I run out of things to say and she doesn't have anything to say to me"
Communication is probably one of the most important things in any relationship. Without it, the passion quickly fades, with each partner guessing blindly at how the other person is feeling. Many people have learned this lesson the hard way, but what happens when there's really nothing left to say? This is basically the biggest sign that the relationship is doomed, and that fear at the back of a guy's mind can make them very insecure. How are they supposed to relax and have a genuine conversation if they're so scared of an awkward silence? On Reddit user explains that his biggest insecurity is...
"That I run out of things to say and she doesn't have anything to say to me. That a conversational wall will lead to uncomfortable silence. Basically, being boring and her not wanting to engage contact."
5 "That one person who they would break any relationship up for, if they could be with them"
Most of us have that one special person in our past. Some call them "the one that got away." It might be a high school sweetheart or a crush that never really worked out. But that person has become such a big presence in our minds that sometimes we can't help but daydream about them and wonder, "what if?" As it turns out, some guys are actually really insecure that girls might run into that special guy from their past, and choose "the one that got away" instead of them. As one Reddit user explains, his biggest insecurity is...
"That if she had the option to she would choose so many other people over me. Heck or the more realistic, they have that one person who they would break any relationship up for if they could be with them. I know most people have had that at some point. That super crush that's hidden in the back of your mind, but if they were suddenly okay with being with you, you'd do it without hesitation."
4 "I'm losing my hair which is a huge crisis"
Getting older can be a real shock. All of a sudden, you realize that your youth isn't going to last forever, and it hits you like a ton of bricks. Women are often much more conscious of these changes than men. It's often said that men can remain looking relatively attractive long into their middle-aged life, while women seem to decline much faster in terms of looks. But as one Reddit user reminds us, there are plenty of things that men are very insecure about when it comes to aging. One of the classic examples is losing hair. Balding is seen by many men as a loss of masculinity and virility. And as one Reddit user admits, it was a major crisis for him:
"My looks. I have ugly duckling syndrome big time. I was a fat and ugly kid, became a handsome guy but now I'm losing my hair which is a huge crisis."
3 "I completely flatline when I try to talk, I repel them for some reason(s) I can't figure out"
Some guys out there have resigned themselves to a very sad and depressing fate. They're well into their twenties, and remain a "kissless virgin." Women can get to this point as well, but there is a growing demographic of young men who have spent their whole lives playing video games and staying at home, failing to develop any kind of social skills. This isn't always the case, however, and some guys just seem to have no luck with the ladies. In the case of this Reddit user, he admits that his biggest insecurity is...
"That I'll probably never meet a girl and form any kind of relationship for the rest of my life. I'm basically 25 and I've never befriended, touched, talked, had gotten intimate with, or really anything with girls. I completely flatline when I try to talk, I repel them for some reason(s) I can't figure out, I am either not interesting or am failing to convey myself as interesting, among other things that may contribute, some being physical and some being within. I've read hundreds of threads and stuff for why I might be creepy or w/e but come up empty."
2 "She doesn't really care about what I'm saying and she's only pretending to listen"
We've already mentioned two major points when it comes to common insecurities that guys face. First of all, the fear that there will be nothing left to say. The second is the fear that they will not be taken seriously. This particular insecurity actually combines these two. Communication always fails when one person doesn't listen to the other. But it's an even more crushing blow when the person isn't listening because she doesn't take him seriously. As one Reddit user explains...
"I'm afraid that when I'm speaking to her, she doesn't really care about what I'm saying and she's only pretending to listen because she pities me. I think it's from my family constantly shutting me down by saying they don't care, but I have that issue with everyone I speak to."
1 "I'm really into Asian women and I don't want women that I want to date to find out"
Sometimes, the biggest insecurities that men face have nothing to do with their appearances or even their partners. Sometimes, the things guys are most anxious about coming from within. All of us have fetishes. Some might be a little strange, but for the most part, they're pretty innocent. In the case of one Reddit user, however, he admits that he's obsessed with Asian girls, and he desperately doesn't want anyone to find out:
"I have an Asian fetish and I don't want women that I want to date to find out. I just don't think that any women will ever be understanding of it. If they are Asian then they will think that it's the ONLY reason that I want to date them. If they aren't Asian then they will think that I'll dump them for the first available Asian."