9 things men do in relationships when they feel inadequate

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Have you ever been in a relationship with an insecure man? 

If you have, I have to say I’m sorry. 

Kidding! I know it’s hard to deal with a man when he feels inadequate in a relationship. It’s like consoling a child who won’t stop crying sometimes. 

But no worries—it happens to the best of us. 

So if your man does these 9 things in a relationship, you might want to read on—they’re signs that he’s feeling inadequate. 

1) Getting jealous 

Jealousy is normal in any healthy relationship. Some even think it’s necessary

But if your man is always jealous of everyone without any reason at all, oof. 

That’s a glaring sign that he feels inadequate in the relationship, and is afraid of being replaced.

So if he’s suddenly firing off questions about why you’re always hanging out with a friend, peeking at your texts when he thinks you’re not looking, and overanalyzing harmless interactions with random people, maybe it’s time to sit down and talk.

Because sometimes, it’s not that he doesn’t trust you—he just can’t help but listen to the voice in his head telling him he’s not enough, that you will soon replace him with someone better. 

That’s where giving reassurance comes in.

2) Needing constant reassurance 

If your man is asking you if you still love him three times a day, he’s clearly insecure.

It doesn’t mean you need to leave him, though! You just need to have patience.

He’s probably struggling every day with the thought that you might see his flaws and run away, which is why he needs a constant reminder that you still love him.

So if he asks, never be tired of telling him you do love him, and you’re not going away any time soon.

3) Overcompensating

Have you ever noticed your boyfriend diving deep into work or spending hours in the gym, especially when you’re not around? 

You don’t really understand it, but no worries—I’m here to tell you why. 

He does that because he’s overcompensating to hide his insecurities, convinced that if he can show off his success, maybe the feeling of not measuring up will disappear. 

But deep down, he’s still questioning whether he’s worthy of your love and attention, even if he’s already doing everything he thinks will make him deserving.

So when he sees the “competition,” he can’t help but compare.

4) Comparing nonstop 

Insecure men have a habit of comparing themselves constantly, often with other men.

You’re having a casual chat, and suddenly he’s talking about how that guy from work just got a promotion when he’s the one who’s been working really hard. 

Or maybe that dude from the gym works out a lot because he probably doesn’t have a girlfriend or a social life. 

It’s like he’s stuck in a never-ending competition he doesn’t realize he’s a part of. 

By constantly talking down on others, he feels his self-esteem is boosted. At the end of the day, though, he still can’t help but feel inadequate.

That’s why he ignores any issues in the relationship that might arise because his insecurity makes him unable to talk about them.

5) Ignoring issues 

When problems arise in the relationship, an insecure man would be quick to sweep them under the rug or pretend they’re not a big deal. 

If your boyfriend acts like that, it’s because he’s afraid facing these issues will reveal his shortcomings and make you realize you deserve better.

He’d rather act like everything’s fine than face the possibility that he might not be good enough

So if you’re wondering why he’s so sensitive every time you bring up these issues, that might be why.

6) Being overly sensitive

Insecure men have a habit of making your smallest, harmless comments into big deals. 

Even the most innocent jokes aren’t just jokes to him—they’re personal attacks, even if they’re not about him. 

If you say you’re tired, he wonders if it’s because of something he did, as if he’s on high alert for any sign that he’s falling short. 

His sensitivity comes from constantly doubting his own abilities, which, in turn, makes him read too much into anything you say.

And it’s frustrating, because it makes you feel like you’re constantly treading on eggshells, always afraid you’ll say the wrong thing.

7) Avoiding intimacy 

When a man feels inadequate in a relationship, he will never, ever let himself be emotionally intimate with you. 

When you ask him about his family, his childhood, his fears, and his secrets, he will find a way to change the topic. 

That’s because if you see him up close, flaws and all, he worries you might not like what you see. 

So by building these walls around him, he’s protecting himself from potential rejection by creating some distance between you.

8) Picking petty fights 

When men feel inadequate in their relationship, they usually pick petty fights with their partner.

Small banter about choosing which movie to watch or picking which food to eat get blown out of proportion until you find you’re sleeping in different rooms, unable to defuse the anger the argument created.

9) Going MIA 

This one’s particularly frustrating. I know I get frustrated when my past partners would do to me, and it’s going MIA.

Insecure men tend to take hours to reply to your messages or even disappear for a couple of days when they’re feeling inadequate in the relationship. 

It’s not really about playing hard to get. 

The reality is, if an insecure man does this to you, he might be slowly pulling away because he’d rather leave than be left.

So he’ll distance himself from you even if he truly does have feelings for you.

Final thoughts

When a man feels inadequate in a relationship, don’t feel guilty—it’s more about him than it is about you.

Don’t try to fix him, because if he doesn’t want to change, none of your efforts will be worth it. 

So if you see these signs in your relationship, at the end of the day, it will always be your personal choice if you’ll stay or work through it. 

It will always depend on your boundaries and how much you can take—but remember to always take into consideration your own welfare and your own well-being.

Don’t be so engrossed in taking care of another person that you forget to take care of yourself, hun!

Joyce Ann Isidro

Joyce is a writer who believes in the power of storytelling and changing lives by writing stories about love, relationships, and spirituality. A bookworm and art enthusiast, she considers herself a creative-at-heart who likes to satisfy her childish wonder through new hobbies and experiences.

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