your avatar   Insecure (18 year-old woman)

I had been with my boyfriend for about 1 year. We are having sex. My boyfriend is of the same age as me. The problem is I feel very insecure and my boyfriend is quite good looking. I am afraid that he will find someone better and leave me. I am from a broken family.

I really want to have one guy who can take care of me and love me a lot. I am the type of person who needs a lot of company. I am also very sensitive. For example if my boyfriend goes out with his friends I feel neglected. I feel very upset and quarrel with him. Sometimes when he says nice things I wonder if he is just sweet-talking or if he is telling truth!

How can I improve our relationship? Another problem is whenever we are together we have sex because we always like to spend time at home. He says he prefers spending time with me at home instead of going out (which he always does with his friends). He even has requested oral sex. I am just wondering whether he is serious about me or not. Just to let you know I have seen his family already. Please tell me what I can do!

How can I improve my relationship and not be so insecure? How can I really know if he is for real and not just wanting sex?


    Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, LPC, LISAC, DCC

Everyone becomes scared when getting close to a loved one. Human beings are never quite confident when alone and when with a lover we often feel afraid to lose what we have. In a real sense, however, people are alone and through losses and successes we gradually become more convinced that we can make it and even thrive by ourselves. That is not to say that we prefer to be without close people in our lives, but we need to know we will be fine if we lose them.

There are several difficulties that can exaggerate this basic fear of being alone. Coming from a broken family or even a family where we don't feel loved and cherished will add to our fear to the point where we become dependent on others. Often without meaning to we transfer this more childlike love and dependence onto our romantic partners. This can have the effect of making them feel smothered and as if something is wrong with the relationship, which they can't quite put their finger on. The more we try and get another persons love and security, the more independence we lose and the more we push them away.

You might try and read Brenda Schaeffer's book Is it Love or Addiction? It is a wonderful description of the dynamic of addicted love, and lists in detail what is a "healthy" vs. "addictive" relationship. Usually there are elements of both in any relationship. It is only when the feeling of need and desperation is too great that the term addiction is used. However, all relationships have elements of both. In my practice this is probably the number one reason for relationships not to work and the most common issue I see with people.

It is incredibly important to take the time to learn how to be enough for yourself. Spending time by yourself and acting in loving ways to yourself instead of waiting for your partner to do it helps. Learning skills gives you a sense of mastery and worth that can never leave you. Continuing to be with friends is another way to avoid being too dependent on our loved one. It would be helpful to get some counseling online or off to grieve the lack of love you felt from your family and help you feel that pain of being alone diminish.

Doing these things will help you whether he is the one or not. There is not one true soul mate out there for us. There are a number of potential good partners available. I do wonder about how much time he spends with his friends. If he is keeping you hidden this is not a good sign. He probably has intimacy and dependent issues as well. Most people get involved with people with similar problems until they work them through. Try not wanting him to take care of you and start to take care of yourself more. If the relationship is good he should respond well.

Take Care.

Jef Gazley

This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.For more information visit:


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