Men who are lacking confidence in their relationship but won’t admit it usually display these 7 subtle behaviors

Most would agree that a confident man is perceived as passionate and successful because he knows what he wants and where he’s going. 

But when he isn’t comfortable in his own skin or struggles with intimacy, does this mean that you’re dealing with someone who lacks confidence?

The answer to this question is, yes, you probably are, and the reason for this is that a man’s low self-esteem obscures his ability to see anything in a positive light, causing him to doubt himself and fear failure. 

In a relationship, you might find yourself dealing with your partner’s unexplained jealousy or inability to cope with change and wondering what’s going on. You’re now at the stage where you’re questioning the relationship, and you need to know how to move forward. 

Perhaps this guide can give you some of the answers you’re looking for.  

Men who are lacking confidence in their relationship but won’t admit it usually develop these 7 subtle behaviors that I explain in more detail below. 

1) He struggles to express himself.

A man who doesn’t feel confident will doubt his abilities and view himself negatively. With such a doubtful and negative self-image, he finds it incredibly hard to express his ideas, thoughts, and opinions.

It’s not very obvious behavior, but if you pay careful attention, particularly in the company of others, you’ll notice his tendency to withdraw or only utter a few words in conversation.

That’s because he’s unsure of himself and afraid that what he says will be judged or that he’ll say something wrong and make a fool of himself.

Even during a one-on-one conversation with you, he’ll go from talkative to one-liners, he’ll change the conversation, or he’ll physically remove himself by leaving the room.

It’s already very challenging for men to be vulnerable or describe their emotions, but when you add low confidence, they become extremely self-aware and simply cannot tell you how they feel.

In a relationship, this lack of communication might be frustrating when dealing with conflict because it leaves you under the impression that they aren’t interested or don’t care.

2) He gets jealous quickly. 

Jealousy, control, and lack of trust are some of the behaviors of men who lack confidence. 

Extreme forms of jealousy, like asking you about a colleague at work or stopping you from going out with friends, are quite obvious, but jealousy and suspicion are not always red flags that you can see. 

Men who feel jealous will wrap their confidence in you. 

They’ll seek constant validation because you become the source of their worth and are expected to make them feel better about themselves.

So, when you spend more time at work than usual, or you skip plans to meet for lunch, he’ll treat the situation with suspicion. 

In his company, you’ll notice that he’s a little different, maybe distant or closed-off, but you put it down to a bad day rather than jealousy. 

Take note of these subtleties because they could be signs that you’re dealing with insecurity in the relationship

3) He’s hesitant to commit to you.

This might sound quite harsh, and it’s not because you’re the problem, but think about this… 

You feel like you aren’t good enough for your partner because you’re aware of your hang-ups. Perhaps you had a tough childhood or don’t have the best relationship with your family.

So, all of the things that you find wrong with yourself and your life you play on repeat in your mind.

Then you find someone you fall in love with. You start a relationship, and you realize that you would do anything to protect this person, and that includes protecting them from yourself.

For men who don’t have real confidence in themselves, they’re always questioning their worth. In his mind, if he doesn’t commit to you, then he’s actually saving you from a potential disaster down the line.

It sounds a bit twisted, but it’s one of the reasons that some men find it so hard to move from dating to marriage. 

Of course, this should never be an excuse not to commit to the relationship, and instead, your partner needs to work on their self-worth with you and with the help of a professional therapist. 

pic1322 Men who are lacking confidence in their relationship but won’t admit it usually display these 7 subtle behaviors

4) He’s constantly proving himself.  

When a man thinks that he doesn’t deserve you or isn’t worthy of your love and affection, he’ll find ways to try to prove himself.

You won’t always be aware that his attempts are actually coming from a place of insecurity. 

Insecure men tend to feel that they just aren’t good enough for you. Even if you’ve been in a long-term relationship, their lack of confidence creates the belief that they aren’t on your level, and they have to prove why you should be with them. 

Maybe he thinks that he isn’t attractive enough, doesn’t earn enough money, or that you could do a lot better with someone else. A sudden life event like losing his job or family issue could trigger a change in attitude along with his “love approach.” 

Men with low self-esteem might increase the frequency of their compliments and constantly seek your reassurance when they need to do things. You might think of their displays of affection as sweet, but soon you become overwhelmed. 

Some men might withdraw emotionally and physically from the relationship. 

Because they believe that they aren’t worthy, they become self-conscious, irritated, and distant. Even though you think that you’re doing something wrong, it’s his negative self-image that keeps getting in the way of the relationship. 

5) He tries to control you. 

You’re probably thinking, “Well, if he’s trying to control me, then this should be pretty obvious behavior, right?” 

Wrong. Just because a man lacks confidence doesn’t mean he can’t be manipulative, and manipulation is hard to spot. 

Men can try to control and possess you in obvious ways by checking your phone or questioning why you’re late from work, but one strategy that you might not even be aware of is their criticism of you.

While they certainly can’t handle being criticized themselves, they give you backhanded compliments and make you feel confused about the way a conversation or events unfold. 

These behaviors are hard to pinpoint because they’re not blatant. 

You might shrug off something he said or tell yourself that you probably got the wrong end of the stick; all the while, he’s planting seeds of doubt to control you.

“Why are you always so sensitive?” “I didn’t say that,” or, “I thought you loved me.” 

If you’ve heard these phrases, then you need to reassess your relationship for signs of manipulation

6) He finds it hard to accept compliments.

Some might put this down to modesty or shyness, but a pattern of finding it difficult to accept compliments is a sign of poor confidence.

When you lack self-esteem, it’s not easy to believe the flattering and encouraging words that come your way. 

As a man struggling with confidence, a compliment highlights his self-doubt and inadequacies, and he can’t justify or internalize kind words.

If you pay attention, as soon as he receives a compliment, he’ll shrug it off or politely disagree.

An inability to receive any type of praise simply reinforces his negative thoughts.

7) He avoids opportunities.

If there’s one thing that you can associate with a confident man, it’s someone who seeks adventure and takes on challenges, whether to achieve a goal or improve himself.

But when he doesn’t have a positive sense of self, he’ll become avoidant. By this, I mean that he’ll be hesitant to take calculated risks or pursue opportunities because his self-doubt and fear of failure will get the better of him. 

For men without confidence, it’s safer to remain in their comfort zones rather than put themselves in a situation where they can’t predict the outcome. The thought of trying something new terrifies them.

In a relationship, you might want to move to a new location or encourage your partner to find a new job to improve his financial situation.

Your suggestions are probably met with “We’ll see” or “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

Rather than attempt to try something different, they avoid it because they can’t admit to feeling scared.

Final thoughts

Being in a relationship with a man who struggles with his self-esteem can be emotionally taxing. You find yourself questioning whether you’ve done something wrong or you become confused and frustrated by the subtle changes in your partner’s behavior.

If you think that your man is dealing with a lack of confidence in the relationship but won’t admit it, look for some of the subtle signs I’ve mentioned above.

Understand that the best thing you can do as a partner is to support and encourage him by working through problems together. 

Insecurity can destroy connections, so if you feel unhappy in your relationship, speak to your partner about it. Approach the topic with empathy and let them know that you only want the best for them so that the two of you can build a healthy future together. 

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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