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Men Can Be Insecure Too: Dating Insecurities From a Male Perspective

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

Dating around can be such a nerve-wracking experience, especially if certain insecurities you have may cloud your ability to enjoy meeting new people. Oftentimes, we don’t get to see the more vulnerable side of men when talking about their challenges dating. There is a stigma around men that they need to be overly-confident and somewhat detached from the emotions that come with dating.  Toxic masculinity has created a damaging agenda of guys needing to be “ladies men” while ignoring the anxieties that come along with that. It’s important to distinguish that just because you have insecurities, does not mean that you lack self-esteem or are insecure with yourself.

I was able to sit down with a very close friend of mine and ask him about some of his insecurities. My friend, who I will refer to as “Adam” for anonymity, opened up and gave me insight as to how past experiences when trying to date really carry over for men and how they share common stressors with women, even though it often feels one-sided. 

The Need to Have Outward Confidence

One of the first things Adam mentioned was that not every guy is born with instant and effortless prowess. The social norm for dating is that guys need to make the first move and exude confidence while doing it. However, for a lot of men, that’s easier said than done. This routine doesn’t take into account men that are shy, have anxiety or any other prohibiting factors that make it taxing to confidently and comfortably approach a woman. 

“I would say that the insecurity starts as I’m considering asking the girl out; I usually flake out several times before I actually work up the nerve to do it, because I don’t like having to make the first move. No one actually talks about how stressful it is to just jump in there,” said Adam. 

Struggling with outward confidence should not exclude you from inserting yourself into the dating pool, but feeling such apprehension is just an unfortunate consequence of that. 

“A lot of guys like myself just stop trying after a while, as sad as that sounds. I’ve been single for about four years now because I’m insecure about the way I approach women. I always worry about appearing too nervous or just coming across as unconfident,” said Adam.

Physical Appearance

Ladies, we’re not alone on this one. As much as it doesn’t seem like it, men stress about their physical appearance when it’s time to start dating around. I wouldn’t be wrong to say that women are held at a higher standard than men in the looks department and that we are scrutinized constantly about our appearance. However, as Adam points out, guys are just as critical of themselves, even if they aren’t under a microscope. 

“I remember when I was having a lot of weight fluctuations when I got into college and that made me really hesitant to pursue anyone. Even if I was in a comfortable place with my appearance, I was still worried about how women would see me and if they would judge me like how I was judging myself,” said Adam. 

In addition to personal insecurities about physical appearance, societal expectations are also a hindering factor. With the emphasis on women preferring specific “masculine” features, it can be a confidence killer to men who don’t meet the criteria. 

“I’ve gotten comments about my height when getting a rejection from women I’ve asked out, and I’ve encountered a lot of general rudeness about it as well. I know I shouldn’t base my fears on those experiences but honestly, it does make me feel even more self-doubt and reluctant to ask out other people in the future,” said Adam. 


Admittedly, I rolled my eyes when I heard this one. My instant thought was “someone not wanting to go out on a date with you is that brutal?” However, as I listened and reflected upon the other factors he previously told me, I realized how damaging that truly is. It’s human nature to feel down after getting rejected, and it’s easy to let your mind race as to why it happened. We as a society think that since men are the ones who usually make the first move, then they are okay with the potential for rejection. While that may be true for some, many men internalize it and loathe it the next time they have to approach someone romantically. 

“I just feel exposed and at the mercy of however the girl I ask happens to respond. It’s not like it’s a huge gut punch, but if rejection happens often, you do start to look at yourself kinda funny and question if there’s something wrong with you or the way you come across,” said Adam. 

It should be noted that this particular insecurity that men have should not pressure women to say “yes” every single time to spare a guy’s feelings. Instead, it should offer a different perspective into the mindset of men and show that they really do have strong feelings and are way more emotionally invested than they let on.  

While talking with Adam, I honestly wasn’t that shocked at the insecurities he opened up to be about. What did shock me was the fact that they were so similar to what women experience. The unfortunate difference is that men are not allowed to be so vocal about these feelings and doubts. Women have a stronger emotional support system when it comes to things like this and can express their insecurities openly. For men, however, it seems like it all has to stay internal which can be very dangerous. There should and needs to be a more uplifting and unapologetic social system amongst men, but that can only happen if we dismantle toxic masculinity and male ego, little by little.  

Rhyann is currently a senior Journalism major with an area of emphasis in Sociology at the beautiful Hampton University. As far as hobbies go, she is passionate about film and currently runs an Instagram account dedicated to Black cinema. She also likes to show off her artistic side by creating digital illustrations. She is very vocal about equal rights and is currently in MOSAIC, an LGBT+ & ally organization at Hampton. After college, Rhyann wants to combine her love of storytelling and activism to create social documentaries.