The need to belong and feel loved is fundamental to all human beings. Everyone who is emotionally and mentally healthy must acknowledge this need. But being too emotionally needy in a relationship can create an unhealthy relationship dynamic.
Being needy in a relationship and wanting constant reassurance, at least in the beginning, is normal and expected. It is the honeymoon phase of a relationship where everything is fresh, exciting, and dreamy.
However, the relationship can turn ugly if this clingy, needy behavior persists. If you have begun to feel too needy in your relationship and are not sure how to deal with it, worry not. We have discussed here everything that you need to know.
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7 Signs Of Neediness In Relationships
1. You Are Losing Your Identity And Sense Of Self
Spending time with your better half should not be your only priority. If you are always giving up on the other important aspects of your life just to spend time with your partner, you could be losing your sense of self. The urge to be with your partner could be so intense that you begin to spend an unreasonable amount of time with them trying to please them, even if they do not feel like it.
2. You Are Constantly Texting Your Partner
If you think you should constantly text your partner to check on them or share hourly updates, that is a problem. Even constantly asking them about their day or demanding to know their whereabouts is a sign of an unhealthy and extremely demanding relationship. Your partner does not owe you any information and they have the right to set boundaries.
3. Your Friends Know Way Too Much About Your Partner
Constantly thinking or talking about your partner even when you are physically away from them is another sign of neediness. If you keep talking about them with your friends or family, it is a sign to watch out for. You must use the time spent away from your partner to live your own life, do what you like, form new friendships, nurture yourself, and indulge in your hobbies. If your friends say you are increasingly preoccupied with your partner and advise you to maintain a safe and healthy distance, take note of it.
4. You Start Setting Unrealistic Expectations For Your Partner
Because your whole world revolves around them and you associate your sense of self with them, you expect your partner to do everything right. You start expecting your partner to read your mind and understand all your emotions. When these unrealistic expectations are not met, you feel extremely disappointed and might lash out at your partner. This negative communication can cause a rift between you and your partner and affect your relationship.
5. You Are Stalking Your Partner On Social Media
The moment you start relying on social media to know the whereabouts of your partner is when you have begun to compromise on the trust every relationship is built upon. If you feel jealous over the photo your partner posted online with a friend from the opposite gender, it is a matter of concern.
6. You Are Oversharing Details On Social Media
It is okay to keep your close friends and family updated about your love life via social media. But if you begin sharing intimate and personal details of your relationship online, it displays your insecurity and pent-up emotions. If you believe in yourself and your partner, you need not seek validation from the outside world.
7. You Are Consciously Or Unconsciously Trying To Change Your Partner
This idea of a perfect life partner is an overly romanticized idea often sold by romantic comedies. What happens on-screen is often not possible off-screen. If you have set certain stringent criteria in your mind regarding your partner, it is a sign you are being needy and demanding in your relationship. Your partner is not obligated to fulfill all of your desires and expectations all the time. Even a simple act of you trying to change the way they dress can be unfair for your partner and damaging for your relationship.
Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
Here are some additional questions you can ask yourself to understand why you feel needy in your relationship and if your relationship is fulfilling:
- Are you happy and content with your romantic partner?
- Do you look forward to fulfilling your sexual desires with your partner?
- Do you get upset if your partner does not respond in the way you expected?
- Is the relationship the center of your universe? Do your friends and family approve of your relationship?
- Does it bother you when your partner makes plans without you?
- Do all your travel plans include your partner? Do you feel lonely and insecure while traveling without your partner?
- Do you plan your day around the day-to-day activities of your partner?
- Do you often have conflicts with your partner over not spending enough time together?
- Does your partner reciprocate adequately to your emotional and physical needs?
- Do you often seek validation from your partner?
While these questions can help you understand why you are feeling needy, it is important to get over it. But how do you do it?
How To Get Over Relationship Neediness
If you have recognized that you may have a problem and have willingly taken responsibility for your neediness, you are already halfway through solving the problem. There could be a lot of shame and humiliation associated with admitting that you are too clingy. You can always attempt to resolve these issues and work with determination and honesty to curb your needy tendencies. Here is how you can do it.
1. Use The Right Pronouns: Use ‘Me’ Instead Of ‘We’
Emotional connection and dependency are a mandate for every relationship. But when this connection intensifies to the point that you start referring to yourself as a plural unit, the codependency can be terrifying for your partner. Each individual in a relationship should be allowed to forge an identity and sense of self without any interference from the partner. Adopting a joint identity and using the pronoun ‘we’ can adversely affect a relationship in the long run.
Look back on all the conversations you had with your friends and family regarding your relationship and reflect on how you addressed yourself and your partner. If you notice excessive use of ‘we,’ learn from the previous conversations and try not to make the same mistakes again.
2. Give An Ample Amount Of Space To Your Partner
Have you ever given yourself a chance to be physically away from your partner and miss them? If not, you are missing out on the joy and excitement of meeting after a prolonged duration and celebrating your reunion. This also indicates that you have been clingy and needy in your relationship. Ensure you give space to your partner and respect their decision to spend time alone. Do not take offense if your partners ask you to give them space. Use this time to work on yourself, pursue your favorite hobbies, or catch up with friends and family.
3. Ensure Healthy Communication
Communication is the key to every successful and healthy relationship. Allow yourself to communicate freely with your partner and also allow your partner to do the same. This will not only help you avoid unnecessary conflicts but will also help you connect on a deeper and more spiritual level. This deeper connection will also curb your desire to be clingy and always be in the company of your partner. You will be able to pave the way for a mature relationship and strengthen it further.
4. Move In Different Social Circles
The idea of sharing everything in a relationship is very romantic but impractical at the same time. Remember that you both should have your own independent friend circles that can mingle from time to time. Make certain both of you have a safe space individually where you can go and wind off. Having the same group of friends will limit your experiences greatly and not let you grow and evolve as an individual.
5. Try Counseling Or Couple Therapy
Counseling or couple therapy can be a great way to work on relationship problems and seek a solution. Neediness and clinginess are also relationship problems that can be solved through counseling. A good counselor will motivate you to communicate freely with your partner, analyze any past issues or trauma, and help you regain trust in your partner. Counseling can also help you understand your self-worth and take responsibility for your happiness. If you both do not follow the same methods to ensure a healthy relationship dynamic, a counselor/therapist can help you recognize this fact and allow you to embrace it.
People tend to get attached to others in varying degrees. Try identifying yourself with any of these attachment styles to get better clarity about your situation.
Why do you think solitary confinement is a torture method used in almost all prison and correction facilities? It is because human beings are wired to love, be loved, and form attachments with fellow humans. As we grow up, we form numerous bonds and attachments with other people. However, no two people will have the same attachment styles or ways of showcasing their love. There are three major attachment styles people generally have – secure attachment style, dismissive-avoidant attachment style, and anxious-preoccupied attachment style.
Read on to know which attachment style category you belong to. This will not only help you build a healthy relationship but also enable you to work on your neediness and clinginess.
- Secure Attachment Style
Almost all couples aim to have a secure attachment style as this ensures a healthy relationship, comfortable intimacy, and great satisfaction. This attachment style allows you to trust your partner, be accommodative of their shortcomings, and be responsive to their needs. With this attachment style, even conflicts can be resolved quickly and easily.
- Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment Style
People with dismissive-avoidant attachment style try to avoid relationships completely, or even if they are in a relationship, they find it difficult to engage in it sufficiently. A person with this attachment style might crave the intimacy and security a romantic relationship offers but is too fearful of it. People with this attachment can be further divided into two categories – dismissive and fearful. Dismissive-avoidant people emotionally distance themselves from their partners entirely, whereas fearful-avoidant people always maintain a safe distance from their better half.
- Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment Style
People with this attachment style take everything their partner does very personally and start associating great anxiety with it. With the tendency to overthink and over plan every small detail, they have high hopes, expectations, and demands from their partner. In such a case, their partner may not be able to fulfill these unrealistic expectations, which can often lead to unhappiness, disappointment, and anxiety in people with an anxious-preoccupied attachment style.
If you are constantly feeling needy and are wondering how you can get over the feeling, do not take it lightly. Engage in this and re-evaluate your relationship if need be. Your partner deserves happiness, respect, love along with personal space, and an opportunity to grow and evolve in the relationship. Take care of both of your expectations and needs in a relationship to lead a happy and content romantic life.
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