Everyone wants to fall in love at least once. However, it may turn out that a person becomes dependent on their relationship, and they mistake affection for love. And this often leads to the fact that we take for love simply our desire or affection. You can cross the fine line between these concepts and get into unhealthy relationships with shifted values and aspirations. All relationships that generate emotional dependence ultimately make both partners unhappy. A needy person always wants more. They are constantly unhappy and feel anxiety caused by fear of loss. While the other person feels more depressed. They feel trapped in a relationship that gives them nothing. As a result, partners break up. So, let’s find out how to not be needy in a relationship and avoid clinginess in dating.
Characteristics of a Needy Person
It is bad to be in a relationship with a needy person, but it is even worse to be one. When you start a relationship, you want to get a source of inspiration and happiness to become additionally motivated to develop yourself in all possible ways. You want to feel happy. However, sometimes you don’t get what you have expected. Instead of being motivated, you feel extremely needy, and such a state has many unpleasant and even dangerous results for your partnership. What does needy mean?
1. You adjust to a partner
When you have a honeymoon period in your relationships, it is okay to try to please your partner in some ways and have a desire to spend more time together. However, if you change yourself to match your beloved one, you lose your identity and turn into a needy parody of yourself. You forget about your personal boundaries and just disappear as a separate person who has their preferences and opinion. And when you meet single girls, who match the image of your perfect partner, you try to do your best to win them over.
2. You overact
It is not a secret that couples can argue and even quarrel, but they should always have a serious reason for it. And if one of you plays the role of a drama queen, it can be a sign of a needy person. It can manifest itself in situations when one of the partners starts communicating with a representative of the opposite sex.
3. You send too many messages
Couples who exchange a lot of messages during the day may seem happy and pretty cute. And yes, it is nice to send your partner a sweet message to let them know that they are always in your mind. However, this cute tradition has its limitations as well. If your talks are one-sided, and you just bombard your partner with numerous messages even when they don’t respond, you should really find out how to stop being needy in a relationship.
4. You are extremely jealous
Many people believe that jealousy should be necessarily present in a relationship since it indicates that you are not indifferent to your partner. However, while a healthy level of jealousy can only improve and spice up your connection, its extreme amount can turn into poison. So, you are jealous without a reason, it is a big problem.
5. You stalk them on the Internet
If you cannot relax when your partner is not around, it can lead to anxiety issues and unhealthy jealousy. Trust and respect are on the list of crucial components of a healthy relationship. If you don’t trust your beloved one and use your attachment as an excuse to stalk their social networks, it is worth being aware of how not to be needy. Social profiles are their personal space, and you shouldn’t cross this line and violate their boundaries.
6. You get depressed when you are not together
If your partner goes on a business trip for a week, it is normal to miss them and wait for their return. However, it is not okay to get depressed and have a panic attack or start crying if your partner is absent for a couple of hours or a day. If your girlfriend is hanging out with friends, and you start getting restless at the thought that she is not with you, it is an unhealthy behavior pattern, and you should find out how to stop being needy guy.
Why Do People Become Needy?
Dependence in relationships subjugates a person, depriving them of self-control and happiness. It resembles drug or nicotine, gambling, or chemical addiction: you lose freedom, all interests revolve around the object of addiction. You value the relationship more than the partner themselves. A needy person lacks attention and moral support.
Most often, people who have problems with self-confidence are prone to emotional dependence since they don’t feel enough or important to anyone. Since childhood, they have experienced difficulties with self-identification and self-esteem due to childhood experiences and toxic relationships with their parents. A child forms their own image basing on the parents' reactions to their actions. Over time, this collection of "reflected assessments" creates their self-esteem or self-identification. It can be imagined as a huge card index of judgments about oneself, such as, “I am a man or a woman, smart or stupid, important or worthless, loved or rejected, they believe in me or not.” If most of the parents' reactions are negative, then the child develops weak self-esteem, which leads to codependent relationships in the future. In adulthood, such people live with a feeling of inner emptiness, and they need a partner to fill it.
How Neediness Affects Romantic Relationships
A relationship should make you feel good, motivated, loved, supported, and fulfilled. However, it may happen that you feel even more insecure and in need of constant confirmation of your own worth for your partner. An unhealthy need for attention can lead to problems with self-esteem, jealousy, and stress. It can also make a girl feel like she has no more personal space. Here are a few signs that you overdo, and your neediness affects your relationships.
1. Your constant jealousy poisons your communication
Jealousy might be an indicator of love, but only if it is present in your relationship in moderation. If you are often prone to bouts of jealousy when your partner spends time with someone other than you, this behavior pattern will destroy your relationship over time. Sometimes jealousy reaches the point of absurdity, and a person begins to be jealous of a partner towards friends, relatives, acquaintances.
2. You are always on the verge of waiting
When he or she leaves, you turn on the waiting mode until they come back home or call. If they don’t call for some reason or are late, you start thinking about the worst and go crazy. You can start blaming your partner for the absence of respect towards your feelings.
3. You are emotionally or financially dependent
You rely on your partner for everything. You don't know how to exist without them, and it's scary. He or she may not always be in your life, and you need to know how to live your own life. When you dependent on the person that much, you can become a victim of a manipulator.
4. You change yourself to match your partner
It is great when a partner inspires you to become better and develop. However, it is awful if you don’t like what you do. You pretend that you share your partner’s preferences to make them happy because you have so much in common. You try your best to impress them, but you don't do what you really want.
5. You are ready for everything for the sake of the person
You feel as if your partner is the most important person in the whole world. You cancel all plans to be with your partner. We all sacrifice something for loved ones, but you shouldn’t overdo it. Otherwise, this is about manic addiction, and you should urgently stop being so needy.
6. You are stressed out without your partner
When your partner is not around, you seem to lose a part of yourself. Your significant other is a critical requirement for your stability and happiness. And it feels like the ground is about to crumble out from under you when your partner leaves you for a while.
7. You are obsessed with your partner
You want your partner to be only yours 24/7. The mere thought of losing them is enough to make you feel afraid and get depressed. That’s why you violate their boundaries and constantly invade their personal space.
How to Not Be Needy in a Relationship
You cannot get rid of any kind of addiction in one day, even when it is about something easy. It can be hard to give up smoking, so what can you say about emotional dependence? It is a deep-rooted behavior pattern, so you will have to work hard to deal with it. So, how not to be clingy and needy?
1. Realize your dependence
Any recovery process starts only when a “patient” realizes and accepts their addiction. This rule works with codependency and other forms of emotional dependence perfectly fine. So, if you understand that something is wrong with your behavior and your state in the relationship, it is already half the battle. Accept it calmly and try to understand how to not be needy anymore.
2. Realize your benefit
You cling to relationships only if they represent any value for you. So, you should understand what you benefit from this relationship so much that you are afraid to lose it. For example, emotional security, a sense of closeness, respect, getting rid of melancholy, avoiding responsibility for oneself, financial support, etc. How to stop being needy? Try to see the whole picture.
3. Be honest with yourself
You have already realized that you are needy. Such relationships do not match your goals if they are about self-development, personal, and professional growth. Realize that it's time to live your life. If you are looking for support, turn to external sources, for example, friends.
4. Gradually move away from the object of addiction
Increase the time that you spend without your partner. Build your schedule differently. Choose a few activities for yourself where you will be in the circle of new people. Give the object of dependence more freedom, do not seek to control their every step.
5. Work on healthy communication
Open communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. This is how couples learn to work as a team, resolve disputes in a healthy manner, and get to know each other on a deeper level. If your addiction is destroying your relationship, you need to start learning to express yourself in other ways. Practice speaking to your girlfriend a little differently and expressing your feelings. It is how to not be a needy boyfriend. Explain your insecurity to your partner, so she can understand you better. This will surely strengthen your relationship.
6. Ask for help
How to stop being emotionally needy? Couple’s therapy can be incredibly helpful in dealing with toxic behavior within the union. Your counselor will help you sort out communication problems and discuss any past experiences that might cause distrust in your relationship. You will only benefit from it.