Needing certain things from our partners is a given in a relationship. We need our partners to support us and we need to give and receive love, for instance. But there can be a point when you are too needy in a relationship and that can cause troubles both for yourself and your partner, not to mention your relationship as a whole.
If you’re not sure if you are too needy, here’s how you can tell and some tips on how you can correct this.
You need him beside you all the time.
If you go to the store, you expect him to come with you. You don’t go out on girls’ nights because he can’t come. The same expectations apply to him. If you can’t go somewhere together, you just don’t go. Sometimes that means staying at home together a lot. Other times it means juggling plans so that you can always be together. Just because you’re part of a couple doesn’t mean you’re no longer an individual. You need your own lives or it’ll never work.
You text him all the time.
And you expect him to text you back immediately. From making choices about dinner to telling him you got all the laundry done, you text him everything that happens as it happens in your day. No one has time to check their phone for messages from their partner all day long. He (hopefully) has a job and chances are that being on his phone answering texts from you is not helping him concentrate.
You’re jealous of everyone he interacts with.
If there is someone that is demanding your partner’s attention, you’re jealous. You want his attention to be on you all the time and when it’s not, you freak out. Jealousy like this is irrational and can be very hurtful. It tells your partner that you don’t trust him.
You need constant validation.
If your partner doesn’t notice the new color on your nails, it upsets you. If he doesn’t tell you what a good job you did on the fresh paint on the bedroom wall, you think you did a horrible job. You expect him to verbally validate everything you do. This is a sign of your lack of self-identity and self-worth and it is something that you need to work on.
You expect him to change for you.
He came with bad habits, and you were likely well aware of him when you got together. The problem is that you expected you could change those habits and that he would change them for you. People can and do change sometimes. They quit smoking, stop biting their nails, and eat healthier. People change those things though when they are ready to do it, not because someone expects it from them. This is definitely the case with your boyfriend, so stop expecting things to be different.
You change who you are for him.
If he tells you he doesn’t like it when you spend so much time on your phone, you cut back immediately on your phone use. When he says he doesn’t like the way you dress, you go and buy a whole new wardrobe that suits his liking. Stop doing this. Changing who you are and the way you act is something that will never help in the long run. Eventually, you won’t be able to keep up with his demands for change.
You snoop through his things.
If his phone is lying on the couch unlocked, you can’t resist going through his texts. You search through his pockets in the laundry. There’s an expectation that you’ll find something he’s doing or someone he’s talking to that you consider being against the rules. How about trusting him instead?
You move too fast.
You jumped into bed with him on the second date to increase the intimacy between you. The L-word flew out of your mouth as soon as your first sexual encounter was complete. You asked him to move in with you way sooner than you were actually ready but you wanted to make sure that your relationship was solid. Instead of enjoying the period of dating, you rushed into coupledom as fast as possible. Big mistake!
How do you fix over-neediness? If it’s the way you’ve behaved in all of your relationships, it can be hard to break the structure that you’ve created over time. You can become less needy by becoming more self-confident. Start by working on yourself. If you have low self-esteem, consider seeking out counseling. Focus on things you like about yourself and work on the things you don’t like. Take other people out of the equation and just pay attention to what you think.
Second, if you want to be less needy, spend time with yourself alone. Read, journal, go for walks, or eat alone in a restaurant. Think about who you want to be a year or five years from now and figure out what you need to do to become that person. Visualize yourself being that person, happy and content with who you are and remember that whether you are partnered or solo, that person is already inside you.
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