While it’s fine to test boundaries and expectations at the beginning of a new relationship, be aware that acting overly needy can kill a relationship. Even something as insignificant as calling or texting repeatedly during the work day is considered to be “needy” behavior by some people.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with showing some level of vulnerability in a relationship, especially if you’re with somebody you want to stay with long-term. But vulnerability has to be a two-way street. Relationships can only work if both partners are able to rely on each other, and if the balance of power is relatively equal. When one person or the other acts too clingy or needy or clingy, the relationship can’t last.
Some people assume that dating someone a few years older than themselves will help avoid clingy behavior, as older people would be more experienced. But this is not always the case.
Here are some ways you can avoid appearing too needy or clingy, and avoid being the relationship killer.
Be mature. Treat your partner the way you expect to be treated. Show respect. Set mutually acceptable boundaries regarding physical contact when you’re together and calls and texts when you’re apart, and respect them.
Give room to breathe. If you’re having issues with a partner who isn’t a great communicator, then try striking when the proverbial iron is cold. You’re more likely to have a successful discussion if the atmosphere is relaxed and you’re both feeling less angry and regressed. In other words, just because you feel like you need to talk doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to right away. Important conversations will be more successful if you’re both open to interacting. And if the other person needs some space, do what you can to give it.
Look at your past. If you’re in love and are acting needy, consider your family history, which may include a past hurt that’s being triggered because you’re entering into an intimate relationship. The other person can’t heal your past hurts. Only you can do that.
Watch for mental health cues. Anxiety and depression are more common than most people realize. Both can interfere with healthy and stable thought patterns. Both can damage your self-esteem, and both can make you act needy. But there’s hope; both can be successfully treated. Seeking professional help in these cases can only serve to help you in your relationship.
The root of problem could lie with the other person. Some relationship issues are created by just one person in the relationship. If your partner is a narcissist, you may be made to feel like you don’t matter. Or maybe your partner is just not that into you, so it’s time to end the relationship. Facing the facts can be hard, but it’s usually better than feeling continually tortured in your relationship.
Abuse is never okay. Any sort of abuse in a relationship, whether it’s verbal, emotional, physical or sexual, is unacceptable. If your partner is abusing you, you need to find safety and get help. Your neediness could be the result of dependence, which gives your partner a terrible level of power over you. If you find yourself in a situation like this, you probably will require some form of outside help. Don’t hesitate to seek it.
There is some good news in all of this. Most clinginess and neediness is just a minor annoyance. It isn’t life-threatening. If you are in a toxic or abusive relationship, by all means, get out of it. But neediness may simply be a burden that your partner isn’t equipped to handle, even if he or she is otherwise more or less “normal.”
If you’re the needy one and you desire to save your relationship, you need to realize that you’re expressing your possessiveness is killing the relationship. Seek appropriate professional help to ensure that you’re guided back onto the right track, and can start working to save your relationship.
Don’t hesitate to do the work. Give your partner space, if that’s what needed. You should be able to work things out!