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How do I stop feeling so needy and dependant?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (18 September 2007) 8 Answers - (Newest, 17 August 2011)
A male United Kingdom age 30-35, *imDeuce writes:

I rely too much on being in a relationship with my girlfriend for happiness, which means I'm always trying to make it more secure by being overly affectionate (which in turn means, I interpret a lack of return affection in a negative manner, and ultimately wind up thinking that she's going to leave), simply because I'm scared of the thought of losing her. Why do I feel I need her affection so much, or get paranoid when I dont get it? How do I stop feeling so needy and dependant?

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A male reader, Jes327 United States +, writes (17 August 2011):

Take better care of your emotional heart (yourself) by learning and doing all you can STARTING RIGHT NOW to gain more self-esteem! Read about how to gain more self esteem and start practicing! Having more self-esteem gives you more inner happiness and confidence which shows on the outside. Thus you become less needy and more attractive to your significant other and those around you!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 September 2007):

I do the same to my boyfriend. Im so needy when it comes to him,I feel I need to be with him always and be clingy. I don't want to be that way it's just causing fights and I feel any day now he's going to get feed up and leave me, and thats the last thing I would want. I just want to be with my man. HELP!

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A female reader, On Cloud9 United Kingdom +, writes (18 September 2007):

On Cloud9 agony aunt

You can tell a lot about a person by the way his/her parents communicate/d. Whatever your circumstances you may wish to consider this to establish why you both act as you do. For example, she may have been brought up in a surrounding where it was not common to open up and therefore she will not feel familiar in doing so and in contrast you may have had more open surroundings and may be taking her lack of openness as a personal attack on yourself and in turn be feeling you need to prove yourself to her and that in effect makes you feel needy.

In conclusion, if she finds it unfamiliar to be open and you find it unfamilar to be so closed then this will undoubtably cause a litte blip in communication but if you can empathise with each other it will allow you to get a more positive perspective on how to go forward with this.

Of course all this on my part is circumstantial and I have no evidence to suggest this but it was just something that occurred to me after reading your follow-up. but it could turn out to be interesting for you both to have a light hearted discussion re your past narratives just to try and understand why you feel need to communicate as you do.

You sound like a very nice couple and I am sure you can get through this together.

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A male reader, JimDeuce United Kingdom +, writes (18 September 2007):

JimDeuce is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Ok. I appreciate your candor, and your honesty, but maybe I should have explained, that I have always given her space, and respected her needs, I actually enjoy listening when she talks (because I get to feel like I'm helping even if all I do is listen) and never pry if I feel she's got something on her mind (I know she'll talk to me when she's ready to). And, maybe it doesn't seem like it, but I do trust her. Implicitly and wholeheartedly. I have faith in her, and in us. I guess I only FEEL needy, actually BEING needy would be the worst thing to do, and I know because I've already experienced it, so I know where to draw the line. I know my fears are unfounded 9 times out of 10, but what sparks my paranoia is the knowledge that, because she's so guarded most of the time and I'm so open (not to say that she doesn't confide in me, but she admits she finds it difficult) that, I get to thinking that I'm trying too hard to get her to share more of herself with me. They say that women want strong, independant men, and I know I can be that guy, I started off as that guy, but now, I sometimes worry that I'm going to do or say something that will ultimately ruin what started off so strongly, and it's THAT paranoia that craves reassurance. It's loss as result of ignorance that scares me most.

Thank you for your advice. It's been most informative.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 September 2007):

My ex b.f. did this. Eventually he started contolling me, then abusing me. You need to find other things to do and take interest in other than your girlfriend. It is unattractive when you're so clingy.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 September 2007):

Well to a certain extent, fearing losing a gf or occasionally feeling insecure is not out of the ordinary. But clearly your fears and insecurities are extreme. That is probably not normal. Well you have to realise that this is a problem that you are creating by yourself. I guess you could answer your own questions better than we can. I mean why do you feel so needy?? Is your neediness genuine?? I mean do you REALLY need her that much?? Do you need her to survive??

I personally do not believe that neediness is genuine or natural. I think it is a method to control a person in order to compensate for something else that you lack in your life. Neediness is NOT loving. It is controlling. You have to teach yourself to genuinely love this person. True love means to trust and to put your own selfish needs aside in order to let her flourish as a free individual. Your neediness is selfish. You are only thinking of yourself. That is not love. I don't think you really know how to love. The problem is that you probably don't love yourself. And so you constantly feel unnessecarily threatened by other factors that you think will make her leave you.

But when you love someone you TRUST them. That's love. You trust that they love you back and you believe in them. You love them enough to believe that they are a wonderful person and would not hurt you. But your neediness kind of shows your true colors as to how you feel about this girl. You don't trust her and you don't think she is fantastic enough so that you can feel at ease that she is always going to make the right decisions and not let you down. That's not fair. Maybe you don't trust yourself or you know that you yourself are not trustworthy so you are reflecting this behavior unto her?? You are assuming she is a reflection of you?? Maybe deep down you know that you would dump her at the drop of a hat if something better cam along and so you assume she might do the same and so you feel insecure?? I think that is very likely.

So in order to stop feeling needy I guess you have to learn how to truly love somebody. And that means believing in them and having faith in them and trusting them. I am not saying be blind. You should always keep your eyes open and respect yourself and not let someone walk all over you. But if she has done nothing wrong, then you are being unfair to her by being selfishly so needy. So start loving your girl. And if she has any brains she is going to see through your neediness and your paranoia and become suspicious of you.

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (18 September 2007):

eddie agony auntYou have to believe that you have value and you're worth her attention. IF you don't, you'll end up being jealous and controlling because you'll fear the unknown. Then when you start to try and control the situation by controlling her, you'll scare her away.

Nothing is guaranteed. What you know for sure is she's with you by choice. All you can do to reinforce in her mind that she made a good choice is to make her happy. It's a balancing act but if you overdue it, it will be too much.

Also, make sure she shows her affection to you. It's not a one way street. If you do all the giving and she doesn't, eventually you'll resent her for it. You must see you value in the relationship.

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A female reader, On Cloud9 United Kingdom +, writes (18 September 2007):

On Cloud9 agony auntI sympathise with you mainly because it is very easy to fall into this trap, but it is true to say that if you continue to overwhelm her you may eventually risk losing her. Your constant demand for assurance will likely drive her away.

You obviously have recognised that there is a problem and it is not too late to fix it. You need to challenge yourself a little. by that I mean, even though you get the urge to be around her all the time, dont. go out with your friends instead or do something that allows you to socialise, such as joing pool team or even getting fit by joining gym.

The trick here is to start concentrating on yourself. Once you have built up your self esteem it will show in everything you do and your girlfriend will notice your renewed strength and is likely to happily return affection.

I wish you every luck, it will be hard, but nothing is life worth having is easy...

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