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My girlfriend is so clingy and insecure it's leaving me at breaking point!

Tagged as: Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (13 December 2005) 50 Answers - (Newest, 10 August 2012)
A male , anonymous writes:

Although she really does'nt need to be, my girlfriend is very insecure. She knows it too, but this hasn't changed over the 8 years that we've been together. We are definately still in love, but pointless arguements happen all the time, which make us both unhappy.

A main factor that I feel pushes 'me' away is that she 'needs' to be hugged, an arm around her, hand held or cuddled - constantly almost 'all' the time (and definately a lot more than I do). Regardless of what mood 'I' may be in at the time, perhaps tired after a long day, or a problem on my mind, constantly get told that I'm moody or never put any effort in - when it may be that I 'just don't feel like a hug/kiss right now'.

To be honest, being constatly told 'hug me/you never hug me/you never put effort in/etc etc.. just pushes me away, and makes me feel like I want to do it less (and have done over time - which makes things worse). In fact, it's draining and results in just anger. I'd like to do it when/because I feel I 'want' to 'at the time', not because I'm constantly told to. If I tell her this, she gets defensive and says it's me, and I'm just not bothered about her, and never show any affection - resulting in another arguement.

If I'm tired, why can't I be? Sometimes if I'm not in a happy laughing mood, why can't I be? If I ever show an emotion other than laughing or being happy, I get told off or moaned at, and feel I'm not allowed? I am usually happy, but this brings me down and makes me distant. Is it me really not being affectionate enough, or is it her insecurity? What do I do?

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A male reader, Neversleeper United Kingdom +, writes (10 August 2012):

I read this post with a great deal of interest.

My current girlfriend with whom I've been for four weeks now is so clingy and so massively insecure that I don'tink I've gone one single hour without her checking on me either by text, phone call, or even smoke signals if she could. Apart from when we're asleep of course, it's like she needs to know where I am and what's going on down to every detail, or she goes into a sulk and accuses me of either withholding information or playing hard to get.

It's a very difficult situation, with very few good outcomes. Insecure partners need a tremendous amount of contact, re-assurance and signs of your commitment to them. I work as a photographer part-time and a lot of my work includes other people. I tore up, destroyed and deleted my entire ten-year portfolio, right in front of her to try to convince her that I was not interested in anybody else other than her. The re-assuring effects of this lasted about three days, and now I find myself having to find other ways of showing my dedication to our relationship.

At the end of all this, it leaves me thinking "is all this really worth the effort?" "Will she be ok in the end or will she be like this always". It's so difficult to find the right answer and I've thought about it so much that I've come to the conclusion there is no right answer.

The best advice I can give is that if the relationship continues at a stalemate, or if being in a relationship with someone so insecure is becoming unhealthy, the only thing to do is to stand your ground, and firmly say that the relationship has to come to an end. If the relationship is not going further and nothing progresses, then there's no way of telling how long it will remain that way.

I could be entirely wrong of course, but that's my opinion.

Christian.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 September 2011):

I'm having the same problem.

We were friends and then it suddenly became more because I was going to date someone else and she didn't want me to. We'd only known each other for 3 activites as friends before the date. Well she clearly wanted to go to bed, so I was willing to do the same and we ended up in a marathon session (likely the result of niether of us having had sex for a while). This nice person who I really like on the friendship level has since been driving me crazy.

We can't have a normal conversation without her suddenly not listening and leaning over and looking at me with this odd expression designed to extract a kiss.

She just wants a "security deposit" which end the conversation. We don't really have any nice normal talks anymore. She starts to rub herself on me as soon as I walk in the door and doesn't even give me a chance to take my jacket off. When we do on activites she always wants me to kiss her and hold hands.

The more she does it the more I feel it is being demanded of me an the less I feel like doing it. By the third date she's told me that she has parents that want to meet me, all her friends want to meet me and has planned out the next few weekends of what we are going to do. I'm not used to this. She seems to constantly need proof that i like her.

I'm driven back and tend to give her less of wht she apparently needs. We had dinner with her best friends on the third date. Not sure I wanted to that so soon, but I really didn't get the choice. That felt dishonest to me, but I went and played the part so that she wasn't embarrassed. I still like her, but am miles from loving her. In fact i am now finding i feel I need to escape as fast as I can. I feel terrible, but I've been feeling pushed into a publicly displayed "partner role" before my feelings have had a chance to form. I almost recoil now when she comes around me because she is directly or indirectly wanting me to kiss her. It's now feeling so fake to me. It stresses me out. I wonder if it is me that is abnormal.

Other women have not made me feel this way (one did), but I have my issues of taking a while to be comfortable to commit to a relationship. Her time line seems way faster than I can be comfortable with and now I feel compelled to end it because it has taken the fun and replaced it with perfoming on command so that I don't hurt her. If I decide to end things (after a third date) I also feel i will let down the friends and embarrass her. She had all her close friends and family in the loop before I even saw her on the second date.

Really not that enjoyable to me.

Withers the feelings that I thought might emerge and which have now completely retreated. Hate the break up thing. Now I just don't see how I can keep going. Not at all true to me, Just to try and make her feel secure.

Wrong reason I know.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (24 January 2011):

My boyfriend is also cLingy, becasue of his dark DARK childhood. He's needs to be needed, so I give him what he wants. He wants to feel loved. If I can make him feel loved, I mean why not? That's my job!

Is there anything she's not telling you, or hasnt told you yet?

Do you think she was abused as a child or neglected?.. Reach out to her, hold her as tight as you can and let her know she's loved. Just because YOU'RE tired doesnt mean she doesnt need to be nourished. A few hugs and kisses might even make you feel better.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 September 2010):

I agree with the guy who mentioned the 'Daddy Issues'. Our early childhoods, it has been shown, tend to determine our psychological development. If Dad wasn't there, was abusive or detached, many women will be on-guard for any hint of those behaviours in their boyfriends. Some, who were abused or neglected severely, will actually seek out similar men, repeating the cycle.

However, the first sentence of this Post is very suggestive to me. "Although she really doesn't need to be, my girlfriend is very insecure". What does 'really doesn't need to be' mean? Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I get the impression that this girl (who he's been dating for 8 years!) is probably pretty hot. At the least, I'm confident this guy's very sexually attracted to her. If he wasn't, I sincerely doubt he'd have stayed in a relationship where: "If I ever show an emotion other than laughing or being happy, I get told off or moaned at."

I've known a good number of guys who stayed in absolutely atrocious relationships, simply because of their penises and their shallowness. It is never okay for someone to invalidate your emotions, or to constantly put their emotional needs above your own. A man who doesn't respect himself cannot respect women either.

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A male reader, rolfen Lebanon +, writes (25 September 2010):

rolfen agony auntJust decide whether you're a great couple, or you are better off each on his own. And I think this should be decided together.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 March 2010):

um eww! you need to break up with her.. I'm sorry and I know it sounds like I'm an a**hole. and maybe I am. but I don't get how a person can possibly deal with someone like that.. she needs a life! is she that insecure with herself that she needs you there 24/7 to hold her hand? maybe she should try a new career change.. or get some friends! idk posts like this make me mad bc it makes us independent women seem like b***** bc we don't need a guy to smother us all the time like your gf does.. ugh dump her and get an independent woman

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A male reader, SkinnyPuppy Canada +, writes (28 February 2010):

Glad I found someone else that is as confounded as I am. Yes, I am another one of those insensitive, unloving, fly-off-the-handle-for-no-good-reason kinda guys. Funny how I am all those things to her yet, I don't feel that way. I feel like Im not the best man in the world for her but, I am not at all the person she makes me out to be. Sure, I definitely portray that person at times but, aren't we all prone to slipping into the negative now and then. Its just that when we Men make the slightest error in judgment we are branded as being wrong and nothing else.

All the good things we are are easily overshadowed by the slightest faltering. If we get angry once then, we are "angry all of the time". If we are insensitive once then, we are "insensitive all of the time". I have come to the conclusion that women look at things in the Always and Never frame of mind. You could bring her flowers every day of the week but, forget to bring them once and it means we must not love them in the first place. All those other flowers are nothing and neglectfulness is everything.

Here's my 2 cents.

Women learn to interact with men through their relationship with their father. If she had a dad that was never home then she expects you to abandon her and she clings on to you every time you step out the door. If dad cheated on mom then,she expects you to cheat and she goes thought your pockets looking for panties and questions every interaction you have with another woman. If dad didn't pay attention to her and coddle her and kiss her then, she expects you to emotionally neglect her and pretend she doesn't exist.

You need only look at her relationship with her father to understand what category you will fit into in her life. In a relationship, her goal is to make right any wrong that she suffered from her daddy. Forget about the person you always were and be prepared to take on the role of "Bad Dad" to fulfill some kind of masochistic fantasy of who YOU NEED TO BE in order to make things RIGHT for her. If you do not play the part to perfection you will become the reason why everything isn't going the way that it should. You are only there to make her right about how bad men truly are... if you were to prove otherwise, you would challenge everything she KNOWS about men and that is too scary for women to handle. Men are ready and able to admit their idiocy and laugh about it openly but, women will cling to the flimsiest strings to hold onto what they believe... and they will defend it till the day they die, even when they know they are wrong.

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A male reader, mfries22 United States +, writes (7 February 2010):

To Male Anonymous,

First off, you should be glad that you're with a female that's this responsive. There's more unresponsive females out there I think. Secondly, just be honest with her and tell her how you feel. If you're feeling pissy then tell her, and that if she wants results she'll have to persuade you into a better mood, IF that's something you want. If she's asking YOU to do all the work all the time, then draw a line right away. It's not fair for either of you to follow demands all the time, or just one of you following them all the time. The woman I'm with only say's she wants to initiate sex or do things first, but hasn't shown any results yet. I've told her enough times also that I'm tired of making plans and them not panning out, so I told her I'm not bothering with plans until she can handle it.

My point is that whatever road your on, it either works or not. If you're tired and she wants to be clingy, LOL, ask for a massage. What seems to me in most these articles and real life is that women need to wake up and start acting on what their man is saying or they're going to be single and lonely. I think if someone loves you enough they should try their best to do anything for you. And I think this applies to men and women.

Another thing you can do is ask her why she is like that. It's usually got a lot to do with self esteem. Seems like women with low self esteem either do what yours' is doing or they are afraid to take the reins because they are afraid of making their man mad or being down on themselves for not doing "something right". And guys seem to show low self esteem by either being by themselves or other guys, or expressing how they want to be treated by their woman. But it's not always the esteem issue though. Like you say, you are tired. LMFAO, u know how many times I've heard that from women? Maybe you should ask her to have a headache or some cramps the next time she's feeling clingy. I try to tell my woman my point of view, but I just think it's hard for anyone to hear, or listen, or comprehend when they are overwhelmed and full of themselves.

You might try catching her off guard with ways you want the relationship to be. Take advantage of non clingy events to explain your side of things, like meal time, or when you are both doing chores around the house. Whatever the case just make certain that she's not thinking about herself or you'll never have a shot at getting your point across. Being a good listener means your not talking about you, so this is crucial.

One last thing you can try too. SURPRISE HER! For fucking sake, take those same meal times or times she isn't clingy, and THEN make a move. This will tell someone that they get what THEY want when YOU get what YOU want. GET IT?!! So if it takes a day or two of rejections until she gives up then so be it. Make a move in bed to cuddle her, especially if she's sobbing, or rustling and can't sleep, which mean's she's stressed cause she ain't gettin what she wants. Undoubtedtly, she may be mad, or confused, or both. But do NOT tell her why you felt like cuddling, only that you just felt like it. Don't tell her something ignorant like "I'll cuddle and hold you when I feel like it." LOL, it may be the last time you hold her.

And if all else fails, you can send her my way, and I'll trade up! I'm feeling like mine's not the affectionate type that she said she is. SO hope this all helps. let me know, because I'm curious. Ill be using these ideas on mine and let you know what happens.

Cheers!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (26 January 2010):

Sounds like you are very selfish. It reads in every sentence that you only think about yourself; me me me ! everywhere! Rather than calling her clingy, did you ask yourself why she is in need of constant attention? Could it be that you are cold to her and she tries to get some attention from you?

You can be whoever you want to be and you should explain to her how you feel and if she is sensible she should get it. But you not texting / emailing / contacting her should be compensated somehow to her by being very affectionate and loving when YOU WANT it, so she does not feel insecure - presents, flowers, going out and anything she likes. Most girls would not want to be clingy if they felt secure and reassured in the relationship.

It seems to me that you guys dont talk, or she does and you dont. It takes two to tango !

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 January 2010):

This is not your fault at all, this is her being insecure. I know it cause I am the exact same way but without the emotion she seems to show. I completly understand why this would bother you and how it's hard on you. The tiredness does probably come off to her as being moody, just kiss her tell her your not really up to do much today and leave it at that. If she starts to get clingy don't push her away give her a soft hug and then kiss her lightly. It the little things you do that count in her eyes and most of all it seems the constent physical contact makes her feel more secure. In my opinion also try telling her you love her more often and complementing how she looks. This might help with her being so physical cause she'll be getting more attention with how she looks and won't have to worry so much on wether or not you want her still... yeah that could be the case to. She might feel unwanted by your lack of physical aknowlegedment (sorry I can't spell)

Good luck, and I do hope this helps ^.^

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 January 2010):

Sounds like a cancer or pices I got it... first fake an accident or better yet get in an accident and when u come home from ure injury tell her your body hurts and by doctor's orders u can hug!!! Then while she's at work RUN BITCH RUN!!!!!!!!!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 January 2010):

Let me guess, whenever she's in the mood and you are not, she must leave you be. But when YOU'RE in the mood, she's always there and up to it... right? You never get 'denied' eh? She's like a tool that should only come out of the box when you need her? What about her needs too?!??! How many times did she reject your affection? Probably never. Now turn the question around...

Put yourself in her shoes and how she must feel always getting pushed away and rejected. If YOU don't feel like it 6 days a week then she's gotta respect that - but when you feel like it on the 7th day, she's there for you isn't she? So you control when to be affectionate and when not to... self-centered? When YOU'RE okay to cuddle I think so.

It sounds like my relationship - she always has an excuse: tired, moody, stressed, chapped lips, long day, a pain somewhere etc. But when she's in the mood though, she never gets pushed away by me.

We should swap girlfriends... you can get my self-centered, affectionate once in a blue moon. And I'll take care of treating your girlfriend like she deserves and give her all the sex and affection she wants every friggin day! But you being just like my girlfriend... you guys would have sex once a year?(Well, that's if you are both in the mood on the same day)

Anyhow, stop only thinking about yourself, how YOU feel and so egotistic and start learning to give a hug/kiss or hold her once in while even though it might kill you! *Jeeze*

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A female reader, Sweet Asian United States +, writes (6 January 2010):

If you, generally, find women to be insecure and you leave your partner of 7 years, you would just find yourself in the same position with another woman. I think it may not be fair to say that women, in general, lack the will to understand a man's natural behavior. I think I have tried to understand my husband. What some men do not understand is that they may be the very reason why their partner have become insecure. For example, being dishonest repeatedly, maintaining too much privacy, flirting, etc...Also, the checking of the phone and emails: my husband checks mine but has passwords on his. So it also happens the other around. If you are a good-looking man and make as much money as you say you do, these may be two reasons why your partners (present and past) are/have been insecure. They see a good thing and do not want to lose it. Although these are two attributes you may possess that should not win a woman's heart, some women love that. Maybe good looks and money have not worked well for you. Sorry, my intention is not to make you feel bad or offend you.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 January 2010):

My partner of 7 years is absolutely over the top when it comes to attention seeking. She has what I call a 12 yo hissy fit if she feels she is not getting enough attention. Men and women are very different, the problem I see is that men are supposed to change to suit a womans behaviour in most cases, yet women see mens natural behaviour as some sort of joke and do not want to understand us or sympathise with us. Sometimes I come home and just want to flick the TV on and watch sport and relax, I don't want to talk to anyone or see anyone, most men are like this. It doens't mean I don't love her, it doesn't mean anything, but it is impossible to explain that to any women in my experience, and I have had three serious relationships and many not so serious, there are no exceptions that I have found. I've been through the whole checking of the phone, checking of the email. Funny, but her phone has never been checked by me and I do not read her email, that is her business. What women need to understand is that this sort of behaviour only drives the man away. I am a very good looking man, I am intelligent, I earn $100,000+ etc etc yet I am going to leave my partner after 7 years because I have given up and are very tired of arguing over nothing, and she will never understand why, but she will miss the countless things I have done for her and the countless expensive gifts I have been emotionally bribed into buying to prove to her I love her... but that seems to be life .. is it?

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A female reader, Sweet Asian United States +, writes (4 January 2010):

I am insecure. I love my husband very much and have given my heart to him completely. I believe this is my problem. I am there when he needs me - emotionally, sexually, and, for the most part, whatever else he expects and wants. I put him and the children first. Friends have never been a priority to me because friendship requires too much time and effort - which I can provide my family instead. Often, I get jealous with the way my husband interacts with friends and co-workers: He seems to enjoy their company very much. I wish he would interact with me the way he does with others. I am pretty and smart. I am an accountant for a bank. My husband has admitted that he finds my job boring and would rather not hear anything about it. His job is completely different from mine, however, I do listen to him when he talks about it and do show interest. I feel bad he doesn't feel that way about my job. 90% of the time I wish he would share more of his world with me like he does his friends and co-workers. When he leaves the state, he oftens go out with his co-workers and that makes me feel even more insecure and jealous. I know he loves me, but he takes me for granted. He knows I am committed to our marriage and family so he doesn't think I will leave even though I have threaten to do so. He is correct: I will not leave. In the meantime, I just hurt. Often times I wish I was an extrovert, not an introvert, and have a great personality (like my husband) and that I connected well with others (again, like my husband does).

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 January 2010):

I am insecure. I love my husband very much. I am very loyal to him, practically caters to him. I have given my heart to him completely... and that is my problem. Because I have done this, I expect it in return. I get jealous when he has a wonderful time bonding with his friends. I often with he would show me that he can have a wonderful time with me as well. He has told me that I am not interesting and my job is boring (I am an accountant for a bank) so he really does not care to listen when it comes to my job. I put my family first. Friends have never been a priority to me because it requires to much time and investment - that I could provide my family instead. I am pretty, honest, and sweet, but because I am insecure it is driving my husband crazy. He often leaves due to his job and goes out a lot with his co-workers. This makes me insecure too.

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A male reader, mfreeman77  +, writes (1 January 2010):

mfreeman77 agony auntThis ebook WILL help for people feeling stuck with partners they can't leave:

http://www.LeavingHer.com

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (26 November 2009):

There are many reasons a person is insecure. Usually the root cause is so deep that is several layers below the obvious. When working with clients, I lead them on their emotional trail to the very first time they experienced the emotion, like abandonment. It might lead them to childhood or a past life. At this point, the memory can be rewritten then brought forward into the here in now. The process has been effective. Unless you get to the root, the behavior will continue.

You might want to look at your feelings around experiencing "needy" people. There might be a root emotion attached to this behavior. Otherwise, hug the heck out of her. Do it large. It might shift.

Sending you lots of success in your relationships.

Cheers,

Bob in Colorado

[email address blocked]

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 November 2009):

I am the insecure one and have been searching the internet trying to find a away of not being so insecure because i can feel that its pushing my boyfriend away and that hurts more than anything. I know that an insecure girlfriend leaves a man feeling trapped and unhappy, ive known this from previous relationships but its SO hard to stop it. Ive been trying not to show it but when he says he is doing something other than seeing me i feel hurt instantly and nothing can stop it so for me, its either pretend to be fine about it and be hurt or tell him and then be even more because i feel like its pushing him away. One way or the other I know that its not helping me telling him when I feel like this. My mum says I need to act cooler and even if I am hurt by it, act like im not but i dont see him changing even then. I know its not him who needs to change, its me but it hard to realise how HARD it is to stop being insecure. Hopefully from reading all these i can try more things like meeting up with friends more and doing more activities to pre occupy my mind when he chooses to do something else and maybe he will be more loving when he realises that i'm not where he wants me.

Im sorry this doesnt answer the main question but reading all of these helped me.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 November 2009):

Know just what you mean dude, i was with my girlfriend 3 years and in the end the insecurity just tore us apart but now 10 months on we are talking again and she said shes changed so i said lets give it another go as i love her but its been a week and shes showing signs of her old self coming out again i just cant take it again so im in the same boat, but my advice would be to move on mate otherwise you`ll just regret it later.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (11 November 2009):

dude, my girlfriend is suffocating me. seriously. i mean i cant go anywhere. i always have to see her everyday, i always have to kiss her good night, and if i dont then she say i dont love her. and when we go out in public i keep my eyes straight or look down so that i dont look at any other girl. she gets real mad if i glance. i get nervous when i go in public, when girls tell me hi, then she says i am cheating on her!!!! i mean i cant go out-of-state for vacation with my own family!!! it is driving me nuts!!! same here dude she always expect a kiss or a hug if not then she throws a tantrum. i have never ever cheated on her because i love her so much but still, i wish she could loosen her grip on me. like what people said she is very dependent on me. she made me hate christmas. why? when christmas or her birthday come, EVERY year i have to spend a fortune on her to show how much i love her.

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A male reader, Candidguy United States +, writes (6 November 2009):

I found this post after seeking help for my relationship (I had a bit of a insecure girlfriend problem too). I checked out the blog that was linked below, which led me to www.leavingher.com

It's really good, and though I haven't ACTUALLY broken up yet, now I don't feel so stuck. I'm just waiting for her to come back from holiday...

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A female reader, night gurl United States +, writes (31 July 2009):

night gurl agony auntyou should tell her that you dont want to do that constantly and only when you think the time is right good luck

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A male reader, mfreeman77  +, writes (31 July 2009):

mfreeman77 agony auntThe original question was asked in 2005 - hopefully he has it resolved by now!

I have a current blog on issues like this, including:

* Clingy girlfriends (and boyfriends)

* Jealous, insecure partners

* How to break up a bad relationship

* Getting UNSTUCK from a relationship

* Etc.

http://www.relationshipbreakup101.com

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 May 2009):

I've been in a similar relationship for eight years. When we first got together my girlfirend was insecure from the start to the extent that she would try to stay with me constantly, making excuses for her to stay over and then to stay all day, then the next...It got so bad I ended it after seven months. She moved away to live with her parents over a hundred miles away, and we decided to stay together as the 'enforced' distance helped to prevent all the earlier problems. She moved back in with me several years ago and, though the old problems don't really resurface I feel extreme resentment still because she makes no effort to have interests, hobbies, or even make friends. I've made new friends through returning to full time education and this has put unbearable strains on our relationship. She makes no effort to have any kind of independent life and as a result she brings nothing to conversation. I can't stand the boredom and resentment, especially when I listen to my new female friends who talk and laugh passionately about all kinds of things. I wish my girlfriend had that same spark of curiosity about the world, and had the inner fire that I find so attractive in my new friends. I guess I have no answers, but I'm hoping that other men who have been in this situation and have improved their lives will offer advice - and fast!

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A male reader, mfreeman77  +, writes (16 May 2009):

mfreeman77 agony auntYour girlfriend has codependent tendencies, meaning she relies to heavily on her partner for support, self-esteem, etc. Codependence is a two-way street, so you're playing a role in all of this, of course.

Feeling stuck with a clingy, needy, controlling girlfriend can be a very stressful experience. By "moaning" about your behavior, she's manipulating her. You're only making it worse by trying to comply with her requests (e.g., comforting her all the time, etc.).

You're not truly stuck, but sometimes leaving can feel impossible.

You have two choices:

1) Remain in this relationship and do your best

2) Leave and reclaim your freedom to find someone who is a better match

I wrote numerous free articles on the matter here: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert_bio=Michael_S._Freeman

If you're considering leaving, you can instantly download my book that teaches men how to leave unhealthy relationships as quickly and compassionately as possible: http://www.how-to-finally-leave-her.com

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A male reader, Neil McCulley United States +, writes (23 March 2009):

Man, what you wrote is exactly the same situation that im currently going thru as I write this passage. It's like it's me writing what you stated. My girl also is jealous of my passions and say I don't talk to her like I talk to my male and female friends. She wants me to sound like I do when I talk to them on the phone...She turned me off of her a little when in the beginning of our relationship when she started checking my phone, and I have never digged that kind of behavior. We have now been together for apprx. 14 months.

She also says we don't cuddle or I don't show affection. I'm also an actor and while she says it doesn't bother her that im around all the actresses, it does really bother her. She wants me to share things with her that happen in my life, but she gives off a vibe like all she wants is to be nosy. I also get the vibe she secretly wants me to fail.

She is definetly my boo boo and has always looked out for me but gives me no time to appreciate her and I badly want to show her my gratitude more than usual. I went through a tough time all last year with no full time job and was really depressed. She has always wanted me to be happy. I just got a new high paying job a month ago and currently have a role in a new independent film which has made me happier than i have been in a while. But since i have started this new job she has been at me so bad and complaining i care nothing about her and that I haven't sat down and actually told her how I got the referral for my new job. This shit is crazy!!!

And finally yesterday it blew up with the both of us screaming and yelling @ each other. Now we are giving each other space more than we need...SPACE...THE FINAL FRONTIER!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 September 2008):

Often I feel as though people give out what they in turn want to receive. I can not count the number of times my boyfriend wants space and I want attention. Wanting it does not make me clingy and getting his space does not make him less attentive. Their has to be a mid point or compromise. Each woman wants to feel protected and secure. Insecurity is all around woman. Just look at the television and all of the things that are generated by media as the way to treat a woman. Each man should not have to pick up where some other man left off or replace your daddy. Their is so much out there telling me they need to be Hero's. I am new to this posting and I have been told I was clingy, but I also take the time out to cater to my man. If I do not then I have an attitude, if I do then I am being obedient. Many times men do not know what they want and when we tell them exactly what we want we are being clingy. Waiting on you to make a move take too much time and patience. Hold me as long as you hold Monday night football or Madden play station games. It is not that hard just commit to it and see what the results get you. Maybe the ultimate a wife....ooooo the W word and C word in one paragraph. Ladies never let go of your standards and requirements give him a challenge and he will respect you. Mind does.

Right on Point

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 July 2008):

It's a tough situation my friend. You love her and it shows with the 8 years that you've been together. But, don't destroy yourself being in a relationship where you really feel like you can't be yourself. The worst thing you can do is to stay when you don't feel happy anymore. Arguments only make a good day worse and a bad day horrible. I'm sorry for your troubles and I hope my words helped you in some way

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A female reader, yesohyesitsjess United States +, writes (28 July 2008):

Sometimes I can be too clingie not meaning to but I just want to be touched more then I'm touched mow by my husband. I sometimes don't feel loved enough so yes I fight a lot with him. But in the end I Do love him. He's a great father he really is and a great husband too.

Jessica Bochan.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 May 2008):

my daughter and her boyfriend are constantly at each other lately. She is very clingy. I can see where the problem is but she will not listen to me. I am afraid to anwser the phone. I never know what to exspect crying or happy. I try to stay out of it but she seems to call. I understand why he does some of the things he does and i can see her side to. I like him and I know he sees whats going on but i just can't get her to listen to me. I think see what it is to but she can help the insecurity. What can i do?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 March 2008):

Wow, the everlasting battle of the sexes. It's interesting, yet nontheless surprising to see the duality of all these responses here. Yes, women are typically more affectionate and thrive on love and attention. It's important to have your mates reciprocative emotional, physical, psychological, and physiological attraction. In the end, it's all about chemistry. That's not to say that if the chemicular compound works, that there won't be any issues, but if both parties have the chemistry between them that will enable each other to work together to reach a solution then a solution will be found, thus resulting in the couple growing stronger to continue in building a life together. But keep in mind, the longer the relationship, the harder it becomes to part...and remain that way. If the issues are reocurring over the course of time, (lets say, a few years), then maybe the chemistry isn't right.

I'm a 31 year old guy, my girlfriend is 34. ninety percent of the time our relationship is superb. Every now and then she gets frusterated when I don't swoop her up in hugs and kisses and give her that loving touch when she wants it, which is apparently on a constant basis. She often states that she has had this in a relationship before and that she shouldn't have to settle for less. I know the relationship she's referring to, and I know that the sex just wasn't there. Despite that I love the girl with all my heart, I couldn't agree more. Nobody should settle for less that their desires, that's the drive of life.

She wants me to be able to read the subtle signs and put forth the effort, which isn't always easy. If she lets me know, "hey baby, I need affection right now", the purpose has been defeated. By her letting me know what she wants, she essentially put forth the effort, and on the same note, she still feels that sense of rejection or insecurity because she felt she had to tell me, rather than me simply being on the same wavelength and subconsciously knowing that this is the time I need to let her know that I feel exactly the same way as she feels towards me. The differences between men and women are just a compilation of complicated facts.

Sex!!! The compatability on this subject between us is just short of amazing in that I'm alright with having it just once per week. She on the other hand would like to have it a couple times per week and thinks that it's abnormal for a guy to have a libido that takes up to a week to replenish. Now here's the catch, when my libido is high, I have a natural tendancy to be more affectionate aside from any desire to have sex. I wish my sex drive could exist seperate from my ability to embrace all of the values that she's looking for in me. Unfortunately, when the drive is down, I will act like nothing more then her best friend. The sad part about a friendship like this is that it's just not enough. It sucks that we may very well have to move on, but that's life. We walk the earth looking for that one person. There's always more than one person out there for everyone. This is why the very search for that special person is such a tremendously frustrating feat. Sometimes, you may be each other's counterpart but run into dilemmas such as ours, and if you walk away, you begin to think of all the bad and weigh them with the good. When the good drops to the mottom of the scale, the couple often comes to grips with the fear of loosing the other. Thus the cyclt continues, the issue continues to arrise and more time is wasted. This is common in the "break-up, make-up" cycle. If the issues are reoccurring, be strong and move on.

Refer back to the "A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 December 2005)" response. I think she hit the nail on the head as far as how to work through it. I've followed similar paths, yet the issue continues to arrise since I cannot change and she can't accept that. When her needs are escallated, I cant always see it.

I've been with my woman for over three years and the same issue has arrisen roughly ten times. I'm contiplating moving on because I simply cannot continue to not provide for her what exactly it is that she's requiring. She knows that I love her, but wonders if I'm "In" love with her. If the difference of loving a person and being in love with a person is between being a best freind who's a great lover, and giving her the constant attention that she wants, then I guess I only love her. There are worse things in life.

Best of luck to you.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 February 2008):

I have been with an "insecure" girlfriend for 5 years. All I can say is this... if she's young and you've never broken up, she may never know just how hard the real world out there is and think her Pity Party act will always get her what she wants or protect herself. The older she gets, or especially if she's been single in the hard life for a while, the more she will learn to respect and admire the qualities about you she forgot about once her insecurities took everything over. MEN and WOMEN are BOTH DIFFERENT IN SO MANY WAYS YOU CAN'T COUNT THEM! You always have to treat women as different creatures....emotional, insecure, affectionate, etc. No matter how unemotional of a man you are, you have to conjure up something to make her happy, and ALWAYS make it genuine. If not genuine, you'd better be a damn good actor! Remember, relationships are all about compromise. If you can cuddle with her for 3 nights in a row and be romantic, then she better give you 3 nights to do what you want (as long as it doesn't involve anything extreme...bars, clubs, flirtation with women, etc.). If the playing field is 3-0, in the sense that you never get in return what you give her, then end the relationship, before her insecure-ass does! If you get dumped by an overly emotional girl like this you will feel mental for months. Trust me. Evalutate the circumstances and decide what's best.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 February 2008):

Alright so I may have a bit of a different perspective on this.

I really don't like excessive affection.. Usually I'mnot in the mood for it unless me and my girl are alone.

I've been told that since I'm in a lesbian relationship, theres always going to be a 'man' figure, but I find it unfair to try and label someone with 'male' or 'female' habits. Isn't all the same?

I've been cheated on before, but it causes me to be more limited with my affection, if that makes any sense.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 February 2008):

I am sort of in the same boat, but I am the clingy gf... I admit I am insecure, but does denying me attention really make the situation better? are you guys trying to make us females tough(er) and more independent, or are you just avoiding getting more intimate/affectionate? what does it hurt to let your gf know you love her whether via words or hugs/kisses... it feels like rejection and it hurts!

are there any other ladies that see changing to be less affectionate as a bleak future... how do you stop the dynamic of your man getting to decide when and how often you cuddle or are close... being told I'm clingy makes me react in one of two ways: 1. ignore him and keep trying to get close to make myself feel better and not feel rejected or 2. being like, fine... two can play this game and refusing his affection when he "decides" he is in mood to get close (hugs/kisses/sex). Will giving him some of his own medicine actually work or just make me feel temporarily in power???

I have so many questions... HELP!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 January 2008):

i have observed another interesting thing and that is the difference in the nature of both sexes to some extend both of them are right guyz putmore effort into a relationship in the begining but women tend to put it later on guyz tend to do everything when they want the girl to be with them and when they are secure that they have got her they are relaxed and stop putting in the effort but women on the other hand put more effort when they the relationship starts and i think this is the main problem.

Guyz arelike switches on ,off, on ,off and women are like heaters take longer to heat up but once heated stay hot for longer.sorry if anyone is offended but thats how i feel

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 January 2008):

I HAVE FOUND A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM!!

I have had the same issue in my relationship of a year and a half, as I have a habit of getting clingy. My man is so good to me, has bent over backwards to show me how he feels about me, and I still find myself (at times) getting paranoid and needy of more attention. I recently figured out the problem! I noticed that my clinginess is amplified when I loose my sense of independence. I have had this same issue of clinginess in every relationship I have ever been in. I start to get lazy in finding my own personal fulfillment and just rely on the other person for all of my fulfillment! When we come together for a lengthened period of time, I will notice him pull back at some point. I realize now that he is simply in need of a little space and independence. Which is totally normal and healthy. In the past, I thought it was because there was something wrong with me, or wrong in the relationship, which would cause me to get more clingy, needy and paranoid, and cause him to pull away even more, or whats worse, get angry with me. I am working really hard now to keep my independence always. When we come together for lengthened periods of time, I try to take a break and take a little time for myself. Even if it's just a short walk to think, or an escape into a different room to paint my nails. Independence is attractive and healthy! Clinginess and neediness is annoying!

If she can't stimulate herself and revel in her own independence, she will have nothing to bring to the relationship and will require this fulfillment from you, which is too much to ask from a person. I suggest giving this advice to your girlfriend, otherwise, the cycle will only continue.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 January 2008):

Hey im in the same situation as you and I no how you feel, whats worse is im only 15 and it drives me mad, im deffenatly not spending my life with someone like that so why should, you, give her the choice, either tone it down or break up fully but yet you can still be friends. Thats what im doing deffenatly, I still have my self respect and so should you, do whatever it takes to make yourself happy. Why should you be miserable, ask yourself that, I mean I try to keep her happy but she never ever tones her obsessiveness down, and so im doing the right thing and leaveing her, im going to give HER the choice to either be friends still or be childish and ignore you. Dont let either answer get to you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 December 2007):

It's funny because currently "I" am the "clingy girlfriend". I'm clingy because I'm insecure. Because I've been made insecure in a relationship where my boyfriend would pick up phone numbers from girls at bars as well as was texting a couple different girls very flirty messages, and even meeting with them at bars behind my back. I know I don't own my boyfriend and he does have a flirty personality, however, I still feel insecure. He says he loves me to death, and that he would never cheat or leave me for another girl, but it still hurts when I find flirty notes, such as one note that said that the girl's freckles were "sexy". And then they call him. And I don't exist to them. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts and it makes me a nervous wreck because I'm so emotionally invested in this relationship. To make matters worse, my boyfriend and I are in somewhat of a marriage-limbo right now and are currently living together. He wants to marry me, and I want to get married when I'm done with my bachelor's degree (in a year!) so I can bring income to our little "family" (me and him). I think this angers him because he doesn't see what me, finishing my education, has to do with us gettting married and he thinks that I'm just pushing it away. And thus, he flirts, he goes to bars without me, etc. And THAT is why I feel clingy. Because I'm insecure! I know he loves me and it breaks my heart that I can't just calm down when he's out late at night without me. I do give him lots of space already. We only see one another for two hours at night when he comes home from work (4-midnight, three days a week, 10-10 2 days a week, an hour or two at the bar afterwards). During school, I just see him as we wake up in the morning at 8:30am, then he's off to school, and me too. I actually don't see him that much, you know? But anyway, I think what would help me not be clingy, and I'm really working on myself here too: 1) Tell your girlfriend that you love her and mean it. Tell her she's beautiful, that she's the only one for you. 2) Give her kisses and hugs first so she doesn't have to ask be be rejected. My boyfriend often "isn't in the mood" to kiss/hug me, but it really does hurt to be rejected. She may be feeling emotionally-starved. 3) Tell her how you feel! It really helped me to have my boyfriend tell me that he was feeling choked by me because I'm really working on not being clingy by booking my days when he's not working so that we're not always together when he's free, by not calling/texting him, by repeating the mantra "If you love something, set it free", 4) Be true to your girlfriend! Don't do what she's afraid of (i.e. cheat, send flirty messages, etc). Build back trust if there's been trust broken in the relationship. I forgive my boyfriend, but it's hard sometimes when you fall back into those bad feelings.

I hope it helped to hear the other side of the situation. Your girlfriend obviously loves you very much and would probably take a bullet for you, you know? You just have to help her through this and be patient. You should really talk to her about how you feel and tell her that there's no one else that you would rather be with than her. Don't talk about how beautiful girls you work with are or anything like that. Just make her feel safe and when she feels safe and secure, she'll lighten up, you know? Trust me, I know myself, when I feel good in my relationship, I'm not clingy at all. It's only when I feel scared.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 November 2007):

Hey, i am the same, i always want cuddles off my boyfriend. Its because i love him so much i just want to cuddle up and be told how loved i am. I didnt know it was annoyin tho x

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 September 2007):

Is'nt it time that the female race stop being so selfish and demanding and actually think about the man in the relationship.

All the grief a man gets is down to the lady in his life.

And all the females on this site say the fix is to give even MORE attetion to the lady in his life as this will make things better.

Hold on a sec, what about the lady giving the man some attention for once.

May be a good idea as the man will respond more to one comment from his lady for the entire day, wheres a lady needs constant attention around the clock.

If the lady actually gave the guy some attention, he might actually feel she cares about his feelings for a change and she isnt just an attention demmanding bunny bolier.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 August 2007):

My girl and I have been together for like 8 months now. I have the similar problem of her being constantly insecure, jealous, and clingy. Our biggest problem is space issues. She's highly antisocial and refuses to hang out with anyone. She constantly complains that no one wants to be her friend and that if she tries to make friends they will abandon her. So she just relies on me for 24/7 companionship. Now every relationship needs SOME time apart but it's just too unreasonable for her to be ok with me spending time with my own friends alone. No matter how many times I explain it she always sticks with the idea that i'm ditching her to be with other people or abandoning her or something like that. I even asked a couple of my female friends if they would like to get to know her and be friends with her and she takes it as me trying to lend her off so other people can keep her busy while i'm elsewhere. I love her and everything but a guy just needs space. 24/7 clingyness can ruin a relationship and she just refuses to see that.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 March 2007):

I'm in the same boat w/ my bf but I try to remember he cares

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 October 2006):

I really can understand your point me and my fella are having a similar problem.

When you first get together everything is great and your touching each other all the time and sex is amazing, but then the realtinship starts to ease off and for some reason men seem to give up on all these things that we loved about them.

It seems to us women as if your not making an effort to keep the spark alive, im not insecure, (well maybe just a little!) but its in a womens nature to see these differencs as they develop.

I mean lets face it, if your tired how is a cuddle or a kiss or holding her hand really gonna knacker you out further!, it just sounds silly to us.

Most women feel like they need a cuddle when they feel tired!.

So look at it from her point of view, Ok she maybe insecure but it certainly doesnt help the situation if you just refuse all the time. TRUST ME I CAN REALLY SPEAK FOR THIS ONE!!.

Its rejection, hurt , pain and a feeling that you just dont want to touch her for what reason?!.

Just try to be a little more considrate, us women are affectionate creatures we thrive off of affection and love. If you really cant be bothered to do these things for someone that you supposidly "Love" then you really shouldnt be getting into relationships!!.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 October 2006):

Oh, my goodness! I know exactly how you feel. I am in the same boat, except my girl constantly thinks I'm angry - it's like I'm not permitted to express any negative emotion. But, I'm getting near the end of my rope - after about 2.5 years of this. I made the mistake of moving in with her to address some of the "I never see you, I miss you so much, I'm so lonely". I don't know how you held out 8 years. After we'd rented a place together, a house I've wanted for many years came on the market, and although I am planning on it being "our home" she took my pursuit of it as an attempt to ditch her, despite the fact that I took her to see and and gave her the chance to give some input and a veto. She just assumes the worst always (so as never to be dissappointed), but it gets old trying to convince somebody that you love them and they can trust you when it's the task of Sisyphus (sp?).

So, I'm sorry - I don't have an answer - that's why I'm searching this site.

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A male reader, Mr.Ed +, writes (14 December 2005):

Mr.Ed agony auntWell, I've been on both ends of that spectrum. Hmmm.... What to do? I suppose you could just tell her to knock it off or not now. But, that would cause an arguement. You could just give it right back to her until she's sick of your affection however, that might backfire, then you'd be stuck. I know that I'm the one who is always moody and the real problem is I want what I want when I want it. Learning to compromise is extremely hard work. So my fiancee and I have set aside time for sex, romance, dinner, cleaning and anything else that may come up. Being spontaneous can be challenging but, we agree that it's not in stone. I find that I get what I want during those time frames and then I start looking forward to the events. I want my fiancee to be more assertive but in the end as long as she tells me she "loves me" (sincerely) I can handle everything else. Some days she goes overboard and it's kinda neat to see her get mushy, other days I do it; but it's not worth anyone telling you "your not making an effort". If that was true you wouldn't still be there nor would you be writing this column. Keep working on it but consider this. Communication is the number one key to a great relationship and people NEED to feel loved not just told. I actually told my fiancee the five second kiss and bye was not going to fly. I told her 45 seconds a day would not kill her and that if she was too lazy for that just let me know. Now every morning I get about 1 minute of affection before going to work and I make it last all day. It really took me saying that because she didn't have a clue as to what I wanted. Now I just tell her everything I feel and how I'm feeling/ what I'm thinking. She does the same and guess what! I don't wonder anymore! Good luck and I really hope you find happiness.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 December 2005):

end it, not goin ne where

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A female reader, True Sweetheart +, writes (14 December 2005):

Perhaps your girlfriend is insecure because you are so non-committal. You claim to love her so how about being pro-active in the area of love. Have a talk with her to find out what it provides to her to be physically attached. Is she needing you to establish to the world at large that you are in a LOVE relationship with her (because she has no commitment from you and you do not mention any issues in this area). For women - this is an issue because she is definitely hearing from everyone - "What... you've been with this guy for eight years and he hasn't asked you to marry him?" She's hearing it from EVERYONE either directly or indirectly. That is why she is feeling insecure. She needs you to hold on to her in public because she wants what she shares with you in private that is so good she has hung around for so long without a formal commitment - to be visible to everyone who tells her that you don't care about her... oh yes, and she's hearing that from everyone as well.

You are at "the breaking point" because you have pushed her to the breaking point with your stubborn resistance to demonstrate your confidence in your love for her. Her insecurity is a reflection of your keeping her in suspense as to whether or not she will ever give enough to prove to you that she's "the one". She must be pretty wonderful that you have stayed in for eight years so how about taking the next step in acknowledging publically that you believe in the relationship with her. You don't want to leave her or you would have. How about letting both of you off of the hook and celebrating the discovery of the love of your life by treating her like the love story of your life?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 December 2005):

Of course you can't be happy and affectionate every minute of every day. Part of her job, if she loves you, is to accept all the worst parts of you and let them be okay. Love is supposed to allow those kinds of character flaws.

But I think you're out of line on the hugging/kissing/hand-holding thing.

Maybe she's clingy and insecure and this is all completely ridiculous and she should just get over it. That may be entirely true. But it's still her, and she clearly hasn't gotten over it. Do you think that she's making up how much it hurts her? Do you think she's just faking all of this? Try forgetting whether you think there's a valid reason, and just focusing on the fact that she's hurting.

People grow up learning to express their love for others in different ways. If all of her models have always been very affectionate, it's what she'll come to expect. Other people are very verbal, others are very service-oriented. It sounds to me like maybe you two are different in this way.

It sounds like you guys really love each other, so it'd be a shame for a difference like this to break you up. But for things to work and get better, you both need to put in some serious effort. And right now, I think you need to be the one putting in the most effort, not because you're 'more wrong' or because it's 'your fault' or anything like that. Just because it sounds like she needs you more right now than you need her, and relationships aren't 50-50. That's a complete lie. Sometimes, real relationships are 99-1. Over time, it should balance out, but that's over a long time.

Your girlfriend needs something from you, and even though it doesn't come naturally, you should be trying to give her what she needs. For the next couple of days, try to spend a few minutes at random points in the day thinking of the things you really love about your girlfriend. Then tell her. Email her, or text message her, or write her a note and stick it on the bathroom mirror. It doesn't matter. She needs to feel your affection, and there are ways for you to show it that don't require you to be cuddling more than you feel like. Spend a week just really focusing on her needs and acting the way she would want you to act. If you're upset about something during the week and feeling down, TELL HER - say it in a way that makes VERY clear that it has nothing to do with you.

Your girlfriend may have some real self-esteem and possibly depression issues, so it's important that you really focus on making her feel secure -- it won't kill you to really go out of your way for a week. The reason it's so important is that it will make her more receptive to the conversation you guys need to have. The more comfortable she's feeling, the easier it will be for you to discuss the problem from a more relaxed point of view. Plus, it will show a good faith effort on your part of trying, and that will make her more likely to listen.

Eventually, you need to talk to her about coming up with a plan for how you can avoid these problems. Explain to her that, while you know it's not fair for her to just have to change all her expectations and needs, it's not realistic to expect that all your natural inclinations will change automatically. Ask her for ideas as to how the two of you can work together to remind her regularly how important she is to you. You might also suggest that she consider seeing a counselor of some sort, or contemplating whether there might be larger issues underlying what you see as unfounded insecurity.

If you put in a good effort and then talk to her at a time when things are relaxed, I'm sure you can come up with a workable solution.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 December 2005):

ok, this situation rings a very familiar bell for me. my boyfriend and i are in a long distance relationship so it might be a little different, but i am the girl who always wants the hug. maybe your girlfriend just really loves to hug you, and have her arms around you. her telling you "you never hug me" is her way of maybe wanting the relatonahip to be more physical. lets face it, women think on a more emotional level than men do. so you not hugging her one day when you are tired might make her think (for some whacked out reason that i can not explain even though i AM her) that it translates into you not wanting to be close to her. she gets offended at this, and thus the arguements.

have you ever read "men are from mars, women are from venus"? if not, i suggest skimming over it because i believe that there is something about this issue in there somewhere.

your gf might be insecure because of the lack of affection you are showing her. if you are not hugging her she thinks that something is wrong in the relationship (when really..you are just tired).

i think that you should be flattered that your gf is so physical with you. it means that you have a body that she wants to touch and maybe she wants that to be reciprocated sometimes. maybe you could give in just a little with the hugs, and in return, as her to be a little more understanding. hope this helps, and good luck with your situation!

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