Originally posted on Bustle
Needing your partner in an emotional way is a usual part of a relationship, butbeing needy in a relationship can do a lot of a damage. It can feel like there’s a thin line between being a strong couple with integrated lives and being a couple who relies too much on each other. But it’s important to be on the right side of it because depending on your partner too much can actually do some real relationship damage.
“Clinginess, or being overly needy, is one of the great relationship-killers nobody really pays attention to until it’s too late,” dating expert Noah Van Hochman tells Bustle. “This could entail calling person numerous times a day for no other reason other than to ask where they are. Not being able to make simple decisions without first asking your partner is another sign of being too needy. People need to have some space, and by taking away that space you are creating a toxic environment that generally pushes people away.”
It’s hard to deal with neediness, but while many people think it’s something you can just snap out of, the reality is far more complicated than that. Being needy can feel like an instinct, a knee-jerk response that overrides your logic. So if you tend to be a dependent person, it’s important to know how to start managing it, because you deserve to feel strong.
1. Get To The Root Of Your Issue
Firstly, it’s important to figure out where your neediness comes from. “Maybe you have abandonment issues, and maybe you are just insecure, but you need to get to the root cause of this and work on it,” Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and the owner of Exclusive Matchmaking tells Bustle. You may want to consider turning to a loved one or a therapist to help get to the root of your issues. Figuring out why you cling to someone is the first step towards taking control.
2. Learn To Love Your Moments Of Independence
Even if you and your partner are incredibly close, it’s crucial that you maintain your independence in a relationship. It’s better for both of you as individuals — and it will make your relationship stronger. “It’s very important to have independence in a relationship,” relationship etiquette expert Mara Oppermantells Bustle. “Successful, healthy relationships allow for the both people to form a bond which lets them to not only grow together but also to grow independently as people. It’s essential to have your own sense of autonomy while feeling you can depend on each other. Also, if you give up your independence and abandon the things that used to make you happy, it will be reflected in your relationship.”
3. Develop Hobbies
If you want to feel dependent, Trombetti suggests finding some hobbies or activities to join in that have nothing to do with your partner. Developing new interests away from your relationship will help you to feel more independent.
4. Expand Your Friend Group
It’s not just hobbies that can help make your life more full and independent — finding some good people can help too. “Get some other friends,” Trombetti says. “Much like the tip before, you can’t expect one person to be all things to you. It’s just impossible. You need other friends and other interests.”
5. Focus On Giving Back
“Fill your life with good things such as volunteering for a charity,” Trombetti says. “This gives some meaning, purpose, and passion to your life. Everyone needs these three things.” You’ll learn to feel good about yourself and help out people who need it — it’s a win-win.
6. Ask Yourself If You’re Really Ready For A Relationship
If you’re really struggling, it may be time to put your health before your relationship. It might be that you’re just not ready for a relationship right now — but that doesn’t mean you won’t be ready in the future. “It just means that you need to give yourself time,” Trombetti says. “For example, people just out of a relationship tend to jump to quickly into another and cling. If your life is going [badly], you might be looking for someone to toss you a life vest, and really you just need to take time to get through.”
So, it may be time to leave the relationship behind and focus on tackling your dependency issue.
7. If You Stay In A Relationship, Ask For Help
If you decide you stay in the relationship, it’s important to let your partner know that you’re trying to work on your neediness. That way, they can stop enabling you — and start helping you form a happy, healthy relationship.
It may be hard to admit you’re being needy in your relationship, but it’s so important. Codependent or needy relationships aren’t healthy — and they aren’t sustainable. So focus on getting the root of the issue and building your independence. If you need to be alone to make that happen, so be it.