How to Be Less Clingy and Needy in a Relationship
Many relationships have problems or end because one of the partners is too needy or too “clingy.” Neediness is one of the most unattractive qualities in a man from a woman’s perspective, because it suggests that the guy is lacking confidence and might not have a life, among other things, and therefore he is being so clingy to that one person – her – depending on her to make him happy.
Some people, who are inquisitive enough to reflect on their own behavior, realize that they are clingy and start thinking about how they can address their behavior in present or future relationships. However, others get into the same pattern of being clingy again and again, continuing to push people away with their behavior and potentially good relationship go south for the same reasons over and over.
Ironically, even if you are normally not a needy person, the more you like someone the more likely you are to behave clingy and needy, as you will likely be afraid to lose that very special person that you know is so hard to meet and attract. Consider a situation where you meet people one after the other and they all seem to be “alright” but none of them are great or exceptional. And then, you meet someone who is so much more captivating to you on many levels and the kind of person you simply don’t come across very often. Realizing that he/she is a rare kind, you are being much more careful about what you say and what you do and at the same time you are far more eager to see and talk to that person.
If you start dating that person and develop a good relationship, you are likely to experience that debilitating fear of loss, where you are really afraid to be dumped, or you are constantly worried that your relationship somehow won’t work out. You are being extremely nice, excessively accommodating and very careful with your partner. You also want to keep him/her from being exposed to and/or seduced by other people, so you try to spend as much time together as possible, all of which is likely to be perceived by your partner as being clingy.
The reason that clinginess is so unattractive is obvious: first, it makes the other person take you for granted. If you are always around, always available, and you schedule your life around your partner, this means that no effort is required to please you. Secondly, clingy behavior inevitable creates an impression that other things in your life must not be all that great and all that important, if your partner is by far the most important thing in your life and your main focus. At first, making someone an absolute priority in your life will be flattering to them, but very soon it will look like a big weakness. It’s a compliment to any of us when we see how important we are to our partner, but inevitably we start wondering – should we really be the most important part in our partner’s life? Shouldn’t he/she have something up their sleeve that they are striving for in their life that has nothing to do with you?
So, how do you handle your clinginess and become less clingy?
1. Make sure that your life doesn’t literally revolve around your partner. Maintain and actively pursue new and old hobbies and personal interests and make sure that your social life remains active with a circle of friends.
2. Pursue your professional and educational goals. Career or academic advancement will keep you busy and will also earn you lots of points with any quality partner as ambition is very attractive. This doesn’t mean that you have to take your work life to the extreme and stay at the office till midnight or not returning his/her calls. It simply means that you should not abandon your plans and goals on the account of your relationship as the above should complement each other rather than be each other’s obstacles. A great relationship should motivate you to study and work hard, and a great job / school program would turn you into a more interesting and successful person, who is more attractive to the opposite sex in general and to your partner specifically.
3. Be conscious of your behavior. Recognizing the problem is essential to solving it. This applies to just about any aspect of life, and dating is not an exception of course. Remind yourself about the effects of clinginess, and monitor your own behavior, making sure that you don’t impose on your partner’s personal life beyond reason. Intimacy on many levels is a wonderful thing but maintaining individuality and privacy is also paramount to a successful relationship. For example, it is important that you learn both – how to share your deep secrets and find out your partner’s, and also how to respect their desire to keep certain things private.
As the above suggests, maintaining a balanced social and professional life, while reflecting and critically analyzing your behavior are keys to avoiding being clingy in your relationship.