A healthy relationship should make you feel good about yourself. You should feel motivated, loving, and full of life.
But just because you want to be your best self around your partner doesn’t mean that you always will. Sometimes being in a relationship will make you feel self-conscious, anxious, and needy.
Being needy has its ups and downs. Having the occasional bout of need can remind your partner how special they are to you and make your relationship stronger. But unhealthy need can result in jealousy and stress. It can also make your partner feel smothered and cause you to feel like you don’t know who you are anymore.
Loving and needing your partner is a wonderful part of a relationship. But an over-abundance of need can actually do more harm than good.
In this article, I’ll cover the signs of being too needy and how to stop it from sabotaging your relationship.
9 Signs of Neediness
Here are 9 signs that you are being too needy with your spouse and how to stop these toxic behaviors.
1. Losing a Sense of Self
When you are in a relationship, it’s only natural that you want to spend all of your time with your spouse. But there is such a thing as spending too much time together.
If you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to please your spouse, spend time with them, or agree with them, you will begin to lose your identity.
If you would not know who you were if you and your spouse broke up, you are likely too needy.
2. Overreactions are Common
It’s normal for couples to argue every now and again, but it is not normal to have explosive arguments over nothing.
If your spouse talks to someone of the opposite sex (or preferred gender) and it sends you into a flurry of accusations, it may be time to start rethinking how close you are with your spouse.
3. Always Texting
Couples who text each other all day are adorable, aren’t they? Yes, checking in with your partner via text is a cute and sweet way to let them know that you are thinking about them.
But if your conversation seems one-sided or consists of you sending more than two or three texts in a row without getting a response, you definitely have a problem on your hands.
4. Extreme Jealousy
There is such a thing as a healthy level of jealousy. After all, jealousy is just the heart’s way of reminding you that something is important to you.
Feelings of jealousy should be used as a gentle reminder to cherish your partner – not as a catalyst to freak out on or control them.
5. Never Missing Each Other
You never miss each other because you are never apart. You have all the same friends and don’t spend a moment apart. This is not a healthy behavior.
Healthy relationships happen when two people are still able to maintain some level of independence.
Having your own hobbies and friendships that bring you joy will help you from being overly needy in your romantic relationship.
6. Social Media Stalking
Jealousy and neediness become unhealthy when they lead you to have frequent anxiety over what your spouse is doing when you are not around.
Instead of working on developing deeper bonds of trust – a quality which is essential for a happy relationship – you use your neediness as an excuse to social media stalk your spouse. You rage against or manipulate your partner into giving you the password for all of their online accounts just to settle your own worries.
This is very unhealthy, toxic relationship behavior.
7. Moving Way Too Fast
Being needy is often a sign of low self-esteem.
When you are insecure, you quickly attach yourself to your partner. This often leads to moving too fast sexually and maybe even moving in together after only a couple of weeks.
If things are moving quicker than normal in your relationship, it could be a sign that you are being overly needy.
8. A Desperate Need of Constant Reassurance
“I’m so ugly,” you say.
“Don’t say that,” your partner coos. “You’re beautiful!”
Your spouse is always quick to jump to your defense or give you genuine compliments. But no matter how many times your spouse reassures you of their love for your, their attraction to your, or their loyalty to your relationship, you never believe them.
This need for constant reassurance can be draining and damaging to your relationship.
9. Feeling Depressed When Not Being Together
It’s normal to miss your partner if they go away for the weekend without you. But falling into a deep depression or anxiety-filled panic attack at the thought of being away from your partner for an extended period of time is no healthy. This is definitely a sign that you are too needy in your relationship.
You need to start working on yourself and focus on your needs as an individual, not in a couple.
How to Get Over Relationship Neediness
Being needy is not something you can get over in a single day. It is deep-rooted behavior and like any bad habit, it will take hard work, time, and determination to fix.
Here are three tips for banishing unhealthy neediness from your relationship for good.
Work on Healthy Communication
Good communication is the backbone of a great relationship. It’s how couples learn to work as a team, resolve arguments in a healthy manner, and get to know one another on a deeper level.
If being needy is ruining your relationship, you need to start learning how to express yourself in other ways. Practice talking to your partner. Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements so that they do not feel like they have to be defensive when speaking to you.
Explain your insecurities to your spouse so that they can have empathy for you and understand better why you are reacting to situations in a certain way.
This is sure to strengthen your relationship.
Take a Social Media Break
Social media can be very damaging to our mental health. Studies show that those who spend time on social media tend to have more issues with mental health than those who do not. Not only is this due to the high number of social media accounts (fitness, celebrity, couples) that present an unrealistic and unattainable view of life, but also because they open a window into your partner’s past.
Stalking your spouse’s ex online can drive you into a never-ending web of jealousy and low self-esteem. Watching your spouse interact on social media can also make you endlessly nervous, suspicious, and paranoid about what may be going on behind your back.
Even if your partner has never given you a reason to distrust them, you may still find yourself feeling rotten when you’re online.
Do yourself a favor and take a social media break for a week and see how much better you feel. If your neediness or controlling behavior have lessened over the week, consider jumping off the social media bandwagon for good. Not only will this better your relationship, but it will also improve your mental health.
Go to Counseling
Couples therapy can be incredibly helpful in banishing toxic neediness from your relationship. Your counselor will help you work through communication issues and discuss any past experiences that may be causing the distrust in your relationship.
MidAmerica Nazarene University surveyed 1000 couples who were either engaged, married, or divorced to learn more about marriage counseling and how effective it is. Results revealed that 49 percent of participants had attended some form of counseling as a couple, with millennials most likely to attend therapy. A staggering 71 percent of participants said that counseling was either helpful or very helpful for their marriage.
Taking an online marriage course can also be helpful, as it will teach you healthy communication techniques that you can use to talk to your spouse instead of having a toxic, needy reaction to certain circumstances.
Going to solo counseling can also be highly beneficial for helping you get to the root of the problem in your relationship or with yourself. Your therapist can help you develop healthy relationship habits and find your true self.
Don’t let neediness ruin a good thing in your relationship.
Your spouse deserves your trust and the freedom to have a healthy social life without you always being by their side. Letting go also helps you to live a happier life.
Improve your mental health by banishing needy tendencies for good.
Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com
|National Center for Health Research: Social Media and Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Mental Health
|Marriage: Marriage Counseling for Couples
|MNU: 1000 couples