I know no one wants to be dubbed as the “crazy ex” or the “needy girlfriend” that doesn’t understand boundaries, but the reality is that some of us are. We can work on that. The first step, as it always is in these things, is to acknowledge that you might be the needy partner. It’s not that you’re a bad person, but if you start to recognize yourself in too many of the checklists below, it might be time for some re-evaluation.
- You can’t be alone. This is one of the big hitters, a huge sign that you’re being too needy. A true tell of not trusting someone is developing your own unhealthy attachment issues. If you can’t deal with time away from your partner, it probably means that you aren’t fully comfortable with yourself. The more you like who you are, the more you will accept time alone. This is something that you can work on by yourself to make sure you’re ready for a relationship. Co-dependency is not good for anyone. Let alone when you start to smother the other person.
- You’re always checking their socials. This might be all on you, and it’s not a personal failing that makes you any less worthy of love. After all, the partner might be guilty of inconstant affection or stringing people along, so don’t think that things are in your head. That said, being mindful of the very real issues of gaslighting, if you’re never relaxed or happy in a relationship, is it really serving you? If you can’t be yourself in front of your partner and you’re always explaining yourself away or demanding more time with them in the hope that you’ll eventually feel “known” and seen and loved, stop. It’s not your partner’s responsibility or job to make you happy or to fix you. Work on your own insecurities before you start projecting that onto them and trying to interpret something from every Insta story they post.
- You start to suffocate them. Do they complain, jokingly at the start, that you haven’t seen daylight in weeks? Have you slept in your own bed recently or seen family and friends? That’s not a good sign if you haven’t. It might mean that you’re getting so needy that the only time you think is valuable or important is with your partner. However, you risk isolating both parties from their lives. Everyone needs to be well-rounded. You can’t be the only person in someone’s life. That’s too much pressure.
- You get paranoid. This is where things get a little sketchy. You start to worry about things that aren’t there. Overthinking becomes your emotional crutch. We know where this ends up, don’t we?
- You stop trusting your friends. Not only do you stop hanging out with other people, but you start to actively alienate them. Becoming so needy that you can’t enrich your mind with external perspectives and things to do is a bad sign. At best, you will get bored. At worst, you will burn bridges that you simply cannot get back when you resurface.
- You expect proof of affection. You can’t let sleeping dogs lie. This also stems from the issues of anxiety and insecurity in relationships. If left unaddressed and unspoken, this leads to worse issues. More still, if you require a ‘good morning’ text for the day to be considered worthwhile, that’s a problem. Your happiness is in someone else’s hands here. You should exercise some self-love, some affection from family and friends. It can’t just be one person, and if it is, you have to trust them. Trust comes with space, not intensity.
- You won’t compromise your time. If you haven’t changed, don’t expect your partner to do so. You have to remember that it’s all about the give and take. It takes two to tango, after all. This all comes from internalised toxic femininity and masculinity. If you believe that women have to always wait around for the man to arrange the date, or pay, or drive somewhere, then you will always be disappointed. You are allowing other people to take away your agency and making yourself vulnerable.
- Solution: take control. Calm down! When you realize that you can arrange the next date, you don’t have to stress. Even if it doesn’t work out, having an open and honest conversation throughout all the stages of your relationship is essential. It means that everyone is on the same page with boundaries. It could just as easily be that you have to deal with a needy guy, so it’s good to know how to resolve these problems.
So, there you are. The relationship is not about getting your next fix, though. To view it as such is not only needy but shows the early signs of an addictive personality. Tread carefully if you start to see yourself in this list.
There’s time to course-correct, and remember: being affectionate with your love isn’t inherently a bad thing. Don’t lose a great part of yourself. That being said, make sure it comes from a well-adjusted, balanced, secure place, rather than one of insecurity or panic.