How To Love Someone Without Smothering Them

Falling in love is an addictive experience. You feel intense pleasure from just talking, kissing, or being with your partner and you want to keep feeling that way again and again. We can get a little carried away with this emotion sometimes and end up irritating our lovers or coming off as needy and clingy.

Give them room to breathe.

No matter how much you want to, you shouldn’t spend every minute of every day in your partner’s company. That’s an unhealthy form of dependence. Insisting that your partner always makes time for you in their life is eventually going to make them kind of despise you. If they ask for space, give it to them. Even when they don’t ask, be kind and respectful enough to let them have things outside of your relationship and don’t get angry about it. Pour some of that passion into other interests. You’ll both be happier because of it.

Don’t push too hard when met with a little resistance.

You might end up suffocating your partner when you do things without paying attention to their feelings. Some people don’t like to be put in uncomfortable situations, so insisting that they do things they’re not quite ready for can be grounds for trouble. Don’t rush them. Take your time in getting to know your partner and learning the ways they like to be loved.

Do your own thing and let them do theirs without you.

Maybe you think if you give your partner too much room or freedom, they’re going to leave you. That’s not true. As long as their love for you is true and strong, spending time apart won’t hurt it. You need to remember that you’re two whole individuals, and being a couple shouldn’t change that. Let them go off and live life without you while you do the same on your own. This has the bonus effect of giving you more to talk about when you come back together.

Openly discuss any issues you might have.

It’s normal to have fears and doubts in a relationship, but you can’t let it run unchecked. You can’t fix it by overwhelming your partner with affection. Why do you feel the need to act excessively around your partner? Talk to them about that. This will reinforce your faith and trust in each other. Honest communication is one of the most effective and important ingredients of a relationship.

Give them attention and affection but don’t bombard them with it.

I dated this person and they’d call me like 20 times a day just to check up on me, then send me multiple long texts one after another. It was like I couldn’t blink without being reminded of how much they missed and needed me. It was totally exhausting to have to carry that, so I kept pulling away until there was nothing left to come back to.

Make sure what you’re feeling is love, not emotional hunger.

Sometimes we think our actions are borne out of love when it’s really a need to satisfy our selfish desires. How many times do you say “I love you” because you want to share the affection you’re feeling, not just to hear them say it back? If your show of love is constantly coming from a need for validation, that’s just emotional hunger. Figuring out which feeling it is will can help you check yourself if you start smothering your partner.

Don’t go demanding apologies.

I’m not saying you need to tolerate a partner who never realizes their wrongs or feels the need to apologize when they’ve hurt you. That’s unacceptable. However, you should give them room to come to terms with what’s happened and apologize in their own time. If you’re always demanding apologies whenever you want one, it’s going to come off as antagonistic, controlling, annoying, and a tad needy.

Respect their needs.

It can be hard to face the fact that the person you love doesn’t need you all the time or that they’re not ready for things when just because you are. If they want to take things slow, don’t try to rush them. Whatever it is, it is important to respect their decision and desires. They’ll appreciate you more when you do.

Focus on being romantic, not obsessive.

Whenever you feel like sending a bunch of “Why are you airing my messages,” “I miss you,” “Where are you,” and all such texts in quick succession, don’t. Don’t give in to the desperation or the neediness. Instead, come up with more romantic ways to tell your partner that they’re on your mind. Do something nice for them. Plan a cozy intimate affair where you can enjoy each other’s company and bond in a more meaningful way.

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