Love & Sex Magazine

Relationship Tip for Tuesday: Ways to Avoid Being Needy.

By Barbarajpeters @CouplesAuthor

Is your partner your entire reason for being? Perhaps you feel that all of your other interests have dwindled, and that your focus is solely on your partner. Do you find that you disappear into the person you love? Do you become like a house with an open door, ready to give the person everything you have—not limited to possessions, but your time as well?. Do you have boundary issues with your partner, and tend to forget who you are just to be in the relationship?

marriage advice conflictYou might relate to the Paul Simon song lyric: “I live in fear. My love for you is so overpowering, I’m afraid that I will disappear.”

Answers to those questions could spell out a needy quality in you.

While it is natural to want to “merge as one” with your partner, it is not healthy to consider your partner the sole source of all your happiness. No person can make you happy; contentment is something you must find within yourself. Be honest with yourself and your partner about your strong need for connection, and turn that need into a positive force. The world can use your energy! Focus some of it on making your community a better place.

Find ways of meeting your needs without relying totally on your partner. For example, you could volunteer to visit the elderly at a retirement center, or you could help walk dogs at an animal shelter. Take time to grow as a person by visiting a museum, going swimming, or reading a “how-to” book. Develop an action plan to expand your outlook, so that you can become more resilient and self-sufficient. In turn, having these qualities will allow you to bring more to the relationship. 

“We’re only as needy as our unmet needs,” says John Bowlby, founder of Attachment Theory. So it is not surprising to note that my tip for overcoming neediness is to be in synch with your own need for connection. Use that awareness so that it becomes a strength, instead of a weakness. Talk about these needs and find ways of meeting them that do not impinge on others. Make room for “you,” and take action to develop strategies to meet your needs.

Once you have a strategy in place, you can focus on you. You will not need a partner to “rescue” you or to “make” you happy. Practice on having a relationship with yourself, so you don’t have to rely on your partner to fulfill your every need.  

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