Cyberstalking and 17 Other Ways You’re Wrecking Your Relationship

Couple experiencing relationship problems

Couple experiencing relationship problems | iStock.com/Astarot

Some of us just can’t help it — we need a bit more attention than the average person. When it comes to maintaining functional relationships that are actually self-serving and make us happy, though, acts of “neediness” or consistent insecurity can get in the way.

But what exactly does it mean to be needy in the first place? According to experts, it’s constantly wanting more from the other person in a relationship. After all, nothing scares off a potentially perfect partner than an overly clingy, suspicious individual. Here are some key indicators that you might be inching a little bit too close to being seen as “too needy.”

1. You constantly question their love for you

A sad girl looks at a paper heart cutout she holds up with her finger

A constant need for reassurance of love can lead to problems in a relationship | iStock.com/andrej_k

If you find yourself repeatedly asking your partner the question, “Do you love me?” you might be headed for trouble. As endearing as it might sound, that’s about as needy as it gets. Of course, you want to hear that they do, in fact, love you, but they have the right to say it of their own accord.

“When, no matter what they do, you never feel secure in the relationship, it might be because the person is cheating on you or uninterested, or you’re being too attention-seeking,” says Jane Greer, Ph.D., relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship.

2. You find it hard to make decisions without them

Young female is worried by what she sees on her cell phone

While asking for advice is great, try to make your own decisions | iStock.com/nandyphotos

If decisions like choosing a pair of jeans or whether or not you should see a certain band next Friday night are tough calls when your partner’s opinion isn’t factored in, you may be too needy. “This may be a sign that you’re letting your own needs dissolve into the needs of your partner, without any defining clarity between the two,” Celeste Holbrook, Ph.D., sexual health consultant, tells us exclusively. If it feels uncomfortable for you to voice your own feelings or requests, you may need to assess how to detach your worth from their approval.

3. You guilt them into doing things they don’t want to do

A couple with a problem consults a psychologist

If your significant other doesn’t want to engage in certain physical activity, you shouldn’t continuously press the subject, or worse pressure them to do so | iStock.com/alexsokolov

If an individual doesn’t want to engage in a specific type of physical activity (this can include sexual activity), and the other person in the relationship continues to persist, it can appear as being needy. If you agreed to this upfront, then you should respect that the other person simply doesn’t want to engage in it and stop asking it of them, Dawn Michael, Ph.D., clinical sexologist, relationship expert, and author of My Husband Won’t Have Sex With Me saysIf the subject has never been brought up and is an issue for you, you’ll want to discuss it. However, you don’t want to pressure the person into doing something they’re not comfortable with.

4. You hover over their social media accounts

iPhone 6 screen with social media applications

Constantly checking up on your significant other can be a sign of neediness and insecurity | iStock.com/HStocks

If you know the password to all their accounts, and you frequently sign in to see what they’re up to — especially if it’s behind their back — you may want to rethink your intentions. The same goes for constant commenting or liking everything they do. While they might enjoy your approval and frequent interactions, it’s healthier for the relationship if you give each other space on social media as well as in life.

5. You constantly change your plans to spend more time with them

A sad woman sits in front of her laptop in a coffee shop

Planning things ahead of time with your partner is fine, just don’t expect to spend every minute of every day with them | iStock.com/anyaberkut

If you find yourself doing more than just making a simple schedule to establish time together, you might be going overboard. “Trading other valuable aspects of yourself and your life, like hanging out with friends or partaking in hobbies you enjoy, in order to be with your partner more often, this is a sign that you actually need more space, not less,” Dr. Holbrook says.

6. You expect nothing short of wildly romantic gestures

An elegantly dressed couple displays affection to one another inside a restaurant

We all love grand romantic gestures, but don’t expect them of your partner all the time | iStock.com/dima_sidelnikov

While over-the-top gestures can be stunningly romantic, if you’re planning these elaborate schemes for your partner every other day, it may be a sign that you’re seeking attention instead of sending a loving signal. Remember that those butterflies you felt when you first met will naturally fade away, and that it’s OK if your partner doesn’t wine and dine you or buy you flowers every week. Try and be rational instead of emotional when it comes to these things, Dr. Holbrook says.

7. You text your partner constantly

A couple looks at a smartphone

It’s OK to take some time for yourself and for your needs in a relationship | iStock.com/Renato Arap

Similar to being in physical proximity, the need to be in close proximity to your partner all the time is destructive, Dr. Holbrook explains. You most likely do this because you want to hear how much that person is thinking about you and/or missing you throughout the day, even during work or school hours. But learning how to distance yourself when you both need space will only make the time you do spend together that much richer.

8. You need constant validation

A young African American woman purses her lips as she awaits a kiss from her partner

Be confident in who you are | iStock.com/UberImages

If you get upset when your partner doesn’t rave about the new pair of skinny jeans you just purchased or the funny animal video you shared on your Facebook wall, you may need to reconsider how you’re gaining your value as a person, Dr. Holbrook says. She also adds that “you will always feel a sense of lack if you don’t learn to get your value from your own inner voice.”

9. You frequently surprise them at their work

A woman makes an exasperated face on the side as a young man offers her flowers

Don’t overdo it with the surprises | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

“I think that if a boundary is established at work then the other person needs to respect that,” Dr. Michael explains. This becomes an even bigger disturbance when the needy person’s partner travels for work, leaving him or her feeling left out of not going. What it really comes down to is choosing to be in a relationship with someone whose work-life balance is acceptable to you. But if you’re with someone who travels for work or has to stay late at the office from time to time (and this has been discussed and agreed upon in the past), then the “needy” person does need to respect that, Dr. Michael says.

10. You always ask what your partner’s thinking and feeling

A frustrated couple sits on a couch and quarrels

Being concerned is a good thing, but don’t badger your partner with constant questions | iStock.com/AndreyPopov

Space is one of the best things you can give to people in relationships — and that rings true for friends and family, too. “Discovering what makes your partner tick is one thing, but over-asking about their feelings and emotions because you’re looking for validation, or simply to spark a conversation about yourself or your relationship, is a sign that you may be too needy,” Dr. Holbrook says.

11. You force them to jump into a relationship before they’re ready

Two women gaze into each other's eyes as they stand next to each other

You might be ready to go exclusive, but the person you’ve been dating might not be there yet | iStock.com/amazingmikael

Rushing into a relationship when both people aren’t completely ready only creates problems for their future as a couple. “Just because you might feel ready to take the plunge, doesn’t mean your partner is ready, so you have to be patient for your relationship’s sake,” Dr. Michael says. “If your expectations seem reasonable and this has never been an issue before for you, then perhaps that person is not relationship material.” You always have to weigh the circumstances.

12. You expect them to change for you

A man flings his arms over his head in exasperation as his partner yells at him in the dining area of their kitchen

You know what they say: People don’t change | iStock.com/oneinchpunch

Getting into a relationship and then expecting that the person is going to change to meet your needs is needy. You chose that person for who they are and trying to change them is not productive. In fact, it will most likely lead bigger problems down the road. “Many couples fight about the little things that can be adjusted, but if you’re talking about a bigger issue then either you’ve chosen the wrong person or you need to change your expectations,” Dr. Michael explains.

13. You feel like you need them around you every second

A couple holds hands

You can become addicted to your significant other in the early stages of a relationship | iStock.com/pecaphoto77

It’s undoubtedly romantic to feel like you’ll never, ever get sick of someone — especially in the beginning of a relationship — but remember to consider that the other person might feel differently. “You should be able to do your acts of daily living with or without your partner,” Dr. Holbrook says. “If you’re feeling like they need to be by your side 24/7, it’s time to learn some independence.” You will ultimately feel much more confident and much more attractive if you learn how to cope and handle life solo.

14. You constantly want to call them and hear their voice

A business woman talks on her smartphone

It might be tempting to call them all the time, but doing that will only scare them away | iStock.com/ajr_images

Wanting to talk to someone every hour on the hour is a bit much. “It’s important to always be respectful of the other person’s boundaries,” Dr. Michael says. “Remember that some people need more space than others, so constant calling — either just to say hi or to actually communicate something important — can make the other partner feel claustrophobic.” Try to find a balance of communication that works for you both, and be sure to establish a schedule that feels comfortable.

15. You never feel like you can trust your partner

A woman looks over her boyfriend's shoulder to see what he is typing on his smartphone

Apart from communication, the foundation of any relationship is trust | iStock.com/Sjale

This type of behavior may very well stem from the fact that you have a justifiable reason to distrust them. For instance, if you think (or know) they’re cheating on you. But it also may be a feeling that you’re carrying over from a previous relationship. “Maybe you come from a broken household or you’ve been cheated on before,” Dr. Holbrook says. “Of course, mistrust is warranted if, in fact, you think there’s something going on, but if you’re freaking out when your partner’s a couple minutes late or out with friends, you might be a bit too clingy.” Try giving your partner some room to be themselves and trust that they have your best intentions in mind.

16. You get frustrated when they’re distracted by anything but you

A jealous woman looks at a cheerful couple

You can’t expect to be the apple of their eye all the time | iStock.com/princigalli

Whether it’s a phone call from his mom or an innocent round of video games, if you’re feeling insecure when he’s locked into an activity that has little or nothing to do with you, “needy” just might be your middle name. If you are noticing this type of behavior, a good strategy is to question what, specifically, your partner is doing that’s making you feel less “sought after.” If it is, indeed, something silly, you can try to calm yourself down, or even distract yourself with an activity or hobby.

17. You’ll do almost anything to please them

A young couple in love holds hands

Always keep your personal values in mind | iStock.com/ViewApart

If you’re feeling so desperate for attention that nothing is off-limits so long as your partner is happy, think twice about the values you hold dear. An example could be going up to his apartment on the first date when you’re not comfortable, only because you’re afraid to disappoint him, or going along with anything he suggests, from movies to restaurants. You’re entitled to your own opinion about things — and if your partner’s a good person, he will be happy that you can stand your ground.

18. You’re afraid to take opportunities for fear they’ll leave you

A worried young man sits on the edge of a bed as his partner sleeps

While sometimes you will have to make sacrifices in your relationships, be sure you’re not giving up something that is truly important to your happiness | Source: iStock

If an exciting career or personal opportunity comes your way — for example, studying abroad or taking a job a few hundred miles away from home — and you’re too afraid to take it based upon your relationship status, you might be too dependent on your partner. Life is so much sweeter because of these sometimes once-in-a-lifetime chances we get. Consider having a serious conversation about the future of your relationship before you say no to something that could change your life for the better.

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