how to stop being needy and desperate in a relationship
Whether you are currently in a relationship or simply dating, you probably have experienced clinginess before and know how neediness can ruin your relationship.
Being overly clingy, controlling, or even jealous seriously turns a man off and makes him question your confidence in yourself.
Neediness shows that there is a lack of self-esteem and lowers your chances of finding love in the first place because it often leads to self-sabotaging behavior.
It communicates that you do not believe that you are worthy of love, and therefore need constant reassurance from your man.
Unfortunately, this behavior will weigh down the relationship in the long run, because of the pressure you put on him to validate you.
And ultimately lead to a breakup.
And if you are now thinking: “Oh no, I acted needy and desperate now what?!”. Then you have come to the right place.
In this post, I want to share a few simple tips on how to stop being a clingy girlfriend, that will not just improve your romantic relationships, but also your sense of self.
But before we dive in, let’s first explore what neediness looks like and how it manifests itself in your behavior.
Signs of a clingy girlfriend
As mentioned above neediness often shows itself in behaviors that point to a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence.
When you are needy you feel like nothing your boyfriend says or does satisfies your hunger for attention, approval, and love. Despite his words and actions, you still find yourself anxious and constantly doubt his love for you.
Some of the signs of clingy behavior include:
- You chase after him
- You don’t give him space
- You control his every move
- You get anxious about him leaving
- You constantly need his reassurance
- You give up your own life for the relationship
- Your self-worth is dependent on your relationship
- You get insecure because of other women in his life
Do these behaviors sound familiar?
If you constantly feel jealous or insecure in your romantic relationship, then you may actually suffer from an anxious attachment style, a fear of abandonment that is often rooted in your early childhood experiences or romantic experiences.
In one of my favorite books, Insecure in Love, you will learn how to overcome attachment anxiety by using a technique that helps you recognize negative thoughts and get to the root of your insecurities.
I have recommended this book to many of my clients and it helped them cultivate secure and healthy relationships with their boyfriends.
But before you go and grab a copy of Insecure in Love, I want to share three powerful steps you can take today to stop being needy and desperate in a relationship.
These steps will show you how to stop being a clingy girlfriend and how to relax in a relationship instead.
How to stop being a clingy girlfriend
1. Analyze your deeper fear
I truly believe that most of our behaviors are either inspired by faith or controlled by fear. And neediness, clinginess, and desperation are rooted in the fear of abandonment.
The reason why you find yourself chasing after a man is out of fear. And more specifically out of a fear of abandonment which is a form of anxiety.
Abandonment issues often appear over the course of our lives because of wounds from childhood or past experiences.
When you experience the loss of a loved one, maybe as a child, maybe in your past relationship it impacts your subconscious mind so much that you build different responses and patterns of how you attach to men in your romantic relationships as adults.
One of the responses your subconscious now beliefs is: I am not good enough for this person which triggers an unhealthy behavior of needing to hang on to him.
And whenever you do something out of fear it is in misalignment and eventually breeds more anxiety and more exhaustion.
2. Develop a coping mechanism
A coping mechanism is a strategy you can use whenever you are stressed or anxious that you are not good enough for a man to want to stay.
One strategy that I share with my clients in “Become The One” is to tackle that fear of abandonment at the root, without looking to someone outside of yourself to give you security.
So, if you are currently seeing someone and can feel yourself getting anxious whenever he pulls away, I want you to do the following:
- Start paying attention to when you try to control him
- Ask yourself: “What do I need from him that would make me feel safer?”
- Find a way to meet that need
Here is an example
- You are anxious that he is not texting/ calling back
- I need attention (consistent calls and texts)
- schedule calls or hangouts with friends/ family
This exercise will help you self-soothe and help you manage the emotion of anxiety and fear that arises with neediness.
3. Reframe your thinking
One of the most critical sayings I teach my coaching clients is a quote by Jen Sincero:
Your thoughts inspire emotions that inspire action that forms your reality.
What does that mean?
It means that before you decided to call and text your boyfriend multiple times or show up at his boy’s night, you had a million thoughts that triggered emotions that inspired these needy actions.
That’s why learning how to reframe your thoughts and talk yourself out of the many “What if’s” that pop up every time you get anxious is crucial.
Instead of giving in to the negative thoughts, take out a pen and paper and start gathering evidence why those thoughts are not true.
If you are worried that he lost interest, remind yourself that he called you earlier that day and said “I miss you” or “I love you” at the end.
The goal is to become aware of how your insecurities sabotage your thinking and decide not to give them any more power.
It is an important mindset I practice with my coaching clients weekly. In my private coaching program I teach you to control your clingy behavior and identify your fear so that you can transform your romantic relationship for the better.