How to Not Be So Needy & Clingy When You Love Someone

Physical activity can reduce anxiety and improve your health.
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Loving someone and being in a relationship can create a sense of interdependence as you meet one another’s needs and blend your lives, according to psychiatrist Mark Banschick in “Overcoming Neediness” for Psychology Today. Neediness moves you from enjoyable interdependence into an anxious and insecure dependence fed by abandonment fears. Unfortunately, the clutching and clinging behavior can cause your love to flee your hunger to control, creating the distance you fear.

1 Relax and Loosen Your Grip

When you are anxious and insecure about your love, your body feels tense, with a clenched stomach, faster pulse and breathing. You can feel out of control with a hunger to connect to your love. You may find the compulsion to call, text or see your love eases as you relax, writes Banschick. Exercising, listening to music, meditating and journaling can also help you take control of yourself so you don’t overwhelm your sweetheart. While journaling, you can write out your feelings and consider a more positive approach for your love.

2 Space for Both of You

Create emotional and physical space for both of you by engaging in activities you enjoy. Pursue separate activities, as well as shared activities with your sweetheart, suggests Banschick in “Who Wants To Be Needy? Six Solutions” for Psychology Today. Avoid doing everything together. You will be much more interesting and valuable to your love if you bring new experiences and interests to the relationship. Reasonable time apart will give you both the space required so that neither of you is too dependent nor feeling smothered.

3 Enlarge Your Circle

Everyone needs human connection and interaction, but your sweetheart can become overwhelmed if expected to fill most of those needs for you. Expand your circle of friends and activities to fill your need for human contact without putting too much pressure on your love. Take a class, join a social club or choose a neighborhood project you enjoy. Volunteer your time so that you feel your contributions to others matter.

4 Ask for Help

If you find that you have difficulty managing your needy behavior, seek professional help. A counselor could help you address underlying fears and concerns about abandonment and insecurity and provide a healthier foundation for your romantic relationships, according to Banschick. Therapy could help you save your current relationship or distance yourself until you can be a healthy member of a loving couple.

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.