What does it mean to be emotionally dependent on or needy toward your partner?
In the case of a romantic relationship, one partner is overly dependent on the other, his love, and his affection. They simply cannot live without their partner and are emotionally clingy toward them. The resulting consequences are clinging, reliance, and jealousy, because life without the other is inconceivable.
Independence without leaning on their partner seems impossible to those affected by emotional neediness. Many only realize that such a dependency exists after the partner has broken up with them or left them. How do you know that you are emotionally attached to your partner? You feel worthless and, therefore, hold on to the relationship for your own sense of worth.
If you are emotionally dependent on your partner, you are addicted to their affection and need constant confirmation that they love you. You may have emotional wounds from your childhood that you never processed. These wounds have created an emotional need that you try to compensate for with love from outside. You have not learned to love yourself and are therefore dependent on love from outside.
Keep reading to find out how to deal with emotional dependency and a needy girlfriend.
- 1 What Being A Needy Is Like
- 1.1 1. How To Deal With A Breakup Or Separation In The Case Of Emotional Dependency
- 1.2 2. What Can You Do To Avoid Or Resolve Emotional Dependency?
- 1.3 3. Accept That You Are Emotionally Dependent
- 1.4 4. Don’t Ignore The Situation
- 1.5 5. Notice When It Becomes Unhealthy
- 1.6 6. What Are The Signs Of Emotional Dependency?
- 1.7 7. Your Friends And Family Ask If You Are Okay
- 1.8 8. How Can You Free Yourself From An Emotional Addiction?
- 1.9 9. Learn To Focus On Yourself
- 1.10 10. Do What Makes You Happy
- 1.11 11. Build Your Self-Esteem Again
- 1.12 12. Get More Independence Again
- 1.13 13. Pay Attention To Your Own Needs
- 1.14 14. Find A Balance
- 1.15 15. Don’t Be Afraid
- 2 FAQs
- 3 To Sum Up…
What Being A Needy Is Like
In this situation, you lack self-love. We all look for love and have a need for recognition and affection. However, if these can only be received from the outside and not only influence your well-being, but determine it, then we speak of neediness and dependence.
A very characteristic feature of a person who is emotionally dependent on the partner is the permanent compulsion to control what their partner thinks and feels, as well as the attempt to actively influence his feelings. The affected one feels insecure about the slightest irregularity (e.g. if their partner is in a bad mood) and tries to look for evidence that they are still loved by their partner.
Other signs include obsession, fear of being alone, constantly seeking to be in relationships, never being single for long, jealousy regarding text messages, lack of trust toward your partner, but also a lack of trust in yourself, low self-esteem, and social isolation. So, how do you deal with a partner that finds themselves in this situation?
1. How To Deal With A Breakup Or Separation In The Case Of Emotional Dependency
A partner's emotional need is a very common reason for separation since the one not affected by emotional dependency can often no longer bear being responsible for the happiness of the other person. The lack of independence and inability of the needy girlfriend to be alone or to do something on their own creates so much pressure that separation is often the option.
If your partner separates from you, you suffer from withdrawal symptoms and you have the feeling that you cannot survive without your partner, and you are put into an emotional state of emergency. Because of these withdrawal symptoms and because you are unable to love yourself, the pain of separation is often very intense
The pain is often worse than in people who know their own self-worth and love themselves because they have another source of love and appreciation, themselves. If you are breaking up with someone that you know is emotionally dependent on you, it is important to deal with the situation in a careful and sympathetic manner.
2. What Can You Do To Avoid Or Resolve Emotional Dependency?
Emotional dependency is a sign of a lack of self-love. Nobody can give you the feeling of real love, acceptance, and recognition if you don't love yourself. The most reliable way to escape dependency is to learn to love yourself. You cannot feel love completely if you can’t learn to love yourself first.
You have to consciously make the decision to release you from this emotional dependency. You need to accept your emotional wounds and fears, start to notice and build your self-esteem, learn to focus on yourself, and stop trying to control your partner's feelings, and strengthen your confidence in your own abilities.
You can do this with the help of therapy, by conscious self-reflection, by dealing with yourself, your life, and your goals, by coming into contact with your mind and your true self through meditation, by practicing yoga and making a connection between your body and mind and becoming aware of yourself. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen eventually.
3. Accept That You Are Emotionally Dependent
The first step in healing yourself is to find acceptance. You may not be able to recognize at first that you are emotionally dependent, you may just think that you are extremely close to your partner. However, it is important to address your own emotional issues if you seek to solve them.
It is often family members and those closest to you who first notice that something is wrong. Perhaps you also know some of your friends' relationships seem completely unhealthy to you and it is a mystery to you why they stay together at all. It may be easier to see from the outside that something is wrong and much harder to recognize in your own relationship.
No matter what label you give the situation, whether codependency, emotional dependence, or psychological dependence. They all have one thing in common: they don't feel good.
Sometimes not for either side, but certainly not for the emotionally dependent or needy girlfriend. It is important that you find acceptance of your issues so that you can begin to resolve them.
4. Don’t Ignore The Situation
Don’t fool yourself. While there is a little bit of emotional dependency in every relationship, it can go too far. You get to know each other, fall in love, and bond emotionally. Nobody wants to be left at this moment and everybody has, especially at the beginning of a relationship, likely experienced a fear of things not working out the way that they hoped.
Relationship patterns come up again. To a certain extent, it is completely normal to feel that way and it even has a stabilizing effect on the relationship as a whole. Especially through the emotional bond as a person begins to try harder for the partner and put in more effort. And out of this effort, a lasting relationship begins to develop.
Then you reach the point where you think: “I never want to be without you again,” or, “You are the best thing that ever happened to me.” However, when does a normal loving relationship become emotional addiction and over-dependency? Yes, this honeymoon phase is often difficult to bear for outsiders, but it is completely normal and a bit of emotional dependency is therefore natural.
5. Notice When It Becomes Unhealthy
It only becomes an issue when “I don’t ever want to be without you” turns into “I can never be without you again.” The emotionally dependent or needy girlfriend mostly lacks basic trust, when the partner becomes addicted on an emotional level, life without their partner is inconceivable. When you notice things becoming unhealthy it is important to act.
Whether you notice this behavior in yourself or in your needy girlfriend, it is important to try and find a solution before things become worse.
6. What Are The Signs Of Emotional Dependency?
What are the signs of emotional addiction? Typical signs of emotional addiction include: that your thoughts constantly revolve around your partner, how you can satisfy him, what he prefers you not to do, how he will feel in the evening, etc., or your self-esteem depends heavily or exclusively on the opinion of your partner e.g. you are only a good cook if he likes your food.
It can also mean that criticism from your partner affects you deeply no matter whether it is to do with your looks, skills, or hobbies, your social life is increasingly limited to your partner and you gradually lose contact with family, friends, and work colleagues, and close friends or family members inquire directly or indirectly whether you are really doing well in the relationship.
You are terrified that your partner will leave you, you have the feeling that you love your partner more than he loves you, your partner has more freedom than you do in your relationship, you sometimes feel emotionally manipulated by your partner, you don't know how to live without your partner anymore and even if you want to leave him, you just can't imagine how to do it.
7. Your Friends And Family Ask If You Are Okay
If your friends or family members talk to you and ask you whether everything is okay, it is important to really think about whether you are happy and healthy in your relationship. This is often hidden behind careful inquiries as to whether your partner loves you as you think he does or whether you are happy.
Sometimes it can also be hidden in somewhat annoying statements, such as your friends accusing of never being apart from each other or no longer caring about them because only your partner counts. You may be blind to the situation that you are in but most of the time, the people close to you are much more likely to sense it even if you don’t.
8. How Can You Free Yourself From An Emotional Addiction?
The most important step has already been taken when you have realized that you have slipped into an emotional addiction. This is a big step, which also takes a lot of courage, because who likes to admit that they are addicted to something, or emotionally dependent on their partner? If you realize that you have become emotionally dependent on your partner, you first have to make the decision to change that.
You need motivation, perseverance, consistency, and all of this will only succeed if you really believe in your decision to break away from it. At first, it doesn't matter why and how you slipped into this dependency, the only important thing is deciding completely that you want to get out of this situation.
It is important that you don’t rush things or put too much pressure on your partner to change as this is going to take time. You cannot expect things to change immediately, no matter how much you want them to. If you rush things too soon you are likely going to end up right back where you started. But you need to begin to focus on yourself and your well-being again.
9. Learn To Focus On Yourself
With emotional dependency, your partner is always the focus of your interest, your thoughts, your actions. It's all about him/ her and that is exactly what has to shift for you now. You can become the center of your life again. It is not easy, but give yourself time and be kind to yourself and you will get there. Keep reading to find out how to find your way back to yourself.
Look gradually to find small ways to come back to yourself. It is too much to consider to break all of your relationship issues and habits overnight. Perhaps start by paying attention to what you would like to wear in the morning and less what your partner might say about it. Maybe there is a piece of clothing that you love, but your partner hates and that's why you haven't worn it for ages.
Or you have a favorite food that your partner doesn't like and you haven't cooked it in a long time because of that. It's a matter of looking at when you forgot about something that was really important to you but you left it behind because your partner didn’t agree, and then integrating it back into your life.
10. Do What Makes You Happy
Focusing on yourself can also start with the omission of little things that you have always done only for the sake of your partner, but that you actually really hate. And every time you make a change, you can go one step further and look for the next change that you would like to make. In this way, you regain your own attention, your self-confidence, and ultimately your self-esteem.
11. Build Your Self-Esteem Again
By loving another person, we cannot increase their own self-esteem. Only you alone can increase your self-esteem through the self-love that you have acquired and developed. The more you love and accept yourself, the more love you can pass on to other people and receive love from others. Be proud of your strengths and accept your weaknesses!
Above all, work on your strengths. Seize the opportunities that life gives you. If you don't know what your strengths are, just ask your family and friends. What do they appreciate the most about you? What do they think you are particularly good at?
You may get surprising answers that you would not have expected. The answers will make you feel better and you will know what to focus on yourself.
Write a success diary every day. Find at least five positive and successful experiences every day and write them down, even if it's just little things. For example, you are in a better mood than the day before, you went shopping, you read your book, you practiced your hobby, you bought yourself some flowers, or you felt relaxed, etc.
12. Get More Independence Again
Independence plays a fundamental role in how you can solve emotional dependency. If you make decisions independently, you will no longer be dependent on your partner in an unhealthy way. Make the decisions that you want and not what your partner wants. Quit your job if you feel unhappy, relax at the weekend or just meet up with old friends, no matter what your partner says about it.
The right partner would never forbid you to do anything that you love. Realizing this will gradually help you to find your own independence again and you will be able to solve emotional dependency on time.
Focus on or return to your hobbies and your own career. Did you neglect your hobbies or your career because of your relationship? Then immediately change something and start doing the things that you enjoy again.
If you have been thinking about further education for a long time, now is the right time. Or perhaps you want to get back into playing sports again? Then change immediately and get started! You will finally experience important moments of success again, your own, independent moments of success! The most important thing is that you do it without your partner and only for yourself!
13. Pay Attention To Your Own Needs
Emotionally addicted people put their needs behind those of their partners. They no longer pay attention to what they want and need themselves, but you have to stop this and change this pattern of behavior immediately. If you pursue your interests and passions you are already on your way to meeting your own needs again.
Write a list of all things that have been neglected recently, but you definitely want to do it again. Only you can know what you need for yourself and your own well-being. Seek help in getting out of emotional addiction alone is difficult and sometimes actually impossible. You will have to process a lot of emotions and neglected thoughts.
Turn to your family and friends and talk to them about your problems. Even if you aren’t that emotionally strong yet, your loved ones can remind you of how much you mean to them and why you should continue to work on yourself and pay attention to your own needs. If you have a needy girlfriend who is struggling to work out her issues, send a text message of love, offer to help and listen, let her know that everything will be okay one day
14. Find A Balance
In principle, there are two different types of emotional dependency. First, the positive dependency, here the emotional dependence has a stabilizing effect on you and your relationship. The important thing is that there is a mutual dependency between you and your girlfriend.
That is, you are both dependent on each other in regard to certain things, but without limiting or restricting each other in any way. A healthy give and take are evident and balanced in your relationship and when it comes down to it, you can still be independent and alone.
Many relationships drift quickly into negative dependence by either one or both partners. This is unhealthy and is one sign that everything is not balanced between you and your girlfriend that will harm you over and over again because you simply don't resist it. It is important to acknowledge this situation and come to terms with the fact that change is needed.
15. Don’t Be Afraid
If you know that you have a needy girlfriend or you have recognized that you are yourself a needy girlfriend, it may be difficult to accept that you need to change. It can be scary but don't be afraid of this step. Needing to build up trust in yourself again has nothing to do with weakness. Often we may just need professional help and there is nothing wrong with this.
It is one sign of strength to accept that you need help and to have acknowledged that you need to make a change, even if it is a small one.
A needy girlfriend is one that is emotionally dependent on you in your relationship. Emotional dependency in a relationship is an incredibly difficult topic. It affects many partnerships and is unfortunately considered normal by many people. Basically, an emotional addiction is not always bad, but in most cases, it is not really good either.
If you have a needy girlfriend you may be wondering how to not be needy. It is a common problem in many relationships but is unhealthy behavior patterns. Healthy give and take in a relationship is normal and it is normal to depend on each other sometimes but if you have an overly clingy girlfriend then it may be time to help her to work on her emotional issues.
If you are a needy girlfriend you likely adapt too much to your partner's life, you put your own needs behind him, you have little or no social contacts with anybody else anymore, you have to constantly control your partner to know where he is, you are very jealous and possessive and you have the feeling that you can only live with your partner.
If you believe you are a needy girlfriend you may be wondering how to stop being needy in your love life. Perhaps you spend all of your days waiting to receive text messages and phone calls from your partner, you forget to focus on your work and you put all of your hobbies and interests behind because you worry about your partner all of the time.
Your girlfriend may be too needy if they adapt too much to your life, they put their own needs behind yours, they have little or no social contacts with anybody else other than you anymore, they have to constantly control you and know where you are and are very jealous and possessive. This is a sign of needy women and a sign you have an overly needy girlfriend.
To Sum Up…
If you have a needy girlfriend you may be wondering how to deal with needy women in your life. It is important to be understanding of everything that your partner is going through and to help her to heal and work through her issues. It will take time but she will be able to regain her self-confidence and self-love and in turn feel your love for her more deeply.
Let us know what you thought in the comments and don’t forget to share this article!
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.