The need for love is a basic need that arises in a person when physiological needs and the need for security are satisfied. But this natural strive to create a couple can sometimes grow into pathological dependence on someone. The signs of neediness in relationships are not so obvious, and it takes a lot of awareness and courage to see them in your life.

You should always keep in mind that unhealthy need in a partner and the desire to spend all your time with them ruin your personality. We will explain why being single is normal and give you tips on how to not be needy in a relationship.

how to retrain a person's neediness

What is neediness and how it manifests in relationships

Addiction does not bring pleasure from the opportunity to be with someone, help, or support, but, on the contrary, causes suffering when there is no such opportunity. Women looking for men online imagine how they will spend twenty-four-seven with them, not realizing that this is one of the characteristics of a needy person. 

Earlier in psychology, there was an opinion that an addicted relationship is when one person in a couple in one way or another supports the dependence of the other (from alcohol and illegal substances to gambling addiction), mental illness, irresponsibility, and other unhealthy patterns of behavior of the other partner. When we say that someone is in a dependent or codependent relationship, we mean that the person is afraid of losing a partner, overly relying on their support and approval. Those are the typical signs of a needy woman or man. The components of such an addiction can be challenging to deal with. Still, it is not the same as "addictive personality disorder," in which people feel completely helpless without others' support.

Most of us are in a dependent relationship to one degree or another. We all rely on loved ones. We are waiting for a support. We want to tell our partner how the day went. The difference between healthy love and neediness in your partner is the feeling of one's inferiority when separated from a partner. In this case, the relationship ceases to bring satisfaction and serves as a constant source of anxiety. These feelings are a signal that the relationship needs to be worked on.

Causes of emotional neediness

The roots of psychological problems like neediness in a relationship always lie deeper than one may think. Most of us can trace the moment when we were hurt and started perceiving the world as outsiders. Children who witnessed their parents divorcing or teenagers who felt under the toxic effect of their peers during the formation of their sexual and psychological selves are prone to emotional neediness.


Our perception of ourselves is shaped through the reflection of us by our parents. When a three-year-old girl is spinning in front of a mirror and hears: "You are so beautiful," she will know that she is beautiful. When she hears: "You are so kind, you helped the girl find the doll," she learns that she is kind. By collecting such assessments of parents in our memory, we create an image of ourselves. And if we have not heard positive comments from our parents or, on the contrary, received many negative comments, then we begin to need to hear such assessments from the outside desperately. It becomes necessary for us to constantly hear how good, valuable, important we are, and so on, to feel like that. Compliments are great, but it is sad when it's hard for us to feel good without them.

Childhood injuries

The booster for the formation of an addiction to relationships and one of the causes of emotional neediness can be severe childhood trauma. For instance, an early break in relationships with an important person when the father left the family and stopped communicating with the child.

how to not be needy in a relationship

Violation of boundaries

If the parents do not respect the child's boundaries, then, as an adult, they may be prone to falling into an addicted relationship and feeling the constant need in a partner. When parents enter the room without asking, take things, check the child's phone, or a personal diary, this blurs the child's boundaries. Such a kid gets used to this attitude and either tries to act in adulthood or expects the same from a partner. They do not know how to stop being needy because such behavior has become their norm.

Characteristics of a needy person to notice in you or your partner

Codependency implies violation of the boundaries of personal space and the "occupation" of the partner's psychological territory. The violation involves the toxic influence of one person on another. This is to change the partner's system of ideas about themselves, their capabilities, resources, and their place in the world.

But not always those who date a person with a relationship need to change their rules and principles, impose alien goals or ways to achieve them. Sometimes you may sincerely love a person but notice their unhealthy interest in them. Here are the characteristics of needy men and women to check yourself and a partner.

Desire to please

You always think about what else to do to make your partner feel good so that they see what a wonderful person you are. Do they have any problems? You immediately undertake to solve it. You think that your partner appreciates you precisely because you are always there and will be able to resolve any of their difficulties, despite personal inconveniences and risks. You don't care about yourself and are willing to give up anything to show you care. 

It sounds like the perfect romantic concept, but after all this, you feel empty or even exhausted. This is a natural reaction of the body, as, acting out of the desire to prove our "need," we experience tremendous stress. In a healthy relationship, other motives allow you to act without these emotions (and often more effectively).

Believing that if you make a mistake, you will be abandoned

You are continually trying, working on yourself, attempting to do everything correctly. You believe that if you make a mistake, act stupidly. Your partner will leave you, as they will not be able to stay with "such a person." You believe that only you are responsible for the relationship and should try not to lose it.

Difficulty making decisions on your own

If you ask yourself how you feel or what you want, it will be difficult for you to answer. You are often not sure what decision is better to make, to buy something or not, what is the best way to act in a given situation, so you constantly ask your partner, check with their opinion. You want them to tell you how to do it.

Avoiding conflicts

You'd better keep silent than making a complaint. Why say someone is wrong? After all, there will be a conflict. You think it is better to give in and not say what you want. You find it difficult to express your feelings, worries, and discontent. When your partner criticizes you or says something you disagree with, you freeze and cannot squeeze a word out of yourself. One day you can explode with a million complaints.

Desire to be with a partner all the time

You want to constantly be with your partner, spend as much time with them as possible. You had already forgotten the last time you met with friends on your own or when you went out somewhere without your significant other. You do hang out separately and hardly spend time apart.

Breakups hurt too much

Breaking up with your partner is serious grief for you. Just thinking about it forces you to step over yourself and go against your principles. You are willing to do anything to keep the relationship going.

The desire to control everything

Since the most important thing is not to lose the relationship, everything can be used, including total control. You are driven by the desire to constantly know your partner, who they spend time with, what they are doing, what they are talking and thinking about. You need to be aware of everything to be able to influence the situation.

How to retrain a person's neediness when it affects relationships

how to stop being needy

Dealing with emotional addiction is a long process. A person needs to learn to withstand a strong desire to merge with the Other to find a lost paradise. It is vital to learn not to succumb to this desire, gain the experience of a healthier equal relationship, where the Other is a separate person with their own needs and limitations. These tips will help all people who want to discover how to stop being needy in a relationship or how to help their partners.

Start by identifying your strengths

Understanding them will give great support in the process of working on yourself and relationships. For example, people who try to please others often have a high level of empathy to understand others' desires and experiences. Used this information to enrich your communication with others.

Analyze what symptoms of an addicted relationship you have

Think about what you consider to be the signs of a healthy relationship. What is important to you in such a relationship? How could moving into such a relationship enrich your life? Answering these questions will help you increase your motivation for challenging yourself and your relationship.

Learn to give yourself positive feedback

This is very difficult. Do not criticize your partner if you strive to learn how to retrain a person's neediness. They are incredibly vulnerable right now. Give them the praise they need instead of hurting the person you love once again.

Think about what you are doing for yourself

Write down a list of ways you can take care of yourself, please yourself. Maybe you have long wanted to go somewhere or try some new activity? Remember what gives you pleasure, what you love to do. Make time for your wants and needs. Try to do at least one thing for yourself every day.

Work on personal boundaries

How to redeem yourself after acting needy? Think about when you feel uncomfortable with your partner. When they raise their voice or act rudely, you are silent, but you feel bad? This means that there must be a border in this place. How do you usually react to the violation of it? Think about the new rules you need to establish so that you feel better the next time in this situation. Do you want your partner to take a break to move to another room or apologize for being rude? Tell them your thoughts.

Codependent relationships are difficult and painful for both parties. The longer and stronger they are, the harder it is to get out of them. Often it is impossible to do this without the help of a psychotherapist, but realizing your emotional neediness is already a big step towards harmonizing relationships and your life in general. And we hope this article has helped you with that.

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