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Needy or neglecting? Feedback from an ex!


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I previously asked here how to know whether we are behaving too needy towards someone, or whether we are actually neglecting them.


This is the greatest confusion I have in relationships, and I feel that every time I seem to be in a good relationship, I start freaking out because I am unable to strike the right balance.


I am always scared to come accross as too needy/clingy, since that would drive away the person.


Yesterday night, I met a longtime ex who had dumped me, and after a long conversation I asked her, very light-heartedly, what made us grow apart that dumped me.


To my greatest surprise, she told me that I wasn't showing enough attention, and gave the impression that I didn't care at all about her.

I would have never imagined such a reason...

When I told her I was scared about coming accross as needy/clingy, she laughed.


So, my friends, how can we really know, at a specific moment, whether we are coming accross as needy or clingy to a person?


In her case, I really thought that she was starting to avoid me because I showed too much interest and attachment. Apparently, it was the opposite case.


Right now I am in a similar situation where I feel that I am driving away a girl because I started showing too much affection. I feel confused as ever.

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Really, every woman and every relationship is going to be different. If you want to know if you are providing the right amount of attention to a girl....you should just ask. It wouldn't put me off in the least if a guy I was dating said "Hey I want to make sure you're happy. Do you like the amount of attention I'm giving you? Would you tell me if it was too much or too little?" Maybe that's just me but unless you're a mind reader you're better off asking.

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I can understand your confusion, but really, there is a better way to look at this. The best relationships are happening when each partner is not focused on each other, not looking at each other, but rather, are next to each other, looking forward. When we become too obsessed with how our partners are doing, with their emotions, with wondering if we're doing it right or we're pleasing them, then we are focusing on them rather then just being there with them and looking forward.


So, you can barely pay any attention to a partner, but if all that attention is right at her/him then it can still seem obsessive or clingy. By contrast, you could be around a partner practically 24/7, and it can never feel that way as long as you spend most of the time together, but focusing outside, looking forward.


So in summation, change the location of your gaze. This little trick means everything. It is the difference between staring in someone's eyes, looking for solutions and validation and simply taking their hand, and then walking forward together and with a smile. One suffocated, and the other grants freedom even when you're arm in arm.

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Paying attention versus being needy are two very different emotions with very different motivations/ roots.


Being needy is about you and your fears/ insecurities. Interactions motivated by this sentiment are thus designed to lesson these fears/ insecurities, the focus is thus on you, regardless of how much/ little time you spend in the presence of the partner.


Paying attention to your partner in contrast is about energy flow in the opposite direction. Your interaction with the other person is now designed to give your partner energy rather than request it.


This difference in motivation is usually recognizable for the other person. Often it is not the gesture that is important, but the spirit under which it was given/ performed.


So if you are unsure if you are doing too much/ too little (emotionally) in a relationship try to find out what your main drive for your actions is.

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This is very insightful! I never thought of it like that but it rings true on so many levels. When I am serving in the church and community with my boyfriend, we can spend every day together and I don't get bored or suffocated. We are focused on mutual activities that are beneficial to other people, which keeps things fresh and moving forward. But if we sat around all day looking into each other's eyes, it would get boring and seem clingy.


I don't get tired of holding hands, hugging, etc., but there has to be a context with it sometimes. Not just sitting around doing (although there ARE times for that, especially after busy days).


I think you have to strike a balance. Have things going on in your life besides your gf, but make sure you have some shared interests and activities. I don't think it's the fact that people spend too much time with their partner that kills the passion. It's that they don't spend enough time with their partner doing meaningful, growth-oriented activities.


Everything Jettison said, I agree with.

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