Being in a relationship with a guy that you really care for is absolutely amazing. However, no relationship is perfect, and chances are that you and your man have your fair share of trouble. In fact, you may feel like he’s too needy and you don’t know what to do about it.
No matter how much you love a guy, something like receiving countless text messages while you’re in back-to-back meetings at work can be a little too much. If you love your guy but you’re reaching the end of your rope, your reaction is perfectly normal. Being needy isn’t cute or attractive, and it is a common reason why many people break off relationships in the beginning.
Men can be needy for a number of reasons, but regardless of why, it can surely be quite annoying. Some men are needy because they’ve been hurt in the past and they’re afraid of being hurt again, while others are needy because they are desperate for acceptance due to low self-esteem or being rejected all their lives. Other men can be needy in romantic relationships because of a bad childhood, which could have involved abuse or neglect.
It can be difficult for a needy guy to behave normally and enjoy a healthy romantic relationship. However, with time, patience, and understanding, things can work, although you’re going to have to work hard and “train” your boyfriend to stop being so needy. If you’re willing to hang in there and give him a chance, here are 7 ways to deal with a needy boyfriend.
1. Look for warning signs in the beginning
One of the easiest ways to deal with a needy boyfriend is to avoid getting seriously involved with him in the first place. There are red flags that you’re sure to see in the beginning, and as long as you don’t ignore these warning signs, you should be fine. Some warning signs might include a man who is overly eager to please you, overly attentive, and/or calls and texts constantly.
If you notice these signs early on, you should refrain from taking the relationship any further – he is showing you what his true personality is. If you think he’ll change, then you’re wrong, as things often worsen as the relationship progresses. It’s not easy being in a relationship with a needy man, but some women constantly attract these types of men.
It is possible to overlook red flags at the beginning of a relationship, especially if the guy is incredibly charming, good-looking, or fun. If you happen to overlook these warning signs in the beginning, then it will be much more difficult to manage a needy man once the relationship has progressed.
2. Lay down a list of do’s and don’ts
If you fail to create a list of rules for your needy boyfriend, things are bound to get out of hand – especially if your sweetheart is extremely needy. Depending on his level of neediness, you may have to create a clear set of rules to help your relationship be successful. He must also agree to these do’s and don’ts, and if he refuses you may have to end the relationship.
The specific list of do’s and don’ts will depend on your boyfriend’s behavior. For instance, if he texts you multiple times a day while you’re at work or becomes angry if you’re more than 5 minutes late coming home, you need to address this. Put on the list that he needs to limit his text messages to 2 a day, for example, and remind him that you may not always get home at the exact same time each day. Assure him that if you’re going to be home at an odd time then you’ll let him know.
The list of do’s and don’ts may need to change over time, depending on his progress and adherence. You need to take the list seriously in order for it to work, and he needs to as well. If he begins deviating from the list and reverting to his old ways, then you will need to re-evaluate things and take further action if necessary.
3. Allow yourself time-outs when you need them
Since dealing with a needy man can be exhausting, you may find that you need breaks, and this is OK. Your needy man may object, but if he expects you to remain sane while also remaining in the relationship, then he needs to relax. Taking a spa day or having a girl’s night out can be great ways to relieve stress and rejuvenate yourself.
Meditation is also a great way of relieving stress so you can better handle your boyfriend as well as other stressors in your life. There are many free, guided meditation programs online that you can use.
4. Realize that you can’t change your needy boyfriend
Even though you may think you can, you need to realize that you can’t change your needy boyfriend’s behavior. If he truly wants to change and works towards doing so, then he can most definitely change. However, if he refuses to change, then you certainly can’t do it for him.
As long as you two are willing to work together, your needy boyfriend can become less clingy as he learns to trust you more and gains self-confidence. Therapy can also help him change, but he must be willing not only to go to therapy but also to work hard with the therapist in order to overcome his issues and improve.
5. Provide him with love and assurance
You can provide your needy boyfriend with love and assurance, which will certainly help alleviate his neediness. However, after assuring him that you’re not going to cheat, or whatever he may be worried about, you may need to come up with another way to help him. Remember that you can’t change him, but you can encourage him to work on changing himself.
As long as your boyfriend agrees to work on improving, you can continue to offer him the love and support that he requires. But again, your love and assurance will only go so far if he isn’t receptive. If he doesn’t seem like he’s improving, you may need to demand that he seek mental health assistance as a last resort.
If he refuses, then you may need to re-think whether you want to continue the relationship, as being in such a relationship can be taxing to your own mental health.
6. Don’t allow him to be in control
If you allow your needy boyfriend to be in control of your life, then you may regret it in the future. Needy guys are sometimes very possessive and controlling, so if you allow him to dictate what you can and cannot do in the beginning, then he will feel he can control every aspect of your life. This can make you miserable.
You need to take charge from day one and let him know that you control your own life, not him. If he sees that you’re a strong woman who’s going to stand up for yourself, then he is more likely to back off and be less clingy. This is not guaranteed of course, so it’s important to remember to prioritize your own needs if he doesn’t improve.
7. If all else fails, break things off
Some needy men will be unable to change without years of therapy, and you certainly can’t force your guy to pursue that route. If you’ve tried everything but your boyfriend is driving you absolutely insane and you’re not happy, you should break things off. You can’t help your guy if he won’t help himself, and you shouldn’t be miserable just because he has refused help or is simply beyond helping.
If you’ve been together for a while, your boyfriend may become desperate when you tell him you’re leaving. He may do something drastic like get on his hands and knees and beg you to give him another chance or even threaten to commit suicide. Don’t allow these ploys to make you stay.
If he does threaten to kill himself, even if you believe it’s only a tactic to get you to stay, you need to take him seriously. Talk him into allowing you to take him to a crisis center, or even call for help on his behalf. You certainly don’t want to feel responsible for his death (you wouldn’t be, by the way) if he were to actually kill himself.
Being in a relationship with a super-needy guy can be emotionally exhausting. He’s always demanding your time and attention and makes it difficult for you to maintain relationships with other people. Some needy guys can be helped and taught to control themselves, while others will never change.
Here is a list of answers to some frequently asked questions regarding how to handle relationships with needy men. Hopefully, they can help you to improve your current relationship, so you won’t feel like you’re at your wit’s end.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m in a relationship with a very possessive and needy boyfriend and I’ve had it! I’m ready to break things off with him, but I have a feeling he will continue popping up at my house and trying to “force” me to stay with him. How do I get rid of him completely and get my life back?
It can be very stressful dealing with a clingy, needy boyfriend, regardless of what other positive qualities he may have. If you’ve given him a chance and you still don’t see the relationship progressing, you’re certainly entitled to end it. If you’re afraid he won’t back off, you need to ensure he does.
If he has a key to your house, don’t worry about getting the key back from him; have the locks changed. If he pops up at your house uninvited, you don’t have to answer the door. And if he becomes unruly and violent, don’t hesitate to call the police. As long as you’re serious about breaking up with him and you stick to what you want, he will eventually get the message and leave you alone, and if not, there are legal actions you can take if necessary.
I was just working up enough nerve to break up with my boyfriend because he was driving me completely crazy, but I just found out I’m 6 weeks pregnant. Would it be wrong to withhold this information from him and break up with him anyway?
Any woman who has ever been in a relationship with a needy guy knows how utterly stressful it can be. You are certainly justified in breaking things off with him if you’re unhappy. However, he has the right to know that he’s going to be a father, and even if you can’t be together, perhaps you can work something out so the two of you can co-parent this child. If he shows signs of being an unfit parent, you can always involve the courts in order to obtain full custody of the child and request supervised visitation.
My new husband and I just got married last month, and since our wedding night, he has become increasingly possessive and jealous. He’s always been needier than what I thought was normal, but he’s never been this bad until we got married. What do I do?
You need to sit your new husband down as soon as possible and talk to him about his behavior. Be sure you tell him that his behavior is unacceptable and that you need to know why he’s suddenly become so jealous and possessive. Perhaps it was the stress of planning the wedding and being newlyweds and he will soon calm down. If his behavior only worsens instead of improves, then you may need to seek therapy, or even leave, depending on how extreme his behavior becomes.