Wanting more personal space than your boyfriend is willing to give you doesn't mean that you don't care for him or that you don't love him. Some partners tend to require a lot of time, energy, or even money, and this situation can be tricky because you obviously don't want to hurt him. Balancing the time you spend together and the time you spend on yourself may seem complicated, but nothing that can't be resolved. Read on to find out how!
Part 1 of 3: Resolving the Behaviors and Reasons for Sticking
Step 1. Understand what causes the deficiency
It's very common for a person to get stickier when their partner is about to go out, either because they don't spend as much time together, or because one of the parties isn't paying as much attention as they were at the beginning of the relationship. These are times when the fear of abandonment sets in, and while you are not required to reaffirm your love every five minutes, it is important to understand what is causing this behavior.
When you notice that your boyfriend is apprehensive about your leaving, remind him not to suffer in advance; nobody knows the day of tomorrow and the important thing is that they are together and happy now
Step 2. Think about your personal history
Try to remember if you've ever dated someone you were madly attracted to, but who made you feel irrational insecurity-maybe you have that effect on your boyfriend. He may have subconscious fears that have never been explored and something about their relationship brings them up. This can make him want to get closer or even push you away, and although the urge to run away is great, staying around to solve these problems can be more worthwhile.
- For example, if you've ever had someone very needy in your life, such as a younger brother or an ex-boyfriend, this suffocating feeling can be triggered by your new partner's actions and it will make you want to get out of that relationship. However, before you lay all the blame on him, stop to think about your own life.
- Didn't you have relationships in which you were needy? If so, what caused this feeling and how did your ex handle it?
- What annoys you so much about your partner's lack and how do you respond to it? Consider whether you respond with frustration, irritation, or distance.
Step 3. Identify signs of manipulation
There is a fine line between lack and manipulation, and the second usually involves one party giving up something for the partner. Manipulators often use people's weaknesses against them, make them feel guilty and, in particular, show that they are their only salvation. Naturally altruistic people are the biggest losers, so be careful if that's the case for you, so he doesn't take advantage of you. With that in mind, try to see if your partner's neediness might have ulterior motives.
- For example, notice if he tries to make you feel bad when he doesn't get what he wants, like giving you the ice, or not doing your part of the household chores, knowing you'll do it for him. This kind of behavior can be manipulation.
- If you have identified with the situation, it is better to adopt some restrictions with your boyfriend, such as not lending money or giving up things that are important to you.
- Read more about identifying Manipulative Behaviors, recognizing an abusive relationship, and dealing with a manipulative one.
Step 4. Be patient
Your partner may not be able to control the way you feel. Try to remind him that he is amazing, as is your relationship. Empathizing and putting yourself in their shoes can help you see what makes you so insecure; maybe he's been hurt or abandoned in the past, and if you haven't been through this before, you probably don't understand how he feels.
When you get angry or angry with him, remember that you want to be a part of that relationship and need to be patient and loving with your boyfriend and his emotions
Step 5. Visualize a healthy relationship
When you feel yourself pulling away, try to imagine yourself in a safe, balanced relationship. When you can and subtly, have your partner visualize it too. Just imagining this situation can make you relate with less stress, even more in times of tension.
- Take the time to do this together. Close your eyes and imagine what a healthy relationship would be like for you; visualize yourself with tranquility, calm and happiness in this relationship. How would you feel if she were like that? What would you do together and what would you do separately? Then think that this It's your dating; when you're done, open your eyes and talk.
Step 6. Realize if you have a codependent relationship
Certain aspects of a dating relationship usually benefit both parties involved. With that in mind, try to see if your partner's lack benefits you in any way; some signs to notice are a difficulty being happy without your partner, or staying with him despite serious problems he has (such as drug or alcohol addiction).
- Notice whether you give yourself emotionally, physically, or financially at the expense of your own health and well-being.
- It's also important to note if you ignore your needs to satisfy your partner, as this can have many consequences, both in the short and long term.
- Ask yourself if you are really happy in this relationship or if you are with it so as not to lose some kind of benefit it brings; would you break up with your boyfriend if there wasn't that detail?
Step 7. Follow the natural rhythm of the relationship
Be it dating or marriage, any relationship has its ups and downs in relation to lack – one moment it will be you, the next it will be your partner. It is important to recognize this natural cycle, as well as giving and receiving affection at these times.
Is your boyfriend insecure about events in his own life? In that case, let go of the irritation of the situation and offer him support. You will also need this partnership in the future
Part 2 of 3: Talking to your boyfriend
Step 1. Reflect on what bothers you
Make it focused, however obvious it may seem; when is your boyfriend most needy? And how do you react to them? Do you only get upset when you're stressed or tired? What do you think and feel when it starts to stick?
- It is important to note personal aspects; ask yourself if you tend to shy away from relationships when they get serious or if you've been someone's clingy partner in the past, for example. A self-assessment of your love history can give clues to why you react this way.
- Put yourself in your boyfriend's shoes. Maybe he's afraid of losing your love, or he might be depressed.
- Write down everything that bothers you, the specific times it happens and how. This will help you to express yourself better in these situations.
Step 2. Talk about how you feel
Hiding your feelings is harmful (and unfair) to both you and your partner. Talk and say you feel overwhelmed; if he doesn't know how you feel, he will continue to unintentionally continue with the same pattern of behavior, and eventually you will begin to resent it. Plan the conversation and let him know what you think gently. Nobody likes having DR, but they are necessary for any relationship to work.
- Don't accuse him of lack, strive for a gentler approach. Prefer to say “We need time together, but it's also normal to have our own time. We both have individual activities and everything is fine.”
- Say “My vision of a healthy relationship includes both good times with you and times for myself. We have personal interests and friends that also matter and keeping them is part of healthy dating.”
- Instead of just complaining, suggest solutions and active actions you can both take to resolve this issue. They will be described later.
Step 3. Center the conversation on yourself
This type of conversation tends to develop with attention focused on what the other person did, such as "You make me feel angry/frustrated" or "I hate it when you do such a thing". Prefer a more personal interaction, focused on how you feel, rather than accusing and holding your partner accountable:
- Start with something like "Sometimes I feel suffocated because I don't have time for myself."
- Say “I fear/worry about…” and say what bothers you. For example, “Sometimes I feel suffocated because I don't have time for myself. I'm afraid we spend so much time alone with each other that we miss out on other important aspects of life.”
Step 4. Talk about limits
After talking about your feelings, it's time to set healthy boundaries for the relationship. Ideally, both agree with them and that means making decisions together. An example would be both of you agreeing to spend a day a week with other people, such as a day for friends, family, or just yourself.
- Other possible measures would be to establish a time to be together, on the phone and the like; say “I love getting your messages during the day because I know you're thinking about me. The problem is getting messages at work all the time, it takes my concentration off and I feel overwhelmed. Could we leave the messages for other times?”.
- These limits must be healthy, the idea is that you no longer feel controlled by your partner. The goal is for both of you to gain from them and for your boyfriend not to be so dependent on you.
- If he calls because he needs help with even the simplest things, talk about how it affects him. Of course, helping is necessary and positive, but it can also make you stressed. In that case, talk to your partner and think of solutions for him to learn to fend for himself. He can also call other people and even search for solutions on the internet.
- These limits are designed to remind your partner that you are an individual, not to alienate him from you.
Step 5. Do what was agreed
The conversation was just the first step; you will have to face a bigger challenge after it, which is to put it into practice. At first, it is to be expected that your boyfriend will feel abandoned and will try to get in touch with you. With that in mind, talk to him about how you will make sure the new rules are adhered to; you'll probably have to turn off your phone, mute WhatsApp and say “no” more often. Remind your partner of the benefits these boundaries will bring to the relationship and that you will stick to them.
On the other hand, being malleable and renegotiating solutions is not out of the question, even more so if they don't prove to be as beneficial
Part 3 of 3: Spending time apart
Step 1. Explore your hobbies
After spending time alone with your boyfriend, you will need to rediscover the activities you enjoy most. Projects like learning to sew, dancing, speaking another language, etc. they are great opportunities to explore your own interests when your partner is not around.
- Also, these activities will be great for both of you to make new friends while learning something new.
- Other examples would be hiking, painting, joining a book club, playing a new sport, etc.
Step 2. Spend more time with your own friends
Wanting to spend more time with your boyfriend is normal and this ends up taking us away from our friends for a while. However, after a few months you will likely feel disconnected from the class and family and this can weigh on your emotional health. So don't hesitate to look for your family and close friends.
Have a girls' night out and call your close friends, or plan a series marathon with your family over the weekend
Step 3. Exercise
Team sports are also great for relieving tension, challenging the mind and body, and burning good calories. Practicing them for 30 minutes several times a week will bring great results for your physical, emotional and mental health.
A good option is to enroll in a gym. Consider whether you prefer yoga, Pilates, weight training or other activities and find out about them at your nearest gym
Step 4. Challenge yourself
Do something you've never tried before, preferably something that seems impossible to you. Having a challenging goal will keep you motivated, excited and will improve your self-esteem. Think about what you're dying to do and get started!