Are You Needy Or Vulnerable In Your Relationship
There is a big difference and we might confuse the two.
Love requires us to be open, share our most inner feelings and thoughts. It’s an act of vulnerability and risk. A balancing act between sharing what goes on in our minds and wanting physical validation over it. Is it a matter of love languages? Or does it go over to the dark side and exposes deep-rooted insecurities and trauma?
Let’s clarify what love language is. To make it simple it’s the way that each one of us seeks our partners' expression of love for us. It’s split into 5 different love languages: words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time, or physical touch. Pretty self-explanatory all of them. But what can happen is that you and your partner have different ways of expressing your love for each other. Neither you nor them is wrong but just this alone can cause a sense of unworthiness in us and causes more anguish in understanding each other.
Let’s put this into perspective. When you are a person that requires from your other half a gift in order to feel their love for you but they on the other hand are more into using words of affirmation to express that same love for you, you might feel like they don’t love you or that they don't care for you. So as a result of that you start feeling insecure about the person and the relationship. Here's where vulnerability or neediness comes in.
If you are capable of being vulnerable with your partner you’ll let them know “Hey I feel like you don’t love me or don’t care for me as much as I do for you because of…” — you express your insecurity. If you are needy you will ultimately have the opposite behavior which is you will close up to the other person, you’ll demand things from them and ultimately drive them away.
Just think about it for a second. How many times have you been more attracted or drawn to a person that's been needy towards you? Were you more engaged with them when they would openly talk to you about their issues, insecurities, or doubts, or have you been driven away from them when they would push themselves on you? Personally, as soon as someone starts projecting on to me either in words or actions their insecurities without letting me know about it in conversation, I was immediately defensive, confused, and overall insecure myself.
Ultimately what is the difference between vulnerability and neediness?
Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It’s an act of courage actually as for us to be vulnerable we have to be able to let our own guard down and let others into our deepest thoughts and feelings.
Neediness is a sense of requirement from others. You require them to spend time with you, you require them to do things with you all the time, you ask and need to be with the other person in order to feel secure.
A healthy relationship involves two people, with separate lives and separate identities to mold into one. This molding however has to be from both sides while still acknowledging each other wishes and personal identities. In a healthy relationship you not only feel that the other person understands you and accepts you for who you truly are but you push each other forward, meaning that whatever wishes and goals you have for yourself your partner not only values but incentivizes you to keep going. You grow yourself and your relationship grows as a consequence of that. And when disagreements or conflict arise, instead of shutting the other person out or holding grudges, both people are capable to openly talk it out with their other half, resolve it, and move forward from that having learned something together.
In a needy (and at times unhealthy relationship) you often feel insecure or smothered from your other half. If you are the person that feels insecure, you’ll find yourself demanding things from your partner like spending more time together, getting material or physical proof of love, you can even go down the rabbit hole of completely giving up on your own wishes and activities just to dedicate yourself to them. If you are the person who feels smothered you’ll feel like your own identity is being taken from you, you no longer have your own personal time and activities, your partner demands too much from you and in ways that you don’t understand yourself as they can’t communicate with you the real issue.
So how can we be less needy?
It all starts with you. YOU are in charge of your own thoughts and insecurities and until we are ready and open to deal with our own “demons” we won’t be able to be our best and to give that to others.
Before you start demanding things from others, take a step back and analyze yourself; why are you feeling a certain type of way about x? is it your own insecurities or are you seeing real red flags? if so are you capable of rationally and calmly ask your partner about it? if it’s your own insecurity how can you work on yourself?
The number one thing to remind ourselves of is that none of us are perfect. Even when we are trying our best to be our best we are bound to make mistakes. In a relationship, we have to be willing to do our part and work on ourselves as well as helping the other person on that journey. No judgment, mutual help, and unconditional love.