Look, sometimes, you’re the problem. Let’s leave that statement there to marinate for a minute.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t absolve myself from having been needy and jealous in both my platonic and romantic relationships, but I’d like to think I’m so much better at handling it now.
Because that’s the thing, that was on me. A lot of times, it’s on me. Some bouts of jealousy were warranted, sure, but I was dangerously toeing the line of being dependent on these people.
I was the problem. I was being toxic.
Sounds familiar? Something waking up in your heart right now? And it feels like a stone on your chest, doesn’t it?
Like you’re always walking on eggshells, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Your past hurts rearing its ugly head as hypervigilance.
Let’s talk about it.
If you no longer want to feel needy and jealous in your relationships, say goodbye to these 10 behaviors.
1) Accusing your partner without evidence
If you want to foster trust in your relationship, to lessen being needy and jealous, make the effort to not accuse your partner without basis.
Let me ask you this: If you were suddenly accused of infidelity without any evidence, would you feel good?
Personally, I would hate it.
They say that there is nothing to fear if you have a clear conscience, and while that’s true, it doesn’t erase the fact that it’s not a good feeling to be falsely accused.
Especially if it happens over and over.
There is only so much energy you can exert in trying to prove your innocence if the other person is already CONVINCED of your mistakes.
It is, at times, difficult to be objective when it comes to love, but we have to make an effort to do so. We can’t just cry infidelity with no rhyme or reason.
Eventually, even those with a clear conscience will get tired of that.
(To be clear, if there are signs and evidence pointing to infidelity, then that’s a different conversation altogether. This is not that article.)
2) Expecting your partner to constantly deal with your insecurities
If you want to lessen being needy and jealous, understand that your partner is not your emotional rehab. Your partner is not your therapist either.
Eventually, people who are innocent will get tired of dealing with it.
No matter how much someone loves you, it’s not a free pass for you to hurt them. It’s not a free pass to project your insecurities to them.
People can love you, but they cannot fix you.
3) Constantly checking your partner’s social media for “clues”
Obsessively looking at who they follow online, who follows them, what posts they like, what they post, who they befriend, etc.
This is a divisive topic, isn’t it?
But hear me out: it’s not bad if you look at your partner’s social media presence, but what’s concerning is if you do it to find fault.
It’s concerning when you don’t trust them enough to let them be.
And while I know there are nuances to relationships and it’s rarely black and white, I still want to ask this:
If you don’t trust your partner, if you’re miserable being in this relationship, why are you still in it?
4) Snooping on your partner’s phone
Similar to the one above. Snooping on your partner’s phone. Acceptable or not?
I know we will be divided by this, some people will find this acceptable, some will not.
Some people might feel defensive over this and that’s noted, too. You might think, “I have no problem with my partner looking at my phone.”
And that’s great! But see, there’s the clincher, you’re okay with it. Will your partner be okay with that, too?
Without consent, it’s an invasion of privacy. If you want to build trust, respect their privacy.
5) Seeing everyone as a threat to your relationship
Look, everyone else is busy trying to focus on their lives, no one’s paying close attention to your relationship (unless you’re, y’know, famous.)
Sure, I won’t disqualify the idea that some might set eyes on your boo; but to live in constant hostility over people’s potential to ruin your relationship is so exhausting.
This isn’t me saying to let your guard down when instinct is telling you to pay attention, but when do you get to enjoy your relationship if you spend all your energy worrying over other people?
6) Not having a life outside of your relationship
Wanting to be together with your partner at every waking moment of your life is unhealthy AF. There, I said it.
See, I’m cool with making your relationship a priority, what I have a problem with is when it becomes a person’s only identity.
It becomes concerning when a relationship stops being an added enrichment in your life but instead becomes the only sustaining force.
Because what if it ends? What happens then?
If you want to stop being needy and jealous, expand your area of focus. If your sole viewpoint is your partner, you will hyperfixate on all they do.
Go out, meet your friends, or get a new hobby, divert your attention into pursuits other than your relationship.
7) Picking fights to get their attention
Picking a fight to get your partner’s attention is way, way, waaaay down the list of things you could do to get their attention.
It’s toxic and unhealthy.
And is that kind of attention actually good? Is that kind of attention enough?
It could become a vicious cycle if you find delight in getting attention in whatever way possible. It could even escalate into more outrageous behavior just to get a reaction.
Is that still love or just a performance on neediness?
8) Ignoring your partner’s boundaries
Do you even know your partner’s boundaries? Do you know yours? Let’s start with that.
Although, it’s prudent to mention that sometimes, people won’t know their own boundaries until it is crossed. That’s why it’s important to constantly check in with each other.
You can’t just push and push against people’s bottom line and expect they won’t bristle.
Respect is a bare minimum in a relationship, practice it frequently.
9) Emotionally manipulating your partner to get what you want
“If you love me, you should…” is such a manipulative line. It’s coercive and is as close to an ultimatum without being directly one.
It’s a veiled threat presented as romance. If you want to build trust in your relationship, avoid resorting to emotional manipulation.
Gaslighting? Love bombing? Silent treatment? Guilt tripping? Playing the victim?
Emotional manipulation is where love, trust, and respect go to die.
10) Not identifying the root cause of your jealousy
And finally, you need to identify the root cause of your jealousy.
It’s just a band-aid solution if you try and try to stop doing this or that to lessen your neediness and jealousy without identifying the root cause.
What triggers your jealousy?
Is it something your partner does? Is it the way a certain action or reaction makes you feel? Does it remind you of someone else?
Reflect. Learn what sets you off, then determine if this is something you’re ready to heal from.
Because that? That’s important. Unless you’re ready to heal, no one can force you to do so.
It’s up to you to be objective with your actions. It’s up to you if you want to seek help.
It’s up to you to move forward.
And in case you need to hear this
Choosing to work on yourself is an admirable thing. Perhaps you’ve finally noticed the unhealthy patterns in your relationships, but remember to be patient with yourself.
Neediness and jealousy in a relationship could have been a result of previous infidelity, it could be because you’re cautious.
And that’s valid.
However, remind yourself, too, that you are worthy of a healthy relationship. You’re worthy of the kind of love where you won’t feel like it’s going to be taken from you at any moment.
You’re worthy of love, trust, and respect in your relationship. You deserve a partner who encourages those feelings from you, too.
I hope that your choice to break patterns will be fruitful. I hope you accept that you are bigger than your insecurities and that your jealousy does not define you or the way you love.
Unlearning toxic behaviors is even more difficult than learning them, but even wanting to do so is a good first step.