Is It Too Needy to Think, “I Want Your Love?”

Updated June 28, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC

When you see someone you're attracted to, do you sometimes think, "I want your love?" The desire for love is nothing new. Love offers a deeply satisfying connection with another person. Yet, when it becomes the focus of your life, desperation and neediness can take hold.

What's Wrong With Wanting Love?

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So, if love is so great, what's wrong with wanting it? The answer is nothing, to a point. It only becomes a problem when you become obsessive about your yearning for love. Look for signs that thinking, "I want your love," is beginning to affect your mental health.

Living in the Past Or Future

If you're thinking too much about the love you don't have, you're likely living in the past or future. Either you're trying to recapture a loving relationship you lost or obsessing about the one you might or might not have in the future.

The past still affects your life. Healthy goals are set in the future. Life happens in the here and now. To be mentally healthy, you need to focus on what you have and the challenges you're facing now.

Ruminating

Ruminating means covering the same ground over and over in your thoughts. When you ruminate on your need for love, you not only lose sight of what you do have. You also may develop depression or anxiety. Ruminating doesn't help anything, either. Once you think something through, you can let it go. If your mind can solve the problem, the answer will come more easily when you don't dwell on it.

Looking For Others To Complete You

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You may have heard people say that their significant other completes them. That sounds romantic, but it sets up the idea that you can't complete yourself. The truth is that if you wait for another person to complete you, you may miss out on living the life you do have.

Then, if you find someone you think can complete you, you put enormous pressure on them to make you whole. Unfortunately, by then, you may have already missed many chances for self-development. By doing so, you have made yourself needier than ever before.

Creating Stress For Yourself

When you're so intent on getting love, you create an extremely stressful situation for yourself. You set your sights on a goal that you have little or no power to complete. You may be on edge all the time, hypervigilant to hear or see any sign that someone might love you or not. Stress can cause both physical illness and mental health problems.

Poor Personal Development

You might find that you're spending all your time and energy trying to get someone else to show their love for you. Instead of trying to learn, mature, and accomplish individual goals, you sit and wait. You waste valuable time that you could spend on improving yourself.

Or, you might work very hard to improve yourself, but you do it completely for the other person. Then, if they don't respond the way you want them to, you become sad, angry, or frustrated. Instead of celebrating your growth and success, you might find that you resent the work you did. You may even abandon your goals or quit trying to accomplish anything at all!

What Does It Mean To Be Needy?

Thinking too much about the idea that you need somebody to love is far from healthy, but is it too needy? To find out, consider what the word means and what it looks like to be needy.

Needy Definition

The definition of the word "needy" is"needing lots of attention, affection, and emotional support."This is the sense of the word we're using if we talk about neediness for love.

The other definition that's sometimes used is "lacking basic needs for survival like food, water, and shelter." This is the sense that we use when we talk about people who need our help.

Having Needs Vs. Being Needy

Everyone has needs. Abraham Maslow studied human motivation and published a paper on motivation that included his hierarchy of needs. His pyramidal graphic includes physiological needs, safety needs, love, belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. So obviously, we do need love.

Being needy is something different, though. When you obsessively think, "I need love," you put too much emphasis on this one need. Your feelings and behaviors flow from this obsessive thought so that you grasp love, attention, and affection from people who might not be willing to give it. Your needy behavior is more likely to drive potential partners away rather than attract them.

Needy Behaviors

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What does needy behavior look like? Here are some common types of needy behavior:

  • Clinging to them despite their disinterest
  • Giving more than you get
  • Always doing things their way
  • Actively pursuing their love despite rebuffs
  • Keeping in constant contact
  • Becoming jealous or suspicious easily
  • Begging them for reassurance that they love you
  • Ignoring their hurtful actions
  • Not maintaining personal boundaries with them
  • Denying your needs but expecting them to take care of them
  • Looking for signs, they don't love you
  • Being angry or jealous if their plans don't include you

Codependency And Neediness

Codependency typically comes with a needy kind of love. One partner typically needs a lot of help because of an illness or addiction. The other person relies on that partner to meet their excessive emotional or psychological needs. Both people are overly dependent on each other.

If you're codependent, you feel a great need to be needed. In short, you're just as needy as your partner, if not more so. You both end up out of balance, with your personal, professional, and social growth stunted.

Your codependency causes you to beg your partner, "I want your love!" You may say it in those words, or you may show your neediness through any of the needy behaviors listed above. What you want from them is recognizing everything you do for them by proving their love for you.

How To Stop Being Needy

Love is a wonderful thing. Loving in a needy way? Not so much. In fact, needy love is mentally unhealthy. It keeps you from growing as a person. You don't have to continue on this destructive path, though. You can stop being needy, opening up the possibility of being in a healthy, loving relationship.

You won't become less needy by depending on a partner or potential partner to meet your needs. Instead, you can make it your project. You can do it to become a better you regardless of whether someone falls in love with you or not.

Build Self-Esteem

The first thing you need to do is to work on your self-esteem. When you feel good about yourself, you don't have such a monumental need for someone else to build you up with praise or attention.

One way to build your self-esteem is to think of the good things about you and focus on those things. As you learn to accept yourself better, you can begin to make changes that matter to you.

Negative self-talk can keep you feeling bad about yourself even when you do something that would impress others. Identify where you learned this negative self-talk. A therapist can teach you techniques for changing those thoughts and the feelings that go with them.

Work On Your Social Network

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Reach out to your family and friends. Spend time with them. Do fun activities with them, have long conversations with them, or work together on a community project. By spending quality time with other people, you become less desperate to get love from your significant other.

Take Responsibility For Your Own Happiness

Being too needy often comes from depending on someone else to make you happy. That puts both of you in a terrible position. They have to figure out what it will take to do that, and you have to wait and hope they manage it. The pressure in the relationship can be incredible.

So, what can you do?

You'll have the most happiness if you take control over what you have the power to do to make you happy. Understand that it's no one else's job to make you happy. Besides that, you are in the best position to know what happiness is for you and how it can be achieved.

Develop Your Independence

Want to be codependent? Probably not. If you want to have a healthy, happy love relationship, you need to become more independent. Learning to be assertive can help you stand up for yourself better without hurting others unnecessarily. You can ask for your partner's opinions on your individual decisions but remember that they're yours to make. Become independent enough that you can get what you need for yourself.

People in a healthy relationship are usually interdependent. This means that they work together to meet both their needs. Yet, they each have their own individual identity. They each take care of many of their own needs. They remain comfortable taking care of their own needs when the other person isn't available or lets them down.

Pursue Personal Interests

Don't get so focused on getting someone to love you that you have no other interests in your life. You'll be much less needy and clingy if you get busy with your interests outside of the relationship. Take up a hobby, play music, make art, go to community events, see a movie, play, or concert. Being involved in doing the things that make you happy will give you the bonus of making you a more interesting person.

Manage Your Mental Health Issues

If you've been in a one-sided relationship for a long, you might have developed serious mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or panic attacks. Even if you don't have these problems, you likely need help learning assertiveness, becoming more independent, or building your self-esteem.

A short-term unhealthy love relationship might be easy to overcome if you're willing to do some work. You'll have to identify what went wrong and learn new approaches to relationships. However, if the relationship has gone on for a long time or you've been dwelling on finding love for a long time, you may find it very difficult to regain your sense of balance and overcome your neediness.

If you need help to deal with the relationship or learn new skills for new relationships, you can talk to a licensed counselor at ReGain.us for online therapy on your schedule. When you learn to take care of yourself and stop waiting for someone else to prove their love, you can move toward a healthy relationship. When that happens, you'll be emotionally healthier and truly ready for love!


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