If you have ever been in any kind of relationship with someone who is needy and clingy all the time – you know that it can feel like imprisonment. Even if it is just a coworker or a classmate at school. There is something about neediness/clinginess that just sucks all of the emotional life out of other people.
In a romantic relationship, here are some examples of a woman being needy/clingy/demanding/controlling. If you have a controlling mother or sister, you know what it is like to be on the receiving end of this kind of high powered emotional attack. If not, please try to put yourself in a man’s shoes in these scenarios and imagine what he might be feeling (be sure to picture the angry face and angry tone of voice)-
- How COULD you go do something with your friends? You are supposed to spend EVERY SINGLE MINUTE that you are not working with ME! You obviously don’t love me as much as I love you because I would never go off and leave you and do something with my friends. If you walk out that door, you’re really going to pay for this later!
- We need to talk. RIGHT NOW. I don’t feel loved. You aren’t spending enough time with me. You don’t even look very happy to talk with me right now. Why do you have that expression on your face? Why are you watching the TV!?! You’re not even paying attention to me! You are totally ignoring me! I don’t matter at all to you, do I? See, you are the most unloving man on the face of this planet. I knew you’d ignore me just like you always do. All I ask is to have some time to share my heart with you and you can’t even do something that simple. I am just wasting my time with you.
- I would be happy if only you would love me in the way I want you to love me. You won’t send me romantic emails like I have asked you to do 125 times. What is wrong with you? All I want is a little email? Is it SO HARD to just send a little email to your girlfriend to tell her you love her? Would it KILL you to spend 2 minutes sending me a text or an email? I mean, I send you loving emails/texts all the time. You don’t even appreciate all that I do for you. And you can’t send me one little note because you love me? If you really loved me, you would WANT to send me romantic notes and you would WANT to tell me how much you love me and how special I am to you. But NOOOOO! You can’t be bothered with little details like that.
- It has been 4 weeks and 2 days since you gave me a compliment. So, I suppose you don’t think I’m pretty anymore, right? Yep. I’m sure that is what you are thinking. What kind of man doesn’t compliment his own girlfriend? You must not even notice me at all. I might as well not even be here. You’d be happier without me, wouldn’t you? You need to tell me a compliment RIGHT NOW! Wait a minute, where do you think you’re going?? Don’t you walk out that door! I am talking to you! You better give me a compliment.
Hopefully, you get the idea, right? I’m not sure I can take much more of this myself!
I’d like you to notice something about these examples… These women weren’t just being needy, clingy, controlling and smothering, they were also:
- assuming the worst
- oblivious to how they were coming across as attacking
- not giving the poor guy a chance to say what he really thinks or wants or to be the hero
All of that tends to go together.
This puts a man in a lose/lose situation.
1. He can bow to you and try to accommodate your demands, knowing that anything he does after you demanded it will be totally meaningless to him and to you and that you will lose all respect for him if he does what you want when you approach him in such a disrespectful way.
2. He can stay true to his convictions to not say yes to you because of your disrespectful approach and look like a “jerk.”
Let’s not put our men in a situation where both of us will lose no matter what they do! Let’s learn to approach our men in effective ways that bless them and ourselves.
I have done stuff like this to my husband before. Let me just share a little secret with you – these approaches DO NOT WORK! They make our men (and anyone, really) want to run far, far away.
Let’s check our motives when we are feeling disappointed, forgotten and unloved.
- Let’s focus on loving and obeying Christ above everything else, finding all of our contentment in Him alone and blessing our men. It’s not that the things we want are necessarily wrong – it is our approach and the level of priority we are giving to our desires.
- If we are approaching our men the way I was talking about in the above examples, our own motives are not right. It’s time to stop and deal with the sin in our own hearts before we take another step or say another word.
What draws men to us (and other people) are when we :
- have humility
- make respectful requests (usually just once) not demands
- graciously accept “no” from others and allow them the freedom to make their own decisions and don’t try to force our way on them
- are concerned and compassionate towards them
- don’t pressure them
- care about them, their feelings and their perspective
- are responsible for our own emotions, happiness and contentment in Christ
- enjoy them
- assume the best not immediately accuse them of the worst
- respect them genuinely
- use good manners – yes, even with our men!
- appreciate the things they do for us
- have a friendly tone of voice and a pleasant facial expression
RESPECTFUL EXAMPLES THAT WOULD BE A BETTER APPROACH WITH THESE ISSUES (but you must be SINCERE or do not say these things. And say them with a smile, a pleasant tone of voice and facial expression.):
- I am really glad you have a chance to see your friends. Being with them is important! Have fun! I think I might go get together with my friend tonight for dessert, too. I’m so excited! (Then later, maybe the next day or sometime, say, “I’d love for us to have a night out this week if we could. That would be so much fun!”)
- I’m feeling lonely today. (silly sad face) Would you please cuddle with me for a few minutes? That would be great! (with a friendly voice and a smile. And be gracious even if he says, “no”)
- When you sent me that sweet email a few months ago – I loved it! I read it often. I really feel loved when you send me a note like that. (pleasant tone of voice and a smile. No pressure!)
- I really like it when you compliment me. It makes me smile. ;). You are such a thoughtful guy. I am very blessed to have you in my life.
AND THEN –
How about focus on your man and ask him how he is doing and what you can do for him and LISTEN carefully to anything he shares. 🙂