We were together for 9 months and I broke up with him because he was smothering me, I needed more space but this made him feel insecure and caused problems. In the end he moved in and lost his job so he was here all the time which made me feel very claustrophobic and trapped and I felt like I had no other option than to end it. Now he's gone I miss him like crazy.
Where is the communication between you both? You both react differently to the same situation, so talking is the only way of working out the best for you both. If you need space, he needs to know or you feed his insecurity, because he fills in ther gaps and comes up with you are abandoning him... He gets clingy, you can't handle it so you move away from him emotionally and resent him being so clingy....he doesn't know this, so he gets clingy..... Do you see the pattern?
But what I can't work out is why I would feel so overwhelmed by his emotional needs? I was emotionally neglected as a child so according to this idea I should be needy too, instead I am the opposite.
Not really... what would happen if say you had been abused as a child.. would you grow up to be an abuser? Or would you want all abusers dead? Nothing is clear cut.
I think because you were neglected, the feeling of having someone who needs you so much is too much of a swing the other way, so it's not pleasant but uncomfortable.... He is needy because of his own reasons...
If the bascis where right, you needed to talk openly about what you both need from relationships..... it's easier to accommodate each other when you know what you need.