Being over dependent in a relationship

Postby oogerghtof » Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:53 am


I am a 20-year-old gay man. I have been in a relationship with a man of the same age for 2 years now. I have noticed I had a lot of insecurities which cause me to be dependent/controlling of my boyfriend. This often causes arguments between us.

I need quite a lot of attention from him. If I'm aware that he is not busy with anything important, I expect him to be replying to my texts in the following minutes. If not, I can't help but feel abandoned and ignored.
Same thing goes when he is out with his friends. If he doesn't reply to me for one or more hours, I may feel rejected, and feel like I am being replaced by his friends.
I am trying my best to be indulgent as I know most of the problem comes from me and my insecurities, but I don't know what to do. I would like to change and be less dependent. Moreover, I am often asking him what he is up to as I feel the need of always knowing what he is doing (although I am not jealous at all and trust him 100% as far as loyalty is concerned).

I can't understand the reasons for this dependence and constant need for attention. When I was a child, I always received a lot of attention and affection from my mother. My father wasn't always home, but when he was, he would still give me attention when I demanded it, and was very nice and gentle with me. (However, I can remember that I always favoured my mother, and didn't really seek attention or affection from him). What I can remember however is that - when I was 4 to 6 years old- I was always fantasising about having an older brother. I used to imagine that my parents and I would find some random
abandoned teenage boy in the street and adopt him. I can also remember that - at the same age - I fantasised about holding this fictional young man - or even my friends - as captives. (Yes, that is scary).

I don't fantasise about any of this anymore. But I think the captive part can somehow explain why I always want to know what my boyfriend is doing ? As for the wish of having an older brother, this may either be a cause of my homosexuality, or this can be a result of it.

By posting here, I am hoping for someone to:
- give me clues on how to become less dependent
- explain the origin of these weird fantasies I had as a kindergartener, and tell me if it is linked to my current behaviour in my relationship.

Thank you by advance!
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:02 pm

oogerghtof wrote:By posting here, I am hoping for someone to:
- give me clues on how to become less dependent

You build independence. This means setting goals that target your ability to literally live a solitary life. Useful models might be the image of a monk, hermit, mountain man, etc. There are people that live happy lives largely independent of others. How do they do it? What might you learn from them? Read some stoicism. Practice stoicism.

- explain the origin of these weird fantasies I had as a kindergartener, and tell me if it is linked to my current behaviour in my relationship.

It is human nature to look for causation, to try to determine cause and effect relationships. We create narratives to explain why X caused Y. The problem is that these narratives are largely bu$@@t. They are stories that make us feel good, that give us a reason, regardless of how true.

Here is the thing...let's say we had a scientific instrument that could confirm that those fantasies had a 99% that they are linked to your current behavior. So what? Other than providing you with a cool story to tell people about, what would knowing this information do for you? Absolutely nothing.

Think about it another way. If I was obese because I ate way too much, what if I thought back to when I was growing up and thought, "I remember fantasies of starving." I use the scientific instrument and discover that yep, there is a 99% chance my fantasies of starving are directly linked to my behavior of overeating. So what? Those fantasies are from the past. It gives me a nice explanation, a nice story to tell everyone as to why I eat so much, but it does ZERO to move the needle forward in changing my behavior.
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Postby loubyloo » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:36 pm

I have no psychology qualifications whatsoever, but I would say that being over-dependent may eventually push your partner away. I know you say you don't feel jealous and you don't distrust him, but maybe put yourself in his shoes. If you cannot explain why you need this constant attention, he might indeed feel that you lack trust in him, or that you want to control him. My suggestion would be to remember these things: (i) He might have friends. He might have separate interests (also, what you regard as important may not be the same as what he regards as important). But hey, these things are what help to make him who he is ....and who he is is the reason you fell in love with him right? So if you can, maybe try not to see those things as "competition"....just see these things as being part of what has made the man you love. (ii) Now he might have friends and some separate interests.....but who is the love of his life? else. You are that special someone in his life, so believe it. Countless other people know that they have found true love without the need to qualify that with hourly reminders. Could the reason you are behaving like this is that you think this has to be too good to be true and you are frightened of losing him? If this is the case, then by the sounds of it, he appears to be frustrated by this behaviour if you are having arguments...but he's stuck by you for two years despite these difficulties, and he hasn't given up on you. Perhaps this is because he loves you very much. You could try to help meet his needs though by refraining from every urge to text him. You could do this gradually and set yourself decreasing limits for how much you demand his attention during the day. It sounds like he deserves that and I would expect you two would be a whole lot stronger for it. All the best to you,
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