Dating is a graveyard of broken hearts. There isn’t a single one of us that doesn’t have battle scars.
If you’re like me, you may have learned that being vulnerable and seeking closeness only causes your partner to push you away. Maybe you’ve been called needy or sensitive. If you’ve heard it a few times, I have bad news for you: you probably are.
Since common dating advice teaches us that this is bad, we adapt and hide our true needs and feelings. We put on the mask of independence and stuff our feelings into the black box of our soul. We hide ourselves from the world. If you do this long enough, you may start to hate yourself. I know I did. At this point, any self-help advice you follow is done out of self-hatred. It’s done out of desire to be someone else. Anyone else.
Here’s the problem. This is wrong.
Our society and life experiences have taught us to be attracted to those who make us insecure. We confuse the anxiety and ambiguity in a relationship with passion and chemistry. As a result, we find ourselves in unhappy relationship after unhappy relationship. We began hiding more of who we are while we become more insecure, just to hold on to our partner.
This is not the love nature intended.
You are only as troubled as the relationship you’re in. And if you find yourself in relationships where your partner calls you needy or sensitive, than you’re probably attracted to anemotionally unavailable partner. Will that really make you happy?
I want to help you change that, as I have for many of myclients. Below are the secrets to finding a fulfilling and happy relationship that will boost your confidence, your security, and your happiness far more than you’ve ever experienced.
Below are five secrets to finding your soulmate.
1) Your Needy Relationship Needs Matter
Face it. You’re sensitive and needy. Any hint of rejection in the relationship puts you on high alert. Sometimes you are obsessed with waiting for your partner’s response.
Sometimes you text the person more than you believe you should. Sometimes you call four times in 3 minutes, and then you wonder why you did it.
When I was in a toxic relationship, I’d snoop through text messages, loiter around places I thought my non-responsive partner would be, desperate to find an opportunity to be close. I was obsessed. It was ruining my life. My friends and family were worried.
Eventually, I found out that we are only as troubled as the relationship we are in.
When we use common dating advice, we attract a person who refuses to acknowledge our need for intimacy and security in a relationship.
You will never be happy if your needs for intimacy, availability, and security go unmet. The key to finding a soulmate who can fulfill those needs is to recognize your needs and believe they are legitimate.
Don’t let people make you feel like dog poop for being dependent or needy. You shouldn’t be ashamed for feeling incomplete when you’re single, or for wanting closeness to your partner. It’s okay to be dependent. Understanding yourself – your attachment style, things that trigger insecurity and what your true needs are – is the road to a fulfilling relationship.
Once you accept your needs in a relationship, you can begin deciding whether the people you date are willing to meet those needs.
Instead of trying to find ways to change yourself to get someone to fall in love with you, like so many relationship books advise, change your question: Is this person willing to provide what I need in order to be happy?
2) Understand Attachment Science and Avoid Avoidant Prospects Quickly
The science of love has given us many insights about relationships. It teaches us why people do what they do. It explains why they act crazy and how we can express our needs in ways that get them met. Most importantly, it teaches us to notice emotionally unavailable partners and stop ourselves from being turned on by these kinds of people.
Another easy way to know whether you’re dating an avoidant – someone who is emotionally unavailable – is to notice how they make you feel.
You might be dating an emotionally unavailable person if you communicate your needs and he or she ignores it. It doesn’t come down to specific behavior. If your relationship is plagued with uncertainty, then your relationship is diseased.
Your emotional needs need to be important to your partner, and you need to be certain of that.
While your partner may say the right things at the right times, if their actions tell a different story, then that’s the message you need to hear. A simple way to test this is to be vulnerableand communicate your needs honestly.
3) Use Vulnerable Communication
Sensitive people are easily trapped by common relationship books and society. We often feel we are too demanding and needy in our relationships. If we are dating an avoidant, we put our partner’s need for distance and boundaries above our need for closeness.
Socially, it’s more acceptable to put on this cool, self-sufficient facade. We hide our wishes and mask our misery. By doing this, we beat ourselves up in two ways.
First, we are being inauthentic to our self. This has been found to contribute to feelings of depression and less fulfillment in a relationship. Being happy and fulfilled is one of the most attractive traits you can offer a partner.
Second, you can determine early on if your partner is willing to meet your genuine needs. Not everyone has relationship needs that are compatible with you. Let them find someone else who wants to be kept at a distance. Free yourself to go find someone who will make you happy and meet your needs.
What do I mean by vulnerable communication?
Meet Angela. At 32 she had been dating Aaron for 11 months when he decided to end the relationship. He said he wasn’t ready to get serious. He needed space.
Angela was deeply hurt. Like a typical sensitive person, she couldn’t stop thinking about him. Months passed. She couldn’t stomach the idea of dating anyone else. She was so deeply connected to him. Four months later, Aaron called her and wanted to get back together.
Angela was ecstatic.
This time, they took things slow. She let him dictate the terms of the relationship. His fear of commitment gave her the fear that she’d scare him away if she was honest about how she felt and what she craved.
Instead of falling into the same pattern that Aaron created in the first relationship, Angela was advised to make her wishes known. To say, “I love you a lot and I need to know that you are here for me all the time. I want the reassurance that I can talk to you everyday, not just when it’s convenient for you.”
This is reasonable. After all, Aaron was the one who wanted to get back together. He had to prove he was willing to change how he treated her and was worthy of her love.
But Angela believed that if she just held out long enough, if she gave him the space and plenty of time, he would learn to appreciate her. She hoped that if she masked her true needs and played it cool, he would be more attracted to her.
Eventually, her flaming relationship with Aaron turned into cold ashes. He called less and less. He ignored her well-being, and he eventually vanished without word.
Angela would have saved herself years of unfulfilling relationships if she just would have been authentic about her desires. If only she would have been vulnerable enough to voice her feelings and needs, she would have ended the toxic relationship much earlier.
Being vulnerable about what you need and want in a relationship is the fastest way to give your best effort, while simultaneously discovering if your partner is willing and capable of providing what you need.
If Angela would have been vulnerable, she would have put Aaron in a dilemma. He would have the choice to either rise to her expectations, or stay where he was and let the relationship die.
Either way, it’s a win-win when you are vulnerable. The relationships that can’t fulfilling your needs cease to exist.
Aaron would have understood from day one that if he was serious about getting back together, he would have to put actions behind his worlds and take Angela’s needs into consideration. Vulnerable communication is hard, but it gives both partners clear ideas of what is expected. No guesswork required.
Vulnerability is the core of a lasting, happy relationship.
4) Scarcity Is BullShit In Modern Dating
There are a disproportionate number of emotionally unavailable partners in the dating pool. This makes your dating odds not so pretty. One way to overcome this hurdle calls for a vital change in your dating mindset.
Often, us sensitive people believe that meeting someone suitable is a rare occurrence. This is far from the truth. Every city across the world contains attractive people who can make you happy. There are also many who are not right for you. The only way to ensure you meet potential soulmates is to go out with a lot of people.
This is the simply law of probability. The more people you date, the greater your chances of finding a good match for you. This works especially well for needy lovers because they tend to get attached almost instantly.
Sensitive people crave closeness and will do anything in their power to make it work. This even happens before you really get to know someone and decide whether you like that person or not!
If you’re only seeing one person, your beliefs cause you at an early stage of the relationship to lose your ability to judge whether this person is a good fit for you or not.
You’re so focused on keeping a relationship that you ignore signs that it is the wrong relationship.
By dating multiple people you can evaluate your potential partners more objectively. You’ll be so busy evaluating the availability of a lot of different people that you won’t be as likely to obsess about one person.
This makes it easy to stop seeing people who make you feel insecure or inadequate, because you haven’t built all of your relationship hopes on one potential partner.
Why waste time with someone who treats you like a slave when you can have several potential partners lined up who treat you like royalty?
Online dating, apps, and Facebook have made it easy to date multiple people. Dating multiple people before committing to a relationship makes it easier to express your needs and wishes clearly. You’re no longer afraid that you’ll chase away a rare gem. You no longer have to hide your true feelings and tiptoe around important issues.
Lacey, 28, is a perfect example of this. Despite being attractive, social, and witty, she rarely made it past the first few dates of a relationship. She craved intimacy and closeness in her relationships, but was certain she would never meet anyone.
She was highly sensitive and would get hurt easily. To protect her high sensitivity, she would act defensive, ignore calls, and remain silent until the relationship would end. Dating, for her, became one big self-fulfilling prophecy.
She would beat herself up over letting someone go. She struggled to let go and move on. Her repeated actions seemed to attract emotionally unavailable men who felt more comfortable with a lack of communication, but left Lacey unhappy.To help her, we created a dating portfolio that included online dating, places her ideal partner spends their time, and asked her friends to keep an eye out. Shortly, she started meeting lots of new men, increasing her odds of meeting a secure man. A man who could give her the relationship she always dreamed of.
As she started dating multiple men, her attitude changed. Before, she viewed every man she liked as her last chance for happiness. Now prospects were everywhere! Like all of us, she experienced disappointments; that’s just part of the dating process. Some guys didn’t make it past the first date. But what did change were her insecurities about herself in relationships.
Lacey received amazing compliments from many men who found her attractive, even if they weren’t a good match. This taught her that unsuccessful dates were not about her deep-seated problems with herself. Her self-confidence increased, and made her even more attractive to the right guy.
5) Give People Who Make You Feel Calm A Chance
The whole dating multiple people is worthless if you fail to notice a keeper when you meet one. Chances are, if you are sensitive, you believe calmness in a relationship is a signal that there is little attraction. Once you notice someone who is secure, remember not to make impulsive judgments about whether they are right for you.
Remind yourself that you will feel bored at first. Secures cause less drama, and are crystal clear about what they want. This takes the emotional volatility out of your heart. That’s how love is supposed to be: calm and compassionate.
There is no one for whom these secrets has more to offer than men and women who are considered needy. You stand to gain the most from understanding why you behave in the ways you do in relationships. You deserve to know which relationships can make you happy and which ones will ruin your life.
This article was originally published on Healthy Relationships with Kyle Benson.
Tired of feeling needing in your relationship? Get my Passionate Relationship Toolkit and get the tools you need to feel loved and appreciated in your relationship here.