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|Rachel Dack • 9/25/14|
If you read my last article on the seven types of girlfriend you don’t want to be, it is only natural some of the feelings, behaviors and personalities mentioned resonated with you.
We all have moments of anxiety, desperation and insecurity. However, how we deal with these emotions is essential to our own health and the health of our relationships.
These emotions create problems in relationships when we utilize behaviors (nagging, exaggerating, clinging, controlling, judging, to name a few) that lead to unhealthy patterns.
Relationships require vulnerability, but we get ourselves into trouble when we choose to protect ourselves with behaviors that only push our partners further away.
In order to help you proactively avoid acting in ways that are harmful to your love life (as shown in the seven types) and to help you manage any behavioral tendencies that resonated with you in my previous article, below are some important strategies to utilize.
Acting in dramatic ways might be comfortable and exciting for you, but the more you thrive on drama, the more drama you will attract. This is bad news for your relationship.
Spend time figuring out why you are immersed in drama, what it’s purpose is in your life and what your role is.
When you feel yourself wanting to spread gossip, exaggerate a story or pin others against each other, notice the urge and resist the temptation to listen.
Anticipate the consequences to your actions, and if they appear to be negative (hurting others, disconnecting others, etc), do not proceed.
Spice up your life in a healthy ways. Try a new activity, be spontaneous, cook a new recipe, etc. Zero in on what is important in the long run (friends, family, romance, excitement, fun), and let these values guide your behavior, leaving the drama behind.
Clinginess breeds the opposite response from your partner than you are looking for. It leaves your partner feeling trapped and suffocated and you feeling desperate and unworthy.
Identify and acknowledge the emotions fueling your clinginess. These might include insecurity, anger, jealousy or anxiety.
Next find ways to soothe and comfort those emotions on your own instead of projecting them on to your partner.
Also notice any urges you have to check social media, your phone, his phone and the like and redirect your insecurities into something more positive.
Make it a priority to develop your own hobbies, strengths and interests and create your own social network so you can enjoy time apart from your partner.
Time apart adds health to your relationship, while holding on too tightly out of fear leaves you both feeling miserable.
Your interest in his status and money raises fear and insecurity in him, which prevents your from experiencing deep intimacy.
Ask yourself what else is important to you in a relationship and partner aside from financial security. Are you looking for a loyal, funny, smart or quirky man?
When you find yourself analyzing his financial situation and ability to offer you material things, go back to the qualities you named above and connect with him from this place.
Writing a list of qualities you appreciate in him also will help you relate to and appreciate him for the man he is versus what he has and can offer you.
Also stop yourself from asking him personal questions about his assets, car and income and start asking questions to see if you have a genuine connection that is based on love and not money.
You might be seeking attention and approval from others if you do not feel good about yourself and struggle to give yourself support and love. When you notice yourself craving attention or approval from others, give yourself what you are looking for.
If you feel the need to be heard, but are pushing your partner and others away by dominating conversations, try journaling, seeking professional help or doing something that brings you happiness.
Develop self-love by treating yourself with kindness and encouragement and giving yourself the attention you seek from the external world.
When you do not feel good about yourself or fully accept who you are, you are more likely to judge others. If you are critical of your partner, you also are being critical of yourself.
What do you judge about yourself? Which qualities do you tend to disown? What do you judge about your partner and others? Spend time answering these questions and taking ownership of your tendency to criticize yourself and others harshly.
After you have gained insight into what you judge about yourself, aim to accept your weakness, take control of them and learn from them while focusing on your strengths.
Recognize the strengths in your partner and check in with yourself before attacking your partner or treating him as though he is not good enough.
Nagging is not effective in getting what you want from your partner and only pushes him away.
Instead of not getting off his back until he does what you want him to do, use a proactive approach with healthy communication. Use calm, assertive dialogue to let him know what you would like from him, and then resist the need to constantly bug him.
Also focus on taking care of your own needs and responsibilities to ensure you are not putting everything on him. Model what you would like (i.e. clean up for yourself instead of waiting on him), and then express gratitude for all he does for you.
Your nurturing, supportive, caring and loving nature brought him toward you, but when you take on the mother role in your relationship, you turn him off emotionally and physically.
In an effort to love and nurture him as his girlfriend and not come off as an overbearing, nagging or controlling mother, make sure he wants your advice and help (instead of giving it unsolicited), offer to help him with his laundry (instead of doing everything for him) and be a supportive listener (instead of being an “I told you so” kind of girlfriend).
If you are in the mother role, your sex life is most likely suffering, so aim to connect with him sexually and bring back the passion.
If you notice you really relate to one of the types with one man in particular or in only one relationship and do not feel it is your true tendency, it is important to honestly assess what is going on in your relationship.
You might be prone to clinginess if your belief that your man is not trustworthy or unavailable is warranted by your history with him. If he has cheated, betrayed you, gone MIA for a period of time, it makes sense you might go into cling mode.
Instead of acting in ways that are unhealthy and unlike you, it might be better to end a relationship with a partner who you cannot ultimately trust or a partner who causes you to feel bad about yourself.
Photo sources: livluna.com, hotflick.net, crushable.com, elle.com, nocookie.net, nationalpost.com, womansday.com, longagoandohsofaraway.wordpress.com