How Do I Stop Begging For Attention In A Relationship?

New-Age Couples | | , Writer
Updated On: October 4, 2022
Begging For Attention In A Relationship
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Do you find yourself anxious whenever you’re not the center of attention in your relationships? Is begging for attention in a relationship something you do no matter how happy or secure the connection actually is? Well then, we’re here to tell you that it’s time to stop seeking attention in a relationship and find a little more security and happiness within yourself.

A healthy relationship is one where all parties involved have a strong sense of self and do not rely entirely on external validation. But it’s also one where everyone feels that they have their share of love and attention and no one feels neglected. We all like attention but keeping your dignity and self-esteem is even more important. So, if you’re tired of begging for attention from a husband or wife, or long-term partner, buckle up. We’re here to give you a little tough love and help you figure out the answer to “Am I begging for attention?”

Should You Have To Ask For Attention In A Relationship?

Well now, it would be perfectly lovely if our partners could read our minds and know exactly when and how to give someone attention in a relationship, and a little extra loving. But that’s rare, and so maybe sometimes you need to verbalize your needs and that includes your need for attention.

You should know that everyone has a different need for attention. For some people, it’s plain fishing for compliments to satisfy their ego or to assuage their narcissistic self. For some, it’s an immense urge to receive validation to assure themselves on every step of their lives. It happens mostly when a person’s basic needs as a child were overlooked and they grew up in a competitive atmosphere where they had to achieve something to earn applause from their primary caregivers.

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The higher need for attention may also stem from low self-esteem or unhealed emotional wounds if a person has been mistreated or heartbroken in relationships before. Those insecurities tend to resurface, and a person’s past relationships may affect the present. More or less everyone demands their share of attention from their partners.

But it’s one thing to occasionally ask for your partner’s attention, quite another to need it to be able to function. If it’s gotten to a point where you’re desperately begging for attention in the relationship yet your partner doesn’t provide it, it’s time to get to the root of the matter. You definitely shouldn’t have to ask for attention in a relationship in its most basic form, but remember, good communication works wonders for most relationship problems.

Speaking on the need for attention in a relationship, a Reddit user says, “It’s perfectly normal to ask for attention in a relationship. It’s also important that both sides are able to communicate their needs regardless of what they are. Your girlfriend may actually be busy or has stuff going on right now. But if that’s what she says ALL the time, then having a talk and reevaluating things would probably be the best way to go.”

Why Do I Feel Like I Have To Beg For Attention? 3 Probable Reasons

Are you tired of begging for attention from your husband/wife/partner? Are you wondering why? There is a strong stereotype that connects being an independent, lovable person to not being needy or constantly thirsting for attention. Women are told that it’s better to suffer neglect in silence than to voice our desires and that no one likes a girl who needs to be the center of attention at all times.

On the other hand, men are frequently conditioned by the image of toxic masculinity to hide their feelings and remain as stoic as possible, even if they feel tempted to seek a little extra love and attention from their sweethearts. This often leads to men being ashamed of needing attention and wanting to be a little more seen in their intimate relationships.

Begging for attention in a relationship can come from very deep wells of repressed trauma or childhood neglect that can leave you feeling neglected in a relationship. But it can also be simply that you want more from the relationship. Here are three possible reasons why you feel like you need to beg for attention:

1. You suffer from low self-esteem

If you’re naturally a little insecure and unsure of yourself, attention in a relationship could be the only way you feel you can bolster your self-worth. It often happens due to dysfunctional parenting where someone has never been encouraged or praised for any of their accomplishments as a child and was always shown down. And so, you go to any lengths to beg for attention in a relationship because it’s how you make yourself feel good.

Begging for attention in a relationship
Low self-esteem could leave you needy and in need of attention

2. You’re lonely in your relationship

Despite being in an ostensibly committed relationship, you constantly feel alone. You can feel lonely in a relationship because of your partner’s busy schedule, emotional unavailability, or fading interest. You keep hearing that you should never beg a man for attention or cling to a woman, but there’s no other way you can convince yourself that this actually is a relationship.

3. You don’t have a strong support system

Outside of your relationship, you don’t have a network of close friends and loved ones. So, you end up being clingy in your relationship and constantly beg for attention because you think this is all you have in your life and you’re always afraid of losing it.

How do I stop begging for attention in a relationship? 9 Simple Ways

For the sake of fair argument, let’s say that there is a clear lack of affection and intimacy in your relationship. Does that mean you constantly begging for it will bring it back? Trust me, there are other ways to deal with your insecurities and this loveless dry spell in your relationship – from self-improvement to seeking professional help. You shouldn’t have to beg for attention.

In case, you’re tired of begging for attention from your husband or your wife, we’ve got your back. Here are some tips we’ve rounded up to help you stop seeking attention in a relationship:

1. Nurture your own identity

“I was in a pretty healthy relationship after a series of bad ones,” says Joanna. “I was so thrilled and so grateful that I was finally loved, that someone wanted me, that I didn’t realize how much I craved his attention, and how much of myself I was losing to make sure I didn’t lose it.”

You know what they say – you can’t love others if you don’t at least like yourself a fair amount. If you find yourself begging for attention in a relationship, it may be coming from a place of deep insecurity where you don’t like yourself as much as you should. Your identity and self-worth may be inextricably linked to how much attention you get from your partner. It’s important to recognize that you are a whole and separate person.

And if you’re seeing signs you are begging for love, it’s time to back up and rethink what you’re doing. Make time for yourself, for your own hobbies and passions, everything that makes you the unique individual you are. Self-love is the best kind of love because it teaches us how to give and receive love from others in the healthiest way possible. So, go ahead and nourish yourself. Your pampered self will tell you that you should never beg for attention in a relationship.

Related Reading: 9 Reasons You’re So Insecure In Your Relationship

2. Have a strong support system

What is giving attention in a relationship? To nurture a partner’s best self while still maintaining the parts of you that are nourished by friends and family and everything outside of your relationship. Without a strong support system, you end up begging for attention in a relationship because, well, what else do you have?

Don’t fall into that trap – have friends, make time for them, and ensure you have people to show up for you when your partner can’t. Because they are human, and there will be times when they will not be emotionally available or be there for you physically. You have to stop begging for someone’s attention because you cannot make this one person your only source of emotional and intellectual sustenance.

If your social calendar sort of lives and dies with your partner, it can be a problem. Expecting them to be there at all times will eventually foster resentment because you’ve set your relationship to be your entire support system – something no one bond can do. Form other relationships, build a community – both you and your relationship will be all the healthier for it. Tired of begging for attention from your husband/wife? Quit making them the center of your existence all the time.

3. Respect your partner’s space

Just as you need to pay attention to your identity and personal space, it’s equally important to understand that your partner has more aspects to their identity than just being your partner. They are also a friend, a sibling, or maybe someone who wakes up early to go running every day. And not every aspect of their life will or should include you.

“I’ve always been afraid my partner would leave me,” says Riley. “I thought the best way to avoid such devastation was to ensure we were always together. We did everything together every day so I always had her attention. It might be cute for a while, but believe me, never having breathing space in a relationship means you’re going to get sick of each other pretty quickly.”

It’s a hard thing to accept that the people we love most are not going to want us around all the time. But it’s also the best and healthiest lesson you’ll ever incorporate into your relationships. When you’re wondering what is giving attention in a relationship, the first thing that comes to mind should not be ‘to be inseparable’. Let your partner do their thing, while you do yours. You will come back to each other at the end of the day, refreshed and like each other a lot more.

4. Have realistic expectations

Listen, I hate being realistic in love as much as anyone. I want to believe that my partner and I can be joined at the hip and still like each other. I want to believe that it’s perfectly all right to hyperventilate if they haven’t responded to my text in 0.5 seconds, that we should like all the same things and that every day will be a monumental testament to how madly we love each other.

Fortunately (or unfortunately!), reality creeps in and bites us hard. As love matures, expectations change, the nature and form, and texture of your relationship change, and that’s okay. Your partner, too, will express their love for you in different ways, and that doesn’t mean they love you any less. Still, you shouldn’t have to beg for attention.

Related Reading: 12 Realistic Expectations In A Relationship

Having said that, ‘realistic’ doesn’t mean lowering the bar. You have your needs and they are valid. Outlining the level of attention that is non-negotiable to you is absolutely fine. But how not to beg for attention? See your partner and your relationship as a living breathing being that will move and change, hopefully for the better. If you’re tired of begging for attention from your husband or wife, try giving your expectations another look.

More on common relationship mistakes

5. Communicate your feelings to your partner

Let’s elaborate a little on the ‘non-negotiable attention’ we’ve mentioned in the previous point. We’re talking about how to stop begging for attention in a relationship, but that doesn’t mean you never ask for what you want and what you need. We reiterate, your needs are valid.

There’s no shame in telling your partner that you feel a little neglected. That you’re tired of begging for attention from a husband or tired of begging for attention from a wife. The key here is to sit down and talk it out. It’s entirely possible your partner has no idea how you’re feeling and has missed the signs you are begging for love. Maybe they just don’t get your love language.

Be clear in this communication. Tell your partner how you feel and what you need and the little and big things they can do to make you feel wanted and at least partially satiate your need for attention. There will be things they can’t or won’t do, and that’s okay because at least you’ve expressed your needs.

Sometimes, you need to ask yourself, “Am I begging for attention in a relationship, or just expressing what I need?” We all need attention and it’s always nice to know that we’re wanted. It’s a fine line between being honest and being overly needy, but that’s exactly why communication is so important here.

6. Seek professional help

An overt need for attention in a relationship can be deeply rooted in childhood trauma or a constant sense of insecurity throughout adolescence and previous romantic relationships. If you’re someone who’s been ‘left’ very often, if you’re always terrified that you’re not enough and will be replaced with someone better, this could manifest in begging for attention in a relationship.

Never beg for attention in a relationship is easier said than done. In such cases, it’s a good idea to seek professional help. You could start out on your own to gain more insight into your need for attention and then maybe opt for couples therapy with your partner to help your relationship stay afloat while also being able to meet each other’s needs.

Going to therapy is always a good idea because let’s face it, we could all use a little help while navigating the minefield of mental health and intimate relationships. When you’re begging for attention in a relationship, it could bring about feelings of shame and self-hatred because you know you’re giving up your dignity and self-esteem.

Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help and recognizing that you need a professional ear to hear you out and guide you toward a healthier version of yourself and your relationship. If you’re tired of begging for attention from your husband/wife and you need a hand finding a therapist, Bonobology’s panel of expert counselors is always there for you.

Counseling on insecure attachment style on bonobology.com

7. Consider that your partner could be the reason

We’ve already talked about how your partner’s ways of showing attention and expressing love could be vastly different from yours. It’s also possible that they are troubled in some way, or that they’re just so caught up with work and so on that they haven’t even realized that you’re feeling neglected.

“I come from a big family and we’re terribly expressive,” says Shilo. “My partner, on the other hand, comes from a family that never believed in showing emotion or being open about how they are feeling, both good feelings and bad. So, when we got together, I kept feeling that he gave me no attention, that he didn’t get me at all. But, it wasn’t that, he had just never done it before.”

It’s all very well to say never beg a man for attention, and to constantly feel like you’re the one being too needy and that it’s you who needs to change. But maybe your partner just needs to be gently led into the light and reminded that a relationship also needs constant nourishment. So, if you’re tired of begging for attention from your husband, maybe it’s not you, but him.

Related Reading: Happy Marriage Tips When You’re An Emotionally Distant Person

8. Set aside exclusive time with your partner

A friend and her husband have set up what they call ‘marital office hours’, where they set aside an hour or so a few times a week that’s for them and only for them. It’s when they catch up on the week, discuss what’s happening in their individual lives, and any issues that need to be aired out.

“We’re both working, we’ve got kids and we were losing out on each other’s attention,” my friend tells me, “By scheduling this time, we ensure that we’re not losing sight of our relationship altogether. It would be nice if it happened organically and spontaneously, but given where we are in life, penciling it into our planner is the practical way to go.”

I think about this a lot because the older we get and the more our relationships mature, it seems to become easier to take each other for granted. Planned intimacy might not seem terribly romantic as a concept, but if it works, it works. Whether it’s regular date nights, a sex schedule, or always making sure you focus on each other at the dinner table, go ahead and set aside time that’s just for the two of you rather than continually feeling like you’re begging for attention in the relationship.

Am I begging for attention in the relationship
Make time for each other

9. Walk away if you need to

It’s hard to let go of a relationship, especially if it’s someone you’ve been with for a long time. It’s even harder to acknowledge that something as seemingly surface-level as a lack of attention is leading to your relationship dissolving. But, it’s more common than you think. But when you’re begging for attention in a relationship, it’s also a sign that your needs are not being met. In which case, it’s absolutely all right to walk away.

Bear in mind that walking away doesn’t necessarily mean you’re giving up on your relationship or that you’re breaking up for good. A short marriage separation or relationship break could be just what you and your partner need to gain some perspective and maybe work out a better attention meter for your relationship. Anything is better than begging for attention in a relationship all the time.

On the other hand, there really is no point in remaining in a relationship where you’re unhappy and constantly feeling neglected. If you’re tired of begging for attention from a husband, it’s possible you’re constantly exhausted and second-guessing yourself and also making your partner miserable and defensive. In which case, walking away is the best thing you could do for yourself and your relationship.

Key Pointers

  • In an ideal world, you shouldn’t have to beg for attention from your partner but it’s okay to voice your needs
  • The need for attention can stem from low self-esteem, loneliness in a relationship, and lack of friends or family support
  • You have to create a strong identity and support system to be less needy for attention from a romantic partner
  • Learn to respect your partner’s personal space and foster realistic expectations
  • Communicate your concerns if your partner is genuinely emotionally unavailable
  • Try to spend some quality time with them and go for couples therapy if required

Now, we’re all for independence and a strong sense of self. Maintain your own identity and celebrate your uniqueness as much as you can. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting a little extra attention in life and love, and there’s no reason to beat yourself up for doing so, though you shouldn’t find yourself begging for attention in a relationship.

The key here is balance. It’s better to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your partner, even if it’s a red flag conversation, and open up about your needs than bottling it all up and only expressing it in peevish or overtly needy ways. Work on yourself, work on your relationship and remember that your peace of mind and dignity come above all else.

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