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.
Begging for attention in a relationship can be entirely unconscious, but it certainly bears introspection. 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, one where you shouldn’t need to make extra effort to gain attention.
So, if you’re tired of begging for attention from a husband, or tired of begging for attention from a wife, buckle up. We all like attention in a relationship, and we all deserve it. But, keeping your dignity and self-esteem is even more important. So, we’re giving you a little tough love and helping you figure out the answer to “Am I begging for attention?”. If you are, we’re all ready with tips for how to stop doing so.
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.
On the other hand, if it’s gotten to the point where you’re begging for attention in the relationship and yet your partner doesn’t get 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, a bit of good communication works wonders for most relationship problems.
Why Do I Feel Like I Have To Beg For Attention? 3 Probable Reasons
Are you tired of begging for attention from your husband? Are you wondering why? 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. And so, you go to any lengths to beg for attention in a relationship because it’s how you make yourself feel good.
2. You’re lonely in your relationship
Despite being in an ostensibly committed relationship, you constantly feel alone. You keep hearing that you should never beg a man for attention, 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 constantly afraid of losing it.
These are some of the reasons you may find yourself begging for attention in a relationship. If these points hit a little too close to home, never fear. We’ve got some ways you can empower yourself and stop seeking attention in a relationship.
How do I stop begging for attention in a relationship? 9 Expert Tips
So, 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
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.
“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.”
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, and give yourself a little attention.
2. Have a strong support system
We cannot stress this enough – do not make your partner your only source of emotional and intellectual sustenance. It is exhausting to try and be everything to someone all the time, and it puts you in a terribly vulnerable position because you end up having no one else.
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?
Related Reading: 9 Reasons You’re So Insecure In Your Relationship
Don’t fall into that trap – have friends, make time for them, 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 and/or physically available to you.
Begging for attention, expecting a partner 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? Quit making him 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, 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 best 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 liking 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 changes, 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.
Related Reading: 12 Realistic Expectations In A Relationship
Maybe they brought you flowers every day when you first got together, and now they rarely do that anymore. But, they’ll always make sure your favorite brand of tea is stocked so you always wake up to the cup of sustenance that you need. Maybe they spend more time in front of the TV rather than gazing into your eyes, but they always hold your hand while they’re glued to the screen.
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.
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 about 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.
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 and you need a hand finding a therapist, Bonobology’s panel of expert counselors are always there for you.
7. Consider that your partner could be the reason
Working on yourself is always a good idea and looking for signs you are begging for love is a great place to start. But it’s also possible that it’s not you, or at least, not just you who needs to work on themselves. You’re not the only person in your relationship, so what about your partner? Are they the reason you’re begging for attention in the relationship?
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.
Related Reading: Happy Marriage Tips When You’re An Emotionally Distant Person
“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.
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. We bemoan the lack of time and spontaneity but rarely plan to set aside time just to talk to our partners. Planned intimacy might not seem terribly romantic as a concept, but if it works, it works. It’s possible you’re tired of begging for attention from your husband, but all you need is a little time together.
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. After all, what is giving attention in a relationship, but focusing completely on 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 lack of attention is leading to your relationship dissolving. But, it’s more common than you think.
It’s easy to say we should never beg a man for attention, or a woman for that matter. But when you’re begging for attention in a relationship, it’s also a sign that your needs are not being met. That you have a certain vision of what your intimate relationships should look like and this is not it. In which case, it’s absolutely all right to walk away.
Bear in mind, 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 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.
There is a strong correlation between being a strong, independent, lovable being, and not being needy or constantly thirsting for attention. Women are constantly 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 to hide their feelings and remain as stoic as possible, even if they want a little extra love and attention. This often leads to men being ashamed of needing attention and wanting to be a little more seen in their intimate relationships.
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 comes above all else.