Why Feeling Needy In A Relationship Is Okay


Feeling Needy Relationship Okay

Here’s everything on feeling needy as last week, in my relationship, I felt needy. I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly, but I felt sensitive, raw, emotional, and easily hurt/rejected by my partner. I cried a lot, and spent the week trying to figure out what it actually was I was feeling and needing, both so that I could explain it to my partner (who really wanted to help), and so that I could sort of “put it away” in the right spot in my mind.

Few things are more upsetting than when my emotional filing cabinet is a mess.

Not understanding what I’m feeling means I can’t properly process it, needy and having a bunch of unprocessed feelings sitting around is similar for me to how some people describe walking into a dirty kitchen with all the drawers and cupboard doors open, and dishes overflowing the sink: it’s fucking stressful.


This is why I regularly do the work to understand myself. I notice what I’m feeling and wanting, what hurts, what might be going on, and what I need. I use a narrative-based style of emotional processing, turning the story over in my mind (or out loud with my people) and exploring it until the narrative comes into focus and I know where to put it.

Related: 10 Signs You’re Being Needy

So anyway, I’d been feeling needy and sensitive, and I kept asking myself questions to see what the root of it was.

1. Am I feeling needy just because of the pervasive stress of Covid and #blacklivesmatter?

2. Is this about the upcoming move, the huge risk I’m taking with my new love, or the uncertainty of the next few months? (Oh yeah, I should probably tell you that this weekend I put my stuff in storage in LA, and flew to the east coast because my boyfriend and I are going to be spending the next four to six months with our families.)

3. Am I feeling needy because I’m leaving Los Angeles and I’m sad?

4. Is this, as the mean voice in my head keeps insisting, because my boyfriend is mad at me, or because he doesn’t love me as much as I love him?

Because that’s the thing: the sensitivity and anxiety was definitely centered around my relationship, even though I couldn’t name why.

Granted, it was a wildly stressful week for both of us as we navigated the complex logistics of our move. He’s driving, and I flew, so we had tons of moving parts leading up to it. Storage units. Missing license plates. Towed cars. Sold furniture. Donation boxes nobody would take. My boyfriend put his three cats on a plane and sent them to his parents, a process which went horribly in every way you can imagine, although they eventually safely arrived and are doing well.

Looking back I can see that that’s when my neediness first arose. The day he put his cats on a plane, he was hurting and exhausted, and wasn’t up for hanging out.

While I always had pets growing up, I’ve never felt connected to or loved a pet. So when other people are feeling feelings about their pets, I’m always a bit lost. I’ve never felt that bond, and I don’t get it. This is something I used to feel immense shame about (and frankly is a bigger topic for another day), but that day I mostly just felt insecure about being a shitty partner.

Related: 5 Secrets To Finding A Fulfilling and Happy Relationship When You Are Needy

That night I sent him doughnuts on Doordash and told myself that it was totally ok for him to need space. But the needy feeling had already arrived, and even though we spent time together over the next few days, I never felt quite re-connected.

We were still warm and loving, but something was just…off.

It was frustrating that I couldn’t name what. Something that brought up a well of sensitivity, and primed me to feel rejected and wounded at the tiniest provocation. I felt rejected whenever he looked at his phone as if I was competing with his phone for his attention. I felt wounded when he wanted to nap instead of having sex like it was a reflection of how much he wanted me. Once I got my feelings hurt because he left…. after I told him repeatedly that he should leave.


I used to call this “crazy girl behavior,” a yucky phrase to me now because it misunderstands (and shames) both mental illness and gender, but which I took for granted as a teenager to mean that my hormonal brain made me illogical, unstable, and “too sensitive and emotional.”

Thankfully I know better now, and I trust that there is always validity and truth to what I feel, even if I can’t see it yet. Sometimes this kind of trust requires holding uncomfortable conflict, such as knowing both that my boyfriend wasn’t doing anything wrong or hurtful, and that it was valid for me to feel hurt anyway.

It’s worth noting that I have often felt constantly needy in my past relationships, but I’d never felt it with my current partner. He is just too damn good at cultivating intimacy and making me feel seen, cared for, appreciated, and loved. So while the feeling was an old familiar one for me, it was new to be processing it with this person.

At one point while we were brainstorming about it, I asked for reassurance that he loves me, thinking that might help. He gave me a long, nuanced, and moving speech about the way he feels about me. (This is where he shines.) It felt good, and I liked hearing it, but I noticed it didn’t penetrate to the wounded part of me the way his beautiful speeches normally do.

Apparently it wasn’t reassurance I needed.

Related: How To Know If Your Relationship Turmoil Is Actually A Symptom Of Codependence


Frustrated with the lack of narrative ability to properly file my feelings, at a certain point I just decided to cash in some of the trust we’ve built up, let it go, and focus on the move. After all, bandwidth was already low for both of us between the horrific state of the world, the stress of the move, and the emotional baggage coming up around it.

So that’s exactly what we did. We moved all my shit into storage, ran errands, ordered Insomnia cookies for dinner, and got through. Then on the way to the airport, he started talking, and the narrative clicked.

This wasn’t just “him talking,”  though. He talks all the time, and he hadn’t been quiet or anything. But this was like an eruptive force, his words bursting through a deep dam, about all the stuff he’d been thinking about lately. He told me about his cats, and how it felt to leave them at the airport; how they didn’t understand what was happening and were so scared. He described how they had been his family in Los Angeles, how they had saved his life, and how his heart broke knowing they must have felt like he just… didn’t want them anymore.

He also told me about some sexual assault allegations rocking a music scene he was deeply invested in, and how he’s been wondering what his responsibilities are as a fan and consumer when the stories coming out are complex and unclear, and how he’d been wrestling with the boundaries of cancel culture and what it means to both believe women, and believe in people’s ability to grow and change.

As he spoke, it clicked for me— the thing that had felt off for me was this. My partner withholding their “stuff” is a huge trigger for me, and he hadn’t been sharing the heavy things in his heart.

I fell in love with this boy in part because he shares so much of himself with me. He’s normally eager to share his inner world and think out loud, but this week he’d been keeping shit in. Some part of me had felt it and felt threatened.

When I asked him why he hadn’t shared that stuff before, he said it just seemed too heavy, too sad, too yucky, too confusing.

He was processing his stuff too, trying to organize his own filing cabinet, and he didn’t want to bog me down with it. After all, he knew the animal stuff would be hard for me to understand, and once I’d established I was feeling sensitive and hurt, it just seemed wrong to bring it up.

Listening to him talk in the car dissipated a lot of my hurts, though, and by the time we got to the airport, I felt my filing cabinet all neatly organized and my distress and neediness were gone. I realized at that moment how important it is for me to be invited into my partner’s inner world.

Related: 4 Brain Re-Wiring Tricks To Feel Better After A Break Up

Some part of it may be about wanting to establish a feeling of safety and a fear of being shut out– all shit I’ve worked on in therapy. But some of it is just having an intuition sensitive enough to pick up on subtle changes. If my spidey senses pick up on something being different, but I can’t figure out what it is or why it’s unsettling. (Not to mention that like most women, I’ve been gaslit by people who didn’t want to deal with what my intuition was picking up on my whole life.)

pay attention to yourself when feeling needy

I also just feel closest to my partner when they’re freely sharing their inner world with me. Thank goodness this one does just that freely, deeply, and often.

I share all this on feeling needy because I think it may be useful to know that: if you experience bouts of neediness, sensitivity, or emotionalness that you can’t explain, you are neither alone nor are you “crazy.”

If you are feeling needy, you may just be sensitive, like me, and picking up on subtle things your conscious mind can’t place. And if so, then you might need to spend some time working on both your connection with your body and Self and your emotional-processing process.

Because we all deserve access to our innermost truth, and a nicely organized emotional filing cabinet.

Love and sensitivity,


Written by Jessi Kneeland
Originally appeared on Jessi Kneeland
Republished with permission
Feeling Needy Doesnt Mean You Alone Pin
Feeling Needy Relationship Okay pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

How To Know If Someone Is Thinking Of You? 10 Psychological Signs

How To Know If Someone Is Thinking Of You? Psychic Signs

Have you ever had that weird feeling that someone is thinking about you, even when they’re not with you? It feels like a whisper in the back of your mind, a subtle but undeniable connection that transcends the physical distance between you two. So then how to know if someone is thinking of you, for sure?

The interesting thing is that, in this curious world of human psychology, there can be many fascinating and psychological signs someone is thinking of you; all you have to do is know what they are.

So, are you ready to do a deep dive into the world of mind-reading (well, sort of). Let’s explore 10 psychological signs someone is thinking of you.


Up Next

6 Minutes To Improve Your Relationship: How To Have Better Communication With Your Partner

Minutes To Improve Your Relationship?

If you are thinking about how to improve your relationship, then you have come to the right place. How to better communicate with your partner? Communication is crucial to building a healthy relationship, and this article is going to talk about that. Let’s explore how to have better communication with your partner.


The three keys to communication are speaking openly, listening empathically, and reflecting back.

We usually skip reflection, so the speaker does not know if they have been heard.

A simple practice of reflection can build this skill.

Does your par

Up Next

6 Key Psychological Truths About Dating Apps

Key Psychological Truths About Dating Apps

Online dating, dating apps, dating sites – all of these things have taken the world by storm and has made dating easier than before. Or has it? This article is going to delve deep into not just the world of online dating and dating sites, but will also talk about the psychological truths about dating apps.

As recently as 15 years ago, internet dating was popularly seen as — to put it delicately — something for losers. Sites like Match, JDate, and eHarmony were in their infancy; the whole idea of finding a partner on the Internet hadn’t really transcended its origins in the personals section of the newspaper.

But with the rise of the smartphone and GPS technology, online dating has lost this stigma and ballooned into a multi-billion-dollar industry. Nowadays, you can treat your cell phone like an all-day singles bar, swiping on Tinder

Up Next

6 Unconventional Relationship Choices That May Seem Weird, But They Do Work

Unconventional Relationship Choices That Actually Work

Unconventional relationship choices, huh? They’re like the hidden gems of the dating world, the rebels of romance, the quirks that keep love alive. Even though traditional relationships have their own appeal and charm, sometimes it’s the unconventional that brings some excitement into our lives.

From open relationships to living apart together, these relationship choices may be frowned upon, but for many people, these are the relationship choices that work the best for them. To each his own, you know.

Such non traditional relationships go against what most people think is normal, however, they show us that l

Up Next

7 Research Backed Relationship Remedies

Research Backed Relationship Remedies

When it comes to dealing with relationship problems, science can prove to be really helpful and can provide you with some substantial research-backed relationship remedies. This article is going to talk about some of the most effective and useful relationship remedies that can make a huge difference to your relationship.

You may think these should go without saying, but in my personal and professional experience, they have not.

7 Research Backed Relationship Remedies

1. Be Quick to Repair Injury

One day, my wife sensed my odd vibe, I didn’t like her asking, and it gr

Up Next

10 Old-School Period Romance Movies To Escape To Another Era

Classic Period Romance Movies Of All Time

Period romance movies are always mysterious. They take viewers on a journey to the past, whisking them away to luxurious settled moments filled with passion and elegance.

The stories never seem to be joyful ones but they do capture the essence of love from different eras. Here, we’ve collected our favorite 10 of the best historical drama movies that we’re sure will captivate you with their timeless charm.

No one ever said love was easy. And I’m almost positive no ever will say it either. But sometimes, we just need to feel something even if its sadness especially when times are tough for us in reality right now…

Whether you’re happy or sad, these ten historical romance movies will give you the escapism you need and deserve. And if that wasn’t enough for you, here’s an

Up Next

What is a Trophy Husband In Today’s Relationship Dynamics?

Signs of a Trophy Husband: Exploring Modern Masculinity

Most of us are aware of the term “trophy wife”. But have you heard about a “trophy husband”? It is a somewhat new term that is a gender-swapped version of the more popular concept of “trophy wife”. 

In today’s evolving society, where gender roles are constantly being redefined, there’s a rising trend of trophy husbands. These men are not only eye-catching companions but also possess qualities that make them desirable partners. 

Today, let us explore this fascinating concept and understand what is a trophy husband,  the signs to look for, why being a trophy husband is exhausting, and the potential issues that can arise in relationships with them.

What is a Trophy Husband?