Clingy boyfriend? Overly affectionate girlfriend? Fear of losing your partner can be a sign of trust and commitment, but it can also be a sign of low self-esteem or anxiety.
Approximately 31% of adults will experience anxiety at some point, but certain behaviors aren’t a sign of love. They’re a sign of obsession, clinginess, and low self-esteem.
Here are some red flags that are less a compliment and more a cry for help from your partner.
1) They are too sweet and caring
Everyone wants to feel like they’re someone else’s number one. But there’s a line. Do they never say “no”? Are they constantly showering you with affection?
That’s a sign of submission. They’re terrified of losing you, so they exaggerate every romantic gesture.
In extreme cases, it can even come off as creepy. Mature adults know the importance of being sweet and caring, but they do it for the right reasons, not for fear of losing you.
2) They always tell you that you’re right
Today, experts say your uncoupling chances are 39%, meaning you have a nearly four in ten chance of breaking up. Does that scare you? It scares many people, which is why they’re always willing to let you win.
Instead of fighting their corner, they always concede to you because they must keep you in their lives.
Nobody is always right. In a mature relationship, we all have times when we have to swallow our pride and apologize. But if it’s always a one-way thing, that’s not healthy.
3) They always check up on you
Does your significant other always want to know where you are and who you’re with? Asking what you’re up to is natural, but requiring real-time updates is not.
Your partner isn’t just scared of losing you. They’re scared of you having your head turned. It’s a type of jealousy arising from their fear of loss.
Some may say their partner wants them to be safe, but heading on a coffee date with your best friend isn’t crossing Death Valley. This type of clinginess is irrationally creepy.
But if you’ve let this side of your partner go, it may evolve into something even more sinister. Read on to find out more.
4) They have access to your phone
“If you have nothing to fear, you have nothing to hide.”
This is the argument so many people use to justify their partner’s behavior. They have nothing to hide, so why should they worry if their partner wants to check their inboxes? This argument is inherently paradoxical and is commonly attributed to George Orwell’s 1984.
But this is false. The quote actually arose from Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in 1933. It doesn’t take an expert to know that any principle mentioned by Joseph Goebbels shouldn’t be taken to heart.
5) They don’t like you hanging with the opposite gender
If the easiest way to get their backs up is any mention of the opposite gender, they’re terrified of losing you. These behaviors may manifest themselves as:
- Needing to chaperone you if you’re with a friend of the opposite gender.
- Always asking detailed questions about your male/female friends.
- Always assuming the worst about them (and you).
Any of these behaviors are classified as controlling and are textbook forms of emotional abuse. With 84% of domestic abuse victims suffering psychological abuse, it’s time to take a stand if this is how your partner behaves.
6) They never stop comparing themselves to your exes
Confident people don’t need regular reassurance that you love them or that they’re the best thing to happen to you.
Fearful partners never stop bringing up your exes as a form of reassurance. If they cannot stop comparing themselves to your previous lovers, they’re terrified of losing you.
And who wants to hang around with someone who wallows in self-pity all day?
7) They always want to impress you
People who know what they want and go out of their way to achieve it is a sexy trait in any relationship. We all love people who have goals and ambitions and work toward them. But ask yourself, “Are they doing it for the right reasons?”
If your partner always wants to earn more, buy more, and be more, it could be a sign that they’re insecure about your relationship.
Talk to them. Why are they working toward something? The answer might surprise (or concern) you.
8) They tell you
Look, everyone has had a crisis of confidence. During those negative moments, I feared that my partner would leave me.
But all it takes is the right word in the right situation to make those gremlins go away. The difference? It’s not something that plays on my mind daily.
I’ve had friends who always confide in me that they’re scared of their wives leaving them. Eventually, you begin to see how irrational this paranoia becomes.
If you believe in manifestation, the only thing you’re liable to manifest with this behavior is a breakup.
9) They make reconciliation their number-one priority
Do you ever feel like you’re dating George Costanza from Seinfeld? If your partner always rolls over in the interest of reconciliation, this isn’t good.
Partners prioritizing reconciliation over everything will often ride right over their needs and desires because they’re terrified of risking their relationship.
It’s frustrating for everyone involved. If there’s a complex issue to talk about, you must grasp the nettle, or your relationship will never blossom.
Plus, it’s so often the type of behavior that can make a fearful person vulnerable. Here’s what that can lead to.
10) They make 90% of the investment in your relationship
Another popular sign that someone is afraid to lose you is that they make most of the investment in the relationship. Whether physical, emotional, mental, or (usually) financial, they always have their hands in their pockets.
It’s this behavior that drives fearful people into the arms of succubae. It’s also the sort of behavior that drives well-adjusted people away.
After all, if someone is one-upping themselves, how could you not feel perpetually inferior?
11) They always talk about the future
Planning for a long-haul relationship means chatting about marriage, buying your first home, future careers, and even children.
I appreciate these talks with a partner in a serious relationship, but these conversations should happen out of excitement and optimism, not fear. I’ve been with people who have wanted to discuss “the future” in the same vein. After a year or two? Great. After three months? Not so much.
If a partner always brings up the long-term, that should worry you even more if you haven’t been dating long.
12) They suddenly become more affectionate
Unexpected changes in behavior in a relationship are always a bad sign.
For example, if your partner suddenly throws compliments and showers you with physical affection, it could be a sign that they’re worried about where they figure in your life. Obviously, it could also mean they’ve done something awful.
Either way, it’s not a positive sign. Here’s another sign that could indicate relationship-related terror.
13) They always reassure you
Does your partner always reassure you that they love you, or have never felt this way about anyone before?
It may come off as cute initially because everyone wants to feel cared for, but if it’s sudden or done constantly, it can make you feel like the warning lights are flashing in your relationship.
This is psychological projection in action. They’re projecting their fears onto you. Done often enough, and it’s enough to make you worry that your partner is about to leave.
14) They want more action in the bedroom
The average adult has sex 54 times per year, or around once per week. We all have different sex drives, but if your partner constantly pressures you to get physical, it’s one way of expressing fear of loss.
But it’s not just about sex.
Are they always wanting to hold your hand in the street or cuddle while watching TV? This tactic is often used by people who fear losing someone but don’t want to discuss it.
Consider this a big red flag if it’s happening out of the blue. It could indicate a need to examine the dynamics of your relationship.
Fear of loss isn’t a good thing
Some guides that focus on the fear of losing something attempt to frame exaggerated affection or overprotectiveness as positive traits. But it’s not positive. It’s a sign that someone’s psyche is deeply wrong.
Could it be low self-confidence, self-esteem, guilt, or something else? Regardless, it must be addressed and may even require couples therapy. Man or woman, the irrational fear of losing your partner sets the scene for an awkward breakup.
Are you scared of losing your partner?