When it comes to a relationship, there are signs you are smothering him. And like it or not, one of the things in life a girlfriend doesn't want to do is smother her partner.
How do you know?
There are lots of reasons for this coming up in a relationship. But the most important advice for you to know is if you're being too needy, and if your behavior is undermining trust in the relationship.
Sometimes insecurities show up in the way you feel and the little red flags you notice.
It's very hard for a man to explain to his girlfriend that she is suffocating or smothering him in the way she's handling the relationship. He doesn't want to hurt your feelings, so he may hint with his own behavior.
The goal is to have your man feeling your openness, not your insecurities. I want to show you signals that you are smothering him or making him feel pressure.
Smothering Signal 1: You're trying to control too much of his life
Now I'm sure that most women don't feel they are trying to control the relationship too much. You want to believe that you're the cool girl that is easy going.
You don't want to be mom...
But the truth is that if a man is a 'go along to get along' kind of guy, he may be letting you take on too much. He may be guilty of not controlling his own boundaries very well. When that happens, a woman tends to take over.
And you know what? I wouldn't blame you. But the unfortunate thing is that this is smothering behavior that will compromise your happiness - and his.
A man needs to feel independence and a separate identity from the relationship. If this doesn't mean that he is not committed. It simply means he has to have a balance.
Take a good look at the places where your relationship overlaps with your significant other and his life. If you're managing your social life too closely, I urge you to give him more autonomy.
It's always easier for a man to let the woman take over. But that doesn't mean you fall down that slippery slope. When you get a chance, get him to put in the effort and plan activities.
As a relationship expert, this is one of the most common places where things go wrong. It's easier for you to just take over, I agree. Which is why, in the end, it will simply cause him to feel a loss of intimacy.
Besides, you want him to put in an effort and show his feelings, not give him an excuse to tell you you smother him.
Smothering Signal 2: His body language is closed
When you start to sense distance from him, the first thing you have to look at is his body language.
I'm not talking about the subtle signs like if he's turning his hip towards you or his eyes are dilated. Nothing like that.
But you should look at how open he feels overall during a conversation.
With a little bit of attention, you should be able to sense if his body language is open or closed. You'll know whether or not you have a connection or if he's checking out.
Most warning signs show up in communication. If he's crossing his arms and not seeming receptive, you may be suffocating him.
You should be able to detect a lot of his hesitation and fear
Smothering Signal 3: You feel anxious and stressed about your relationship most of the time
Men typically pull away from a relationship if they sense clinginess from their partner.
The anxiety and stress you feel is because of your fear that you might breakup, and the energy between you two.
At times, relationships may reach a point where your affection dwindles. Or the partners feel like something needs work.
But it's confusing to know where to start. Your boyfriend may have a problem he doesn't know how to tell you about. Or he has questions he doesn't know how to ask.
If you feel like your emotions are out of control much of the time with him, you're probably doing something that smothers him, and this will make him pull back.
Be especially careful of any manipulation you find yourself engaging in just to get what you want.
Smothering Sign 4: He expresses a need for more privacy
One of the ways he might signal you directly is if he comments about needing more privacy and possibly some time apart. This doesn't mean he's ending the relationship. He just needs to reclaim a feeling of independence.
He also needs your permission to reclaim his freedom. Which can be hard for you to do because it will stir up insecurity and fear that your breaking up with each other.
For example, he might not want you to see what is going on his phone all the time. You might feel jealous or scared that he's texting some other woman. But in reality, he just needs a separate space so that he doesn't feel smothered or controlled.
You might question his need for privacy - that this is a need to stay separate from you. Instead, just watch for a sudden change of habits that could be a sign of distance between you.
Smothering Sign 5: You find yourself stalking him on social media
The problem and risk with social media is that we are sometimes TOO connected to each other. There's no space for guys to be guys and girls to just let it be.
Put the phone down.
Between Facebook and Twitter, email and texts, people are often communicating but not always connecting.
If your relationship feels threatened, chances are you may get the idea that you can keep track of him on line. After all, we tend to put everything about our lives on Instagram or some other social media.
If you've ever found yourself checking out a comment or one of his posts online, just to see if he may be connecting with someone else, you may be guilty of cyber stalking.
Look, let's be honest, it can be easy to look for an answer to our situation this way. We all put too much of ourselves online.
But if he senses that you're doing this, he will very likely make some decisions about your relationship that you're not going to like.
Smothering Sign 6: You feel like you're always in competition with his hobbies
Many women feel that there's no room in her boyfriend's life for her.
Maybe he's sitting on the couch and playing video games, and you're right there next to him, hip-to-hip. Maybe you feel like he doesn't make enough time for you, or there's just never enough of him to go around.
When his hobby or his recreational interest seems to push you out, he may be using them to keep you at a distance to give him some breathing room.
An important reminder is in order here: You can never force your man to love you or open up to you. He has to give it willingly. If he isn't capable of openness up front, you may have chosen an unavailable man.
Pressure feels like a burden to men. It won't help him open up or to relax into intimacy.
Smothering Sign 7: You feel like you can't get enough of him
Sure, you get together, and you make plans, but you don't feel like that's enough time. In fact, you might feel a bit insatiable when it comes to spending time together.
Too close for comfort...?
This is another of the common issues in relationships.
Maybe you've had a talk with him about this too. There's just no amount of time that makes you feel like you're a couple or that you have enough contact.
As a result, you find that you may push or press him into spending more time with you.
"Hey, what's he doing in the bathroom now, anyway?"
This feeling of never being able to fill up your bucket is a red flag for your relationship. And for your mental health.
Take a look at the reason why this is happening. Everyone has the desire to spend all their time together at the start of our relationship. But occasionally you need a break. And he does, especially.
Smothering Sign 8: You feel jealousy a lot of the time
You're jealous of a lot in his life.
His video games and hobby interests seem to get more attention
His friends get more time than you
His mom is getting more attention - and yes, you're a little jealous of that, which makes you feel kind of crummy
His family seems to crowd you out (but you're pretty sure this is your imagination - or maybe not)
You may even feel jealous of your girlfriends when they get attention from him, even if it's only friendly and harmless
Jealousy is one of those feelings that can plague you unless you resolve it. Either he's really doing things that are making you fear you might be losing him, or you're imagining it.
But even if you're imagining it, I have some news for you: It still feels real. And that means you may have a self-esteem issue to resolve.
Smothering Sign 9: When you kiss him, he feels like he's somewhere else
The lips never lie, as I like to say. Another part of his body language is how he feels when you're close to him.
Does he feel warm and engaged?
Or cold and disinterested?
Do you sense that his kisses are "holding back" from you in some way?
If you sense that he's not really "feeling it" when he kisses you, he may be feeling the effects of smothering. His emotions are dampening his desire.
Smothering Sign 10: You feel let down by your relationship
At the start, all relationships seem fantastic. Thrilling and passionate.
Love has its ups and downs.
But then Reality ™ comes along to remind you that there's another side to relationships. And the intense feelings can't last. It can't be that way forever.
And so we realize that disappointment is going to show up at some point, too.
But it's a problem if, most of the time, you feel like your expectations just can't be met. And maybe you're not sure if it's a problem with him or a problem with your expectations.
Maybe you have a similar situation with your friendships. This is a difficult situation to face when you feel it in most of your relationships because you're also sensing that it could be something for you to work on.
The best thing you can do is take a step back and get some answers about where you are with your expectations. Make sure you do not have expectations that no relationship can meet.
Make sure you're really open to the experience that relationships are not capable of living up to "fairy tale" expectations.
Smothering Sign 11: He stops responding to you
Ever had that sneaking suspicion when you sent him a text message that he saw it and chose not to respond?
Or maybe you left him a voicemail and you didn't hear back from him...
Or he has this funny way of saying he missed a lot of your texts, but you can tell when he's seen them. And there's always a long delay before he replies - IF he replies.
The same is true if you call him but you get his voicemail most of the time. And no call backs!
The lack of contact can make you worry.
But just like the feeling of being let down, you may want to make sure you don't have an unreasonable expectation of him.
Most men do not call or text very often. It's not in his nature. While he may have started out doing this, he's not going to be able to keep it up forever. And this is disappointing to you as it raised your hopes.
Allow him the ability to get a little comfortable with you. And perhaps also let him not have to be so fervent about texting or contacting you. It can be tiring.
And as long as you're not feeling regular dis-regulation and anxiety over these pauses, you'll do fine.
On the other hand, if you're feeling regular anxiety over your attachment with him, it's time to take a look at it.
It can be very difficult to figure out if you're actually smothering him, or he's just emotionally shut down. Many women make the mistake of assuming their man is emotionally unavailable, but he's really just reacting to feeling too much pressure in the relationship.
You need to know if he's really into you or not.
You need to know if there's a future in this relationship, so you can either continue investing your heart in him or move on. This is especially important if you're looking for marriage, and time is ticking.
If you're interested in looking closer at what may be holding you back from the relationship you want, I've got something that will help you right now.
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