“It hurts that my fiancé thinks I am smothering him. He wants me to let him catch his breath after he gets off work. I’m scared that I’m going to lose him because I’m needy or clingy.”

"Pressure Control" by Mimi Stuart ©

“Pressure Control” by Mimi Stuart ©


You are right. You will scare your fiancé away by smothering him. Give him the distance he needs. Love means having the self-discipline to respect the other person’s wishes and needs despite your own desires.

Desiring someone is a wonderful thing. But when the feeling becomes one of overwhelming or urgent need, then it’s time to find more fulfillment in your own life. You must try to reduce the psychological burden you are putting on to your fiancé.

Self-sabotaging Behavior

Sometimes people sabotage their relationships because they unconsciously conclude from painful past experiences that they are not worthy of reciprocal love. In such cases it’s important to resist the temptation to act in ways that tend to push others away. For example, by

• smothering a person
• giving too much advice
• using guilt trips, or
• playing games.

Balance Desire

The pursuer/distancer dynamic you are experiencing will only become more exaggerated once you are married if you don’t find some balance now.

As you know, when you are waiting for someone, your desire for that person increases. It would be more balanced if he were sometimes waiting for you while you were working, at a class, at a friend’s, on a walk or at the gym. You will see a shift in your one-sided dynamic if you were busier with some of your own interests, friends, sports, or work. If you pursued some interesting activities, you would feel more whole yourself, smother him less, and become more interesting – and more desirable.

Love out of fullness

Loving someone out of fullness is more sustainable than loving someone out of need. Fullness comes from leading a more full, balanced life with ongoing growth. Your relationship will be more mutually satisfying if you balance your desire for your fiancé with your own independent pursuits.

by Dr. Alison Poulsen
Healthy Relationships and
Effective Communication


Read “Pursuit and Distancing: Intimacy vs. Needing Space.”

Read “Pursuing passions or partnership? ‘You should spend time with me instead of going fishing!’”

Related Posts