No, I Am Clingy.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I’m the kind of guy who needs to hear “I love you” every five minutes. The kind of guy who, whenever you go out on a date, I’m going to be paranoid all evening long that this is over, once you’ve got a taste of him (or her), it’s over for me. The kind of guy who, when you don’t text for three days, assumes you’re either dead or have quietly broken up with me.
And I am here to tell you that you should not reassure me.
Okay, you should. In carefully doled-out segments. But handing me all the reassurance in the world isn’t going to fix the problem. Tell me you love me every five minutes? Well, I’ll need to hear it every three minutes. Then every one. Then every thirty seconds.
I am a bottomless pit of need, and goddammit, I need to self-soothe.
Look. I’m all for talking to your partners about love and what you need, but there’s a flip side of handling jealousy and strife that doesn’t get mentioned enough, and that is that sometimes in any relationship, you get to sit and be uncomfortable for a while.
That’s your job, to be a little dissatisfied on occasion. Sometimes your partner is going to do things that make you feel unloved, and upon dissection it turns out that s/he didn’t do anything wrong, that’s just you getting butt-hurt because inside, you have this dripping hole of unworthiness that doesn’t heal over.
(Cue people saying, “…but I never feel that way!” That’s awesome. You should then be able to cue into the fact that this wasn’t written for you. Move along.)
And if you, the eternally unworthy, are ever going to have a functional relationship, you cannot expect your partner to spackle over that trembling ball of uncertainty. If you do, you will drain them dry with constant requests, and they will come to think of you as more of a chore than fun-times, and eventually they’ll probably go. (And even if they don’t, I assure you, dating someone who sees you as an onerous duty isn’t half as good as someone who sees you as mainly happy fun-times with the occasional downside.)
Sometimes, your job is to go, “Hey, am I overreacting?” And sometimes – often – you are. And then it’s your job to go, “Since this is me overreacting, is there any way I can handle this without dragging her down?” And sometimes the answer is no, and you have to ask.
But every time you ask for reassurance, you’re introducing a mild downer state into the relationship. People will reassure you, and wonderful people will say they’ll reassure you all they want… but if you’re the kind of leaky bucket that I am, they don’t know the vampiric possibilities fraught within your soul. You’re often interrupting their “I was having a fun time” to remind them that you’re not, not entirely, which bums them out and obscures the fact that you were mostly having a fun time.
So don’t make them offer. Learn to be a little discomfited. There will be times you’ll have dark nights of the soul, and the proper answer is to just hunker down with that shit and be a little scared, but trust.
Because verifying that trust is all too often a self-fulfilling possibility. There’s only so many times you can ask, “Hey, do you love me?” before the answer comes back, “No.”

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