so my boyfriend is constantly looking for reassurance...
does this look good?
is that what I was suppose to do?
do you like this?
do you mind if i do this?
it's nice to be concerned, but there is a point where it gets out of hand. he's constantly asking me if i'm ok with something or if something is good enough... if i enjoy things, if i find things amusing or appealing...
whatever can i do to lull his woes and make him stop questioning everything?
ego problem? yeah maybe. i am his first girlfriend... but i do a lot for his ego whenever i can. i'm great for his ego
the only thing i don't like about him is his need for reassurance... my approval.. etc.
Ditch this person immediately if you enjoy your freedom is all I can say to you. People who need constant re-assurance are people who didn't get enough attention when they were young, and they will get weirder and weirder... I have first hand experience, for 16 years. Please. Run. Now. for god's sake, for your own sake, run.
Please... I can't bear to see another life lost to someone like this...
Woah, suggesting ditching someone based on one post in a forum - a bit harsh, although I do understand where you're coming from kronso I've tried dealing with it with an ex girlfriend (must make the disclaimer upfront: it didn't work). I've helped a friend with it (worked). And more than a decade ago, I also spent a fair amount of my teenagehood consciously (and rather forcibly) getting rid of it in myself.
Ego problem... Certainly. And as kronso says, it is about attention, or more precisely, getting emotional uplift by pleasing everyone around him (I'm guessing it's not only you, although most likely, it's more intense when he's around you), feeling good about himself by way of others liking him/admiring him/agreeing with him.
To the person, it seems completely natural, logical and "nice". He's doing "the right thing". It's also, in my view and experience, the root of 99% of those forum posts (and people complaining in a bar) about how "nice guys finish last".
Nice guys finish last because they tend to be emotionally draining. A person who wants to please everyone, implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) asks of others to get something in return. Their admiration and/or acceptance, their undivided attention, and their lives (see kronso's post). If you ask him to help you with something, he'll never say "sorry, don't have the time", no matter if he doesn't, so you'd better have time for him when he needs you to help him with something Never disappoint a "nice guy". (I'm describing the extreme here, not saying that your boyfriend is exactly like that, but I've met plenty of people who are).
All that said, it's one of the toughest thing to get rid of, since it's a character trait built up over a lifetime. As far as I can see, the only way is to actually tell him what it does to you, how you feel about it - and make him understand it very clearly. He's going out of his way to be supernice, and he's fine with it. And people telling him that "you're too nice", or "you shouldn't have done that [smile]", or "you don't need to ask my permission for everything" are just reassuring him that he's doing the exact right thing. They like him, or they wouldn't have said that, would they?
If you tell him how you feel about it - in minute detail - and tell him that (assuming that you agree with any of this - don't say it because I did ) this is not him being nice, it's him being very, very emotionally self-centered... that would bring his please-everyone attitude would be in somewhat of a dilemma, because apparently it doesn't please you . Chances are he doesn't know - even if thoughtful people have told him every now and then.
You can't change such a character trait overnight. Should it be changed? Certainly, for his sake as much as yours. But it will most likely be a frustrating process. As a matter of fact, depending on who he is, and how your relationship is working, it could be such a blow to his choices in life that it might make things difficult for you. But don't be afraid of a confrontation just because he might be. Confrontation has never ruined a relationship that works.
In the end, it's the same answer as to most questions on this forum, because it's the basis of any good relationship. Be honest. Brutually honest if you have to.
I'll add my voice to Kaneda on every point. The only thing I'd add is that since you said you are his first gf and didn't mention how long this has been going on, it may just be a new thing and he wants to do it right. It may not be a big issue with him in the long run.
As the Big K said, honesty is the place to start.
And Hobo is right too, of course. Most people would be very eager to please (and insecure about how to do that) at the start of their first serious relationship. So, as H said, depends on how long you've been together.
|HoboPelican wrote: |
|I'll add my voice to Kaneda on every point. The only thing I'd add is that since you said you are his first gf and didn't mention how long this has been going on, it may just be a new thing and he wants to do it right. It may not be a big issue with him in the long run.
As the Big K said, honesty is the place to start.
I agree, it sounds like your his first partner and he wants to do everything right and wants to avoid losing you....is that really such a bad thing?
Just pull him over one night or go out for a meal with him and talk through it with him, most times this will give you the answer you need.
It could be just a temporary phase....just have a talk with him and let him know your concerns.
I hope my post has helped.