too much love

When your partner messages you once a day to say “I love you”, or “I miss you” do you perceived it as cute, innocent or thoughtful? You’d probably think again and wish they’d stop once that one text suddenly turns into almost 20 times a day. A lot of people myself included have had the joys of being in a relationship with a partner who demonstrates a lot of affection. The question is, how much love becomes too much love?

I have heard my friends complain about their partners or other people in their lives being overly affectionate. One thing in common that I have noticed is that these friends of mine often use the term ‘my partner is too clingy’. Loving acts of display towards another person can make us feel good about ourselves. However, why do we attain negative feelings towards someone who has been nothing but loving? Is this kind of behaviour almost too much to handle?

Closeness builds between two people with acts of affection, so shouldn’t lots of affection be needed for a strong positive relationship? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, lots of affection is needed to show that you care for your significant other by either placing their needs before your own, or showering them with physical intimacy and loving words. But also no, as way too much love can be off putting which could ultimately lead to the end of a relationship.

Constant surveillance

We all crave for the day that our special someone will message daily asking how we are, how our day has been or just a simple classic “good morning”. When that becomes a constant demand to keep tabs on what you’re doing and where you are at very regular intervals, the very cute notion diminishes into a dreaded annoyance where we just need a day’s break from. It feels like there is 24/7 surveillance constantly: every move being watched and immediate reply. This is not ok.

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From my experience, I got tired very quickly, and found it to be extremely time consuming for me to keep up with. I was spending more and more time replying to reassure my boyfriend that I am perfectly fine. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to text my partner and receive the odd thoughtful message. Who doesn’t want to be told why and how amazing they are? However, not long after it would get to a point where whenever I kept him waiting for my reply, even if it was just for a few minutes, I am questioned what happened. I don’t wish to be interrogated. Nobody does, so if you’re under persistent texting or think that a certain someone needs your attention constantly, then that needs to change, especially if you no longer feel happy to reply or receive those messages.

The need for reassurance

Intense feelings often lead to intense actions. Actions of a loving nature can be truly smothering. It means expressing far too much and too soon. Sure your partner wants the best for you, right? A partner trying to smother you with affection wants reassurance that you know how much they love you and therefore you love them too.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your partner wants that reassurance in the form of words and is only satisfied once they’ve heard “I love you”. Otherwise, insecurity kicks in and they start feeling anxiety of losing you. Your partner will begin to shower you with affection in an effort to keep you to themselves. Both partners need to understand that personal space and freedom to make your own decisions is essential to any healthy relationship.

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Caring about people we love and wanting to protect them is natural human behaviour. However, just like persistence and attention seeking, overprotectiveness can lead to a breakup. Your partner’s protectiveness has genuine reasons and they convince themselves that they are the only ones who are capable of protecting you from any harm. Your group of friends or family are not qualified.

So how can you tell if your partner is going overboard with being protective? It’s all about looking for the signs and seeing if there is a pattern, and not just a one time occurrence. If they are uncomfortable with your current friends, or absolutely forbid making new friends, then this could be the first wake up call. Snooping on your conversations is another example of an overprotective partner. It can become really frustrating, especially as the reason for their behaviour is love to you. Sadly, such displays of ‘love’ will only result in negativity.

Fear of abandonment

A good friend of mine is currently under fire from his girlfriend. Firstly, she smothers him with love pointing out what is best for him. Then, almost immediately after, she will reach delusional conclusions as to why he distances himself from her. Maybe it’s because she’s way too much to handle? Furthermore, she becomes instantly jealous, to the point where she demands to join him in any social activity. Finally, she reasons that he isn’t a good boyfriend and compares herself to an angel sent from heavens. Whenever I spent time with my friend, he would show me messages from her that scaled from a paragraph to an essay. Her tone throughout suggested to me that she’s suspicious, of any reasons or excuses that he has given her. This girl is scared of losing him so much, that she is essentially giving him what is directly responsible for their unsteady relationship.

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So finally, we can make a safe bet that too much love is definitely bad for a relationship. Overly affectionate people are usually scared of being abandoned. Unfortunately their behaviour is perceived as desperation, neediness and cling – all are unattractive qualities in a potential partner. Abandonment issues may stem from previous relationship trauma or other negative experiences in life. Despite all of my allegations against showing too much of affection, it is important that both you and your partner discuss your expectations and try to understand what you both want in a relationship.

Katherine is a geography graduate who loves to travel and wants to see the world. Currently happy to be in a one year relationship, Katherine has many experiences and stories to share. She loves to read and write, hoping to grow as a creative writer.

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