Dear Fiona, I’m a 21-year-old girl and I go mental if my boyfriend goes out for the night with his mates. If he doesn’t answer my calls or texts, I call him over and over and even phone all his mates.
We’ve had arguments because he says I’m too clingy and dependent.
When he went on holiday I felt so alone, even though I have lots of friends.
I don’t want him to finish with me and I’d die if he told anyone about our sex life.
I do things with him that I never thought I’d do but I only do them to keep him interested. What’s wrong with me?
Clingy Girl, Belfast
Dear Clingy Girl,
The individual suffering from fear of abandonment cannot control their fear of being left alone.
Typically they’ve been left by someone close, either by choice or through death, and the memory causes them anxiety that there’ll be a recurrence. This person seems extrovert and friendly but this is their strategy for never being left alone.
They’re often clingy and over-dependent and become possessive about and jealous of those they care for.
They panic when loved ones don’t answer or return phone calls for example, imagining it to be evidence they’re withdrawing from them.
They often use emotional blackmail and do whatever it takes to maintain other people’s affection, even if it means partaking in sexual activities they find distasteful.
They generally do things they don’t want to do and need constant reassurance that they’re loved.
It’s a great start that you’ve identified these traits in your character but people suffering from fear of abandonment need counselling to resolve their problems so please speak to a psychotherapist.