Question: Hi! I am a 45-year-old unmarried man. I am a well-established and very financially secure person. I have everything in life except a companion. My biggest problem is that when I try to get close to a woman, she runs away from me. I have consulted a lot of friends and asked them what’s wrong with me. Although most of them said that there is nothing wrong but one of my female colleagues blurted out the truth. She said that I have a very clingy nature and I get too emotionally attached to a person even when that person is not at all interested in me. I was really shocked. How can these be bad traits and disagreeable? Is it wrong to get emotionally attached? Please tell me how do I solve my problem. —By Anonymous
Response by Kamna Chhibber: Most people expect and anticipate relationships to move slowly and develop at a consistent pace. If someone develops feelings too soon in a relationship it can throw off the other person as they still have not reached that point where they are reciprocating the same feelings.
Concurrently, if you are too clingy it may feel like you are over-crowding the other or being over-involved or over-intrusive into their space which many would find difficult to adjust to. This would particularly be the case for women close to your age who would have been up to that point leading rather independent lives and may not be happy to have someone be too intensely involved from too early within the relationship. This would also come at the back other difficult relational experiences your partner too would have had which would make them more cautious in a new relationship, and though your commitment and enthusiasm should be seen as endearing and interpreted as care, love or concern, they are likely to put the other on the back foot.
So in such a scenario it is important to adopt a measured approach and allow the person you are dating to feel comfortable before you escalate things within the relationship. Do understand that this would mean that you cannot be a good enough partner, it just reflects on what the other may need to develop their comfort with you which is more about them than it is about you.
At the end, a relation is about knowing and understanding your partner’s needs and expectations, so it may be prudent to keep these aspects in mind when you date someone in order for them to feel that you understanding them and can meet their needs despite having a different disposition towards how you would like things to be.
Kamna Chhibber is the Head (Mental Health), Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare