Seeking attention from others while in a relationship is a little bit too common. People get into a relationship and they promise that they’re going to be exclusive and loyal but then they go out of their way to impress others.
Is it a self-esteem issue? Is it their constant need for validation or are they plainly disrespectful toward their partner?
All of these questions are valid and if you’re someone who’s in a relationship with an attention-seeker then you’re going to feel like you’re never good enough for them. This is completely understandable and someone shouldn’t get into a relationship if they need that sort of attention.
However, we can’t really know a person or know whether they’re like that unless we truly do give them a chance. But that’s when you realize just how big of a mistake that was.
You end up asking yourself whether that’s how the rest of your life will be with that person. This is especially an issue if you’re in a long-term relationship and your partner never showed any signs until further along the road.
So now you’re left with someone who needs female attention even though he constantly tells you that you’re just being paranoid.
In this article, we’ll talk about the psychology behind attention-seeking as well as the most common signs you’ll have to look out for. All of this is to keep you safe and to prevent your heart from breaking.
The psychology behind seeking attention from others while in a relationship
There are many reasons for this behavior. Many people like to believe that it’s just because of the fact that they weren’t given enough attention throughout their childhood.
Other times, it’s the relationship itself that leaves a person craving something more. Their need for constant attention brings the relationship to a point of no return because you simply start to question your partner and their loyalty.
They may not cheat on you directly but depending on where your boundaries lie, it could still be interpreted as such.
Seeking attention from others while they’re in a relationship has a certain logic behind it. So what are the actual reasons behind someone’s constant need for validation?
1. His needs aren’t being met in the relationship
If you’ve been with your partner for a long period of time now and they never showed this type of behavior before, then you should really consider what’s happening in your relationship.
These needs don’t have to be physical. If your partner continues to seek attention from every human being, then there’s something wrong. He’s probably not happy.
This usually happens because of the fact that married women with children tend to give much more of their time and energy to their children. At some point, they simply stop paying much attention to their partner and that’s when they go out and seek it from someone else.
This doesn’t mean that you’re the one at fault, it just means that your partner feels neglected in the relationship. He feels like he has to compete with the kids and even if he knows that it’s inherently bad, he won’t know how to articulate his feelings.
In a healthy relationship, the kids are an asset and they bring the couple together. However, other times, it can go the other way.
Of course, we’re also talking about the physical needs of your partner. If their needs aren’t met, they’ll feel like they have to do something about it.
This explains his behavior but it definitely doesn’t excuse it.
2. He has a lack of respect for you and the relationship
It doesn’t matter how much of an amazing wife you are, if your partner doesn’t respect you, he’s going to seek attention from others. Doing this while in a relationship is a problem that’s even seen in those who are in good relationships, especially if you’re the type of woman who pampers her man.
You’re someone who’s loving and caring but he still seems to spend all of his time on social media or going out. You feel like nothing you do is ever enough.
Well, that’s because he doesn’t even see all the things you do for him. He’s not able to comprehend that you put so much time and effort into your relationship.
This man’s actually blind to all of it so it’s not really up to you to fix it, it’s up to him.
This is especially relevant if you’re not confident. If you don’t respect yourself then he won’t respect you either.
3. His narcissistic behaviors have always been obvious
To be completely blunt with you, a narcissist will always look for attention in others. While you’re trying to figure out a way around his manipulative behavior, he’s battling his need for constant validation.
When you see narcissistic behavior in someone, just know that they love themselves more than they love you. That’s when you’ll realize that you’re not enough for him.
This is not your fault, of course. He simply seems to love being the center of attention.
His mental health gets worse whenever he doesn’t get that and this is an actual personality disorder that needs to be taken care of. In a romantic relationship, it’s anything but okay to act like this.
Your self-worth should never come from other people but your partner doesn’t seem to understand that.
Narcissism is a real problem that needs to be looked into. His attention-seeking behavior probably won’t stop until he gets the professional help that he needs.
4. He was a serial cheater before he met you
Women do believe that they have the power to change someone. That’s because we’ve seen how many serial cheaters settled down once they met their perfect match, so you probably thought that it’d be just like that when you two got together.
Seeking attention from others while in a relationship is something that will occur with men like this. He’ll feel like he needs that constant thrill of the chase and the danger of getting caught.
It may sound completely ridiculous to you and me but to him, it’s the norm. He’s never known a different life.
So if he was a serial cheater before you, even if he’s not cheating physically, he still needs that attention for his low self-esteem.
The issue with that? You’re the one who’s hurting.
7 signs your partner is seeking attention from others while in a relationship with you
The good news is that you can spot the signs your partner is seeking attention from others while he’s in a relationship with you.
Sometimes, what you think of as charming is actually a big red flag that needs to be addressed. You just have to keep your eyes open.
1. He’s the center of every conversation
You thought that he was just outgoing, didn’t you? You see a man who enjoys talking but sometimes it gets a little bit out of line.
Even at parties, you can still see that he’s the main attraction. Also, when your friends come over, he seems to invite himself to sit with you guys and make the whole night about him.
He interrupts you when you’re talking, he talks over you, and he even brings you down when his opinion doesn’t match yours. This is extremely hurtful and disrespectful to you.
This is an obvious sign that he’s seeking attention from others while in a relationship with you. He wants your friends to think of him as the alpha and to listen to him.
It’s like he believes that he’s entitled to all of their time and attention.
2. He gets insecure if he’s not invited to things
People tend to simply forget to invite others, that’s normal. However, sometimes, people who know your partner deliberately don’t invite him because they know that he’ll make everything about him.
But that’s not the point; the point is in the way he behaves when people don’t invite him to events. He gets frustrated and angry and you know that deep down, he’s actually hurt but on the outside, he just seems agitated.
He repeatedly asks what he’s ever done to deserve that treatment. He tells you that those people are probably just awful human beings and that he shouldn’t even want to be around them.
Later on, he’ll continue to insult them. When you pay attention to this, it sounds like a little child whose friends are having fun without him.
God forbid you to get invited to an event and he doesn’t! You won’t hear the end of it.
He’ll insult you over and over again until you feel bad enough to not even want to go at all.
3. He constantly posts thirst traps
Let’s be honest, social media is taking over our lives. We’re constantly glued to our phones and we’re always scrolling.
So when you scroll to a particularly interesting picture of your partner, you can’t help but wonder who it’s for. Because he obviously isn’t posting it for you to see!
You didn’t even know that he was able to pose like that or that he had that see-through shirt. And when you look through the comments, that’s when you get really antsy.
All the girls who have been commenting under his post have gotten a reply in the form of a heart or a kissy-face emoji. He’s doing all of that for attention and it’s so obvious!
He’s posting thirst traps as if he’s still trying to find a girlfriend. The next day when you confront him about this, he just gets defensive and tells you that you should be grateful that you have such an attractive partner.
4. He gets jealous easily
They say that when someone’s too jealous that they’re hiding something. He would trust you if he was trustworthy in the first place.
Whenever someone gives you a little more attention, he’s right there by your side to see what’s going on. When someone compliments you or comments under your photo, he always asks you what’s going on.
The double standards are quite obvious if you ask me. He simply can’t get over the fact that you get that type of attention, especially if that person is new in your life.
However, he seems to be completely fine with the fact that he’s getting all of the attention and he can’t seem to get enough of it. So when you try to talk to him about it, he always brings up people who have been making him feel insecure because of the spotlight they’re putting you in.
5. He thrives on compliments
Seeking attention from others while in a relationship is a huge problem, especially if your partner thrives on compliments and yours simply don’t seem to be enough for him. He seems to seek out praise for every little thing he does.
He wants you to see and appreciate even the smallest things he does for you or just in general. Sometimes, he feels like he’s doing all of it for the sake of being seen and not because he genuinely wants to.
He’ll do the most random things, just to get a kick out of the compliments that he’ll receive afterward.
And if he doesn’t get them? That’s when he gets upset or angry with you and the people around him for not being aware of the absolute perfection that he believes he portrays.
6. He wants you to dislike all the people he doesn’t like
This is a weird one but bear with me! Whenever there’s someone whom he doesn’t seem to like, he can’t fathom why someone else would like them, especially you.
He seeks that type of validation because it makes him feel like he’s the best judge of character. If you like someone and he doesn’t, be it a friend or a new acquaintance, he’ll make you feel bad about it.
This is one of those subtle signs that he’s an attention-seeking partner who’s frankly really bad for you.
The person he doesn’t like is probably just better than him in some aspect of his life. He can’t understand how that can even happen, nor does he want to consider the basic thought that he’s not the king of the world.
7. When you bring this subject up, he completely denies it
How many times have you tried to talk to him about him sometimes lowering his voice or letting other people talk instead of always being in the limelight? Have you tried telling him that interrupting people just to tell his side of the story is an awful trait to have?
If you have, then you will have been met with a lot of denials. He’s so delusional about his own behavior that it actually makes you sad.
Talking to him about seeking attention from others isn’t an easy conversation to have but you have to be on the same page about everything. So when your partner doesn’t even care to acknowledge this bad trait, then you have nothing to fight for anymore, especially if you feel like he’ll eventually take it to new extremes.
4 reasons why being with someone who’s seeking attention from others while in a relationship is not a great idea
1. You’ll always argue about it
There’s no way that this will go by without a fight. Being with someone like this takes a lot of patience that you don’t need to have.
You shouldn’t have to swallow down your protest just because you want to stay with him. However, if you do choose to stay, then you’ll continue to argue about this issue all the time.
You’ll always tell him that you don’t appreciate the fact that he comments on photos of other women, for example, and he’ll continue to do so every time, even though you’ve told him that you find it to be disrespectful. You should know that seeking the attention of others is something that often needs actual therapy.
2. Getting that attention will be more important to him than you are
It doesn’t matter whether he’s seeking male attention or attention from the opposite gender, he’ll still get a high from it. That means that it’ll always be more important to him than you are.
He’ll put aside your wants and needs and he’ll make you feel like you’re just an inconvenience to him and that will bring about enormous issues. You’ll never be a priority to a man like that.
We’ve all encountered narcissists in our lives and they’ve all made us miserable. I’m sorry to say it but you’ll be so much happier by yourself.
You don’t want to believe it right now but what can you expect from someone who only thinks of himself?
3. You’ll always feel like you’re not enough
Whenever you do feel a genuine moment of self-love, you’ll remember that you’re not enough for your partner and you’ll feel awful once more. For that exact reason, you’ll spend the rest of your life questioning your own position in your relationship.
You’ll constantly think about whether something you’re doing is bad or whether he’ll leave you for someone who’s able to give him more attention than you are. You may even get to a point where you’ll set aside all your thoughts and dreams just to please him.
I know that not everyone is like that and that you’re a strong woman, strong enough to leave if it ever comes to that. You’ll be the person to break this toxic cycle.
Because you are enough. You’re more than enough.
He’s the one who’s insecure and doesn’t have enough confidence to understand that he doesn’t need other people in his life to validate him.
4. There’s a greater chance that he’ll cheat on you
Seeking attention from others while in a relationship is a huge red flag. We’ve already established that.
At some point or another, you’ll start to think about whether he’s going to cheat on you or not. Someone who needs so much validation is someone who’ll go out of his way to get it, no matter the cost.
You’re already not enough for him and he already makes you feel like you’re just a burden to him. How is he going to act when he finds someone who will give him that ego boost that you can’t right now?
And that’s not up to you. You’re not the one who’s at fault here.
He’s the one who can’t get enough of it because his fragile male ego thrives on knowing that someone else likes him and wants him. The fact that he’s still desirable may eventually go to his head and he won’t think of the consequences.
You’re enough. I feel like I can’t say that enough times.
I understand that you don’t see it like that right now but you truly are. He makes you feel otherwise because he’s someone who’s always seeking attention from others while in a relationship.
If he’s ready to work on himself because he acknowledges how bad this is, then you have something to look forward to. He may become the best man you’ve ever met in your entire life.
You can’t wait to see whether he’ll stick to his promise and change for the sake of your relationship. However, not everyone is that lucky.
These men usually don’t even understand what’s so bad about their life. They believe that they have a right to the attention of others because their narcissistic ego won’t let them see the bigger picture.
If he doesn’t want to change, then you have nothing to stay for in a relationship like that. You’ll only get more and more miserable with every passing day.
You’ll sit on the sidelines while you watch him get the attention of other women. He’ll make you feel like you’re less because he needs everyone to like him so much.
Is that really how you want the rest of your life to look? Like a competition with everyone he meets because you have to convince him that you’re the best match for him?
No. You deserve so much better than that.
I hope he finds his way out of this but I also hope that you do what’s best for you. Good luck.