Thought Catalog

This Is What It Means When I Say I Want Attention (Because I’m Not Actually Clingy)

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girl who wants attention
God & Man

When I tell you that I need attention, I don’t mean I need you to spend every second with me. I don’t mean that I need you to sleep over my house every single night and answer my messages two seconds after I send them. 

When I tell you I need attention, I mean that I want you to be present. When you’re with me, I don’t want you staring down at your phone to answer emails or send another snap. I don’t want any distractions. I want you to look me in the eyes, hold my hand, and act like I’m the only thing you care about in that moment.

When I tell you that I need attention, I mean that I want you to take time out of your day to talk to me. It doesn’t have to be hours. It can be a few minutes. As long as it takes to send a text telling me you miss me. As long as it takes to squeeze my hand tight. As long as it takes to press your lips against my forehead before you leave again.

When I tell you that I need attention, I mean that I don’t want to remind you to ask me about my day or send me flowers for my birthday. I want you to do it on your own. I want it to be your idea. I want you to want to treat me right. 

When I tell you that I need attention, I mean that I want you to reach out to me, to make the first move, to initiate conversations and ask questions. I want you to call me out of the blue, just so you can hear my voice. I want you to ask me about my day and listen closely as I talk. I want more than our bodies to connect — I want our minds to connect.

When I tell you that I need attention, I mean that I want to feel important, like I’m your first priority. I don’t want to feel like a second choice, like I’m the one who cares more. I don’t want to feel like I’m forcing you to hang out with me. I don’t want to feel like I’m bothering you by calling you and inviting you over.

I want it to be clear that you’re happy to hear from me, that you’re happy to spend some time with me, that you’re happy to have me in your life. I want to know that you love me as much as I love you.

When I tell you that I need attention, I don’t mean that I want you to drop everything you’re doing in order to spoil me. I just mean that I want to see you soon, I want to hold you, I want to spend quality time with you — and I hope that you want that, too.

I’m not clingy. I’m not desperate. But I do know what I deserve. And I deserve to be a first choice. TC mark

Holly Riordan is the author of Lifeless Souls, available here.

Essential Poetry for Women Who Give No Fucks

This is for the women who are first to get naked, howl at the moon and jump into the sea. This is for the women who seek relentless joy; the ones who know how to laugh with their whole souls. The women who speak to strangers because they have no fear in their hearts. This is for the women who drink coffee at midnight and wine in the morning, and dare you to question it. This is for the women who throw down what they love, and don’t waste time following society’s pressures to exist behind a white picket fence. The women who create wildly, unbalanced, ferociously and in a blur at times. This — is for you.

“When Janne has a new poem written, I shut my life down to do nothing but read it, and then when I turn my life back on, everything is better.”
James Altucher

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Love a soft person. The ones who are positive, even in the worst of circumstances. Someone whose strength is not in bravado, but in their quiet. Someone who is strong for others because that is what is needed in that moment. Someone who is the moon that soothes instead of the sun that burns. Someone who sees the very best in people even when you think they aren’t worth it. The kind of person who always wants to do the best for those they love.

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