The Difference Between Being Sweet Versus Smothering

August 27, 2013  |  
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You want to show your guy that you care, but you also don’t want him to feel like your entire happiness depends on him/you’d have a meltdown if he left you/you watch his every move. So, where is the line drawn between being sweet versus smothering? Let us help.

Sweet: A good night/ good morning text

It’s sweet that you want your boyfriend to know when you’re going to sleep, or when you’re starting your day, so that he can have a chance to call or text before you pass out or go to work.


Smothering: Expecting a reply

A good night/good morning text does not require a response. If you follow it up with a, “K, I guess you don’t want to say good night” or “K, I guess I’ll just talk to you at the END of this 10-hour day” you’ve crossed into smothering territory.

Sweet: Getting him something he needs for his apartment

If your guy’s cutlery is swimming around, unorganized in a drawer, it’s sweet if you pick him up one of those handy cutlery organizers. If he’s been drinking out of plastic cups since he moved in, it’s sweet if you pick him up a starter set of glasses.


Smothering: Getting him things he doesn’t really need for his apartment

He doesn’t really need a welcome mat, a second set of cutlery for “dinner parties,” throws for the couches and a submarine shaped holder for his bath products.

Sweet: Offering to help his parents

If your guy is stressed because his parents really need help moving or picking up their younger kid or manning their store for a few hours, it’s sweet if you offer to help.

Smothering: Showing up to help with…anything at all

Showing up unannounced at a random time at your guy’s parent’s place, seeing if they needed anything, or to just “pay a visit” will make your guy hear slasher music. Maybe after you’re married you can do that. But most men don’t want you at a drop-in-for-a-visit comfort level with their parents unless they’re certain you’re the one.

Sweet: Asking for a little cuddling

If after sex, or early in the morning, your guy hops out of bed, and you say sweetly, “Wait! Can’t I get a little affection before you run off?” that’s cute—and no guy can deny you that.


Smothering: If you force him to cuddle

If your guy tells you he really doesn’t have time/doesn’t feel like cuddling and you say, “Well you have to, for ten minutes” and then turn your back, expecting to be spooned, not caring that he clearly has to lay there awkwardly for ten minutes, that’s major smothering.


Sweet: Wanting a conversation

If you’re hanging at your guy’s house for the night, and you’re both doing your own thing: him working on his laptop, you reading a book, it’s normal to ask for a little catch-up session. You don’t always need to have hour-long, deep conversations, but it’s natural to want to chat a little even if it’s just a casual night.

Smothering: Getting angry that you’re not conversing

Like I said before, you don’t always need to have hour-long, deep conversations. Want to know what men value most in a woman? Someone they can relax around and not have to be on around all the time. It’s okay if a couple nights a week, you just hang side by side, not interacting but happy to be in one another’s company. You’ll suffocate and exhaust your man if you play the, “HE-LLO! I’m here! Aren’t you going to pay attention to me?!” game.


Sweet: Asking if he’s happy/if anything could be improved

If you’re feeling slightly insecure, or questioning how invested your guy is in the relationship, it’s perfectly okay to simply ask, “Are you happy?” or “Is there anything that I could do differently? Anything that’s bugging you?”

Smothering: Forcing him to sit down and analyze every detail

Nothing sends a man running and screaming towards the hills like a woman who needs to sit down and evaluate, pick apart, and analyze the relationship every week. If he says he’s happy, take his word for it. Men are simple creatures like that. If he thinks that every time he frowns a little you will schedule a couples counseling session, he’ll feel like he has to walk on eggshells around you, and he’ll probably just walk away from the relationship.

Sweet: Asking about his friends

It’s thoughtful of you to occasionally ask your guy how his closest friends are doing, checking in on the last details he gave them about you i.e. job promotions, sick parent, breakup, new dog etc. It shows you want to be involved in his life.


Smothering: Demanding details about his friends

They’re still his friends—not yours. If he doesn’t want to get into a ten minute conversation of how so and so is handling his breakup, or what exactly his recently unemployed brother is going to do about his situation, he doesn’t have to. And you don’t get to say, “Hey! I’m in your life now and I have a right to know!” No, you don’t.

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