I’ve been talking to this guy for a couple months now. When we first started talking, he was always the one to text me first and ask me to hangout.
Lately though, I always have to text him first, and it takes him FOREVER to reply and sometimes he doesn’t even reply at all unless I text him more than once. I also have been having to make all the effort to hangout and sometimes when we make plans to hangout, he’ll just bag out last minute.
I know this makes it sound like he doesn’t like me, but he keeps telling me that he does. Also, when I do text him or when he texts me (very rare), he still calls me “babe” and stuff.
Am I being needy by texting him all the time? Should I lay off and wait for him to make more effort?
The short answer is: Yes, you are acting needy.
I first covered this topic in “Decoding Male Behavior: A Guy’s Take on Neediness,” where I talked in-depth about how acting needy at the very start of the relationship can drive men away screaming.
The article turned out to be one of the most popular dating/relationship advice posts I have written for the site to date.
However, based on some of the comments I feel like there is still confusion regarding when a woman is acting “needy” and when she’s not. So here is the guiding question when it comes to neediness: Did he break a specific promise he made to you about a specific event at a specific time?
I am not talking about a guy saying, “Oh yeah, I’ll text you back within an hour as long as I see it.” That’s a generalized promise and probably a “promise” a guy would make only after a girl pressured him into saying it.
I’m talking about a specific promise: “I will meet you here at such-and-such a time.” That is a specific promise.
If a guy breaks a specific promise to you, then you have every right to be upset. After all, he said he was going to do something and then he didn’t.
But if you’re getting all hung up because a guy isn’t acting in some particular way and it’s making you feel insecure, nervous, or worried, that is absolutely neediness.
And it’s incredibly annoying to guys… we can’t stand it. There is nothing more annoying than trying to go about our lives and do everything we want to do, only to have to drop everything and respond to a text message because some girl we just started seeing needs attention and reassurance.
I realize that I sound a little harsh here, but it’s the truth and I feel like the most helpful thing I can do is be honest, even if that means being brazenly blunt.
In this situation, you’re allowing him to act that way by accepting it. It’s unfortunate (and it applies to both men and women), but people will only put as much value on you as you put on yourself. If you accept being treated like an option that can be discarded at the last minute, then that is how he (and other guys) will treat you. On the other hand, if you keep your life filled with options, you won’t be so hung up on what he does. (I go into great detail about this in the article “Ask a Guy: The Less I Care, The More He Seems To.”)
Now in terms of him calling you “babe” and saying he likes you- first off, whatever you’re doing to force him into reassuring you that he likes you… stop doing it. Guys get tired really fast of having to reassure a girl that they actually like them. Plus it makes us wonder what’s wrong with you if it’s so hard for you to believe we like you!
I actually had to break the habit of calling girls pet-names like “babe” or things similar to that. I would say it as a habit and to show appreciation, but the women often misinterpreted it as me being really into them, like they were my one and only special someone (meanwhile I had handfuls of girls I was calling “babe” and whatnot.)
My point is, it doesn’t matter what pet-names he calls you or whether or not he says how much he likes you. If you are smothering him with “needing” him to reassure you and text you back constantly, you will drive him away. The right move in this situation is to back off, keep your life filled with fun and exciting options and give him space to put in the effort and pursue you. This isn’t being manipulative – guys actually like to pursue women (to a point) and we appreciate having the space to do so (and not being smothered).
If you do this, you’ll have much better luck, I’m sure of it.
Hope it helps.
- eric charles