Ask a Guy: Can I Turn Things Around After Acting Insecure and Needy? post image

Ask a Guy: Can I Turn Things Around After Acting Insecure and Needy?


If you’ve completely screwed things up by being needy, insecure, etc, and given everything so the guy doesn’t feel the need to commit to you anymore, is there any hope in hell of changing things around, considering the renewed attitude I received thanks to you guys?

The number one reason women have so much trouble getting themselves out of a position like this is because they fixate more  and more attention on the guy as he gives less and less.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about holding back or intentionally trying to manipulate a guy by “making him work for you” with games and tricks. That’s magazine dating advice trash.

What I do recommend is you recognize that you’re choosing the situation you’re in and that choice is looking more and more like an ineffective strategy in getting the guy to have a relationship with you in the way you want.

Sure, he’ll give you hope. Sure, he’ll say all sorts of nice things to you to keep you as invested as possible in him. But the bottom line is: when a man says he doesn’t want a relationship with you, believe him.

You don’t have to stop seeing him if you don’t want to, but don’t sucker yourself into believing that you’re going to change the situation, change him, “reach his misunderstood and mistreated heart”, etc.

Much simpler solution? Be single. Keep your options open. After all, he doesn’t want a relationship, he doesn’t want a title, he doesn’t want to be exclusive.  So instead of chasing him and triggering his response to retreat, be the single woman he supposedly wants you to be…

The higher your “market value” is on the singles market, the more likely he’ll be to want to lock you down in a relationship.  That’s the irony of this very common situation…

Moreover, if a guy knows full well that another man would be glad to snap you up in a relationship and he still doesn’t come around and want an exclusive relationship with you, then you can be certain that there was nothing you could have done to make him want to be exclusive with you…

Either way, it’s a win – you either have him commit or you end up in someone else’s arms. Much better than anxiously waiting by the phone, hoping he’ll come around one day.

It’s interesting… I’ve had the experience years ago where I was dating a girl and I wasn’t even all that into her at the beginning, but then when she started slipping away, something inside me made me obsess over it.

Looking back on it, it wasn’t about my relationship with her – it was about the relationship I had with myself. It was a hit to my self-image and ego and I got sucked into to chasing that part of myself I felt I had lost…

The fact was, at that time I identified with my relationship. The way that the girl treated me meant something about me (in my mind). And after that, I rebounded hard in the other direction – the next time, I was the one who invested nothing into my next relationship… I reacted so poorly to investing in someone who wasn’t invested in me that I completely closed myself off from letting myself have feelings for anyone else at that time.

The core problem was still there… I was just guarding it to an extreme degree. It wasn’t until I truly realized that how the other person treats me or acts in a relationship has NOTHING to do with me that I was finally set free.

People obsess over trying to extract actions from the other person to prove that they’re in a good relationship. These days, I don’t do this at all. It’s not to say that there aren’t things that I want, but it’s not my mission to make the other person do things a certain way so I can feel good about myself.

Instead of trying to make him act like the boyfriend you’ve always wanted, a more effective approach is to just put great energy into the relationship, always. What comes back to you from him is what he’s naturally and effortlessly happy to give you back for it…

If it works for you, great. If it’s not enough, remember that you’re *single* until you’re locked down.  Your situation might be comfortable and familiar, but if it’s not what you really want, then it’s a waste of time to try and force it to be something it’s not.  Great relationships are surprisingly effortless and fit your nature; dead-ends feel confusing, induce paranoia, and feel like you’re always chasing something, never having…

I’m not saying that it’s easy to walk away from something you’ve invested yourself into… actually, it’s extremely difficult.  The only way you can get yourself into a better situation is if you decide for yourself what needs to be done and put all of your effort into making that solution happen, without deviating from your mission and without second-guessing yourself.

It’s not easy, but remember: this is your life.  This isn’t a practice run.  This is it.  People who spend their life waiting for the life they want to just happen will be waiting their whole life… Don’t be at the mercy of your situation and circumstances – create your situation and circumstances.

Hope it helps,

eric charles

38 comments… add one

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Missy

I was having a fling with this guy I met at work, because he said he likes older women, and we would hook up at his house every Saturday, this went on for about 1 month and 3 weeks, the first few weeks he was asking me to come over then after that I was asking if I could come over, then just out of the blue I asked if I could come over and he said no because he was going to hang out with his friends but he wishes he could get out of but his friends have been bugging him for awhile to hang out, so after that day of him hanging out with his buddies he just stopped getting together with me, it’s been a month and 9 days since we have been “together” but I still see him two days out of the week at work and he still acts like he’s interested in me but he hasn’t asked me to come over, so my question is, that is it over between us and what is his game????

Reply November 25, 2016, 10:48 pm

Tammy

I told a guy i like that I have always been faithful in the past. I told him I would bevfaithful to him and would need him to protect me. Is that coming off as needy to him and pushing him away? We talk on the phone and see each other sometimes in the week. We have not been on a official date. However he knows a date is what I want.

Reply July 29, 2016, 9:58 pm

Stacey

This was a helpful article. I would like helpmfiguring out how to best handle my situation. I recently had a baby with a man I knew for many years. We were in a casual relationship when I got pregnant. We get along really well coparenting. He said there os nonchance for a relationship. He prefers coming to my huse to spend time with the baby and we celebrate special times with our combined families too. This hurts because I truly care for him and it hurts my core to spend this time together bonding as if we are a big family. This effects my self esteem and is hard to accept. Times have been somgood layely and my feelings for him have grown stronger, so axted needy big time. How can I turn this around?
Thank you

Reply June 29, 2016, 3:36 am

Ava

Hey, is exactly 1year my lover came back to me, I’m letting you know how i got my ex back because this Christmas holiday everyone need there love ones around them not just your love ones but your lover, a year ago i was heartbroken and i knew i could not spend the holiday alone that is when i was looking for how i can make my lover come back to me so that we can make things right, to cut the long story short on a faithful day i came across the details i will be dropping on the internet, someone talking about how she got her ex back so i took this details I’m dropping via email: (((ekpentemple at gmail.com)) and i contact him and i told him that i want my lover to come back to me, today I’m with my lover. Thanks you Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE for the help.

Reply November 26, 2015, 10:16 am

Tess

it’s kinda cool this made me laugh and feel a little free, thank you, I felt like I was going crazy!
and I guess I was 🙂
thank you

Reply October 18, 2015, 3:16 am

Ujunwa

I understand, but because I wanted more than he was offering, yes I think my confident was altered too, I felt lost in it. I refused the sex part the last time we saw and it was a disaster, but I did that because I felt that I deserved more. His reply was ” please don’t do this to me” and he said “then why did you come”. I felt bad but I just couldn’t reply or say anything and that was it, I just felt like everything has been for the sex. I left the next day and haven’t heard from him, tried calling because of what he was to bring over to my place but no response. It wasn’t a relationship, but now I don’t know what it is. I am more confused than ever. there’s even more to it but this is the last that has occurred, what do I do? But I truely like/love him.

Reply September 22, 2015, 11:38 am

Krystal

I don’t feel like the question was answered. How do you turn things around after acting needy?
The article talked about a guy not wanting to be in a relationship with you and how to handle that.

I have a guy who is interested in me but I have pushed him away by acting too needy. How do I turn that around if at all.

Reply May 9, 2015, 9:18 pm

Eric Charles

Stop caring… or I guess a more accurate way to put it would be “stop stressing”.

A lot of people think that means trying to project the image that you don’t care. That is definitely not what I’m saying.

Instead, shift your focus to other things and stop stressing over the guy. Distracting yourself is good, but another helpful exercise is to imagine that he’s gone forever and, in that imaginary scenario, imagine what it would be like to be totally 100% fine with it… imagine how you’d have to think, imagine what you would need to believe, imagine what it would be like… in order for you to simply be OK even though he’s gone.

Neediness is a state of mind — it’s not a set of actions… so if you’re searching for actions to repair the situation, you’re looking in the wrong place… if you correct the problem at the root (in your mind), then everything will work out for the best. I’m not saying the relationship will work out, but if it doesn’t you’ll be OK and you’ll know that there was nothing more you could do.

Find a way to let go of the drama… the analyzing… the worrying… etc. Find your way back to being OK. From there, you’ll naturally do the right thing.

As for how to be with the guy? Just be present in the moment with him and enjoy whatever moments you have together… outside of that, don’t stress.

Hope that helps.

Reply May 9, 2015, 9:34 pm

Paige

I kinda get what your saying but still unclear. my ‘neediness’ was telling him I was disgruntled and we need to work together coz I started making us breaky but when he took over so I could shower, he cleans and makes his own tea and nothing for me (there was a few things like that, that morning), he pulled away abit (still texted) then a few days later, I wanted comfort from my guy after having an awful nightmare (crying in my sleep type stuff, really bad night). Texted in the morning for comfort just waking up and he wouldn’t give it ‘thats not good, some semi sexual comment, then a mirror reply’. I did push coz i felt distress so he stopped texting that day. (its been 1.5 weeks). I don’t believe I was out of line. They are not big asks and on the whole I don’t normally need much attension. So do I just walk away. Do I send a email ? Do I say something when he (as they all do) contacts again in a month or two. I believe in communication. I understand being confident in yourself and being in the moment but sex can be gotten anywhere, what’s the use if I cant cant get avirtual hug when distressed or a cup of tea if he’s making one anyway. There as to be SOME needs met both ways so yes enjoy the moment but why does it feel like I’m suppose to ingore any selfish behaviour on his side. Neediness may be a state of mind but wheres the balance with being there for each other when needed. So he gets the sex and ego boost he wants from my attension but I’m suppose to not impose what I want and need when we hang out? How do I say, I’m not needy but be thoughtful or given some emotional support otherwise what’s the use of you. Thats how I feel.. Your advise would be great.

Reply July 15, 2015, 9:05 pm

Sara

Thank you so so much for this post and this comment. I’ve copied and pasted bits to read every time I get into a slump where I waste a whole day analysing. I’ve always been telling myself if it was meant to be it would be – but that always felt so ridiculous like our lives are already planned out for us and I’m neither religious nor spiritual so it was a hard concept to actually believe.

Your post has really really helped. I feel free and less pathetic like I don’t NEED to care what he thinks of me anymore because HE left ME.

Thank you!!

Reply April 6, 2016, 7:20 am

Kiki

Great Advice!!

Reply May 9, 2015, 11:29 am

Lourdes

Why is it that us women have to work hard to satisfy men. And then one little mistake upps, we get dumped.

Reply February 24, 2015, 12:19 pm

Lourdes. Benavidez

I am in tears right now, going threw depression, with the man i love so much. I am 54 years old, and he is my 4th man in my life. The 1st one I was very had a child, 2nd one had 2children and was with him for 14yrs. The 3 one had a child and lasted 10yrs in mylife, he passed away. I lasted 4years single, until. I met a truckdriver so nice, and still with him for7years. But we have had arguments and now seems. It’s Getting worse! I think i have been faithful to him and so much for him. What is wrong?

Reply February 22, 2015, 3:32 pm

Sandra

It helps so much. Thank you. Even sometimes i miss being together with him, I try so hard to let myself do what I want like doing things I like or focus on my dream. It is difficult to forget someone you love before but it is for the best of myself.

Reply December 4, 2014, 9:34 am

Karen

This article is amazing! I’m reading the ‘neediness’ articles here and each one helps more than the last. Thanks Eric for writing so clearly that I finally get it 🙂

Reply July 7, 2014, 12:23 pm

Peaches

I’ve been in this position a lot… Lately my “relationship” is confusing. I gotten to the point of I am dating, but this guys I want to be the one is just hot and cold. And I realized I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of it, and letting him so to say treat me less then what I wanted. Like he will kind of do these things, like spend a little time here and there maybe an hour or two with me, occasionally he would make me dinner,then we should have *** and he would leave. With some I need to do this that, go home, go to the post office stuff. For a while I slide out off and said ok, well to myself ok I can still give myself what I want, and have some parts of this, but it wasn’t getting anywhere,and I didn’t want to be treated like any other woman he is with.i wanted to just be the one. I honestly didn’t want to with hold ***, but we are going in circles of he gets what he wants I get no real relationship. So I am ok in losing him,I have accepted that he likes his woman and that’s not for me, not with him at least. He’s the one I want a commitment to, now I can silently bow out, but that’s hard to do because we are parents too, but are not living together.i also have talked to him about it, but it still ends up the same way. Recently I decided, I need to stick to my guys, though I want things to work out, I would rather have loved and lossed and never to have loved at all if I am not being true to myself and needs. And I ex specially don’t need to confuse our suin if this is all I am getting which is the half in with him, when I am full time. So I expressed I didn’t like being treated that way, and would rather be his friend, and see where we go, but with friends there can’t be the *** or the ability to have apartment keys, because this isn’t a committed relationship I can’t give him those benefits until it’s that. Which now I am ok with telling him, so am I in the right…is this a good tactic so I can achieve what I want, so I’m not hanging around, or hanging on his every word to give it time, we are doing fine, just give him hugs and nothing more, and build up to something, at least have that friendship if the relationship I desire from him won’t manifest?

Reply June 28, 2014, 6:54 am

Kelly

Another great, thought provoking reality check write up!! The last 4 paragraphs are key. Thank you

Reply March 27, 2014, 6:03 pm

angela

You know i dont normally consider telling a guy how I feel about them going over board. Maybe pushing the issue of wanting to know where this is going might be. Either way I made a complete fool of myself twice, once by asking where this is headed and second by trying to be spontaneous and surprising him with a visit but that got all screwed up do to lack of communication. So after I freaked out twice he claims he was ok and not to worry about anything but then things started to change of course. Its horrible we dont talk on the phone anymore, we mainly txt. After I made a fool out of myself the second time i backed off cause it seems like he was only interested in one thing. He claims he didnt or doesnt want a relationship but then he goes an posts a pic of him an another girl on his Instagram. After seeing that I just broke down, I am done! That was like a slap in the face to me. I was going to let him know but instead i let it go because in the end this guy is still a great guy. We arent in a relationship. Hes very busy being a single a father and being a long distance caregiver to his mother who has advanced cancer. So its just time to walk away right?

Reply September 3, 2013, 11:11 am

Maria

I’m so glad I stumbled upon this site and especially this article. After seperating from my husband I had all of these ideals of why things didn’t work out between us. After reading this article and a few others I have come to realize I did something’s wrong. But most of all I always felt that I was working harder in our relationship. I wanted a mature grown up relationship. I would always say to myself if I could just wait it out he would come around. The truth is I wasn’t the woman that he was going to do that with. I’m sure even if I did do things differently I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a forever kind of deal. With the information given on this site I can look at my part and change the things that I don’t admire about myself.

I don’t want to feel like I am waiting for mylife to start anymore. So I am actively participating and creating the life I want. Eventually I am sure I will find a man that I am interested in sharing that with.

All I know for now for me anyways is a relationship needs to be a partnership. Give and take yes but one person can’t do all the work. Or I can love someone into loving me.

Reply June 10, 2013, 1:16 am

andi

What would you do if the guy u met about 3 months started acting distant and I feel like its due to my insecurities that I pushed him away. I want him back because he is a great guy and he has forgiven me on my freak outs, please read my post on the forums. I really dont want to loose him

Reply May 15, 2013, 6:42 pm

carla

This is sad. Most people who are in love see what they want or hope to see. They read way into small signs and downplay the blaring ones. The only way to break free of this is to decide in yourself that you care more about yourself than the object of your affection. To care more about you than winning them over in any way. The truth is that if they want you they will come after you. And when they have you they will do what it takes to keep you. Anything less than that is a waste. Stop sitting around waiting for them to come around. They don’t want to. Forget them and live your life for you, instead of wasting the short time we are given on earth on them. Life is just too short to play these stupid games with people not worth your time to begin with. Sorry to be so blunt. But seriously. Be free of it, and happy!

Reply March 6, 2013, 10:09 pm

steph

Thank you. I’m in love with someone who sucks me back into his life when I tell him I’m going to leave. I fell in love with his kids and the feeling of waking up next to what felt like my own family. Now I see that although he may care, I’m wasting my time waiting for him when he has clearly told me that he doesn’t want a relationship. Even if it breaks my heart to leave him and his children I need to love myself enough to be alone until I’m ready and until the right man comes along.

Reply March 6, 2013, 7:59 pm

Shar

Can someone please tell me why men lie?

Reply February 25, 2013, 2:57 pm

carla

Mainly because they are uncomfortable with the truth. Either they are very manipulative trying to get something from you (sex, money, ego boost-run very far from this type of man), or they don’t want to hurt your feelings or deal with the outburst you may have when they do tell you the truth. Guys like their comfort zone of emotions- from happy to content. Anything outside of this is unpleasant for them to have to deal with, so they lie to keep things happy and content. Sorry, I know this is kind of cowardly, but that is the way they are. If I am wrong about this, someone please go ahead and correct me.

Reply March 6, 2013, 10:15 pm

Mandy

Hi,
I started seeing a new guy about a month and a half ago. We met on an online dating site, and while I am cautious normally when I date, I thought things were actually going pretty well between he and I. On our third date, he even told me he was no longer on the dating site. I thought that was a great sign because neither was I. And even though we’d only been seeing each other a short while, he even got me a cute little gift for Vaentine’s day just to let me know he was thinking of me. Then a week after that, he said he liked the progress between us and wanted to continue getting to know me and really enjoyed being with me. But then three days after that, he got weird on me – distant. We texted for about an hour that night and he basically said that he feels things are going a bit too fast between us an that he needed some space. He said he didn’t want to throw in the towel with us, which I thought was a good sign, but he did need some time to think and figure some things out. I respect his needs and reasons, but I feel like I’m getting mixed signals. He said he wasn’t on the dating site anymore, but I know he lied about that because I ended up looking and his profile has been active since we started dating. I would not have thought twice about it if he hadn’t said he wasn’t on there anymore. What’s worse is that he said we’d talk soon, and it’s been a week since we’ve even spoken and I’m even more confused now than I was a week ago and I don’t know what to believe or think. Why would he act romantic and say and do certain things if he was just going to freak out and need space at a crucial point in the dating phase? I just don’t get what I did wrong and how I am suppose to proceed from here. I could really use some advice. Thanks!

Reply February 25, 2013, 3:21 am

carla

you did nothing wrong. focus on his dishonesty. he lied to you about the dating site. why would he do that? do yourself a favor. give him the space he wants but keep in mind that it goes both ways. you are not at the mercy of someone else’s whims. do your own thing too. it certainly sounds like he is

Reply March 1, 2013, 12:45 pm

Melynda

My boyfriend refuses to talk about anything to do with fb with me. I few months back he complained that a pic of he and I was not my profile pic so I changed it although he never changed his. He never posts about me, me er puts up pics and never says he’s with me in his tags or check ins. I got sick of seeing all these girls comment on his posts and pics and write things I find to be inappropriate to someone who has a gf, so I unfriended him to save myself from getting upset and heart broken and I wanted to just focus on us. Now it’s become several months later a hige issue because I feel that he made such a stink about me making us my profile pic but yet he NEVER says a thing about me or us. I’m not mad about it as much as I’m hurt over it. How could you not want to show off, write about or show pics of the woman you claim to love the woman you do every thing with the lady you call your sunshine. This hurts me immensely. Yes he has cheated I’m the past and got away with it because he never posted that he was seeing or dating anyone else and didn’t allow girls to tag him in pics or check ins he claimed everyone was”just a friend” this is what he said to every girl. I don’t understand why after all this time and triumphs why I’m not good enough to even talk about?

Reply February 24, 2013, 12:50 am

Mandy

Hi Melynda,

My ex use to do the same thing regardng Facebook. He said because he was a very private person, he didn’t want his privat life on FB. But yet, other women would post pics with him on their pages when he was out at events for work, so I thought it was odd. My personal opinion of your situation is to just dump this guy. He sounds like he’s using you for his own personal gain (whatever that is). If he’s cheated in the past, I don’t know if I would trust him now, especially with how he acts with Facebook. Once trust is broken in a relationship, it’s very hard to repair the damage and get it back. Some people are lucky, but most of the time it’s just not possible. You deserve to be happy, so take some time for yourself! I hope this helps!

Reply February 25, 2013, 1:05 pm

carla

does your gut tell you that something just isn’t right? reading your post i got that feeling immediately! when a person contradicts themselves like that, then they definitely are hiding something. i’m sorry to say this but that really appears to be the case here. he is not trustworthy, and therefore should not be given the benefit of the doubt. he has already proven to you who he is. just look at the evidence. and it’s not that you are “not good enough.” it’s that he knows what you will put up with and uses it to his advantage. i bet some of those other girls who are “good enough”would not put up with it! so what are you waiting for? don’t put up with him anymore.

Reply March 1, 2013, 12:53 pm

Michelle

I cant thank this site enough for the help. After several failed relationships in which I was cheated on and emotionally abused, I got into a new relationship with some pretty severe insecurities. The man I am with is amazing, kind, funny, and super supportive but he does 1) have female friends, 2) maintain friendships with ex’s, 3) works with women, and 4) occasionally talks to women.

When we first started dating that was a huge problem for me. The advice on this website helped me calm down and work on myself before yelling at this wonderful man whose only problem was having his own life while dating an insecure woman. Of course; credit where credit is due; he was very forgiving of my freak-outs and talked through some tough stuff with me.

Partly because of the advice on this website, we are getting married in October and I can honestly say that I am happy with this wonderful man every day. However, I need one more piece of advice and I’m having a hard time with the subscription process.

He is completely unhappy with where he works and I know part of the reason he stays there is because it’s a steady salary with benefits and he wants to provide that for me. I tell him how appreciative I am and that I just want him to be happy. What I’d like to know is what I can do to support him like he always supports me. I want to tell him it’s ok to take a pay cut or something if it will make him happier but I don’t want to sound pushy or ungrateful. Any advice?

Reply February 14, 2013, 12:47 pm

Stephanie

I understand everything you say in this post and agree with it. The only thing I have a problem though is you, as a guy, saying that you went obsessing after a girl you were not interrested in, just because she was withdrawing from you.
Being a girl, I don’t want a guy who is desperate to have me just because I’m pulling away and do my own thing. I want a guy who wants me for me, not for a status (girlfriend).
I’m not quite sure how to out this into words, but if I just do my own business, how I am supposed to filter the guys that are after me because of the fact that I’m pulling away vs they don’t want ME to slip away?
Hope this makes sense.

Reply February 12, 2013, 10:19 pm

jules

Hi Eric,
I too want to know how I can ask you a question & how to go about it. I’ve been looking to find a male psychologist that can help me understand the way men think. Maybe just reading your answers will help. I’m really hurt and devasted right now and need a mans advice. Thanks!

Reply February 11, 2013, 11:12 am

carla

What seems to be the problem? I may not have any advice, but I will listen if you like?

Reply March 6, 2013, 10:17 pm

Jacqueline

I have a similar question to Diana’s & would love to get your feedback. Thanks! I’m loving your articles & the emails.

Reply February 8, 2013, 10:46 am

Diana

What about the guy that says he doesn’t want to be exclusive with you right now but can see himself married to you and having kids with you later (his words)? Basically all of the benefits & actions of a relationship are there (both agreeing to not date others/be monogamous) but it’s missing the title.

Walk away knowing where your heart lies or see it though to see if he means what he says?

Reply February 7, 2013, 4:50 pm

carla

It sounds like he wants you, but isn’t ready to let go of his lifestyle. He’s being selfish, but at least he’s being honest about not wanting a relationship. Believe it. If you are willing to hold out and wait, just be careful with your heart. Often when this happens and the girl moves on, the guy wakes up and realizes what he’s losing. But a girl who sticks around is letting him have his cake and eat it to and he has no motivation to take the next step. Not to say you should strong arm him, but it’s always a good idea to do whats good for you, and stop worrying about the other person in a situation like this. If he cares to fix it, that would be the opportune time to do so. If he doesn’t come a running, then his loss. No need to put your heart out if he won’t.

Reply March 6, 2013, 10:24 pm

Nadine

Hi Eric…if I want to send you a question how do I go about it? I’ve already signed up on the list too. Thanks a million!!

Reply February 6, 2013, 10:56 pm

Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut

I’m not single, but this is great advice that can apply to life in general. I’ll definitely be passing it along to friends!

Reply February 6, 2013, 9:23 am

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