Decoding Male Behavior: A Guy’s Take on Neediness post image

Decoding Male Behavior: A Guy’s Take on Neediness


Our reader response to last week’s Ask a Guy feature was really great, so I decided to drill down deeper into one of the areas I discussed, namely neediness.

When I write dating tips and relationship advice for a new mode, I am writing to a female audience. But neediness is not gender-specific – guys make the mistake of being “needy” too! So I want you to know that I am putting this out there to help and inspire everyone to have more dating success, not to point fingers.

I can tell you from a guy’s perspective that when a girl says things like: “Why didn’t you call?” “Why don’t you have time for me?” “Why don’t you ever compliment me?” and pretty much any sentence that begins with ‘why didn’t you,’ it’s like nails on a chalkboard. Those kinds of statements will immediately put a guy on the defensive rather than motivating him to change and he’ll probably withdraw emotionally as a result… at least, for the moment.

Read the reasons for this after the jump.

I would say the core reason of this is that it attacks a guy’s sense of freedom and feeling of acknowledgment. What do I mean here? Well, when a girl starts down this chain of “Why didn’t you” it feels to a guy as if she isn’t noticing all of the other things he is doing for a relationship.

I can’t go into as much depth as I’d like to in this post, but men and women have different senses of how they’d like to be noticed for things (and what they’d like to be noticed for.) At the root of it, when a man feels like he can’t make a woman happy, he will not want to be in a relationship with her (or if he stays, he will not want to deepen it). On the other hand, when a woman acknowledges him for all the things he’s doing well, he will almost certainly want to deepen the relationship and stay in it. We’ll discuss in a future post…

Back to neediness: When a girl starts acting needy, especially in the beginning of a relationship, I look at it as the ultimate red flag. It’s not even a logical decision. Neediness, to me, is synonymous for ‘emotional dependency’, as in “this woman is dependent on you in order for them to feel good.” (FYI, we have a whole chapter on this in our new book “He’s Not That Complicated: How to Crack a Man’s Romantic Code to Get the Relationship You Want“)

In it of itself, that’s not a bad thing – in fact, that’s a very normal thing and within reason, is a sign of a good relationship. People in general need other people to feel good – we’re built that way. But if a girl starts acting needy towards a guy before he’s invested in her at all, he’s going to see her as a potential drag, weighing him down with her dependency on him. And he’ll want to run for the hills.

But hey, it’s the same the other way around. I would be pretty surprised if you never had a needy guy around you. Could you imagine what you would want to do if he was texting you?… and you didn’t want to be mean… but… whoops, “my battery died, sorry I didn’t call you back last night.” Nobody’s perfect.

Anyway, the best way … [Click here to keep reading...]

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Stacey April 10, 2014, 6:59 pm

What if it’s the guy who is needy?

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brooke March 3, 2014, 10:09 am

So me and this guy have been talking for two n half months. He tells me that he really likes me, he thinks im cute, but he says that im clingy, because of all the texts i send him. He never answers though, like he takes too long. Like right now he is in Bourbon, New Orleans. we aren’t dating, but he is all like i can still have a good time and like you. The last message i got from him was friday. I tried to text him but he hasnt texted me at all. I really like this guy. Im ready to be his girlfriend and he is taking too long to ask me. I dont know whether he is ignoring me or ..idk. I was told by my best guy friend that if he wants to talk to a girl, he will make time. He is a very laid back person and gripes at me for not being chill. Help please! i’m 17 years old. I want him to start chasing me. He use to love talking to me and now i barely hear from him. He says i text him too much but all i want to do is talk to him and when he never really answers my texts, i feel rejected.

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Carrie March 3, 2014, 11:17 am

Honey…move on. He is showing you that by not contacting you that he isn’t ready to be tied down. As a woman, I do admit that when a guy texts me too much…especially about senseless things, I get annoyed and lose interest. It looks like he has lost interest in you. Stop fretting about him not talking to you. Whatever you do, do NOT text him or contact him. If he is interested, he will contact you. He is at Mardis Gras I presume. Although that is a 24 hour party, if he thought about you, he would contact you. Please stop worrying about him, as he isn’t worth it. Watch “he’s just not that into you”. It will make it clear. Work on yourself, and let the man chase you from the beginning. You have to let them…they love the challenge. I’m not saying not to text first, but let them make the moves most of the time. You are a prize worth catching. You are very young, and you will find someone much better that treats you like the jewel you are!!!

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brooke March 3, 2014, 3:12 pm

what are the rules or tips of letting a guy chase you?

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Carrie March 4, 2014, 2:44 pm

There are no rules. You just need to stop investing yourself. Go on dates, hang out with friends, do things you enjoy. If a guy is interested, he will pursue you!

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brooke March 4, 2014, 2:58 pm

Well last night, i told him off, how i felt about him treating me and saying how i atleast deserve a hi, and then i send him a message this morning saying how i am sorry i stress him and not perfect. he respond with, please stop, im too fucked up to hear this, like too high

Carrie March 4, 2014, 5:27 pm

Honestly, what you did was just show him that you are needy. By telling him off and then apologizing, you are doing everything with the intention of “catching” him. You are giving him no incentive to want to be with you. He knows if he bats his eyes at you, you will give in. He doesn’t have to work for you at all. If I were you, I would (as hard and painful as it seems), cut your losses and move on. I know it stinks, but you can’t make someone interested in you. If he really was interested, he would have initiated contact with you while he was on his trip. He isn’t thinking about you right now…he is thinking of hanging with his friends, and possibly hooking up with other girls. I know you don’t want to hear that, but he is not going to be in a relationship with you because he doesn’t value you. Any man that doesn’t value you, doesn’t care and isn’t worth your time. I hate to be do harsh, but I meant it when I said no contact. I’ve been in your shoes before…I stop contact, and you know what, after a day or so, I am fine. You will be fine. If he can’t take 2 seconds from his week to say “hi”…he isn’t worth it. You aren’t his girlfriend so perhaps he feels that he doesn’t owe you anything. Keep moving girl. You deserve better.

Heidi October 28, 2013, 7:00 pm

Hi Eric, I really wish I had read this article over a year ago. My fiance just broke up with me because for the last year, I have been pressuring and being needy to him, while being completely oblivious I was even doing it. He wouldn’t talk to me about my actions until the break up, but he also mentioned how I acted I couldn’t careless about the house and just gave up. The house thing I completely disagree with, but after thinking about my actions and going through text messages, I am really wanting to bang my head on the wall for being so oblivious of my behavior and what I was doing to him. Is there any way I can show him how sorry I really am and how I am aware of my actions now and how i would like to show him i am working on it without using words or pressuring him? He will not talk to me now unless it is absolutely necessary. I am living with a mutual friend of ours right now, so that kinda helps with the connection.

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Soni September 22, 2013, 2:38 pm

even i have been needy… saying why dont u calll………….. u’ll have to call …………..now he has just stopped calling since 2 months………. meanwhile i gave a miss call ………… also.. liked his pics though tagged by his friends on facebook…what do i do now? please help!!!!! i dont wanna lose him

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GG August 18, 2013, 11:39 pm

“… when a woman acknowledges him for all the things he’s doing well, he will almost certainly want to deepen the relationship and stay in it”

And you dont think this is neediness from the men’s part? Seriously, dont be sexist. We all have neediness and the whole thing is relative. Its when the expectation of one does not match in the expectations of other person in a relationship, the person with more expectation looks needy. Not that he/she is being needy per say, but he/she looks needy from the other person’s point. IMO, only way to solve this kind of problem in a relationship is talk openly about everything.

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rhea September 7, 2013, 9:31 am

yeah, but then, when you talk you never know how to address the issue without looking and coming off as needy. even if in the beginning the whole chasing period can be interpreted as neediness from his part as well too.

Then you don’t have to be too cold, too guarded, but then not too available, not too whatever. This is what i don’t understand really. What is a relationship in the end all about? If we are supposed to be single and act as if we were single and just see each other like some sort of friends with benefits? how is that a relationship really? isn’t sharing things, doing things together, inspiring and helping each other what a relationship is all about? when does that start? after how many months does that begin?

and by the way is a relationship signalled in some way? like.. we’re in a relationship now that someone said we’re in a relationship. or we’re in a relationship because we’ve been doing things together and dated for 7 months. how do you know what you are? asking about it wouldn’t be taken as neediness? and pressure?

a lot of times i feel as if i was way more sane and balanced when i was single. this whole tiptoeing thing… this whole always being careful what to say not to drive the precious, easily-scared and pressured and fragile egoed flower that he is away thing is exhausting. If i want a guy in my life i want to be able to be myself and be open in that relationship. That means sharing, being able to be weak and vulnerable, being able to ask and condemn behavior that i don’t think is alright and so on (i don’t think it’s needy to ask why they’re not seeing you to the airport when they know you’re going away for a few weeks, or why they barely make time for you and see you three times in a whole month. after being together for 5 or 6 months… i don’t think it’s too soon.. or if it is.. how much time is one supposed to wait? i make time because i want to see him. if the same isn’t reciprocicated i read it as him not wanting to see me. otherwise one can say, look i’m busy, i don’t have the time this week. i can understand that perfectly and i do it as well. i don’t leave the other person hanging. i think that’s common respect. it has nothing to do with high expectations and wanting to get married.

but perhaps i’m needy and emotionally dependent and don’t know what i’m doing. perhaps i should never invest feelings in anyone, be some sort of single lady that has no interest in who the other person is or does except for some sex every now and then…

i don’t get it, seriously.

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uigs July 10, 2013, 4:05 pm

This is a great article and puts things into perspective and I can see that whereas I am not needy in terms of my actions, don’t text or call repeatedly or get upset if time passes that he doesn’t respond, not inviting the man out too early on, not asking why questions, not making future plans, but still showing interest —well, I still feel that either I met the most commitment phobic man of all times, I might just appear needy, or he is the wrong guy. I am trying to work on this because it probably won’t work out with this guy but I would like to uncover this for the next guy.

Neediness — Is it some kind of unspoken presence b/c when I read about the needy things women do I am like yeah…. I don’t do that……..but I bet I might still be perceived as needy. I feel like I am not but then I wonder. Maybe I think I am not acting needy because I play it cool and show understanding but maybe underneath of it all I ooze neediness. Now I am just afraid of meeting men and scaring them off. I almost thought why don’t I just do everything wrong because then for sure I will know I scared them and I won’t have to wonder. Like the awesome movie, How to lose a guy in 10 days. I bet I could think of ways to lose a guy at hello and funny sometimes I would actually like to try that out and see what happens because it seems I lose them anyway — but actually it’s really their loss, they just didn’t get to know me yet to realize it… once again their loss.

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TooInvolved April 7, 2013, 12:24 pm

Gotta love Mandy’s comment: “Thanks so much for teaching me to be better at cheating on my husband!” Christ almighty people crack me up.

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Cat February 27, 2013, 4:40 pm

One thing I have recently learned, is when a guy likes you and he pulls back, its because he is maybe scared, and unsure of these emotions he is feeling. We as women have a natural reaction to move closer when a guy pulls back. We start asking what is wrong, and try to figure it out and make him tell us. Guys don’t like that. Instead of trying to pull them closer, we need to pull back and give space. Its called the rubber band effect. If he pulls away, and I stay or pull back too, eventually he will come back. I’m not saying this is always the case.. but generally speaking..

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Donna February 22, 2013, 6:14 pm

I agree with this but the thing is how can you show a guy you appreciate all the things he does for you without seeming needy? that’s the thing I’m stuck on, as just saying that you appreciate it doesn’t seem enough while to them it seems needy. it’s also the little things guys do, like the cute things they say, not just necessarily them buying things and taking you out for lunch, but as soon as a girl tries to do this back to show her appreciation a man doesn’t like it. It comes of to them as neediness or clingyness. but if we do nothing to show are appreciation then they are still mad. please someone explain that one.

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Donna February 22, 2013, 6:10 pm

I agree with this but the thing is how can you show a guy you appreciate all the things he does for you without seeming needy? that’s the thing I’m stuck on, as just saying that you appreciate it doesn’t seem enough while to them it seems needy. it’s also the little things guys do, like the cute things they say, not just necessarily them buying things and taking you out for lunch, but as soon as a girl tries to do this back to show her appreciation a man doesn’t like it. It comes of to them as neediness or clingyness. but if we do nothing then thy are still mad. please someone explain that one.

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Rachel January 23, 2013, 3:39 pm

I happened upon this post as I was desperately searching for answers as well as a good therapist to talk to. Your post answered my questions very well. I had long suspected that I had been so needy because my life was empty but I couldn’t be sure that’s why I acted out and hurt my boyfriend every a few weeks by breaking up with him or having a serious talk about my unhappiness with our relationship. To be fair, he tries very hard and has come a long way in terms of giving me more affection and attention since I met him. I am still not satisfied–especially when he is away on a business trip or working overtime. I try to be understanding that his work is super busy and demanding so I only send the next text after he’s responded to the previous one, but the matter of the fact is that I check my phone frequently to see if he’s texted back yet. I do not bombard him with texts or calls, I do not send texts to “check on him” every hour, but I do get moody if he doesn’t text or call for long hours even though I know that he’s very devoted to me and his lack of texting or calling is only because of work. Sometimes I can hide my moodiness, sometimes I fail at that. I know I should give him more space but it’s very difficult for me to do that. I now know why–I am entirely dependent on him and him alone to fill my life with joy and happiness. While I do have a job and am going to school full time, I still have lots of time/void that I want him to fill. It must be exhausting for him. I know he loves me very much to put up with me but I still constantly want him to tell me he loves me more than anything and assures me of his commitment to be with me forever. *sigh* That’s terrible now that I’ve put things in perspective. I’ve made it painfully clear to him so many times that he can’t make me happy.My god it’s Awful!! No wonder he seems hesitant about moving in or deepening the relationship. No wonder he has his walls up. I am always available for him and I really don’t want to do anything most of the time I am not with him. I don’t want to clean my apartment or cook; I don’t want to do my homework; I don’t go shopping by myself much anymore; I even get very lazy about going out with my gfs. I complain and get sad that I am always doing things for him and I always have time for him, why can’t he return the favor? I am doing it all wrong. Anyhow, pretty much all the things you said in your post hit a nerve with me. Thank you so much for such insight and advice. I know what I need to do now. I must fill my life with meaningful/fun activities and engage my time and attention with more than just my boyfriend. When my life is not empty like it is now, when I am not solely reliant on him to make my life happy, I know I will feel better about myself and be happier in general. ( I do feel very shitty about how I am right now and how I hurt him.) Thank you and I signed up for your site.

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Mandy January 14, 2013, 9:57 pm

I so wish I had seen this article a few months ago!! Thanks Eric – I just wish I had seen this earlier….I am a married woman who is fortunate enough to have a very loving husband. However, I have felt trapped for many years and I guess I was open to any distraction. I was contacted – out the blue – by a co-worker (lives in another country) who showed me all the sexual attention I needed. He made me feel young, desirable, fun, liberated. For the first time in years, I felt like a woman – not a wife or mother. A woman – red blooded, sexy, vivacious! He told me from the start that he had done this before and that he kept his home life completely separate but he was totally smitten and he said so. But I didn’t know the rules. Not having done this before, I started to pin all my self-esteem on this guy. We escalated very quickly to complete and utter intense flirting (webchats, photos, explicit phonecalls). We’d arranged to hook up on his next work trip. I was so excited. But I became too needy. I have gone back and glanced over the email trail – it was always me initiating the emails, the accusing “what have I done?”, “where are you?” – stupid stupid me. I couldn’t just go with the flow. I ruined this and I don’t know how to get him back. I am convinced he is so repulsed by me that even if I was the hottest thing on the planet, he would run a mile. The strong-willed, independant, intelligent fun woman who he was escaping with was replaced with this desparate, clingy nuisance. And now I feel completely gross to my husband and just generally!
Girls – please take heed. Give them a chance to chase you. Aside from keeping them interested, him chasing you feels better that you chasing them…

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Girl October 16, 2012, 7:48 am

So this article has done good and bad things to my thoughts. I would love some ‘outside help’ clarification.

I met someone at the beginning of my travels, and well simply put, it was an amazing connections. Unfortunately, I had another 4 months of travelling planned. We kept in touch the whole time. From my point of view, he was the one making the effort to contact me and was never afraid to say what he felt (even wanted to fly & visit me). Of course it was returned and we happily shared an equal ‘I really like you and can’t wait until we can see each other again’.

Now I am at the end of my 4 months and I am going to stay with him for a few weeks, as we planned. But the contact has been less and less frequent the closer it comes to my arrival. He still seems excited, but I can only presume his obvious lack of contact means he is less interested now. I can not figure out when/what happened for it to be so different. I put forward some semi-serious questions recently, but it was in fairness, a retaliation of the months of seriousness build up he was giving me. And now I really do feel like the crazy one wanting more contact and wearing this silly negative hat, before anything has even happened.

Usually I am happy to go with the flow, do my thing and let them like the busy, exciting, independent person I have been. But this is 2 weeks away before we are meant to see each other and I couldn’t feel less confused or sure. What to do?? Shall I quit while I’m ahead & cut the contact, or dive in head first & see him with the potential of getting hurt?

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Anais October 12, 2012, 3:15 pm

“I think a lot of dating advice says that being always available is a bad thing and will make your value plummet – I actually don’t think availability is really the problem. I think the problem is that if you’re always available, it probably means that you’re not doing anything interesting or fulfilling in your life to make you feel good, so your relationship is the only thing filling you. And with all your eggs in one basket, it’s no wonder that you’d become extremely needy and dependent on the guy entertaining you – he’s all you have!”

I never heard this before but I think you’r right, it’s more about feeling filled up than your availability…though if you’re always available you aren’t living the rest of your life enough. Because I’ve been unavailable at times but because deep down I was still sending out needy vibes, I think the guys still detected it, since I didn’t have enough exciting things keeping me busy. But now I’ve made my life so full that I know there will always be something to do if I want, and I will never feel laser focused on a guy. it has gotten to the point I will deliberately try to spend more time alone or cherish my time at home more.

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Whits September 3, 2012, 5:37 am

So I have been having a crush on this guy who is only 19 years old while I am 22 and have a boyfriend and a kid who I live with
I am totally a mess cause I really love this 19 year old and I was stupid enough to give my sister this 19 year old guys contact details cause she also likes him but I knew him way before her. After her and the guy stopped communicating him and I got connected out of the blue and we explored eachother 4 times not having sex thou but after he was with me his now again hooking up with my sister well he tried to avoid it but she keeps running back to him and I think now his whiling to try with her again and make their relationship work while I am with my boyfriend trying to be a good women and great mother I’m still hurting I haven’t seen the 19 year old for like two weeks but lately I see him around and it kills me not being with him I just want to reach out and hold kiss touch and be with him but that will never happen worse part is he avoided me for a while guess he was trying to forget me or was sick of me nagging about how much I care for him I called him on Friday night to ask if he was still okay and surprisingly he spoke to me said yes his okay and I said okay then said bye. I don’t know what to do all I do is think of him I sleep next to my boyfriend and think of this 19 year old I cant even kiss my boyfriend without thinking of the other guy, I have told the 19 year old how I feel but he said we will talk about it some time I know I am being selfish here but my hearts a total mess without him I need him there how do I get him in my life even if its just to have him as a friend but then again how do I live with him dating my sister while my heart longs for him PLEASE HELP ME IM SO TIERED OF HURTING

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Christy August 21, 2012, 6:38 pm

HELP: This guy approached me months ago, we exchanged numbers, & he started off by texting me, which I made it clear, I didn’t like it. He said, he would stop, but kept doing it. After a while, I told him we were not compatible, and to stop calling. He did, for a while, and started back. I finally answered the phone, & we had a conversation, tried to give him another chance, but he started back again. I cut it off again, he started back calling, and now has started textn again, I have asked him to stop, but he act as though, he doesn’t understand. Now, the flip side is that I do enjoy spending time with him, we haven’t had sex yet, we were close. I feel that he has somebody, and is afraid to tell me. What do I do?

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Ami August 21, 2012, 6:58 pm

I’m really confused by your post my dear! So you’re saying this guy has been chasing you a LOT and that you are starting to like him. he has made every effort to be in touch and contact you. And now you are scared he has someone else. It seems like two seperate things. The only way to know if he has someone is to flat out ask him. Also, why if he is putting so much effort into you do you think he has someone else?

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Z July 1, 2012, 1:49 am

I need ur help, i have been talking with this guy for more then one month we met online dating we really connected we text and talk over the phone every time we had a change until few weeks ago he started to be distance we had talk about meeting in person but i started complaining about him not calling i even text saying that he was not putting the same effort like before few hours he respond that is went he explain he been busy with work and this summer he will spend time with two kids therefore it was not a good time for a relationship so he ask if we could just stay friend if that was okay with me… i knew i had made the mistake to be so pushy i should just go with the flow but any ways at this point im not trying to me make contact im not sure what to do is going to sound crazy but with the short time we talk i really like him and i was looking forward to meet him what i do to at this point i really would like an opportunity with this men?

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Ash June 26, 2012, 12:35 am

I love the articles on this site, they have helped me SOO much, you have no idea!
And before reading this one, it wasn’t too long ago that i fell a victim of being too needy to a guy that i liked SO much. I wish i could have known about this ‘neediness’ thing earlier :( my life would have been way better!

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Reese April 19, 2012, 5:36 am

Hi Eric, thank you so much for your article it has helped me change my mindset!

I lived with my boyfriend for a year before he asked me to move out. It took many crying phone calls to him to find out it was because I stopped doing things. He said I was confident, independant and never gave up on my dreams when I met him, I went out with the girlfriends worked as much as possible and saved really hard. A year later and I had no friends, relied on him to keep me entertained, hell I even stopped paying rent and when he encourged me to do things I would tell him I couldnt or I’d try and give up at the first sign of trouble.

It’s been three months and I still feel like I need him, we are still seeing each other exclusively but he wont call us a couple. I am slowly starting to piece my life back together and I want to let any girl in the same situation or before they even get to this point know that it is so important to have ‘your’ life first! Go to work, go on holidays, have girls nights, chase your dreams and never ever give up, and if he doesnt appreciate you for that he is not worth keeping. I know the day (which is not to far away) that I can confidently say I don’t need a man, will be the day he will take me back!

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Casey April 19, 2012, 4:06 pm

Good points, Reese! I fell into the same trap, and it’s hard to see you are doing it, while you are doing it. It makes you wish you could have realized what you were doing before it was too late. Maybe it won’t be in your case, but I think it is in mine. But feeling like you need someone like that and then having them ends things with you is a scary feeling because I am feeling it right now! It makes me realize I really need to get my life in check and never invest so much into another person that I would be in such a painful state like I’m in now when/if things end. My ex told me he was so attracted to me in the beginning because I was so confident and independent. It’s a shame that I lost that when I begin to put too much of my focus on him. At least I learned from it, and will know for the next guy hopefully! Good luck to you!

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Amy April 18, 2012, 9:42 am

Hi Eric,
Thanks for sharing your insight! I’d love to have your advice on my situation. I and this guy have known each other for 5 months. About two weeks ago I told him I like him (I thought I was really really sincere when telling him, not sure if I did it wrongly that way…) and he asked me out. We had our first date a week ago and things went great, I didn’t act needy towards him at all, we even joked about me confessing my feelings for him first and that it’s a challenge for him to keep my interest in him. During the date, he kept saying that he’s really enjoying the time with me and that we should meet more often. The thing is, he has been going through a very tough time at work. I know he is the person who always thinks of his career first thing so I thought he’d need his own space before he can plan for a second date (as I was not going to ask him out even though I was the one who confessed first). However, as I thought I still need to show my interest and care, I sent him a text to thank for the evening the day after our date, and then once again after 3 days just to ask how he is doing to that I got no response. Do you think I appeared to be needy or it was probably because he was in his bad mood and needed his own space that’s why he ignored my text? I am going to leave him for some time…and not going to text him again unless he texts me first. Do you think it’s what I should do? Or do you have any advice on how to handle this situation. I’d really appreciate your input. Thank you.

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Ami April 18, 2012, 9:46 am

It doesn’t matter if it was needy or whatever, you already wrote it and it’s fine. Be nice to yourself :) The thing is, don’t contact him again. You are the lady, shouldn’t he be texting you he had fun? Shouldn’t he be checking up how your week is? Maybe he is busy or maybe he isn’t interested, but by contacting him you aren’t putting yourself in a good position.

Lets say he isn’t into you. He just wouldn’t contact you again and you could move on and find someone who cared about you-I know you like him a lot,but you would move on.

By you contacting hima nd waiting around for him to answer, it’s not fair to you. It’s delaying your time looking for ssoemone else. ALso, with all due respect, if a guy likes a woman, it doesn’t matter if he’s really usy, he can respond to a freakin text!!!

You are daring and i applaud you for going out there with your feelings, however, you deserve to have a guy go after you. Don’t worry if it’s needy waht you did, just if i were you i woudln’t contact him ever agian. If he contacts you and asks you on a date-GO FOR IT! But if not, then you can think “wow it’s good i never texted him again, because he wasn’t going to contact me anyways”

good luck

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Amy April 18, 2012, 11:02 am

Hi Ami, thank you very much indeed for your nice words. I’d definitely prefer to have him lead the chase and all that. My only concern leading to all these happenings was because I tried to walk into his shoes…I thought he was not either in the mood for a relationship or do the chasing, not to mention that he is sort of a workaholic (I admire him for how he puts his effort into work I have to admit). The rough thing happened to him at work just the day after our first date so I didn’t at all expect him to text or call me during such a tough time and was totally fine texting him first to make sure he’s fine and feels cared. I thought I might as well give him the benefit of the doubt that he was really going through a hard time as I can’t help but keep worrying about him….But well, as I said, I am not going to contact him again unless he makes another move. Thanks again Ami.

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steph July 28, 2012, 5:41 am

Hi Amy,
I got curious did the two of you went dating ? or was it really a bad sign that he is not into you? I am obviously on the same situation and decided not to text him and try to move on but at the moment he still is in my mind and heart and feel like I hate myself for not being able to move on so quickly.

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Amy August 27, 2012, 11:29 am

Hi Steph,

Sorry I haven’t checked out the site for quite some time. Hows thing with you?
It’s silly me I couldn’t keep the promise to myself lol but it turned out ok so no regrets :). I sent him a text about two weeks after my post here. Believe me it’s not that I wanted to hear from him that much, I was just thinking he would need someone to be there for him during this rough time. I made the right move at that point. He eventually confessed his feelings for me after a couple of further and more open conversations explaining why he didn’t have the courage to ask me out again and asked me to wait for him as he needs to focus on getting back on his feet first. I heard somewhere men often withdraw into their cave to sort out their problem when they are going through hard time and come back once their problems are resolved. It seemed to be true in my case so far. When he was in his good days, he’d be nicer and sweet to me. When he was not, he’d become a stranger!
Thus we’ve gone through quite a few ups and downs since then. Now I find myself insecure and tired again having no clue about how this is going to turn out. I would not dare to ask for a clear answer (He gave me an answer once yet I kept thinking what if he lost his interest after doing the confession. Many of us women are like that :(. But also because I am sure he is not ready for a relationship yet so questioning him where I stand may backfire…
It’s really hard seeing/being with someone being occupied by other problems that you can’t help with at all. Feeling helpless, ignored, neglected, all that. So I’d say, if you have strong feelings for the man and can keep your emotions in check, then go for it. If not, then better moving on. But one thing you need to bear in mind, communication is key. Guessing game is daunting and hurtful. Talk to him! Be simple and sweet. Many men likes it straight (doesn’t mean coming on strong). Don’t through your all into something you ain’t certain yet. That may scare them away and you will become the victim of your own emotions after all. Also, keep yourself occupied with other things, ladies out, exercises, work…etc. I thought those won’t help but they did! I haven’t contacted him for days but I’m not feeling that bad as before :). Good luck!

Casey March 21, 2012, 11:13 pm

Eric, thank you so much for being so wise. I am a 30 year old woman and have never really known what I have been doing wrong in relationships even though I always knew I was being “needy” and ruining things and didn’t know how to stop it. You gave me real advice that I can actually apply. I was recently dating a guy for 4 months who initially was very into me and I realized after reading your advice that I started doing all the wrong things by investing too much in him and getting upset at him for doing things I wanted him to do which were not really important to me in the big picture I see now, I just didn’t know any better because I wasn’t really aware of what I was doing destructively until now. He ended things a month ago saying he felt his freedom was being taken away and he needed time alone and just needs to be by himself right now, but that this could be the best thing for both of us and we could end up closer and better than before. We were in contact the month after our breakup, until I realized that was too painful for me because I was still wanting more, so now I have told him I need no contact with him until I can heal and feel indifferent. I REALLY want things to work out with this man. What is your advice on my best course of action at this point? To leave him alone and hope maybe he will miss me and give us another chance? It just makes me sad because I really believe if I would have known now what I didn’t know then, things would have probably worked out, at least for longer than they did. And if they were to have eventually ended at least I know it wouldn’t have been from a result of my neediness and pressure. There was so much potential and I realized I ruined it with my lack of information about how to act in a relationship. Please give me any advice on where I should go from here. Thank you so much!!!

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Kara March 4, 2012, 3:40 am

Hey Eric!

Really help me reading this….

I have been with my boyfriend for 5 months! he is super busy working full time and only a month ago started doing a personal trainers course in his spare time! so you can imgaine how busy he had become!

I have found myself been needy when he doesnt call or makes other plans :) which is normally out of character for me!

Only 6 months before we met i moved back to the small town we live in, i used to have a job i loved working 12 hour day, always busy with friends etc & my life felt complete! i was never one to chase after my boyfriends.

But sinced i’ve moved back only working part time, not having as many friends and not having as many things to entertain me! i put all my happiness into him…. :(

I really hope it hasn’t put anything into his head that will end the relationship, becuase he is an amazing person & he really does make me want to be a better person!

x

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Kara March 4, 2012, 3:20 am

Hey Eric,

This article was so hopeful.. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 months now & becasue i work part time and live in a small town with not alot of friends or things to entertain me i put all my happiness into him & get really offended and upset if he doesnt reply or want to do stuff with me – & i know i’m pushing him away!

I just hope i can save the relationship before its to late, because his such and amazing person and i love been around him.

Previous to my movin back to town i used to be the complete oppisite, always busy, working 12 hour days always out with friends.

I hope i can find the old me & save our relationship! :)

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Renee February 19, 2012, 1:39 am

Hi Eric,
I met a man online. He came on strong, the baby’s, sweeties, etc, miss you’s. I cancelled a couple times because I these as red flags as they happened before we even met. I ended up going out with him. Our 3rd date he cancelled on me at 3 in the afternoon because he told me he was tired and was golfing and him and his friend were going to have an early night. Thing is he had said on the last date he wanted me to meet this friend so I thought why did he not invite me to that early dinner. Next day he informed me that his friend and others he was golfing with spent a late night out.. drinking etc. We were out that night and I didn’t feel comfortable. At dinner he pulled out his phone to show myself and another couple an exgirlfriend who was an alcoholic who stalked him. He also started saying he’d call at such and such time and wouldnt at all. I saw you had written what the big picture and was it to fight the small battle or with the war (relationship). I have high standards so I thought when I got angry, or controlling it was just me. We stopped seeing eachother two weeks ago. I have had a hard time going on in my life with some stress. I called him last Monday.. we said we would work on things.. I went online to see if he was on after we spoke, he was and I called him on it.. I mean it made me feel bad obviously. He said forget this I was not (clearly was) and don’t call. Since then I have become a needy, insecure mess. I called the next day and he said forget you are too insecure, etc. Since then I have initiated contact..felt more confident. I would like a chance to try again, or should I. He keeps me hanging.. says we will see each other, but I doubt it. I feel better today, more myself, I’m not happy with acting like that!. Tonight I got a call from his number… and some weird noise with his voice was on my vm. My intuition is he wasn’t getting the attention today and wanted me to see his phone number. Is this a close and shut case at this point. Was this me that ruined this from the begininng or was there red flags from him I should have heeded. Thanks!

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Natalie January 26, 2012, 5:40 am

how can I rescue a relationship after coming across really needy in the first 3weeks?

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Ami January 13, 2012, 8:35 pm

Eric, first of all I love you and this website.

The last time I wrote on here I was feeling needy and in a relationship that i was SO unhappy in. I gave. and gave and gave some more. There was nothing special in it and i just felt spent- he didn’t care much about me, well he did, but nothing too special.

now months later I am in a relationship that is the opposite. With a wonderful romantic guy who gives and gives and gives. Though I like him, I don’t really like him thattt much. I think because he is always there, because he sends me romantic things, because it’s so easy (even though i thought that is what i wanted) i do like him and respect him yes, but I do not feel head over heels with him even though i literally like every. single. thing. about him. I think he’s not allowing me to invest in him, i do nothing, sometimes I don’t even respond to his calls and he is still there. One day he didn’t talk to me and i realized i missed hima nd liked him. I see how this whole investing thing works, and I see it is smart to allow the other person to invest themsleves in you. Not just you in them.

Cause yes i like him, but i am not that invested to be honest.
Eric, i love yoU! you are the best

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Karen Spivey January 13, 2012, 5:47 pm

I’d reply lol but it looks like we’ve maxed out the “reply” limitations lol lol So you’re saying cool your engines until there has been ample time to feel comfortable with one another to begin investing in one another??? lol lol

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Karen Spivey January 13, 2012, 5:50 pm

Sorry no need to reply … I am grasping it all completely now … thank you for your time :)

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Eric Charles January 13, 2012, 5:53 pm

Well I’m saying a couple things…
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First, be aware that when you do things for the other person, you are investing yourself further and further into them (not the other way around). And when they do things for you / accommodate you, they are investing in you. Just being aware of this is helpful since most people believe the reverse is true…
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Second, I’m saying that it’s important to give them other person the opportunity to invest in you (by doing things for you, accommodating you, etc.) I am *not* advocating manipulation and trying to get them to do things for you to get them invested in you. Rather, I’m just suggesting that you give them the space to do things for you as they choose… most people are so eager to please someone they’re interested in that they suffocate them with accommodations and affectionate gestures without giving the other person a chance to reciprocate or reach for them.

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Karen Spivey January 13, 2012, 5:59 pm

Very well stated Eric … I have never looked at “doing things for others” as MY way of investing MYSELF more. But the way that you stated this gives me an entirely new way of viewing what it means to “give to others”. I can honestly say “your right” I never thought of it under those terms. Thank you so much for your insight I do greatly appreciate it :)

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Karen Spivey January 13, 2012, 7:20 am

Eric … your insight is respectful and inspiring …. be true to yourself and don’t make him the priority … every relationship article says this .. . yet as young women we are instilled with the idea that finding a “man” is our number one priority. It is good to realize for the first time in my life that they don’t have to be “number one” in our lives, but when you say “Pick your battles” and “don’t get upset he said he’d call and he didn’t” shouldn’t bother you … I have a red flag going up. I fully understand you trying to “understate it” yet … if you were looking forward to hanging out with your friend and they didn’t call … you’d be upset RIGHT? lol So as much as I have appreciated reading numerous relationship advice the strongest conclusion I have come to as a women seems to me as a revolutionary idea that men are NOT a priority but takes a secondary position to our lives which is parallel to the idea men have on relationships and how they work. I immediately feel liberated by this idea and that in it’s simplistic form … no one should prioritize anyone over themselves, and I don’t mean it in a selfish and entitled manner … but we all need to find self worth before we can maintain a healthy relationship :) but then again … are we ever truly ready lol lol we are all imperfect … but this all gives me great insight to perfecting myself hahahhaahah :) TY

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Eric Charles January 13, 2012, 9:00 am

Hi Karen,
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I really like what you wrote here about putting yourself first. And yes, I understand how you mean it when you say not “in a selfish and entitled manner”.
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That’s spot on how I mean it – when you put yourself first (that is your happiness, your fulfillment, your inspiration with your own life), then you’re able to bring your best self to the relationship.
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To address the other part of what you’re saying… being upset is not a destiny, it’s a choice.
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What do I mean by that?
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Well, let me give you an analogy…
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When I was visiting with my family during the holidays, one of my cousins told her young son that he needs to stop playing a video game in order to share with another cousin.
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Without any pouting or unhappiness, he handed the controller over to his cousin.
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Later, one of the other parents of a young child asked the kid to share her toy and she flipped out. Screaming, crying, pouting, yelling, etc. Eventually the parent had to put the kid to bed because she was so upset at giving up her toy.
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My point is that both kids were asked to share, but they had different reactions. The fact is, the second child didn’t have to be upset… she would have been able to play with her toy again. And she didn’t want to be sent to bed either… her crying and flipping out caused her to get sent to bed…
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See what I’m getting at here?

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Karen Spivey January 13, 2012, 4:03 pm

Hi Eric,
I do completely understand your analogy and it representing our need for our own emotional control to create more positive outcomes in our lives, but it is also crucial to establish boundaries as well. I belief this is another area that ‘we’ as woman fail to completely understand … that these boundaries are not just guidelines to self respecting us but is also a major aphrodisiac to a man lol lol … but it goes against what we think will attract him. “Be nice, be sweet, do things for him” … that’s typically how you establish a new relationship (i.e. friendship, coworkers, etc.) and it works in those circumstances … how does it fail in a romantic situation???? That’s another scenario where ‘we’ as women become confused why establishing a relationship with a man is not parallel to the ways in which we establish other relations … but then again I’m not going to go out of my way to cook, clean or bring gifts to my “friends” lol lol So where do we draw the line???? Because we are also told that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach …. cook for him and he’ll fall for you hahhahahha … we are bought Barbies, pretend ovens, vacuums, fully decorated miniature houses … babies … for toys as young woman … we are taught from birth to be a “nurturer”…. well nurturing begins with putting someone else above your own interests??? correct?? It is quite hard to nurture someone or something and place yourself above the object in need of nurturing. So here’s my dilema lol nurture vs prioritizing someone else lol How do I nurture and still maintain the relations in a secondary position in my life??? If I’m not the nurturer … do we eliminate that from the equation or do the roles reverse???

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Karen Spivey January 13, 2012, 4:13 pm

Sorry lol lol I think I just confused the shit out of myself hahahhahaahhaa This is easier said than done hahahahhaha :)

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Eric Charles January 13, 2012, 5:11 pm

It’s counter-intuitive, but the more we do for other people, the more invested WE become in THEM. But we believe that by doing things for them will somehow make them more invested in us…
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Doesn’t work that way… the more we do for the other person, the more wrapped up and invested in them we become. Which is why it’s important to give the other person room to come to you so that they’re investing in you, too.
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Giving them the opportunity to reach for you isn’t selfish or cruel or mean-spirited – it’s actually the most considerate thing you can do. Instead of looking at it like them doing things for you, you’re more accurately giving them the opportunity to invest in you and grow to like you more.
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When you see it that way, you’ll be able to relax and not feel the need to do things for them in hopes that they’ll like you or try to remove all burdens from them to make them “comfortable”. Giving them the opportunity to like you by giving them space is a very selfless thing to do, actually.

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Karen Spivey January 13, 2012, 5:33 pm

So let me see if I grasp this all correctly?? You are stating that in order for us to have a healthy relationship we need balance for it to work? I give a little and allow him the opportunity to give back to the relationship. Seems like a basic and idealistic approach. It is definitely counter-intuitive to our predispositions to what it takes to create a “family”. So let’s just say keep the extreme “nurturing” to any children that may result from this union. lol lol And treat the other aspect of this relationship as a symbiotic coexistence between two individuals who care for one another. Hmmmmm makes perfect sense to me … yet how do we not get this from the get go???? lol lol lol I suppose lack of confidence and our own insecurities lol lol Well that’s lies in the root of all relationship problems correct???? lol lol Sorry, and thank you for taking the time to help me work through this … it’s rare that a woman is able to talk so openly and freely about these issues with the opposite sex. lol lol

Eric Charles January 13, 2012, 5:38 pm

@Karen – to answer your most recent question…
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Yes, I’m saying that… at least in the beginning. In the beginning of a relationship, you and the other person still have your guard up to a degree and you don’t know each other that much.
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As you get to know each other and learn to trust each other, you’ll be significantly more connected and establishing investment won’t be as much of a concern. But it is a useful relationship dynamic to be aware of at the beginning of a relationship.

Carol December 12, 2011, 8:24 am

Hi Eric,

Thank you so much for your input. I had recently met a guy and have been looking for valuable dating advices from a male perspective. Your website caught my eyes and I am really grateful for your generosity to decode the male’s mindset (I hope your mates are not calling you a betrayer:D) Thank you so much!

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adi November 15, 2011, 11:48 pm

help. i was very needy (read previous comment) but now with a new guy i am trying so hard to not be needy and to act super uber confident that I feel as though he has lost interest/taken that i am not interested. it’s hard to find that balance, showing you care, yet showing that they are not your world.

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Eric Charles November 16, 2011, 2:04 pm

Here’s the main issue – if you’re looking at neediness or confidence as actions, then you’re not really getting to the core of the problem.

Neediness is a mindset. Confidence is a mindset.

If you are worried about appearing confident or needy… you are in a needy mindset.

On the other hand – if you love yourself completely, love your life completely and are totally happy and content whether or not you’re in a relationship… THEN you will naturally act confidently and never act needy.

Work on your mindset and the behavior will take care of itself.

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Courtney November 15, 2011, 10:32 pm

Oh my goodness. You couldn’t have said it any better! I’m the perfect example of a needy girl. . . seriously. My jaw was open the whole time I was reading this article because it pertains to me perfectly. I’ve been with my boyfriend a one year and eight months, and at first, he was always trying to reel me in, and it seems like now that he’s got me, the roles have switched. This really was an eye opener. I need to stop thinking that I need him in order to fulfill my every need. I need to make myself more busy!! And most of all, I need to be more appreciative of the amazing indescribable relationship we have. It’s not everyday that a wonderful relationship comes along and changes your life for the better. Thank you so much! This is the greatest relationship advice ever given. Well done. :)

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Eric Charles November 16, 2011, 1:37 pm

Thanks Courtney, much appreciated. :)

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Tori November 12, 2011, 4:07 pm

Hey Eric,

My 7 yr. relationship and marriage has ended. He claims I am needy,don’t trust, and accuse. Earlier you told someone “Don’t confuse neediness with situations where you should rightfully be angry. If he promised to meet you somewhere at a specific time and then didn’t, that’s definitely a situation where you should be angry.” My soon to be ex-husband threw me and our children out on the streets with no money (he took all of it out of our joint account), no family of our own as we moved to the city to be with him.I had quit my job 1 1/2 month earlier to focus on my photography)
He woke me up accusing me that I was “cheating whore” due to seeing the e-mails I get here. In the subject in seemed as though I had signed up for dating when it was dating and relationship tips. He was so affectionate when I first met him. He cared about my feelings and hated that something bother me so badly. When my dad died suddenly 5 yrs. ago I went into a great depression. I needed to lean on him for comfort and told him. He put his job first. I would complain to him that the family needed him. He would stay in his shop all day and most of the night. everything I complained about was “Family Time”. How working all the time isn’t worth it if you don’t stay connected with your family.
Gradually he put a wall up and started to verbally and emotionally abuse me. Told me he was tired of me nagging him. Later the physical abuse came. He has a rage and anger issues. (which was scary) I begin to not understand and started accusations of drugs and cheating. I didn’t understand how a person can tell you that they loved you and then turn around and say “It wouldn’t bother me if you got hit by a truck.” He would turn it around on me every time telling me I was paranoid. I almost started believing something was wrong with me. I didn’t understand how a person could just shut love off and on like a switch. I was raised to believe that family is the most important part of life. I always stood beside him yet I feel he never stood beside me.
I did research on his behavior and realized he was a victim of Passive Aggressive Behavior with Covert abuse. I tried everything to get him help and also realized you can’t help someone who doesn’t want it. He really feels our marriage failed due to my “Nagging” and “codependency” I was hurt and confused and wanted answers is all.
My question is am I wrong for demanding family time? Why would that make someone become so evil and hurtful?
Tori

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adi November 7, 2011, 10:06 am

I just want to comment my own tale. To the gentleman who wrote earlier, I too was like that and as a future psychologist I am a huge fan of therapy to work out issues and to become the person you wish to become.

I love this article, unfortunately, I read this too late. I was in the end of my relationship. (I broke up with him). The point is, the relationship was not right for me for many reasons, but because of my needy nature i put everything on hold in my life. I was consumed a bout him and about making the relationship work. I did not achieve anything in the 6 months we dated, I did not do any new things, I did not read any new books. Aside from talking about neediness, I like this article because it articulates how important it is to have other things going on your life so 1. you aren’t too needy or invested but also 2, life is precious, if it doesn’t work out (and face it lots of relationships don’t work out until you find The One) you waste your precious beautiful life.

Now i am single and dating again, and find it much easier to establish myself independent with new guys, It’s kind of hard to be needy and have needy patterns in a relationship and change mid way, it requires so much strength that I didn’t have. Now, I’m talking to a wonderful man, and he has to really try to catch me on the phone because I am either rocking my classes, taking piano lessons, excercising, or with friends-and i feel so much happier than when i started the realtionship with the man who i was needy with.

Good luck beautiful people!

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Seeking Anonymity November 7, 2011, 9:42 am

All I can say is: I wish I’d found this website half a year ago. I had a relationship with an amazing woman the like of which – and I am being reliastic here – I am unlikely to ever date again – she ticked almost every box I have ever wanted to have – essentially my dream woman. And because of this, and because of the clear difference in our social circles – she’s a 9/10, pretty, freindly, funny and I’m a very solid 6/10 and a bit boring and not living a stable life at the moment – I was afraid she’d dump me for some more interesting alpha male with more going on for him in his life. I managed to push her away with my neediness and after 9 months she dumped me and broke my heart and my mind. I’m not looking for any sympathy because none is warranted, I made the mistakes that lead to that situation. I just wanted to say thankyou for your articles, and although it will take a lot of mental effort to overcome 20 years of living and relating to people in a “needy” way, I am going to start today with the help of your tips.

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Jan November 7, 2011, 1:43 am

Well, my bf loves to make plans and not follow thru by blowing me off, for a couple of months.
Now, when I bring it up. He always tells me something came up and he’s sorry. When I tell him its over he tells me he loves me and dosent want to lose me. I did confront him of cheating he told me no. that he don’t want to ruin anything with me. But does the same thing week after week. He rarely picks up my calls or text.
So, now I’m more frustrated and stressed and mad at him.

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kady October 28, 2011, 7:37 am

Really? He’s the one who said we should see comedy, it wasn’t much effort to apply for free tickets and i got them, and funnily enough the comedy had someone in it we both liked, so what was i supposed to do? Say nothing just because I’m the girl and he should make the move? And i was in his area anyway on sat, so i didn’t think much of it.

This stuff is just so confusing, on one hand i believe in taking risks, and getting what you want instead of waiting for what you want to come to u, but it seems when it comes to relationships this doesn’t apply, u gotta play by the rules or you’re screwed :(

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Stephanie October 28, 2011, 11:42 am

You have to be receptive to his behavior based upon how he’s making you feel. and in the beginning he should be the one who is pursuing..atleast thats my opinion. I would say…every 3 things he does one thing you do one thing. This helps creating balance so that he can pursue. Eventually the deeper in the relationship you get that mindset won’t matter as much because he’ll just naturally take the lead.

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adi October 27, 2011, 10:31 pm

Sorry but you do sound needy. He is the man, (sorry i know this will upset some) he should be thinking of ways to excite you, shows to take you to, don’t invite him to a comedy show . Invite a friend. The way he has acted does not deserve an invitation of any sort. By inviting him and still initiating conversations it is saying “you can take days to not respond, you don’t have to rrespond at all, but I’ll be here waiting”

leave him alone, give him space, if he is smart he’ll see what a great catch you are, if he’s so stupid…then NExt. go date multiple people so you aren’t too invested in him

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kady October 27, 2011, 2:23 pm

a coupleof weeks ago, i met this guy and we instantly clicked, we had so much in common and i was really attracted to him. HNe initied most text conversations after that but i initiated a few too. we met up twice after that, each time HE asked if i wanted to meet up.. The 3rd time we met i slept with him. I wanted to wait, but i really wanted it in that moment and i thought i shouldnt try to manipulate the siuation. If he wants something more, then having sex so soon wont change it, if he just wants me for sex at least i’ll know and be able to move on. I told him i’d be around near his place that saturday as i go to a clothes market there sometimes and if he wanted to come. He said he’d text me. Anyway later that evening, he texted me asking how im doing etc, but after texting back he took over a day to reply. After i replied to that he didnt text back anymore. He didnt text to say if he was coming to the market, so on the saturday i called him once but he didnt pick up so i guess he was sleeping. Later that day he called me back but i missed it. So 12 mins later i called him, again he didnt pick up. So i texted saying i was around earlier but i guess he was sleeping. Late that night he texted back saying he hoped i had fun and that he had an exam the next day. This time i replied 2 days later, and it has been 3 days and still no reply. I had got free tickets to a comedy show and asked if he wanted to come, he asked when it was, i told him when, and he hasnt replied.
Do i come across as too needy? I regretted calling him again on the saturday, thinking i came off as needy, and I have asked him if he wants to hang out (at the market and comedy show – even tho he’s the one who said we should see a comedy show soon). I’m really new to this relationship stuff (in fact im not sure i even want a r/s with him, just be friends or sth casual) and i’m just confused as to how i should be acting, and why he suddenly is uninterested. :(

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Tiffany October 18, 2011, 3:32 pm

thank you rob,
well, i know he isnt cheating. it is just the fact that he is hot and cold all the time that gets me wondering. he says he has plans and that guys never reveal their plans until that moment…. but when i try to hold his hand or even hug him, he tells me not to touch him. he often asks me if i am cheating. though i give no reason for him to think that. (his ex cheated on him)..(and it isnt his baby, she has mental issues)… but there are things that irk me. like forgetting every holiday. or remembering and not even acknowledging them. or trying to make me jealous by saying stuff. he says im not comfortable with myself, and that may be true but no one is completely comfortable. but when he is pointing out my flaws it gets to me… he justifies it as you fall inlove with the persons flaws. i guess thats fine but he used to be so into the relationship and now he wants to better himself with small things like learning guitar, or something silly rather then spend even the littlest time with me. i feel like i am being clingy most of the time, but i also feel if i step back, he will fall away or think i am cheating or not happy…

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Rob SF Bay area October 18, 2011, 3:21 pm

Tiffany,

If your BF has been off and on like that it is a clue that he loves you but feels guilty about something…..the distancing aspect is one of not wanting to hurt you with what is going on.

You need to pull this boy aside and ask him point blank if he is having a relationship with his ex for the following reasons:
1. You don;t want to contract any STDs.
2. You need to live your life based on honesty and truthful information. It isn’t fair to you
to be put on the back burner while this boy goes out and screws around.

If he wants to screw around, let him go and have him accept responsibility for his actions.

If he isn’t screwing around have it al be put out in the open. Ask him to provide proof of bank account statements, phone records etc. Some women will try and throw the wrench in the fan when they see an ex happy…..so the burden of proof is on your boy.

I call him a boy because a man would have already put your mind and heart at ease.

If he renegs, Leave him.

Good luck with this,
Rob

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Tiffany October 18, 2011, 3:14 pm

I have been in a relationship with my bf for a yr now. i do admit it started out quick. we used to have fun and go places. but now its like he just wants to be alone and doesnt want me around. he is a truck driver. he used to be on the road for weeks at a time. only home on the weekends. after a few months, we decided to move into an apartment together. and then a few onths after that he started to drift away. at times he told me he didnt love me anymore because he had no time to love anyone. i understood. it hurt alot but i understood. well, lately it has been hot and cold. and he has told me to leave but then tells me to come back to bed within the hour. made me cry the hardest ive ever done then makes me smile like no other. i love this man. more than the world but i dont know if he even wants me around anymore. whenever i do anything wrong it takes him a week before he even wants me to speak to him but when he doesn something wrong its like i should get over it instantly. he doesnt want to have sex anymore and when it comes to any emotions he shows none. recently his ex came back into our lives saying a bunch of stuff like how she is pregnant and it is his and she is basically stalking us. i wonder if that has anything to do with it or if it is me? i dont know what to do anymore. please help.

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Stephanie October 17, 2011, 9:00 am

Hi Eric!

You said above that its ok to be angry when your boyfriend promises you something and doesn’t go through with it. If thats the case how would you bring that up without coming across as needy? For instance, my boyfriend Saturday night said that he would give me a call after a football game on Sunday and he never called. Right now I am feeling hurt because he didn’t go through with his promise. Am I upset that we didn’t hang out last night, no, but I am upset that he said he’d do something and didn’t do it. Typically, I just tend to give him a taste of his own medicine and do it back, but maybe there is a more mature way to get my hurt feelings across w/out being needy?

What is your suggestion on how to do this?

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Eric Charles October 17, 2011, 12:52 pm

Here’s the bigger picture:
.
He said he’d call and he didn’t.
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If your focus is having an outstanding, amazing, deeply loving relationship with this guy, then you probably would think of him not calling as a slight annoyance and just let it slide while you do other things.
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If your focus is on “where you stand on some totem pole of importance in his head”, then you might interpret this as an INSULT. “How DARE he not call ME?!?!” And then you get all wrapped up in needing to set the score straight – to make him feel the hurt and anger that you’re feeling.
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But guess what? All he did was not call you after a football game. He didn’t sleep with your best friend. He didn’t forget about your birthday and come home stinking drunk at 2 AM. He just didn’t call you…
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It’s your *interpretation* that determines the hurt that you feel over stuff like this. It’s the way you look at relationships in general that determines your interpretations.
.
So yeah, it’s OK to be angry if he doesn’t keep a promise (in the sense that it’s understandable to expect that someone keeps their word), but look at the big picture: Do you want a relationship where you get bent out of shape over minor, tiny little issues or do you want a relationship where your man is head over heels devoted to you because you make him feel great being with you (and you choose your battles carefully… if even at all).
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Think about it… hope it helps.

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maja55 October 6, 2011, 11:21 pm

Hey Eric
No problem…….I think at 49 and 3 kids later – last all natural at 46! home waterbirth – huge unshedding of many emotional layers! (and a few big relationships under my wing!) and a current wonderful one where I have learnt SO much and my deeper understanding of spiritual partnerships is at the top of my “relating” agenda I have seen the light!!
And being a writer and philosophical thinker myself!!!
It is mostly about ourselves…how we react and respond in life to situations/circumstances/ the expectations we have of ourselves and others..in many ways its not a fast track quick fix solution for people……it takes work, understanding, inner reflection, loving action, surrender etc etc..it is life long!!
But I really appreciate your ability to meld together the more mainstream outlook of relationships with spiritual depths..I think this is a very successful road to take becuase you will touch a broader audience….good for you..
bless

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maja55 October 6, 2011, 8:28 pm

Do people observe a v interesting theme that runs through this concept of “neediness”…it seems as though the more a female chases the more a male runs…it is evident that it is quite Universal from reading the majority of posts…
I think the best relationships are when the “mystery” is played out..and the roles above switch..its subtle but can keep the relationship “alive” and not in a game sense…life is motion..we are changing every moment…emotions etc change shift and transform our lives..life is not stagnant nor is relating…
One of the significant responses from Eric above is where he explains the “sub text” of communication..vg point…and a v significant one….there’s alot of meaning behind Eric’s statement there..ahve a good think about that one!!…
Asking oneself “where am I coming from??”
Am I projecting my hurt, insecurity, distrust upon my partner..if so..I ask “how can I own those feelings and work on MYSELF without projecting it outwardly”
Its a big one…owning one’s feelings without blame…and as Eric also says there are times when being angry or upset is appropriate and not needy..common courtesy etc

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Eric Charles October 6, 2011, 9:33 pm

Hey Maja – Yes, you definitely have a good understanding of the core problem. That makes me feel good because I try hard to get the ideas you mentioned above across.
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Thank you for that comment – it makes me feel good to know that my message is getting across. :)

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carrie September 19, 2011, 10:45 am

I wish I read this article weeks ago. I have been dating a guy for about two months now. Everything was perfect for the first month or so, and then he stopped talking to me for two days. I played cool and everything went back to normal. Then he did it again a couple weeks later and I called him out on it asking what was up, etc. Well I didn’t see him for 2 weeks but he still called me almost everyday. Well on fri we met up after work for a really nice dinner. I offered to pay half and he refused. Then when we were leaving I said “I get the feeling that you just want to be friends”. He said ‘what?’. And I asked if he was still interested and liked me and he said “I liked you. I still do just not as much as before because you have been on my tail”. We walked to our cars. He hugged and kissed me and I asked, if he wanted to hang out this weekend and he said “yeah, hit me up and we will go see that movie”. Well I hit him up fri afternoon and called on sun but no response. I really have genuine feelings for this guy, and want to win him back. Any advice? Or is it too late?

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Andrea September 8, 2011, 4:44 pm

Eric, you are a true genius!. Everything you say about neediness and where it comes from is so true..So true in fact it was news to me..I had an epiphany….It all makes perfect sense now…..After almost side swiping my new man with undying love, he naturally backed off and of course I pursued him and developed a nasty stress fever blister……Seriously though THANK YOU for designing and maintaining this website most of all for helping me and many other women be the very best they can be .

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Eric Charles September 8, 2011, 6:01 pm

Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate hearing that. I’m glad this was helpful for you.

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Allie September 1, 2011, 10:02 am

I love this article. It’s true, it’s not the problem of being available is bad, because if you are done with a half marathon and your phone happens to ring, and it’s him, you should answer! But if you are always available, at the computer, hiding next to your phone, it means you aren’t doing anything exciting, and then you talk to him about his hobbies and music and you just follow along and try to become him.

The only problem is, how to know if one is needy, or simply not getting their needs filled. For instance, I used to be the neediest girl in past relationships, but in this one, I am dating a very busy medical student. It’s really forced me to become independent and stay busy, and he puts the effort of the time he has. Still, he does not go above and beyond to show me love, I do many acts of romance for him, and he does none for me. Am I needy? I don’t know! Or perhaps i am not getting my needs filled. Perhaps I will simply put the effort he is putting into me from now on.

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jdbanks August 25, 2011, 8:05 am

Started dating this guy back on July 15th, 2011. On our second date he reached across the table and grabbed my hand asking, “What do want from this?” I responded that I am certainly not a serial dater but rather hoping to meet a nice man where we connect and it might lead to a wonderful relationship. He liked that answer and said “Good, because I am not interested in pursuing this if your not.” So he is all into me for the next three weeks, texting a lot, calling me and then BAM, like everyone else here says became distant and not available as much. I tried to communicate asking why this was happening. I had left some shower wash in his shower and when I returned the next time it had been removed. I explained to him that I am just not interested in having a relationship with someone who is dating other people much less being intimate with them. We were finally intimate on our 8th date. He stated there is no one else and that he would not cheat because his divorce ended with him finding that his wife had cheated with his best friend. That was five years ago. I began to wonder if I am being needy so I have decided to give space hoping he will return to me, I really care for him and think we are an ideal couple. Advice please?? But, I am just curious to if there is a possibility that he might be a player??

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casy August 14, 2011, 9:13 am

i have never been needy in my life, guys have always been needy towards me n ive always got any guy i wanted with out trying. but i found myself really likeing this guy. at first he was constantly wanting to see me, msging me, saying cute things and planing things in the future! but then he started pushing away. i freaked out so i acted so needy and desprate cos i thought i was loosing him!! it turned to me saying all the cute stuff, me msging him constantly, me wanting to meet up all the time and him rejecting me. then i just got frustrated at him n he knowns it. i read your article n thanks a lot your are a champ from now on im going to be calm, busy and not freak out :) n hopefully its not too late. if it is oh well i learnt my lesson!

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Eric Charles August 14, 2011, 11:15 am

Cool – the fact that you had that experience both on the receiving end and on the acting end is a very valuable experience. Because you understand how it feels when someone is acting needy towards you.
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It probably isn’t too late (unless you did something really crazy that you didn’t mention here…)
.
If you are not needy and any time he sees you or is thinking of you, he feels good (or better yet, feels like he wants more of you), then you’ll be all set.
.
Good luck.

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Melany July 30, 2011, 3:49 pm

awesome advice. it hit the nail on the head so to speak. i realized that i did that and i put all of myself into him and the relationship above everything else so when he needed time apart, i was devastated because all of my happiness was coming from that relationship. its been a month now and im giving him the space he asked me for, and i feel alot better for it. i hope that we get back together but i know that may never happen. regardless at least it was a learning experience :)

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Rob in SC(CA) July 7, 2011, 9:40 pm

My take on neediness is one of reasonable understanding and compassion. There is however a limit on how much one should allow their better half to use this neediness to control and manipulate time and relationships with family and pre-existing friends. This is not to say that one shouldn’t listen when it comes to shady friends.

I am referring more to emotional needs….everybody wants to feel appreciated and respected. This is what a relationship is all about.

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CC June 25, 2011, 1:10 am

Along with LA’s question, is it too late to stop being needy? I’m not in a “relationship” with this guy yet but i just realized i have started acting a little needy. I really like this guy and want to date him if he asks, but I’m not sure what to do now. Should I just give him some space and let him come to me? Or how can I “fix things” so he knows I am an independent person and so he (hopefully) doesn’t “run foe the hills” before he truly knows me?
– id really appreciate it if someone could help me with this as soon as possible? :) thanks soo much!

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LA June 22, 2011, 7:18 pm

Is it too late to STOP being needy?

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Rainee June 19, 2011, 4:36 pm

Thank you for all these articles. I’m in my early 40′s and haven’t dated in years. After my marriage ended 5 years ago, I wanted to make sure my baggage was packed away before jumping back into the dating pool. But now I’ve met someone, I realize I have no idea how to make a relationship work anymore. I don’t want to over analyze him or our relationship, and I acknowledge that in past relationships I became needy. With that in mind, I’ve become involved in volunteer work (mostly sports), to keep myself busy and not fall into my old trap of “waiting”. I’m going to search more articles, and really work to make this relationship a solid one for both of us. Thank you so much for your insight.

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R May 18, 2011, 10:06 pm

Wow! Thanks so much for that article! Very, very helpful. :-))

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Ixia April 28, 2011, 10:12 am

So I just finished reading this article, find it very useful thank you! C:
Just 2 days ago, i met a boy, it wasn’t love at the first sight but after I’ve talked to him for a while, I found him quite interesting to talk with and I think I quite like him.
He live quite far away from me so we only really talked on the phone, on the first day, he texted me to call him so we talked for about 2hours. On the second day we talked for about 4hours on the phone and got disturbed so we ended the call.
We talked about lots of things, and he did mentioned that he is the type of people that hate being forced on doing things (so i suppose he probably hate girls being needy too).
Today makes it the 3rd day since I met him, I’m not sure if I should call him or not, I dont want to make him feel forced but I dont want him to feel like that i dont care about him either.
At the moment it’s impossible for him to call my mobile or even text me, i cant contact him on the internet since he dont use facebook/only go on it once a month or less, hes mac wont let him sign on msn, and he dont use skype either…
The only way for us to contact is through my house phone and his mobile phone, he told me it makes him feel weird if he rings my house and someone else picked up the phone, so it has been me calling him, though he did ring me back once when i said i’ll be near the phone…
I dont wanna mess things up and dont want him to feel annoyed, so what should i do?
i really want to talk to him but should i hold this feeling in and call him like every 2days or should i leave it for even longer?

Thank you for everything! C:
Ixia

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Megan March 26, 2011, 10:46 pm

Hi Eric,
All of your articles have been really helpful to me because I used to get really angry when my boyfriend was hanging out with his friends and wouldn’t answer because he said he was “busy” and I’ve learned from reading your articles that he and I have different ideas of what busy means. My boyfriend Chris and I, broke up about a month ago because he said he was about to be really busy and he tells me things that he has to do all the time and it is a lot of stuff but one of his ex’s is putting up pictures of her and him, and her and his son, as he profile pictures on facebook and I don’t know whether he is lying to me about leaving me for her or telling me the truth and I cant think of any reason why he would be lying to me but I don’t want to be doped. I was wondering if you could give me any advice so that I could feel better about this situation because it has been making me feel sick ever since we broke up, plus I really want him back.

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H February 24, 2011, 6:35 pm

this was really helpful to me…because of you i realize that i am needy. i do get upset when my boyfriend (of 13 months) doesnt reply back the way i want him to. ill try to not bring this up with him because that might make him mad & get turned off & i really dont wat that to happen!

i also read some of your other articles & im soo glad that i found this website…youre really helpful!! thank you for all that you do!! =)

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Jasmin February 17, 2011, 12:21 pm

Hi Eric,

This was very helpful but is it possible to still get someone back even after being needy and making him withdrawal? It seems like he is still somewhat interested in me but I can’t really figure it out because he will respond to my texts here and there and when I ask him if he wants me to leave him alone he won’t respond.

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LA June 22, 2011, 7:22 pm

I have the same problem.

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Alex October 26, 2010, 4:59 pm

Girls (and boys), listen: this is excellent advice. I tried it with my boyfriend a couple of days ago, and IT DID WONDERS ! My boyfriend had been ignoring more and more for last months, and I wasn’t able to understand why it was that the most I tried to prevent our relationship from sinking, the more he refused to pay attention to my efforts… Then I tried not contacting him. I closed my Skype, I didn’t text him, etc. I acted aloof and unpreoccupied. Next day he invited me to a birthday and couldn’t get his hands off me for the whole weekend! And we didn’t fight at all… He made love to me like never before, and he even said that he felt like when we were first dating… so, thanks for the excellent article :)

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A Gray August 20, 2010, 4:26 am

Hi Eric

I know you keep hearing this from everyone but this was really helpful. i have been in my relationship for a year and a bit now and i am was a very independent person, i have had a bad history of men using me so this was the first relationship where i have started to let my barriers down with him.
He is always going on to me to be honest and open with him and he wants to know everything about me, this sometimes freaks me out even after a year as all the blokes in the past have done bad things once i have let them in (if that makes sense), so basically left me a mess once it ended because i have started to rely on them.
But it is almost like he wants me to rely on him and when i am distant and closed he is all offended and acts like i have rejected him when i haven’t.
I understand the male of the species isnt the most sensitive creature in the world but i don’t understand why its ok if he rejects me but if i do it to him its the end of the world. even tho he always admits he hates to see me disappointed.
Its just getting to the point now where i always seem to ask him for reassurance and it is doing my head in. And i can tell it is annoying him, but then if i go back to my ways of being independent and not needing him he will feel all rejected and that i don’t want him,
GGGGRRRRR!!! What do you think as i have had enough of over analysing this!!!

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Lhor August 14, 2010, 3:34 pm

I had a problem with my boyfriend i met him a dating site and we start texting each other for 3 weeks until we decided to met. In our first met we both like each other, and then we decided to met again and we had sex. In our first month seems like normal he drove like 3 hours just to see me 2 times a month. but after 3 times we met he has changed, he barely text me back anyway he texted me everyday in the morning to say good morning and i responded. i barely text him first and never call him coz he doesnt want to be on the phone and i respect it.sometimes he is kinda moody guy.and i asked him why he is cold to me he said that hes been working and not happy with his job, and dont feel good lately. and i said im sorry just wondering.he keep saying that we will meet next week he never does for almost 2 months..but i had unusual feelings he seems distant to me now.. yesterday i text him like this ” Hi I miss the old u, i have noticed u have been distant lately..if u want space that’s cool with me. i want u to be happy so if your not with me around at the moment and u need time to think just let me know.im going to give u some space and contact me when you ready to continue with this relationship. thats what my message..and he hasn’t replied till now…i need your advice plzz help me..Thanks

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Sonny June 1, 2010, 9:38 am

Thanks Eric,
You have very good insight. I think the best thing you can do is live your life, be yourself, stay true to yourself and your values and not caught up in one person. Invest your time and energy wisely to avoid these pitfalls. People are ultimately going to accept you for who you are or they are not.

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Eric Charles May 31, 2010, 7:49 pm

@Sonny
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Yeah, frantic behavior would definitely fall under the neediness category in probably all cases…
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But it’s not so much the action as it is where your actions are coming from.
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Actions can come from all sorts of places. Saying or doing something from a place of love comes across a lot different than saying or doing something from a place of judgment or anger.
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In the same way, if the place you are coming from is a place of desperateness, fear, worry or a need for him to respond in a certain way or you’ll be upset, then it will come across as “needy behavior”.
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The place you are coming from creates the sub-text of your communication. And when it comes to relationships / dating / flirtation, the sub-text is the communication.
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So if you’re wondering if you’re being needy, the question you need to ask yourself is, “Where am I coming from here?” If you can be honest with yourself, you’ll see it. And if you’re not sure, check in with one of your close friends – they’ll tell you.

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Sonny May 30, 2010, 11:43 pm

Does this apply if you never text or call him and wait a few days, like four to say “Hey, hope you’re having a good day!” To me it seems like frantic behavior that gets women into the neediness catagory.

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Jenn April 13, 2010, 9:20 pm

Thanks Eric,
I have been in a relationship for about 8 months and I am starting to get really clingy and needy. It’s hard trying to cope with this idea because in the beginning of the relationship he told me he loved me all the time and was head over heels for me when I wasn’t. Then as I slowly began being more attached to him, he backed off and now we rarely talk and it hurts even more. Could I get your opinion as to why he went from all lovey dovey to distance distance distance, is it really because of me being needy? Also if I start to help myself and do stuff for me, how long will it usually take until he is out of that phase? I really don’t want to lose this one !

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Eric Charles March 7, 2010, 5:36 pm

Hey Sam,

Don’t confuse neediness with situations where you should rightfully be angry. If he promised to meet you somewhere at a specific time and then didn’t, that’s definitely a situation where you should be angry. Guys should always keep their promises – if a guy isn’t sure that he can keep his promise, he should promise it in the first place! Moreover, he shouldn’t leave you hanging without a heads-up if he thinks he’s going to be late after setting a time.

So I would first say that you want to ask yourself, “Is he breaking a promise he made to me or am I just wanting him to do something for me and getting upset because he isn’t?”

Nobody’s perfect and we all need other people in our lives. However, our own sense of security and “wholeness” is our own responsibility, not anyone else’s.

As long as you recognize this, that is the first (and most important step). Before you recognize something, you have no power to change or improve it. On the other hand, after you recognize something, you have tremendous power to shift things in the direction you want because you know what needs to be corrected.

Have faith in yourself and don’t worry. You have knowledge and awareness of this now and that’s all you need to move toward not having destructive, needy behaviors. You’ll be OK.

Hope it helps.

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Sam March 7, 2010, 1:46 pm

Hi Eric,

Came across your article after web browsing as I am in a very new relationship (less than a month) and am now starting to become needy already and am kicking myself stupid for it!! He has been single for quite a while (we have mutual friends and she confirmed this to me and I had gotten that impression anyway) and therefore he is used to doing favours for friends and not having any ties so I guess he is having trouble fitting a woman into his life. Things were going well and he was due to take me out for a drink one evening – but he didn’t turn up til after 10pm after a bit of frantic texting and attempted phone calls – I did get to speak to him before he turned up and he said he was doing a errand for his parents. Anyway he turned up and I kinda told him off for leaving me hanging all evening and whilst he said he deserved me to be cross with him, I am panicking and feeling quite needy – I hate this about myself – I know damned well it’s the wrong thing to do yet I find myself doing this time and time again!! I don’t want to blow things with this guy. The evening that he came round he only stayed a short time and during that time things felt kinda tense and I know it was because I wasn’t my normal chilled out self. Since then I have had moments where I now worry that I have blown things and have still probably seemed a little needy and he seems to have backed off a bit but maybe I am just being paranoid and he’s just busy as usual…………like I say, I don’t want to blow it with this guy so wondering how I can “backtrack”, rid him and myself of stupid needy behaviour and make him want me again??

Many Thanks, the article has been really insightful – just wondering if there is anyway back if you have already made the steps into neediness?!

Sam

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M July 29, 2009, 11:33 am

This was very helpful and insightful. Thank you!

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gqqueen June 10, 2009, 5:06 pm

Eric, I wish I had that article a long time ago. I am now going through a divorce because of being extremely needy and for always relying on my husband for happiness and reassurance and for never having confidence in myself. My 7-year anniversary would have been next Friday (June 19). =( I have learned my lesson and I’ve matured so much (been without the hubby for 17 months now). I just wish my husband could see that I have changed and that it just takes some people time to mature. It might be too late for me. It seems that I have smothered the life out of my relationship and my hubby & he is now feeling free and independent on his own.

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jenna May 27, 2009, 11:25 am

thanks for this article. now i realize why things happen…i hope i can be stronger. i hate being needy myself but sometimes i cant help it. but this article clearly explains why im always taken for granted. the answer is simple: im always available. thank u eric.

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Eric Charles May 8, 2009, 12:27 pm

You are very welcome. I am glad you found it helpful!

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Lauren May 8, 2009, 11:24 am

[When a girl starts acting needy, especially in the beginning of a relationship, I look at it as the ultimate red flag. It’s not even a logical decision. Neediness, to me, is synonymous for ‘emotional dependency’, as in “this woman is dependent on you in order for them to feel good.”]

Thanks–I NEEDED to hear this (=

Really, I did. Thanks!!

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lioness in japan April 15, 2009, 2:37 am

Excellent article. So good to hear it from a guy who would just say it like it is. I just had a two-hour girl talk session with a friend who is very needy in her spanking new relationship. I wish she could read your article but she may not like hearing “putting all (her) eggs in one basket” because she is quite sensitive and may think I am implying she doesn’t have a life.

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Eric Charles April 11, 2009, 9:28 pm

Rebecca – I am glad to hear that the article was helpful to you. Thanks for leaving the comment – knowing that my work is helpful makes me feel good, so I appreciate it.

Lili – I agree with you and I think that is a GREAT idea. I will add it to our list of future articles. Thanks!

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Lili Boyd April 11, 2009, 8:54 pm

Good advice. However, in the today’s world, where there is no community support
and where families sometimes live in different countries or states, perhaps this
article can try and direct women how they can build a network for emotional support
so that they don’t fall into this pattern.

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Rebecca April 11, 2009, 7:05 pm

Thanks for that advice, I really needed it. My relationship just ended for these very reasons – as you say, I put all my eggs in one basket and the pressure was put on him to be all that made me happy. Now I see where I went wrong, and how I can go about being more ‘unavailable’ and independent!

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