Ask a Guy: How Do I Show Interest Without Looking Needy? post image

Ask a Guy: How Do I Show Interest Without Looking Needy?

I’ve been seeing this guy who I really like for about two weeks now. He really is the perfect guy and has everything I want in a guy. I haven’t had much luck with men so I’m really excited about him, maybe too excited. I’d wish I could spend all my time with him and I’m scared of seeming too needy or desperate. I’m trying to stay in control and not text him more than twice a day or nag him on messenger if he doesn’t want to talk for very long.

The only thing is, I’m afraid I’m holding back too much. He actually once pointed out that I’m kind of distant with him him. I’m also afraid of appearing too needy. What should I do? I really don’t want to lose him. 

Don’t worry so much about doing things that will appear needy. Worry about being in a needy headspace/mindset.

There’s nothing wrong with being nervous or excited about a guy. Being excited about a new person is great and fun.

But when you believe that you’re not enough for him, or that he will give you something special that you don’t already have within yourself or that he’s the key to your happiness, then that is being in a needy mindset.

You can avoid ever being needy when you just make sure to live a full, interesting and engaging life that you love regardless of whether or not you’re in a relationship.

Neediness is when you believe you need a guy.

Nothing wrong with enjoying being with a guy. Nothing wrong with liking a guy. Nothing wrong with wanting a guy.

It’s the needing that’s the problem – that is to say, believing that you need this guy to live, to be happy, to survive, to be OK, to be complete, etc.

You don’t need that guy or any guy, you just want him. Just remember that and you’ll be fine.

Another way you can spot the “needy” mindset is when you notice that you’re starting to fear losing him.

I’m going to throw a concept out there that’s going to sound a bit “against the grain” compared to all of the crap you hear from the Hollywood and music industries.

The fact is:  “You cannot possess another person.”

All this stuff about “you’re mine and I’m yours” sounds poetic in movies and songs, but in real life it’s not only an unrealistic mindset… it’s a poisonous belief to have in your relationship.

What do I mean by this?

Well, this idea suggests that you own this person and therefore you’re entitled to expect certain things from them.  It suggests that you no longer need to earn the other person – you just get and deserve everything they give you just for showing up.

Now I’m sure there are people reading this saying, “That’s the whole point of relationships!  You give and take and you’re there for each other!”

I agree that in a great relationship, you give and you take and you’re there for each other.

What I absolutely do not agree with is that there’s some point where you think that you can stop earning the other person.  At the same time, there’s no point in which they can stop earning you… to which I’ll remind you that whether you’ve been with this person a day, a year, a decade or an eternity… you are choosing to be there in that relationship everyday.

I’m trying to get across that in relationships, you are earning the other person and you’re choosing to stay with them.  But you never own or possess one another.

The best way to never fall into this trap is to never allow yourself to live like you’re not single.  A lot of times, I see people get comfortable and let themselves go after a relationship is established.  They stop putting in as much effort and they start leaning on the relationship, more and more.  They stop investing into the relationship and start making bigger and bigger withdrawals from the relationship.

It’s usually as they start doing this, they start feeling a haunting sensation in the back of their minds.  This is when they start to fear the other person leaving them or losing the other person.  It’s like their mind is thinking, “I’m not putting in as much effort and I’m afraid I’m taking too much… but… Hollywood and stories and music tells me that once you love each other, you’re with each other forever and you give freely… right?…. Right???”

I totally understand the fear of losing the person you love.  I completely get that… it’s a gut-wrenching feeling.

The question is:  How long do you want to go on feeling that?  How long do you want to continue feeling like something terrible is about to happen?  Like “the other shoe is about to drop”, so to speak?

The only way out of the place of feeling helpless and fearing the end of your relationship is… to proactively invest into the relationship.  That way you know you’re doing what you can and if he leaves, well, there was nothing you could have done about it.

Ironically, women have the idea in their minds that if they would never leave the guy that it will help the relationship.  Actually, it cripples it.

Guys function on bottom-lines, wins and losses, criteria for success and failure.  When you declare that you’ll never leave within your own mind, what you’re actually saying is that you’ll settle for anything.  You’re declaring that no matter how little he gives, you’ll never leave.

And while on the surface he will be grateful and sweet and appreciative to know that you’ll never leave, the nature of man is to always move onto the next challenge once a mission is “complete”.

This might sound crazy, I understand, but as soon as you show your man that you’ll be there forever, I will almost guarantee that soon after (a week, a month, a few months) he will find something that sucks up all his time and becomes his new priority.  Men prioritize that which requires their attention in order to have, attain or keep.

OK, I’ve given you a bunch of food for thought.

Hope that helps,

eric charles

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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This article really helped clarify some things that my on/off boyfriend complains about in our relationship but has never been able to adequately explain so they keep popping up. My boyfriend complains that I’m needy and I’ve never been able to understand why since I don’t have the needy mindset but I am guilty of the “you’re mine and I’m yours.” That has caused me to have certain expectations and I can see now how that would come off as needy. Thanks.

Reply May 21, 2017, 8:12 pm


I want to start off by saying that this article has helped me immensely by understanding you men a little more but I still cannot find clarity when it comes to communication with a man. I have been dating a man in his late 40’s which is a plus considering I will be 40 not to far off. He recently told me reasons why he is attracted towards me both sexually and non sexually as I did with him. When we are together rather we go out or stay in we can’t keep our eyes or hands off one another. He recently told me he would like me to actually stay over some nights and not have to leave. Which i agreed upon and vise versa at my place. Now there’s is one attribute neither one of us have and that is communication over texting and the phone. We can talk hours upon hours when we are together face to face but phone and texting wise there isn’t much there. He sometimes will send me a good morning text and other times nothing until I do. We can text here and there throughout the day and then Inwont hear from him for 4,5,6 hours. I don’t want to always be texting due to the fact I don’t want him to think I don’t have a life but I also want him to know he’s on my mind. Should I wait to hear from him via text or phone or should I be the one to instigate convo with him? Please help this is driving me insane !!!

Reply May 18, 2017, 9:03 pm


I’m in this exact same situation and it’s really frustrating. Really looking for how to handle this!!

Reply August 11, 2017, 3:59 am


Really good insights here, but I feel I have to take issue with a statement you make at the end of the article – “as soon as you show your man that you’ll be there forever, I will almost guarantee that soon after he will find something that sucks up all his time and becomes his new priority.”
I understand not being willing to put up with anything, not being a doormat so to speak. But what about giving assurance to your man that you will be there for them, that you’ll stick by them through trying times? That you’ll be their rock if there comes a time that they need that from you?

Reply March 10, 2017, 9:37 am


I like the article in general, but the last closing lesson is kind of BS.

This thing that men only like challenges is not true. There may be men like that, but not all. As for me, I also like stability.

And yes, a girl showing neediness might not be good. But showing loyalty to the relationship is not necessarily acting needy. What is acting needy is trying to be 24h with the other person. Life is not only about relationships and you need to give men their space. If you respect this, it’s all right if you show them that you’re in the relationship for the long term.

Reply February 4, 2017, 8:58 pm


I notice the more a woman invests into a relationship, the more the man takes her for granted and loses interest in investing into it himself. It seems that investment is needy….it’s the expectation of a future. If I can’t reasonably expect a future together, then why invest into the relationship? It seems a woman must never be committed then. Is that really the emotional atmosphere for trust and intimacy? It doesn’t seem that way to me…

Reply December 18, 2016, 1:03 am

Eric Charles

The man you select has a lot to do with how he’ll act in the relationship.

Who are you selecting?

Reply December 19, 2016, 4:44 pm


Eric, I have a question. What if a man and a woman have both been looking for someone they can love for the rest of their lives, and they date and eventually get married. They do not have problems that would cause one or the other of them being ready to leave at any point in time. Is it still considered “needy” if the woman assures her husband she will be there with him for the rest of their lives, since that’s what they both want? Will most men then lose interest, thinking their “mission is complete” or however you phrased it, or were you only referring to people who have just began a relationship?

Reply July 19, 2016, 4:58 pm


How many times can a woman contact a man without seeming desperate?
My problem is that ONLY macho men with bad temper and a player character pursue me, never sweet nice guys. People from my country tell me that nice men are intimidated by highly beautiful women who also have a certain career(a very intimidating career too…unfortunately). I am so polite and nice to all people, I don’t do anything to scare them. Why aren’t the bad guys scared too? Only nice ones?
For instance, to have an idea of my life,I met a man -network party,, I talked to him (me, not him )then later I wrote him an email asking him out. He answered yes, we went out, he seemed shy and his face was red. He did not call since then, nor write me . I think, let’s say 60% that he liked me, but I feel bad to write him again.It would be a third act of pursuing from my part and none from his. We have no friends in common, I only have that mail. The problem is that in my town there are mostly women and he’s new in town, he’ll be taken soon(most women are desperate here and some very agresive) if I don’t do something and wait for him to do…I truly like him very much ,it’s for long time since I liked someone like this. I could hardly slept few hours in the last days. What do you suggest? Thank you

Reply March 18, 2016, 9:46 pm



Reply January 25, 2016, 7:41 pm

miriam muthoni

when someone loves you… he will start telling you his secret

Reply October 13, 2015, 3:15 pm


Such good information and advise????. Learning to love yourself is the hardest part!!

Reply September 17, 2015, 10:10 pm


I’ve a very critical problem for which I’m unable to find any sort of solution pls help me to d earliest.
So the thing is that I’m basically from south India and im 21year old. I had a friend called Raghav n he is 5 years elder to me we were very good friends and later it turned into a relationship so now we are presently in relationship since a year. Everything was going well..he invested all his time for me he used to keep me happy n do much more things to impress me but as time passed he started facing many problems in his family . and now the things between us are very disgusting we quarrel more he don’t give me so much time and most importantly his family members r forcing him to marry. He wanna marry me but its not possible bcoz, I’m younger than him and my dad is a very Moody n aggressive kind of person and he wants me to finish my MBA n settle down. N it takes minimum 3 years for me to complete my education and in Raghav’s religion they should get married before 25-26. He’s mentally tortured at his home. Daily there parents relatives fight for this reason.but we love each other a lot we don’t wanna get separated. We discussed about this stuff with mine as well as his ffriends BT none knows wat to do.few tell him to wait till I finish my studies..though he can wait his family can’t. Please help me help our love please :'(

Reply August 24, 2015, 1:24 pm


If you’ve known the guy for two weeks and when you first met he was sweet and flirtatious and insecure but now he doesn’t text as often.
Is it ok to just still say a hey text and goodnight text or does it get annoying?
What can you do to make yourself not seem needy? How can you make yourself look interested but not so interested that he would want to just ignore you all together?

Reply May 11, 2015, 6:29 pm


I’m having the same problem. He was the one initiating all conversations and now he hasn’t put in the effort as of lately. I don’t know what to do. I want to call and text but like you also I don’t want to seem needy. At this point just being concerned will feel like I’m being needy. Why is it so hard to maintain a good relationship. I kind of like this guy and he seems genuine but things have changed and its so much you have to look for when trying to establish a new relationship. It shouldn’t be this difficult. What I resort to doing is just not call or text altogether. Maybe he will reach out eventually. Good luck with your situation MoMo

Reply July 4, 2022, 6:05 pm

Myra Anderson

When you text a guy six times in two days and interrupt his sleep and he gets angry.
You have dated him only a couple of times he has not answered or? called for two days.
Is he still interested? Will he call? Can this be saved?

Reply January 7, 2015, 7:43 pm

Linda Evans

How about when you date an older guy (14 yrs older) and the first and second date goes very well, but after the second date you message him saying that you hoped you didn’t offend him in any way and that you were not a woman who relentlessly pursues
a man but that you say everything on your mind without thinking and that I should not do that….Then you call him and he us sleeping….The next day you text him an apology and text him two more times…Then at almost midnight you message him and he sends you a message saying it’s late and he is sleeping and you don’t let him sleep..the next day you text him an apology and he does not answer…That was in a Sunday and Monday and on Wednesday he still hasn’t texted it called..P.S. He works from 8 -8 everyday…Will he run away? Can this be saved? Did he stop liking her? Will he want to go out again?…

Reply January 7, 2015, 7:38 pm


very simple. Show interest without looking needy? Make your interest PERSONAL, make it relevant to this guy and his world. Is he a digital artist? Take an interest in his work, ask him about his process, ask him to show you some stuff, etc. Nobody is allergic to affection or genuine interest, just don’t be afraid to make it about the other person and not just about validation for you.

Reply December 22, 2014, 2:25 pm


Your stories, comments and prose is boss dude. Great stuff!

Reply August 5, 2013, 5:21 am

G funk

If you have both agreed that you’re not seeing anyone else than it should be just that. I recently had that conversation with my guy. When it’s the right person things just fall into place. We all worry too much. If a guy is into you it’s all in his actions and not what he says. He will want to talk to you, stay in contact and spend time with you. It’s really simple. Don’t listen to what he says but instead pay attention to what he does. If a guy likes you he will want to spend time with you. It takes time to get to know each other but when it really grows and develops and he is committed, you will in fact talk to him every day. Yes that’s right. When a man is committed he will contact you every day and share his innermost feelings. It takes a lot of time though. If a guy is all about you too soon you should probably be very cautious as love is like a plant in that it needs to be watered and nurtured.

Reply July 12, 2013, 12:19 am


Can you please elaborate on how men really prioritize?

I’m not sure I’m following it correctly. I need some juicy details!

It’s a difficult place to traverse because if you like a good guy, and you naturally show it so…. yeah.

Please tell us!

Reply June 28, 2013, 3:33 am


I think the advice about not being needy and loving yourself and your life is great. But I’m having trouble understanding something. I think its great to be care-free and not invest too much too early. But what happens when you start feeling something for the guy and he becomes distant? Are we supposed to just pretend like it doesn’t bother us? (I’m not talking I’m gonna die if he doesn’t call me, but its leaving me confused and kinda hurt). At this point, is it okay to say ‘hey I really like you but our communication the way it is just isn’t working for me’….or something? In other words, how do I know the difference between being needy and respecting my own standards, expectations and feelings?

Reply November 13, 2012, 8:44 pm


This article explains exactly why Twilight is one of the most awful love stories in existence.

Reply November 8, 2012, 9:25 am


Thanks for yet another informative post. Would really appreciate if you would elaborate more on this, as I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around it: “Men prioritize that which requires their attention in order to have, attain or keep.”

Reply November 7, 2012, 8:53 pm


If you don’t give him a handout and you believe on the inside that you’re the prize to be earned he will consider you high priority and put forth more effort. That’s my interpretation.

Reply November 13, 2012, 3:29 pm


I think I get it now, after re-reading his sentence. In other words (or in his words, just rearranged), if a guy’s attention is required in order to have/attain/keep something, then that thing becomes his priority.

Reply November 13, 2012, 5:42 pm


This is very useful advice although I bought this ebook that taught me this and a bunch more about being the girl everyone wants. Even the free preview video to the book gives a lot of good info. Check it out:

Reply November 6, 2012, 8:08 pm


Thanks for insight about the way men prioritize. Do you advise against marriage?

You wisely observe: “The best way to never fall into this trap is to never allow yourself to live like you’re not single. ” This makes so much sense, but seems to contradict marriage.

Would remaining single avoid more pitfalls?


Reply November 6, 2012, 6:20 pm


He means not to act like you’re his girlfriend until you are his girlfriend. Cause some people get attached quickly and assume that they’re with that person

Reply July 18, 2013, 10:10 am

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