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 woman 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.

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 woman 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. I discuss this in-depth in the link below.

MORE: What Do Men Want In A Woman?

Back to neediness: When a woman starts acting needy, especially in the beginning of a relationship, it shows up as the ultimate red flag. It’s not even a logical decision. Neediness is synonymous with ’emotional dependency’, as in: “This woman is dependent on the guy in order for her to feel good.”

Now, sometimes when I start explaining this, I’ll get a comment saying, “Oh so what? We’re supposed to be emotional robots with no feelings or desires and just accept anything a guy is doing without complaint?”

Jeez… calm down… no, that’s not what I’m saying at all.

It’s perfectly normal and healthy to want a relationship with all the good qualities: connection, chemistry, understanding, intimacy, attentiveness and on and on.

You can have it all, too, but what I’m trying to explain in this article is that you don’t get it from wanting it. You create a relationship with those qualities by inspiring those things within the relationship.

The problem with neediness is that instead of inspiring all of those positive relationship qualities, the “needy person” acts as if their partner is denying them those good relationship qualities… like they’re entitled to them and their partner is cruelly withholding it.

Put simply, a needy person doesn’t feel good inside and then saddles the other person with the responsibility to make them feel better…

(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“)

Even the kindest, most well-meaning, most empathetic guy won’t be able to satisfy a woman who acts needy the majority of the time.

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 that needy guy was texting you right now?… 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.

MORE: Ask a Guy: Am I Being Needy?

When you boil it all down, neediness is not some set of behaviors. Neediness is a mindset.

When a person takes on the belief that another person is responsible for their happiness, their sense of well-being and their sense of self-esteem, then it’s guaranteed that they’re going to act needy as a result of that mindset.

Making someone else responsible for your emotions is a key ingredient in creating a toxic relationship type dynamic, so it’s very important to guard against doing that (as well as recognize when others are doing that towards you).

The best way to not be needy is to make sure you have plenty to keep you busy and make a solemn vow to yourself that YOU are ultimately responsible for your happiness, your sense of well-being and your self-esteem.

It’s easy to become wrapped up in a new relationship, but it is extremely important to maintain your own life. When a woman is independent and has a lot going on she becomes more appealing to the guy because her time is more scarce and therefore if he wants to see her, he needs to put in effort to make plans with her.

As I’ve said in other places, when someone puts effort into a relationship, the person putting in the effort becomes more invested in the relationship (not the other person).

I think a lot of conventional relationship advice says that always being 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!

As a result, all of that pressure and dependency ends up crushing and smothering out the life from that relationship! This is why it’s very important to get fulfillment, entertainment and love from many different areas of your life, not just from one lone man.

Also, having a full and fulfilling life makes it much easier for you to extend only as much effort towards the relationship as he’s extending. Generally speaking, this is a good strategy.

To take that a step further, whenever you put effort into a relationship with someone, you are investing in them. Whenever they put effort in, they are investing in you. If you are waiting by the phone for him to call and to make time for you, then you’re probably the only one doing the investing.

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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I think I may have committed an inadvertent needy mistake. It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve seen each other due to trips and work schedules. We’ve only had four dates. We were chatting this morning and he was telling me about his plans for the week (but in retrospect, I think it may have been for the weekend). I responded and said that it sounded like a busy week and the conclusion was that there was no chance to do something together?
And then I followed it up with a compliment that I Meant to give him a couple of texts earlier but forgot to. Put both of those together and I’m feeling a little unsettled and kind of want to kick myself. Before this I would have said absolutely he was interested in me.

Reply July 16, 2022, 1:20 pm

Eric Charles

Let’s say the guy is interested.

OK, then what? What comes next for the relationship?

See in today’s culture it’s like there is a giant step missing when it comes to creating a great relationship.

What comes after the initial interest? What comes after the first few dates?

There’s a progression to things:

First, you need to enter his world, his life emotionally.

In the very beginning, you are meeting each other and enjoying each other, but you might be entirely outside of his experience of life and what’s meaningful to him.

A woman must cross this threshold or the relationship will fizzle out and expire. It could take days, weeks or months to fizzle out, but once the novelty and convenience has faded, there needs to be an emotional foundation to keep things moving forward.

This is what Sabrina and I are driving at when we say you must connect with the “man under the mask”. In essence, we’re saying you must come to understand what’s meaningful to him, what drives him.

This next stage of things is called intimacy. You must create a kind of “culture” in your relationship that encourages and celebrates “raw, unfiltered expression”, because only then can he express and relate from his heart. If this essence isn’t there in the relationship, you’ll never be able to see his heart, you’ll only see the pretty, filtered “mask”.

Beyond this is inspiration. You inspire love in a man.

That is to say, you understand his journey through life, you understand what’s meaningful to him, you understand his struggles and victories as he experiences them and you know how to relate to him through that experience. You know how to connect with him in the way that brings out his best. You know the “mood” his heart responds to that makes him feel he can win in life, that he can have the life he wants, that he’s making progress towards what’s meaningful to him.

Nobody is talking about this out there with relationship advice. All of it tends to be some version of “men like this, men don’t like this”… And so everyone is doing this dance of trying to keep a guy interested and “chasing them”… but with what?! With what?! Where’s the substance?

So that’s what I’m driving at in this comment.

Neediness is good to know about but from another perspective, it’s also possible that you’re on the next phase of things where he’s dealing with his life and you’re either in it or outside of it.

Enter his world emotionally. Look at the relationship not as keeping him interested or being “good enough” for him, but rather that you’re discovering him.

Discover him, understand his journey, understand what’s meaningful to him. Understand what it his greatest feeling of “aliveness” is. Understand what “life at its best” looks like to him.

If you don’t move forward in evolving the relationship emotionally, it’s going to fizzle out. Not because you’re needy but because the deep emotional connection needs to be there for there to be a future.

Don’t worry about neediness. Fearing that you have fear is still just fear! Replace fear with powerful curiosity. Discover him.

Hope that helps Evie.

Reply July 17, 2022, 11:15 am


Yes it does help. I love this article. Thank you.

(Also that line where you said “Jeez…calm down…” really made me laugh out loud! You’re so funny and I love how you mix it up in your articles and cover things off in advance. Cool! And funny!)

Reply June 19, 2022, 6:44 am


Last 20 years of your life? You don’t even look 20. That being said, your advice is solid, and it works when two individuals are emotionally and mentally healthy for the most part. When couples fall apart is where one doesn’t have the wherewithal to even look up questions like this. Self worth grows with self reflection and personal responsibility. Work on yourself and things will fall into place.

Reply April 7, 2022, 3:36 pm


Its great to hear a guys perspective on neediness. But I dont understand one thing: I often hear that men want to be needed by women, but at the same time women should also be independent and enforce what they wang. So how does this work? As a woman, I should not nag and demand but at the same time show the guy i need him? Or what is your take on the phrase, that “b*tches” get the nicest men? I naturally dont want to bother people and expect the same in return but I am afraid that guys will see me as too independent or easily appeased and thus “low value” or that guys dont have to care for me.

Reply August 31, 2021, 4:18 pm


Just have own life dont care too much for him and he u like crazy u will see ;)

Reply December 20, 2021, 11:54 am


Eric, thank you so much for all these articles! I really appreciate the knowledge that you’re sharing with us and the message underneath everything you write: when we become more fulfilled in our own lives, love will come and love will stay.

Reply June 9, 2021, 12:47 pm


It’s been about a year since my ex boyfriend Completely dumped me out of the blue for reasons that he claimed were cuz he wasn’t happy as a person and felt as if It was making me unhappy. After reading this I realize that maybe he felt more responsible for my happiness than I realized and maybe I relied on him more to make me happy than I should have. Towards the middle of the relationship I felt as if I was making all the effort to see him and plan things and he wasn’t doing really anything. Sometimes it would be like pulling teeth to get him to hang out with me once or even twice a week. I see now that maybe I was being a little too needy of his time and he felt as if I was maybe taking advantage of his time. If I ever got a chance to sit down with him again I would express these things and apologize. I will say that it didn’t start off this way. In the beginning I was far from codependent and honestly did my own thing most of the time but as the relationship went on I got more comfortable and fell in love with him. Sometimes just began to miss him but couldn’t help but think does he ever miss me or is this just a one way street. Maybe I never gave him a chance to miss me. Now I feel as if this outgoing, confident, independent, strong girl I was at the beginning of the relationship a year ago is completely lost and I’m still trying to find her again.

Reply March 28, 2021, 7:36 pm


My guy always answers is phone and reply’s to my text except recently. I called him on my way home from work like I do just about every day but he didn’t
Answer or return my call. The next morning I sent him a good morning text but no reply so I waited two days to see if he would reply back. No reply so thinking this is out of the ordinary and had not seen each other for a few days I text him asking if he wanted to get together and talk and if not please let me know so we could move on. (Oh I should mention I saw he was on social media quite a bit durning this time) he called not long after sending him the text saying he is sick. I understand some people want to be left alone during this time but my question is do you think it is inconsiderate of him to
Not at least let me know he hasn’t been well and won’t be in touch?

Reply February 29, 2020, 12:48 am


I have a habit of being needy and not giving men their space and after pushing the last guy away, I’m starting to recognize all this and that I need to learn to love myself. I’ve reconnected with an old friend/flame that knows I got impatient before with his work schedule and left to date other men. This guy told me from the get go that he’s bad about calling and texting, so I initially thought I would need to be the one to contact him if I wanted to talk to him. Well I noticed I’m doing it again, not giving him a chance to contact me, and maybe pushing him away. My question is, if I stop contacting him, how do I know he’s not going to think that I got impatient again and moved on again (his work schedule has changed a little to give him a little more room to have time to visit outside of work but only at late hours)? Also how do I know I will hear from him when he already said he was bad about calling or texting? And we have not yet talked about if we are exclusive.

Reply November 2, 2019, 8:43 am


What are your thoughts on a male expecting his wife to handle all of the “feminine” household duties such as cook every meal and do all the grocery shopping and cleaning and constantly picking up after him? My husband thinks it’s a”woman’s” duty and he doesn’t help at all.

He also had a fit when I went to do something when he was “sick” but well enough to heat up dinner himself. Then he started a fight. This was after I served him two other meals and tea several times during the day. I feel he is acting overly needy and depends on me to care for him like a mom.

Is there a solution? When I tried to discuss the issue, he accused me of being away for 4 hours when it was 2.5, i have location data proof, and he accused me of abandoning him when he was “sick.” I don’t know what to do next. Any ideas?

Is it just me or do the guys who still believe in the old school gender roles seem exceptionally needy and want a mommy to tend to their laziness instead of a partner who sleeps with them?

Reply July 21, 2019, 3:04 am


Thnx for the advice,I’m bn wondering what I was doing wrong..I am in a relationship ,my boyfriend works I dnt but I want him to text,call communicate almost everyday and he sometimes just dnt text back or call back,so I’ll feel lyk he is ignoring me

Reply June 24, 2019, 6:17 am


Had an amazing few months..he said the I love you daily many times…we were sync like we had been together all our lives…all.was in place ..when out we had to.touch one another ever in hand holding..he told his family I was what he always wanted..went out for drinks one eve..came home ..talking in bed…suddenly he said I was with holding love making and he left very angry…would not talk nothing ..shut right down..then a text came after days of me letting him know I did not intentionally with hold being with him in sex..he won’t talk now ..only a small 3word text ..said he hasn’t felt as hoped…but I am no kid here man acts as he was with me so intensely in love and ghosts …what can I do to make him see ..understand ..its been A week ..i care greatly for this person..soulmate connection was strongly felt here he agreed…help!

Reply January 15, 2019, 10:57 am


Hi Eric
I think I just ruined a relationship with a guy I really really like because of my hardiness.
I am absolutely ashamed of my behaviours, I got even a little bit obsessed.

No wonder he does not reply to my messages.
I really want to change, how do I do that?
Thank you,

Reply September 5, 2018, 7:03 am

Eric Charles

Hey Alex,

Neediness is rooted in “fear of loss”. Look inside yourself and how you related to this man and this relationship?

I think you’ll see that all of the so-called neediness was rooted in a fear of losing him. Now, why you had that fear is going to be something you’ll have to answer for yourself. It could be because of how the relationship dynamic was… or how the guy was… or maybe just pressures and unrealistic expectations that you put on yourself.

I am empathetic to anyone who suffers with so-called neediness since our society doesn’t teach people how to feel secure or grounded. Quite the opposite… our society force-feeds everyone messages and perspectives that lead people to feel more uncertain, more afraid, more insecure.

So I want to make it clear to you – it’s not your fault if so-called neediness has ever taken root in your mindset! We live in a society that’s currently pretty screwed up… the “normal” or “socially acceptable” way that we’re supposed to be is actually quite contrary to our nature as humans living in a society.

My advice is that you look inside at all the pressures and expectations that you feel you need to live up to and go easy on yourself. Examine what you thought you needed to have but wasn’t possible. Do your best to examine it purely from your side without blaming the guy.

Note: I’m not saying that what he did or didn’t do isn’t his “fault”… the purpose of this exercise is to find within yourself where you actually have control and choice, so that in the future you can make different choices and get a different outcome.

Sometimes the choice is to not choose a guy like that. Sometimes the choice is to not be in a relationship like that. Sometimes the choice is to not participate or go along with something that in this case you had gone along with. Sometimes the choice is to have a different perspective on something within relationships, men, etc.

Reply September 6, 2018, 1:11 pm


So I met a guy a few weeks ago on a dating site. I’ve been divorced 15 years, and rarely meet men I really connect with. I had 3 amazing dates, and I really connected with him. He was really sweet, cool, and kept telling me that he can tell I can’t believe how quickly we connected, and invited me to his beach house. I told him I just met him and wouldn’t do that (while I know it would be amazing). His texts slowed down, he doesn’t call, and even after our last amazing date he was logged on to the dating site for the next couple days. I told him I get that we are new and don’t expect us to NOT still have a dating profile, but just disappointed that only an hour after our date he was online trolling. I did feel the fear of losing him (as you speak of). But it wasn’t for something I am feeling insecure about in myself, but because I almost never meet men I really like and truly connect with. I finally sent him a note to wish him luck, but then regretted and told him I still want to see him. He never contacted me again.

Reply November 26, 2018, 9:57 pm


That was really compassionate and helpful, thank you ❤️

Reply July 14, 2019, 1:17 am


I’m a woman and I give this article a solid Amen. It’s the truth I was the type of woman who always had a man I wasn’t “right” without one. If One didn’t act right I’d get another right away. Attracting men wasn’t my problem at all keeping them around was. I was needy I just had to face it. After getting tired of that and being single I began to get to know myself and what I wanted and would not put up with. I began to love taking care of ME without expecting a man to do it. Now I’m with the man of my dreams no lie I literally dream about him and to wAke up and to see him wanting me back is an indescribable joy but it’s been a 7 year journey to the point that we really have only been seriously into each other a little over the past year. He was a big of a commitment phobe and I was well…needy. I was always in my feelings and it wasn’t that he didn’t care for me he just showed it differently then I wanted him to as a result we pushed each other away. We tanked lol but physically no matter what sparks always flew no problems there we just couldn’t get the live part right until we learned to be friends. Today We don’t even define our relationship it just is. We make plans together including traveling abroad for 10 days in a few months and just being together is fun we have verbally told each other we love each other so there’s no question. I am completely action based now when a man shows you he’s in love with you enjoy it ladies quit nagging yes we have arguments but that’s healthy we work it out and move on well not staying stuck in negativity so let it flow and give it space and time for two of the seven years we talked every blue moon but did not see each other and weren’t romantically involved and from that blossomed the sweetest friendship that we have today. That time apart showed us how much we missed and loved each other. He literally told me I would always be his best friend the feeling is mutual. Again it’s not perfect but the good outweighs the imperfection so much that I love him with my soul however he is not my whole life. Get it? Be comfortable in your skin before you can give to someone else. Love takes time it took us 7 years lol

Reply July 18, 2018, 8:00 am


I have to say I have been suffering deeply from anxiety for the last week and your article made all of it go away in about three seconds. I understand now what I have been doing wrong and I’m going to start investing in myself more to be the best me I can be. Not for him, for me because I deserve it.

Reply July 15, 2018, 10:30 pm


I have been with a man for about 3 years. We broke up countless times and he moved in and out of my house many times. He last moved out about 2 months ago. He still comes around when I need help and sleep together many times. He said he loves me but not willing to commit or get back to living together again. I do not miss the arguements when we were together but now we enjoy each other’s company when we live apart. He talks openly about his work but claims that he has no time for dating other woman. What is going on with him? When we were together, I tended to act needy but now I enjoy being alone and catch up on my needs not his.

Reply March 20, 2018, 4:01 pm

Kristi McWilliams

Good article, Eric.

The truth is that being “needy” cannot be explained in it’s totality, whereas the behavior or actions that coincide with neediness is very subjective. You are absolutely right that it is a mindset. Men and/or women must realize that seeking happiness or fulfilment from a significant other can be destructive to a relationship. Placing expectations on someone and getting upset or feeling disappointed when they do not meet them is a direct indication that “personal satisfaction” could have been attained only when that person behaved in the manner that was expected. The time and energy wasted on wanting validation from others, perhaps, should be spent living our lives and pursuing personal endeavors that establish a solid foundation and personal happiness that is not contingent upon another’s actions or reactions.

Thanks for the advice!

Reply October 26, 2017, 8:32 am


By reading this article I have received more practical solutions within the last five minutes of my life than I ever have reading any relationship column! Thank you so much for your realistic advice!

Reply June 18, 2017, 10:33 pm


I was seeing this guy for about 9mnths and in the beginning it was wonderful. then i wanted to see him more i started complaining he wasn’t making time for me. I constantly called and texted Saying give me my things i don’t understand why you not talking to me. I guess getting needy. Then he stop calling and texting all together. then i tried the 30 day NC 2 weeks ago and broke it twice. he said he needed me and missed me then nothing again. I told him I’m letting go and moving on and deleting his number. I wanna try the 30 days again but i think i’ve ruined my chances. i don’t know what to do i can’t stop thinking about him and i love him and still want to be with him . I do believe he misses me i’m just seeming needy again to him i think. and making him think im confused when i can’t get him to talk to me to say it’s over.

Reply April 2, 2017, 9:15 pm


I think I have a problem of being needy. But at the same time I feel like it would not be the case if he did not change so suddenly. We were always spending time together with my bf. Playing games together skyping (we are 4 months in long distance relationship). Well suddenly all that changed. Last 2 weeks he did not play anything with me, always with his friends (guys) and its already couple weeks since we skype far less. We used to skype every day after I came home from work. And that does not happen anymore. One day he just said he is going to see his sister. He was gone all day so we skype in the evening. But the next day he was not going anywhere but we did not skype at all. He said he wants to have some time alone also. But then every other following day he would just want to skype really later in the day (like 8pm, even on weekend ) and then few days later not at all. We did not skype 3 days now… And I miss him, I miss seeing him and hearing his voice. I tell him I feel this way. And that I would like to play some game with him or anything he wants. And he only gets angry that I am “caring too much” and that I am selfish… Is it selfish wanting little time of his day? I don’t need hours, even 30 minutes would make me happy…. We did not see each other in person for 2 months and now it seems he dont even miss me and not even want to spend time with me anymore. I dont know what to do. I feel unhappy, hurt and alone in this relationship but I love the guy so much. All I want is little bit of his time… He says that he needs to spend time with his friends and do other stuff than being with me… But he is doing stuff without me all weeks now…

Reply March 23, 2017, 3:50 am


If he puts his mom before me and I’m to shut up well bye then. I am first needy but if the guy doesnt care then I’m the opposite and don’t need him anymore.

Reply March 17, 2017, 6:53 pm


I really don’t think it’s a case of me not having other things to do. I am an extremely busy person and find it very difficult to make spare time to even talk to my mum on the phone… and yet I often put off things to find the time to text him. I am an extremely needy person and I wish I wasn’t.

I think it’s a case of enjoying spending time with him more than enjoying anything else. No matter how busy I am, if being with him is more enjoyable, I’ll be needy. Maybe neediness is just a personality trait!

Reply January 19, 2017, 1:38 pm


Hello Eric,
I would love some advice and your take on this situation. I have been seeing a guy for about a few weeks, and I like him, but I’m usually one to take things slowly and never jump to get into a relationship. He has been coming on strong though, and what bothers me is how much and often he texts and calls. I don’t understand the need to communicate so often, especially with someone I’m just getting to know. I finally told him that it’s too much and asked if we can ease on the communication. He took it the wrong way and was hurt by it, and said he just likes me a lot and hasn’t met anyone he likes in a while. He said he’s a relationship kind of guy and doesn’t just date around or talk to women if he doesn’t see a relationship in the future, and he said he thought we were heading in that direction, uhh except we’d never had a conversation about that. I had only ever seen him a few times. That freaked me out and I told him that it wasn’t working for me and I didn’t speak to him for about a week, but I felt that I was too hasty and decided to give it another go. In the beginning he was cool but then he went back to how he was before. I think in his mind, I’m pretty much his girlfriend. What do I do or say to make him understand that his actions are too needy for me? It just doesn’t feel like things are progressing naturally somehow. I like him but this bit is really turning me off. Any advice would be appreciated.

Reply November 17, 2016, 5:39 am


I LOVE this perspective of “investing time.” In most relationships, there’s a kind of rubber-banding where you’re both very intensely together and then you’re a little more distant. For women, we often feel so good and enjoy spending time with our man that we want more of that – and more often! – as our feelings grow. Oftentimes, men need their own space and pull away when we most want to pull in. I’ve learned to develop the habit of knowing that when he’s a little more distant, this is a great time for me to get MY stuff done. But sometimes we women still get hurt feelings about that. “Why doesn’t he want to be with me more the way I want to be with him?” That’s a tough one to balance in our heart.

But when you think of it in terms of “time investment” I can now think of those times as needing to taking a step back from a different perspective – I’ve been investing a little extra time here and I need to back off and give him the room to invest his own time. It can be the hardest thing to do when you just want to be with him, but good relationships are a give and take and not just thinking about our own needs.

Thanks for your great thoughts, Eric.

Reply November 14, 2016, 11:19 am

Stephanie chavez

Hi Eric, thanks for the article. At the moment there is this guy that I am speaking to and he has always been the first to text me. Latley, he’s been growing distant and I want to text him something like” goodmorning have a good day and it was nice seeing you yesterday” but I don’t know if it will be needy. He’s called babe and sweety in front of his friends and is usually also always holding my hand no matter the place. We haven’t talked about relationships or anything so I at first thought it was kinda weird since we havent talked about relationships, but I do like the guy and I want to show it but idk how without seeming that i like him more than he likes me. I don’t want to scare him off ( also we met maybe like 3 weeks ago) so I don’t know how to show that I care without seeming needy, please help

Reply October 17, 2016, 6:16 am


so I’ve been on and off with my boyfriend… but he’s controlling likes to know where I am and what i’m doing and “i’m not aloud” to do certain things.

I hardly see him and lately he’s been acting distant what do I do? think it’s time I call it quits all together? I don’t want too but I feel like he’s distancing and I feel like i’m putting in all the effort to speak to him.

Reply October 14, 2016, 10:44 am

Pat Ellman

I have found what my major problem is! I have become very needy. I rely solely on him for happiness and I have neglected what makes me happy. I have always been married with a constant companion. Now that I am a widow find moments and hours alone very difficult. Thank you for your post

Reply September 25, 2016, 4:09 pm


Hi Eric,

I wanted to ask your help on how can I change my mindset? it’s easy to say change it but I don’t even know how to start. Do you have any advice for someone like me who just realized that they have a problem?

Reply September 7, 2016, 7:26 am

Eric Charles

For now, read other articles from me and Sabrina. It’s a major topic we cover a lot.

Sabrina and I plan to make mindset a core focus of the site soon, so more great material is on its way, too. Stay tuned.

Reply September 7, 2016, 6:55 pm


Hi Eric,

Your explanation of neediness just open up my eyes in so many ways. I needed to hear the harsh reality and the real truth! While I’ve realized that I’m like this, it’s so difficult to change my behavior that I’ve adapted I don’t even know how long ago. I need to work with changing my mindset so that I can be able to enjoy a more healthy relationship. Thank you for your help! I wish you have a book about this topic! I would definitely buy it!

Reply September 6, 2016, 6:55 pm

Natalia Abramova

Eric is great! Awesome advice, thanks

Reply August 24, 2016, 12:38 am


I love this article- am definitely taking it to heart!

My favorite part is where you said that being Available is not the same as being Needy. This rang true because on vacation, you are totally available and ready for spontaneity, but generally not needy.

My neediest time was actually when I was most unavailable: in doctoral school. I was working so hard that I had no time to recharge for myself, and I became totally dependent on sex/my relationship as my source of relaxation and happiness.

A lot of advice articles recommend women become “less available” but the key is to have other hobbie/events that bring you to the same emotional state or similar as seeing the object of your affection. Even having relaxing down time can be better than filling your time with mindless, non-fun activities.

Would love to hear more of your thoughts on the subject: the difference between neediness and the genuine desire to understand where someone else is at? (Ex: sometimes I want to know if someone has moved on from me or is planning on pursuing me; or develop a friendship); discussing elephants in the room (I used to bring up elephants in the room calmly, with a sense of humor, over the phone between dates; but I feel they are misinterpreted over text, so I just keep silent now, and sometimes there is no next date because of it).

Also, help with pacing. I feel like a lot of times, guys get really excited about me at the beginning: introduce me to all their friends, want to plan vacations, do me favors, etc; than I allow them to do that, and they sometimes overextend themselves and back off- or maybe I became slightly expectant. If I slow the pace down from a non-genuine spot (I’m happy moving fast with them) it affects the quality of the relationship. Does that make sense? I feel that if I’m struggling with these patterns, other people must be too!

Reply August 18, 2016, 10:26 am


Hi there! I would just like to say thanks for writing such an amazing article. I am trying to re-evalute a lot of things in my life and I have an amazing guy who has been sticking with me through it all for the past 7 years. I have basically treated him as a crutch and looked for him to validate my happiness so much to the point that when he got sick of how I was treating him I misunderstood it for him not caring about my feelings and what I wanted. He tried to tell me numerous times but long story short I just didn’t wanna hear it cause I though HE was being selfish and negative. So again thanks so much. Now I can correct some of those hurtful mistakes. XOXO

Reply August 4, 2016, 8:22 am


A question for you, please, Eric : what if the guy makes you feel unhappy by acting in a way which upsets/hurts you, such as continually going against some preference you’ve communicated to him that is important to you – and keeps repeating the same behaviour. Then you might become sad that he keeps acting that way despite having tried to say nicely why it matters to you. And then you feel dejected that he doesn’t want to do this thing or other things which you feel are important in a romantic relationship. Then you become unhappy – and you can’t hide your true feelings. Then what do you do? Talking more about it doesn’t help, as he knows what you want, so you start withdrawing and knowing he doesn’t really care about you. Then he finds someone else or dumps you unceremoniously, confirming what you thought.

Reply August 2, 2016, 6:01 pm

Eric Charles

Nobody “makes you feel unhappy”…

You have a set of expectations or rules in your mind for how someone “should” act and then the other person doesn’t measure up.

That doesn’t mean I expect you not to have standards. I have standards – it’s my way of keeping out what I don’t want.

Here’s the key though – when someone doesn’t meet my standards, I don’t get upset about it. If I value my relationship with that person, I do my best to clearly communicate that what they did was beneath my standards.

Things will either improve or they won’t. If they don’t, and this is beneath my standards then it’s a simple decision – it’s time for that person to be out of my life.

Simple decision – but not necessarily easy if you’re not used to enforcing standards.

But then again… if you’re not going to say no to what you don’t want… then you really don’t have standards… you just have things you prefer and then you whine when they don’t get them, with no real intent to do anything about it.

When you don’t have standards, you usually end up getting a lot of what you don’t want…

The people who get what they want are people who actually, really say no to what they don’t want… and they mean it.

This doesn’t mean you turn into some sort of tyrant, barking ultimatums and demands whenever you want something.

It means you get really, really clear on what your deal-breakers are and when they happen, you walk.

Personally, if someone steps over the line in my life, I will do my best to let them know they crossed the line (if I feel it’s worth saving the relationship). If they cross the line again, I’m gone.

When you’re the type of person that will leave when someone treats you badly, you’ll find that people will generally treat you very well.

Reply August 2, 2016, 8:00 pm


Oh I LOVE the simplicity in this! Thanks for breaking it down into such easy crystal clear simple steps. Genius!

(I have to stop bigging you up, I know, I’m sorry. You write such good content it’s hard not to say it sometimes!!!)

Reply June 19, 2022, 6:50 am

Amélie Poulin

Awesome article, thank you Eric!

Reply July 30, 2016, 7:22 pm

Eric Charles

Glad you liked it!

Reply August 2, 2016, 8:00 pm


Everybody’s needy. Need to eat. Need to sleep. Need clothes. Need need need…… People need love. What an excuse to stereotype, and alienate society.Too “independent”, or too “needy”.

Reply July 13, 2016, 1:18 pm

Eric Charles

You think so?

Reply August 2, 2016, 7:30 pm


Great post however I’m shocked the search engine took me here. So do you have the same educated information for when a woman is not needy and the male party gets irritated that you don’t initiate a call out to the prolonged periods of not speaking. If I’m told that they want to spend the day with me and will text me later I’m not going to text nor call them because they specifically told me they would. Then to text me at 10 at night ready to come over…yes my answer is no. Then ask if I’m mad really no I’m not but really come on. And heaven forbid if they text you and you don’t respond on there time. Honestly, this text more than talk sucks. Unless they respond in all caps how do you know true emotions and intent. Maybe I’m finding the opposite is true because I’m not needy? I can’t nor would I want to control nor think anyone should act or behave how I think they should. And honestly if you do then just walk or run because you can only change yourself and accept or walk away from others. We all need right? I do thank you for the information knowledge is key but something positive would be fantastic!!!

Reply July 11, 2016, 5:59 am

Eric Charles

Well just to be clear, this article isn’t assigning neediness to women or to men… it’s describing a mindset trap that men or women could fall into and it repels people (not just men or women)…

Personally, I never liked the term “needy” and if I were starting with a clean slate, I wouldn’t even bring it up as something to talk about – I would focus entirely on what works and then you’d never have to investigate the shortcomings and explanations for what doesn’t work and why it doesn’t work.

This whole “neediness” topic was a big topic when the article was originally written and it still is… My reason for writing on the subject was I so saw many articles that had nothing constructive to offer the discussion.

There were articles that discussed if it was the guy’s fault or the woman’s fault if she was acting needy. There were articles that discussed if a woman is justified in acting needy or not.

None of the articles clearly defined what neediness was – the articles were more about assigning blame and sowing seeds of discontent between the genders (as if the world needed more of that!).

I have a simple definition of neediness: Neediness is a mindset where a person believes another person has to do something in order for that person to feel OK. (By OK I mean secure, content, happy, whole, etc.)

It’s a very fragile way to live and a very silly mindset… your OK-ness does not depend on another person to make you OK, make you whole, make you happy/content. You ultimately are responsible for your emotions, actions and reactions.

So yeah, if a guy throwing a tantrum because you didn’t call him, that falls under my definition of being needy – his sense of OK-ness was derailed because of your actions.

On the positive side of things, learning about neediness is good for your own growth (so you can detect where you’re looking at things through a “neediness lens”), but also so you select someone who has already learned this lesson for themselves.

When I choose the people I want in my life or to have a relationship with, one major thing I look for is their sense of OK-ness/stability in the face of actions by others.

Someone who is constantly upset about things other people did or didn’t do isn’t someone I want in my life – it’s only a matter of time before I’m the one getting blamed for their unhappiness.

I’m not saying that I am perfect (I’m not)… nor am I saying I didn’t have to learn this lesson for myself (I did)… I’m saying that now that I understand that nobody else can be *ultimately* responsible for my emotions, actions and reactions, it’s up to me to live my life in such a way where I’m happy and OK.

That happens by taking personal responsibility for my actions, reactions and emotions. That happens by me making lifestyle choices that I’m happy with. That happens by me choosing who I allow into my life and who I don’t. That happens by me deciding to whom and to what I give my attention.

Ultimately, I’m trying to show you a way to not only have success in your love life, but to be empowered. You can’t have empowerment without personal responsibility.

Whether you’re a man or woman, I want you to be empowered.

Reply August 2, 2016, 7:50 pm


Your thought processes about relationships are amazing! I love all your articles. Relationship is about choice. No one cannot blame anyone for his or her unhappiness. Be accountable for your actions and the willingness to walk when your set boundaries are constantly not being respected. Being an added value not as a victim in the relationship.
Take care Eric and looking forward to read more exciting, in depth articles from you!
Thank you for your service!

Reply September 8, 2019, 8:12 pm


“You can’t have empowerment without personal responsibility.”

This is Gold!

I’ve just written this down so I can remember it forever.

(Plus thank you for wanting it for us. Hard not to fall in love with you and Sabrina when you care so deeply and genuinely for us! ❤️)

Reply June 19, 2022, 6:56 am


I met a guy online and we only went on two dates so far. The first date he claimed he didn’t have money, so i paid and the meal wasn’t cheap, it was at an expensive restaurant. We met in the city that day. The second date I went by Metro north train to visit him upstate. I don’t have a vehicle, but he does. He was supposed to see me in Queens and he had a death in his family,so he had to go to Baltimore for the funeral. I have not seen him in 3 months. He just texts me everyday. He doesn’t seem to interested in making an effort to see me, so should I end the communication with him.

Reply June 12, 2016, 5:58 pm


My first thought is to say yes, end communication. He has put no effort into seeing you. Put no effort into the two tines you have seen him. He isn’t valuing you. He doesn’t feel a connection and you deserve to find someone who does.

Reply June 13, 2016, 9:37 am

Adriana Molina

hi ,i been going out with my boyfriend for 2 years and we see each other every single day ,when we don’t see each other he is always texting me that he misses me and if i forget to text him after a couple of minutes he texts me saying i forgot about him ,i love him but i start to get annoyed when this happens . is this normal ?am i a bad girlfriend for feeling this way?

Reply May 27, 2016, 12:19 am


Hi Eric,

You have touched our (women’s) psyche like no one else could..everything you say is so so true and enlightening.

I have met this guy 3 months ago and was floating on cloud nine cause he was so into me, couldn’t believe I could meet the perfect man in my books.. along the way my neediness kicked in and he withdrew he didn’t leave me but was cold and distant and still made it a point to see me once a week But i broke up with him cause I felt that was what he wanted. He didn’t protest and that broke my heart.I found it hard to forgive myself cause I’ve waited all my life for a guy like this only to destroy it.. I still have these regrets whether I could have salvaged the relationship or was I being too hasty to have done the breaking up..

Reply May 24, 2016, 6:49 am


I want to start off with the fact that I am an em path, I absorb peoples emotions only I end up feeling them as my own and it sucks because if I am around someone feeling really strong emotions, they become my own I can’t discern them.

I live with my boyfriend and his parents, we’ve dated on and off but this time we are giving it one last chance and we are best friends, but I feel we haven’t really been talking since we started dating this time. We were okay in the beginning but now I’m concerned. I know I can be needy but not like anything you’ve said. I love him and I also been trying to give him space and doing my own thing. But he doesn’t ever want to do anything with me. He tells other people I need to get out more but I work so its hard to get out and I can’t drive so I walk but only so far. i’m confused maybe you can give me some friendly advice please?

Reply May 4, 2016, 1:52 am


Hi Eric,
I could do with some advice…
I’m recently out of a long term relationship & doing all I can to move on with my life. After 10 years with 1 person, it’s tough but I’m in the process of building up a life of my own again. In doing so, I met a guy that I was attracted to and to my surprise he asked me out for an after work drink. Unfortunately I’m not the kind of girl who plays it cool so I replied straight away and agreed to meet briefly as I had other plans for the evening. I was really enjoying his company so stayed later than I had intended, resulting in perhaps a glass too many for me. Doh! I was nervous, I didn’t know whether it was a casual drink or a date! The truth is, I’m well aware that jumping into another relationship is probably the last thing I should do and honestly not what I’m looking for but I had such chemistry with this guy that I welcomed the physical attraction. We kissed, I know, first date, not normal for me but I was keen to have some affection so I just went with it. I text him the next day to say thank you for a nice evening, he text back straight away saying the same thing but ended it with “kind regards x” What!! To me, that means he’s politely telling me he’s not interested. That made it a challenge. I sent a flirtatious message in response to a video he’d sent me, keen to spark a reaction, he replied but I’ve barely heard from him since. I’d like to explore the chemistry with this guy but feel I may have scared him off with a subconscious air of desperation! Disgusting, there’s nothing worse! It’s only been a few days & I expect I just need to give it a little longer but I’m interested to know if I have done something wrong how I intrigue him back and let him know I’m happy to just go with the flow?

Reply April 25, 2016, 7:13 am


I really really dislike articles like this. It’s so vaguely written particularly around the term “neediness”. It’s thrown out there with no real definition probably from people who are not ready for a real relationship or emotionally unavailable. Yeah sure there are people out there who can’t be out of a relationship but people who are seeking basic needs in a relationship are not needy. For example a BF who can’t reciprocate ANY feelings or even terms of endearment after months into a relationship cannot expect a girl to not question how he feels about you. Am I right? Is that needy,.. definitely not. If after 5 months of dating and not one compliment given except the occasional ” you look nice” is not needy? Definitely not. Maybe behind every “needy” person is an Emotionally Unavailable partner. It depends on the circumstances of the relationship, every one is different.

Reply February 2, 2016, 8:58 am

Eric Charles

Neediness is not a set of behaviors.
It’s a mindset.
It’s a mindset where the individual (male or female) believes they *need* the other person to do, say or be something in a certain, specific way… or else they won’t be OK (they’ll be emotionally upset).

It’s an irresponsible mindset… because it shifts all emotional responsibility to the other person and burdens them with it (when, really, the individual is the only one who’s ultimately responsible for their emotions, actions and reactions – nobody else can be).

It’s a toxic mindset for relationship… because when the other person won’t or can’t live up to your unrelenting criteria in order for you to feel OK, you sow the seeds for you resenting them and them resenting you.

It’s a mindset that creates a disconnect in the flow of love in a relationship… because if you believe the other person *needs* to do, say or be some specific way in order for you to feel OK, your way of relating is going to shift away from enjoying them and towards doing whatever you feel you have to in order to get the response you want. In other words, your behavior will start treating them as a means to an end — this chokes the life out of a relationship, since it cuts off the natural flow of love and replaces it with constant worry and trying to “get what you need”.

The truth is, you don’t NEED them to be a certain way or say a certain thing or do a certain thing.

You don’t NEED it.

You might want and prefer it — and there’s nothing wrong with wanting or preferring something.

But you don’t need it.

Furthermore, you don’t need to be in a relationship with someone if they’re not living up to what you want day after day, month after month, year after year. Nobody is forcing you to be with them — every day that you wake up and you’re with them, you are choosing it. Nobody is forcing you.

Nobody is withholding anything from you. Everything you could ever need is within you. And as far as relationships go, why in the world would you continue to keep choosing someone who isn’t what you want? Nobody is forcing you.

My whole point in bringing all this up is that I see women constantly trying to shove a square peg through a round hole.

They want a relationship (because they believe a relationship will give them something, such as make them happy or complete or better or fill some void in their life)…

They want a relationship or a certain kind of relationship and they pick some guy and keep trying to make that relationship happen.

Sometimes it does — no problem.

But when it doesn’t just “happen”, instead of saying, “Oh this is OK, but it’s not what I want,” they just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to try and force it to work.

They feel as if the guy is withholding from them… all the meanwhile, fixating on trying to “make it work”, so they emerge a victorious character in the love story.

Women do this and men do this. It’s not a gender thing, it’s a human thing.

So not only did you get my definition, you also got an explanation on where I’m coming from with all this. Hope it helps.

Reply February 2, 2016, 1:40 pm


If its all in the mind and not a behaviour then how does the partner know I’m needy?
What’s your reference for the definition or is it your theory alone?

What are your credentials? Ethical? Responsible writing?

Reply February 3, 2016, 6:35 pm

Eric Charles

How does a person know?

The same way you “know” a bad salesman couldn’t give a s*** about you and just wants to shove a product down your throat.

I could catalog every micro action, nuance and subtle variance that a person might pick up on, but even if I were to write out the thousands of micro-signatures that communicate that salesman’s mindset, it still wouldn’t capture the totality of it.

As they say in Gestalt psychology: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

In other words – our minds pick up on patterns that might be very subtle or even virtually invisible to our conscious mind and give us a “gut feeling” based on the signals we’re picking up.

Now… since I don’t really have time to engage in a good ol’ fashioned internet comment wall back-and-forth, my message is that people get a gut-feeling about where another person’s head is at.

I don’t think I can break it down or explain it any more clearly than that, so hopefully that helps explain.

As for reference, credentials, ethics, responsible writing… (or whatever you’re driving at)

Look, I am a guy who writes my opinion when people ask me relationship questions. Some people find my opinion helpful.

I don’t claim to be a doctor or a health care professional. If you want to hear a doctor’s opinion about relationships and love, go ask one.

Reply February 4, 2016, 3:42 pm


Love it Eric

October 20, 2016, 12:29 am


I just started a LDR like a week ago. At first he was really nice really loving. We talked all the time and he would reply to my messages. He would always ask me for pictures and say he likes me. But now things are starting to change. He’s more dry when we talk. He logs on to Facebook and sometimes takes long to reply. I told him that I felt as if he didn’t want to be in the relationship no more and he told me ” who said I didn’t” I honestly dont know if he really likes me or if he just lost his feelings for me. He says he’s having problems at home and thought that might be causing it but I don’t know what to do anymore


Reply November 20, 2015, 7:28 pm


Great advice! My boyfriend and I have this issue, except he is the needy one….and I am pretty much the dude in our relationship lol. Advice please?

Reply November 12, 2015, 1:51 am


Hey Eric
Iv been talking with this guy for a couple of months i just got back to my country after having a work trip, we talk every day or every 2 days things are great hes funny, and sweet. Recently hes been talking to me more and more but i don’t know if he likes me as a friend or if it could be more. How can i make sure without coming off too strong and scaring him
Thank you

Reply November 1, 2015, 6:36 pm


Hello Eric,

So I have been dating this guy for 3 mos, we are official. We have established being boyfriend and girlfriend. I have met his family and he has met some of mine. In the beginning of the relationship it was wonderful even with our crazy schedules as I work full time and also pursing my dream as designer, a single mother and a full time student he on hand the other hand has 3 demanding occupations and we live in different states. However, it seems things have been a little different with us. I mean we talk everyday if not every other day but its been three weeks since we last seen each other but when we first started dating we would see each other maybe once or twice a week. We’ve a couple disagreements maybe a couple of weeks mainly because I guess you can say I being a little “needy”but have cooled off since then. But its like when I pull back and allow that space he texts and calls but when I think things are being normal he’s back to being dry and mudane. I mean he sends me goodmorning texts and calls me to say goodnight…and its a equal balance I don’t do all the calling sometimes its him. But he expressed when I was being needy that he said its having a destructive affect on our relationship. (I have been working on that) and he says we are still in a relationship but we are gonna see where things go…I am not really sure what that means? Most my family has met him but not my mom as of yet and when I told him my mom wants to meet him I asked him does he want to meet her his response was in due time, not right now its still a fairly new relationship…again what the heck does that mean? I don’t know if I have caused too much damage and should just walk away or is there hope for things to get better?

Reply October 30, 2015, 5:42 pm


Sorry please excuse the typos…I am trying to type on my phone despite the glitches while tending to my son

Reply October 30, 2015, 5:45 pm


This is advice for when you’re dating a douche bag that doesn’t care about you as much as you care about him.

Reply October 24, 2015, 5:42 pm

Eric Charles

Hey Carrie – I understand that the term “needy” or “neediness” has become a loaded term.

First off, I want to make it clear that when I’m talking about neediness I’m not talking about it like it’s some woman-centric behavior. This is a human thing… and it simply comes down to this:

One person makes the other one *responsible* for their emotions/emotional state.

… and I point out that they’re creating an impossible situation for themselves and the other person.

It is literally not possible for one person to ultimately control another person’s emotions… and to put an expectation on them as if they can is just plain insane.

Insane, but common.

This is not a man thing or a woman thing. It’s a flawed-thinking thing.

Our society goes so-far as to frame the idea that one person can be responsible for another’s emotional state as “romantic”. The fact that this kind of insane mindset is encouraged in our society and framed as the pinnacle of love and connection is just plain tragic.

So no, this post is not “advice for when you’re dating a douchebag that doesn’t care about you as much as you care about him”.

Good relationships work like this:

1. Both people take 100% responsibility for their emotions and emotional state (not to mention their actions and reactions to things).
2. As such, they make choices in their life, internally and externally, so that they’re happen, at peace and fulfilled.
3. Because they understand how to make themselves happy and make it their own responsibility, they don’t drain the other person endlessly by burdening them with the responsibility of making them “feel good”…
4. When two happy people come together, their happiness spills over onto their partner and being together feels really happy and great. They naturally bond closer and closer because of this. (I’m not saying that either one of the people doesn’t occasionally have a bad day or get triggered by something, but even when that happens, the overall tone of the relationship is so good that any bumps in the road are quickly resolved and left behind… nobody wallows endlessly in it and when one person feels upset, the other person is so charged up from the relationship that they’re happy to be supportive and loving… it’s much harder for a partner that’s absolutely drained.)

I’m writing this big response to you because when you take on the attitude that it’s his fault… you miss the opportunity for you to have control, power and success in your relationship life.

I’m not saying there aren’t guys who are totally uninterested in a relationship. What I’m saying is that if you’re happy and take emotional responsibility for yourself, you don’t view a man or relationship as your gateway to happiness… and so you probably won’t label a guy who’s not interested in a relationship a douche bag, since you understand he’s not cruelly withholding your happiness from you. He’s just a guy in the world, doing the best he can, just like you’re doing the best you can…

You have all the power in the world because you can choose whomever you want to have a relationship with… if someone isn’t interested in having the kind of relationship dynamic you want, that’s fine… you can simply find someone who does want what you want… no anger or name-calling needed.

Reply October 25, 2015, 1:53 pm


Hi Eric, I just recently came across your articles due to relationship problems, well, I’m not sure I’d even call it a relationship. I was hoping you could clarify and help me out a bit.

Im a single mother with a 2 year old daughter, I’m only 19 so I do still live with my parents. I hadnt been on a date or even considered dating since i got oregnant( 2 1/2 years ago). So its been awhile. Anyway, I was on a dating site when I met this guy, jack, and we instantly hit it off. We talked over the phone and texting and stuff for a few weeks then we finally hung out. He came over late and met my daughter , then we just cuddled and watched movies. After he left he texted me telling me I’m great and beautiful etc. We texted and snapchatted all day while he was at work as well. Recently though, he has started pulling away. We be hung out a few times but now it’d been like a month since we have hung out, he says he’s busy all the time. He has weekends off, bit is like I don’t exist on weekends. ( I know, if he was interested he’d make time, etc). But he still calls me every night for like 2 hours. He hasn’t told his friend or family about me either. Recently I saw that he had another l, updated account on the dating site so I did what I shouldn’t have done and asked him about it. Being needy. I know. But he said that he isn’t seeing anyone else but he doesn’t want to hold me back if a serious relationship is what I need right now. I lied and told him I don’t, I know, stupid. But did he lose interest? Was that himbtrying to let me down easy? I figured at 25 years old the games would stop. He’s got me looking like an idiot and I need to protect myself and daughter. Everyone jeeps telling me I’m just his backup girl and in ny head, I know that, but I think I got too attached too quickly and im just trying to not chase him, which is a struggle in itself .

Reply July 8, 2015, 2:48 pm


Hi Mandy!
I’m 40 and the games still have not stopped! I too am a single mother of 3, and wud say I was Newfie most of my life! You have to remember you are setting a role model for your precious baby girl! I have made it a rule that NO MAN meets my kids, unless it’s a serious relationship. I learned this thru trial and error and error error and error (get my point?) I never thought how bad it hurt my kids to have someone there, then gone the next day :(
I have 2 adult daughters and now I’m watching my barely adult daughter repeat MY mistakes! I’m SO sad & feel horrible that I am the person she learned this from! :(
I have been single for 4 years just focusing on ME, what I want and what I DESERVE!!! Honey u and ur baby DESERVE much better than what u r describing! Truly!
I’m afraid at 40 I’ll be single the rest of my life, but on the other hand, it’s a bit liberating because I KNOW I WONT be ANYONES doormat ANYMORE!! Don’t chase him, or answer his texts, and DEFINATELY do NOT lie! Relationships are supposed to be built on trust! Not lies. Sounds like he is just *gulp* going to u when he doesn’t have a date :(
I’m SO sorry!! This world is SO full of crumby people! Just working on living U and UR baby! Drop this guy! The RIGHT ONE WILL COME!!!
Good luck!

Reply October 29, 2015, 1:16 am


You are right. I’m 52 and, no, the games never stop. Several days before your post I had broken up with a guy, 62 years old…. because we were in a two year relationship that was promised to lead to marriage but didn’t.. My boys got very attached to him. I’m focusing on me too, but it was a loss. Being single is tough especially when you have a lot going on and need another partner to “hold up an end”….

Reply February 24, 2016, 9:10 am


Hi Eric, I have a question.
About a month ago I started dating an old aquaintance of mine and there were immediate fireworks. He knew that I am moving to Japan, so he wanted to just have fun, nothing serious, and enjoy our time together before I move. We did exactly that. We had sex and continued going on dates. I made sure to tell him that there wasn’t pressure and that it was okay if he didn’t like me the way that I like him. Suddenly, he pulled a 180 on me and told me we couldn’t be intimate anymore, that he was still broken from his last relationship. I admit, I didn’t take it well. He knows he made me cry and I called asking for him to meet me for coffee to give me some answers. He wouldn’t do it. So I eventually told him I didn’t need answers that I’d still be his friend.

Now I’m scared to death that I’ve become needy in his eyes, because now he doesn’t contact me at all! Is there anything I can do to reverse this? Will I just have to wait until I come back from Japan (in 1 or 2 years) before I try to reconnect with him? Once you come off as being needy, how do you get that to go away?

Reply June 13, 2015, 2:58 pm

Eric Charles

Oh, it’s someone’s fault now? Since when does placing blame on someone else help a situation?

It’s fine to want something… but feeling entitled to something as if it’s owed to you? Not very effective (or attractive)…

How would you feel if the guy had that attitude towards you? Like if you didn’t want to hook up, he’d get pissed and say it was your mistake and your fault that he wanted something and you didn’t give it to him…

As a hair-triggered reaction you might say, “But that’s different for XYZ (bs) reason!” It’s not, it’s exactly the same flawed, ineffective type of thinking… equally selfish, ineffective and repelling to others. Nobody owes you anything… man or woman. Your comment was a temper tantrum, plain and simple.

You don’t like how the guy acts? Stop dating him. Pretty much every guy would be relieved to be rid of a girl he has to “deal with” because she’s constantly acting as if he owes her something… and the guys that would put up with it are probably not guys you’d be attracted to…

Being that you came in confrontational, I’m happy to have given you a non-sugarcoated, blunt response. That said, I do wish you the best of luck and, most importantly, I hope you adopt a mindset where you don’t blame the other person for not fulfilling your wants… and instead, choose a good match and focus on giving freely to him… if he gives back in the way you like, great, stay… if he doesn’t, leave. Easy and no hard feelings.

Reply April 18, 2015, 9:28 pm


What I got from Remy’s comment was that a guy bad sex with her and dated her briefly only to leave her suddenly with no chance for a goodbye before she went to Japan. That’s harsh, and I don’t see why she deserves a reply like this. You’re basically telling her that it’s bull**** to expect someone not to desert you after being physically intimate and building expectations for at least a friendship, even when you’re about to leave for another country for over a year. And alright, you can’t control others; but you can at least acknowledge that they’ve hurt you or that they used you or simply that they gave you even less than the little care you expected. How would I feel if I slept with a guy and dated him and had fun for a month, then suddenly told him that I can’t be with him anymore because I’m still getting over my ex and just cutting him off and letting him go to Japan without letting him see me again, not even to make goodbye easier? I’d feel selfish and cowardly.That’s how I’d feel deep inside.

Reply September 24, 2016, 7:50 am


Am married for the last 5months and I don’t love my husband ….I have a pregnancy of 1&1/2month …I really don’t feel happy with him…I have doubted him because he is always in need of sex …whenever I go home he always comes for me and trying to tell me how he can’t dare stay without me…I always ask him is it the reason you usually demand for sex so u can’t be able to stay without me because you need me for sex … he always gets angry if I don’t allow him enjoy sex with me. .. am now confused how to go about with this matter…please advice me I feel out of words…oooopps I DON’T KNOW

Reply March 30, 2015, 9:02 am


Omg!! I’m in the same boat but , I’ve been in longer .
I can never say no to him about sex.
I don’t need sex everyday & he thinks I do . I try not to act like I’m not interested ,I try to be unattractive as possible & it’s like he wants more .
I tried to just leave he refuses to let me go …it’s just horrible

Reply August 18, 2015, 11:45 am


Leave!!! Leave!!! Do NOT! I repeat DO NOT STAY IN IT just because u r pregnant or have kids!!!! Then they learn these HORRIBLE habits!!!!! LEAVE!
I stayed , awhile for my kids, such the WRONG thing to see them see me go through!
Ps they both sound like my ex! Sex addicts!! :(

Reply October 29, 2015, 1:24 am


Hey all, I don’t know how to use this thing so I am just writing this in hopes someone helps me with this.My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 months and it has gotten rather serious. He has this so called “friend” who is every girl’s worst nightmare but plays off innocent of course. She is engaged and not happy so she has friended all the guys in his social group. the wives and girlfriends don’t like her at all and she has even gone as far as friending an amazing friend of mine to get the dirty on her and use it against her telling her boyfriend. This chick was able to go after her man and cheat on her friend and help her man cheat on her. She pretends to be every guys dream girl. Fun easy to talk to, happy, flirtatious and also known as the “wiener hunter”. My boyfriend has been her one constant guy friend in the group for years, almost like her way in. He has failed to see what she is now doing to our relationship by trying to make me look like a fool and make it seem that he is going in behind my back talking to her. She tried to friend me and added me on facebook just to try to gain information. I see her for what she is and know exactly what is going on. She calls and texts him and I also and getting the impression that he has a crush on her but she put him in the friend zone years ago. He has made me uncomfortable with her multiple times now which i hold resentment against him for that and i am pissed at her for disrespecting me like that and him for not feeling disrespected because I am. This woman is able to do this stuff because everyone sweeps it under the rug in fear of group conflict… I am not fake, nor do i like this girl in any way. I am an aggressive person and she is scared in that sense but what can I do to either to get her to stop being an attention whore/home wrecker/liar/fake or just remove yourself because she makes all the girls uneasy.

Reply February 22, 2015, 12:52 pm


I thought this was an article about needy boyfriends?? Google has lead me wrong ;)

Reply August 26, 2015, 7:14 am


Whoops, wrong reply spot

Reply August 26, 2015, 7:15 am


Sounds like he is putting HER feelings b4 URS!! Sounds like he’s lying to you & I think u might be truly angry with HIM? Idk I’m no pro (lol) but sounds like it’s time to walk away from a man that u can’t trust, and is putting another woman BEFORE U!!!! I’m so sorry! I do pray u can work it out with him! But it’s him, not her (unfortunately) whose behavior is in acceptable!!
So sorry

Reply October 29, 2015, 1:33 am


This is a load of crap so ‘typically english’ – neediness can be mistaken for passion. I like when a man caresses me intimatly or hold me close – sex is far more than wham bam … Its the emotional connection – and perhaps if you are a bloke who cant understand this then you most likely lack sensuality, creativity and passion in the bedroom and most likely life – if a man judges me for beingrg needy early on in the relationship or far gone – this would be a definite turn off because I would believe the man to be emotionally immature – and too closed….. Next time an older man perhaps….

Reply February 2, 2015, 5:24 am


Amen! I’m originally from South America. I find that people here use the word needy, clingy, desperate to describe women that want passion, love, romance, Etc.

Reply March 7, 2015, 7:56 am


I agree with the writer. I’ve also heard that women run away from needy men. It is supposed to be an anti aphrodisiac.

I guess I’m a really different from most men. Because, if a girl said why I didn’t call her and I liked her. I’d comply. I guess I’m different because I grew up under extremely controlling parents.

Reply November 11, 2014, 4:04 pm


So can I ask is it neediness if you been dating a guy 34 months and you have a serious surgery limiting your mobility. Is it needy to ask for help? How about if they dodge yu or if they don’t even cal to see if your ok or if anyone is taking care of you. Does it occur to men at all that you might be all she has to maybe take her to the hospital or stay with her or help her to the bathroom. Are men so cold as stone that they just don’t help anymore or is this a reason to drop them. When is too busy for you just to little! Explain the mans view to me. Don’t you think if you can’t cone hel at least get flowers?

Reply October 26, 2014, 2:33 am


Come help* sorry. I would think men should pass the sickness and health test if you want them in your life at all from week one. Am I wrong? Even when it’s a girl who asks for very little but is very giving to others around her. You know she helped u paint your kitchen, she helped you buy groceries when u fell short one month. Don’t guys pick u on the good qualities in a woman that make them a keeper type? Or is it all abut them. Please respond. Thank you!

Reply October 26, 2014, 2:47 am


Jayz, you already knew the answer to your question. It’s not a men behavoir, only how your bad lover is acting. It’s sad to admit it but you do not have choice if you want to get a better love life.

Reply November 11, 2014, 1:53 pm


I’ve been through the SAMETHING! Lost a marriage a relationship, and now a dating life all because some jerk wanted to break my back! U r strong!! U got this! I agree with relyer…… U know the answer! U truly do! Best of luck

Reply October 29, 2015, 1:41 am


EeeK! I misspelled whether. ;-)

Reply October 21, 2014, 6:33 pm


My ex and I have been over for close to 2 years now. We are both in new relationships, he’s relationship is more serious than mines. He has a baby on the way. But he feel like he needs to make his presence known every 3-4 month and tries to get my attention. I guess to see where my head is at…not interested in him. Why does he keep coming back after so many times of telling him I’m good carry on?

Reply October 10, 2014, 1:51 pm


what if, it’s the guy who is needy?
how could I understand him?

Reply September 6, 2014, 7:46 am


Hey, guys! I have been reading all your articles that I receive by e-mail. Thank you so much! They really help a big deal. The neediness is a big issue. Yea, I guess I tend to be needy sometimes, but I try to keep busy and not think that much about the situation or that guy even though that is hard as hell sometime. I wanted to ask you about something that really worries me, but I don’t know how to post it so you can read it. In one of your emails , you said that if we want to you , or ask you a question , we have to go back to the first email we received when we subscribed. I am sorry but I just cannot find that email. I have been looking forever. I really need to talk to one of you, I just don’t know why. Please, help me! Thanks in advance! Greetings from Albania!

Reply August 30, 2014, 6:04 pm


I dated this guy for about 2 years. Its been a year since we broke up. He said he wasn’t happy but I was good for him while we were together. He also said he didn’t know what he wanted out of life. When we are around each other it seems like we are still together but I also don’t hear from him for a few weeks. I’m really confused.

Reply July 1, 2014, 1:00 am


I wish I saw this earlier — but THUMBS UP, Sue — I totally agree with you! Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but I don’t have one girlfriend who acted “needy” that was unwarranted, i.e., the guy was not making her feel loved. In contrast, when my friend felt that his wife was not the most easy-going person when they were dating, but he loved her for all the great things about her (something that this article is suggesting guys want to hear — well, same for girls!) and consequently, found her “difficult” ways more endearing than annoying. So girls, don’t lower your standards and put up with sh*t!

Reply December 15, 2014, 7:44 pm


me and my ex left each other about 3 weeks ago. But after a week he came to the house and took me to dinner and once again he came over again I had made dinner for him and watched some tv. So.. Last night he came over and took my friends kids shopping which I think it was pretty nice of him. Anyways the whole time I am trying to show him some kinda affection, but every time I would try he would walk away or just say that I was in the way. I pretty much got upset last night , but I was trying to make it a good day for the kids. We got home and he took the little clothes he had left here from the last time he was here at the apartment. He didn’t say a word to me just said bye to kids, I know he was mad last night. But he needs to understand how I felt! what should I do? He still has the key to the apartment. Should I leave him alone for now or what. I just don’t know why he keeps coming back to me.

Reply June 24, 2014, 9:33 am


Maybe Hes seeing your friend. If your friend is a girl. Why else would he care more about taking HER kids out shopping than when your acts of affection when given. Why even hangout. If he’s gonna be like that. Kinda lame on his part. Kind of a head game. Most people who have dated and have been intimate find it hard like myself to just stay in a friends only zone if your brain is used to the way affection and hanging out used to be. I’m not trying to be a rain cloud but have you thought of that possible scenario???

Reply July 29, 2014, 8:39 pm


So I met this guy 5 days ago and we’ve been texting alll day. Like constantly. One day I text him and he doesn’t text back. It was the first time I texted him first. And we didn’t talk at all that day. Was he just busy and forgot. I really want to talk to him when he doesn’t reply I get this anxiety and I hate it. I really like him and I want to still talk to him because I think we can work. I’d figure he’d be more mature since he’s a year older. But he’s the same as the guys my age. Should I text him first tomorrow? Wait for him to text me ? What should I do ?

Reply June 18, 2014, 6:20 am


Do not txt him back until he does. Show him that you are not desperate guys like those kind of girls. Believe me I have been there and I tried both things and guess what when I ignore they come back running. Funny right? But apparently things in life work the other way round. Actually there is this guy I love, we were best friends first for two years, a lot happened and it was more of an on and off love thing. In the beginning he would txt me every single hour of everyday then he stopped thats when I flipped and kept texting him like mad and he wouldn’t reply. I stayed stuck in this dilemma for a while. But only this year I decided to change, I just look at things from different perspective, never be too good to someone who doesn’t appreciate anything. I decided to treat him normal, even when I see him in college I treat him just like a friend, because sooner or later he will know what he has lost. I didn’t text him when I used to all the time and guess what today he did txt me after one month. I am on this site now because I do not know what to do from here. I was hurting trying to move on its not easy but I got myself busy as much as I can not to think about him, it worked but he texted me. Bottom line take me advice and wait show him a part of you he didn’t see, he will come back I assure you! I know. Don’t do my stupid mistake. By the way it isn’t the end of the world, there is a lot of fish in the sea indeed. I know you clicked and you feel he is different, and there is this amazing connection between you both and that you got a lot in common, same happened to me but I realized that people change drastically; such a shame. Be strong and patient! Cheers!

Reply July 11, 2014, 6:48 am


No one likes to be texted
And have their phone blown up
if you text make sure he received your text
Then the ball is in his court!
If he don’t respond try not to make it all about you
He may have a legitimate reason for not texting
back right away .
Sound like you have taken control and by not texting and waiting for a reply
Is great..unfortunately some men will purposely not respond
have the oh well your loss not mine:)
men that think they are Gods gift ..perhaps simply request a refund lol:)
If they truly care they will get back to you in a reasonable amount of time
to keep texting them when they don’t respond
ask yourself “do I deserve better than this?

Reply August 28, 2014, 1:58 am


What if it’s the guy who is needy?

Reply April 10, 2014, 6:59 pm


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.

Reply March 3, 2014, 10:09 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!!!

Reply March 3, 2014, 11:17 am


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

Reply March 3, 2014, 3:12 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!

Reply March 4, 2014, 2:44 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.

March 4, 2014, 5:27 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.

Reply October 28, 2013, 7:00 pm


even i have been needy… saying why dont u calll………….. u’ll have to call ………… 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

Reply September 22, 2013, 2:38 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.

Reply August 18, 2013, 11:39 pm


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.

Reply September 7, 2013, 9:31 am


omg….u so speak the truth…and i just recently met a guy, off the jump, we connected and he said, he i like you and u are everything i want in a woman, be my girlfriend….it was no games, no chase and we are open about our expectations and what we feel. Guys know from the start if they want to be with you and like you, i feel we should not hide what we feel. it will drive you crazy trying to figure out what a man true intentions are.

Reply June 3, 2014, 8:34 am


Yes I feel exactly the same. The advice is be confident, be yourself etc. I am confident and myself and yet, like you, I expect a good level of respect and commitment from the guy, and yet they get angry and defensive when I say what I want (an actual call to hear their voice etc, to know when they want to see me in advance – all just common courtesy I extend to my friends). They make me feel I don’t have a right to basic courtesy or respect and am being too “needy” when I feel this is just normal respect and how a relationship should be. I was naturally vulnerable at a time when it was right to be so, yet the guy dropped me just at that exact time I confided I wanted his support for once, even though I had been busy and outgoing the rest of the time. If I don’t see common respect at the start, I lose interest myself. I don’t see the point either if they don’t like you enough to bother.

Reply August 2, 2016, 5:50 pm


And I often find that at the end, they actually resented being nice to you and taking you out at the start, even though it was the chasing period; somehow the idea of chasing you is “old fashioned” even though it’s just normal dating. I have had several guys who are players tell me after some months that they want an “equal relationship” – by which they mean that I should call them, arrange dates, pay for dates, suggest things to them, contact them first etc- which to me is totally unromantic. I don’t see the point of a boyfriend who I have to play boyfriend to, not girlfriend, and feel that is simply a friends with benefits arrangement so that they can go off and spend their time and money dating other women. They’re just too cowardly and immature to admit that. It’s horrible being cast suddenly by a guy you’re seeing into some pretend “equality” man-role, reversing the situation, when it’s not equality at all (let’s face it, I earn less than a quarter of what they earn, despite being as well educated, I don’t have the same biological situation as them and have different kinds of needs, feelings and life), it’s just their way of getting out of a relationship as soon as a real relationship is required.

Reply August 2, 2016, 5:55 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.

Reply July 10, 2013, 4:05 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.

Reply April 7, 2013, 12:24 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..

Reply February 27, 2013, 4:40 pm


I don’t know that this really applies to real men….if you give him that space, he’s likely texting or scrolling through other women’s profiles. What do you think he needs “space” from you for?

Reply August 2, 2016, 5:57 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.

Reply 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 then thy are still mad. please someone explain that one.

Reply February 22, 2013, 6:10 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.

Reply January 23, 2013, 3:39 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…

Reply January 14, 2013, 9:57 pm


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?

Reply October 16, 2012, 7:48 am


“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.

Reply October 12, 2012, 3:15 pm


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

Reply September 3, 2012, 5:37 am


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?

Reply August 21, 2012, 6:38 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?

Reply August 21, 2012, 6:58 pm


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?

Reply July 1, 2012, 1:49 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!

Reply June 26, 2012, 12:35 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!

Reply April 19, 2012, 5:36 am


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!

Reply April 19, 2012, 4:06 pm


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.

Reply April 18, 2012, 9:42 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

Reply April 18, 2012, 9:46 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.

Reply April 18, 2012, 11:02 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.

Reply July 28, 2012, 5:41 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!

August 27, 2012, 11:29 am


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!!!

Reply March 21, 2012, 11:13 pm


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!


Reply March 4, 2012, 3:40 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! :)

Reply March 4, 2012, 3:20 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!

Reply February 19, 2012, 1:39 am


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

Reply January 26, 2012, 5:40 am


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

Reply January 13, 2012, 8:35 pm

Karen Spivey

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

Reply January 13, 2012, 5:47 pm

Karen Spivey

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

Reply January 13, 2012, 5:50 pm

Eric Charles

Well I’m saying a couple things…
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…
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.

Reply January 13, 2012, 5:53 pm

Karen Spivey

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 :)

Reply January 13, 2012, 5:59 pm

Karen Spivey

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

Reply January 13, 2012, 7:20 am

Eric Charles

Hi Karen,
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”.
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.
To address the other part of what you’re saying… being upset is not a destiny, it’s a choice.
What do I mean by that?
Well, let me give you an analogy…
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.
Without any pouting or unhappiness, he handed the controller over to his cousin.
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.
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…
See what I’m getting at here?

Reply January 13, 2012, 9:00 am

Karen Spivey

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???

Reply January 13, 2012, 4:03 pm

Karen Spivey

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

Reply January 13, 2012, 4:13 pm

Eric Charles

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…
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.
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.
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.

Reply January 13, 2012, 5:11 pm

Karen Spivey

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

January 13, 2012, 5:33 pm

Eric Charles

@Karen – to answer your most recent question…
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.
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.

January 13, 2012, 5:38 pm


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!

Reply December 12, 2011, 8:24 am


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.

Reply November 15, 2011, 11:48 pm

Eric Charles

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.

Reply November 16, 2011, 2:04 pm


There is one thing in being needy, but how do you know you aren’t dealing with someone who is emotionally unavailable and they are using an excuse to call you needy? Many emotionally unavailable people will consider giving aaaaaanything as neediness.

Reply August 4, 2014, 1:00 am


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. :)

Reply November 15, 2011, 10:32 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks Courtney, much appreciated. :)

Reply November 16, 2011, 1:37 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?

Reply November 12, 2011, 4:07 pm


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!

Reply November 7, 2011, 10:06 am

Seeking Anonymity

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.

Reply November 7, 2011, 9:42 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.

Reply November 7, 2011, 1:43 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 :(

Reply October 28, 2011, 7:37 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.

Reply October 28, 2011, 11:42 am


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

Reply October 27, 2011, 10:31 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. :(

Reply October 27, 2011, 2:23 pm


Two months ago, my husband passed away. A good friend of my husband started texting me right away and he said he was just making sure I was ok and also that we were comforting each other through the loss. At first it was very casual and random texting and then he would text stuff like xoxoxo, sweet dreams sweetie, how did you sleep last night, and he mentioned getting together in the new year with my one year old son. I really didn’t think too much of it until one night I had a really bad night where I missed my husband so much and I felt so lonely. It happened to be a night he texted me, how are you doing? And when I answered him he didn’t text me back that night and I just felt even more alone. I texted him if he doesn’t want to be my friend anymore just say so, etc. you know the desperate cry. I don’t feel romantic about him at all but I guess I became dependent on him in my own vulnerability. After that text he was upset and said I think way too much and that he was just busy. Then, he continued to keep texting me but the texts were colder and sometimes he wouldn’t get back to me for a few days when before he would always answer me right back and text a lot of things. I never really initiated the texts, ever but it hurts a lot when someone asks me to confide in them about the death of my husband and then leave my answer hanging for days. I stopped texting him back and at all and then he texted me that he was thinking about me and wondering if everything is ok, I texted him back my answer and he said ” I think about you and your son all of the time, you do know that right?” I said no I didn’t know and that I think of him and appreciated him being in our lives, he wrote same here but then never texted me again. Was I too needy in this situation? I feel very hurt and misunderstood, and even more lonely now. This question is for Eric.

Reply February 15, 2017, 7:49 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…

Reply October 18, 2011, 3:32 pm

Rob SF Bay area


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… 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,

Reply October 18, 2011, 3:21 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.

Reply October 18, 2011, 3:14 pm


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?

Reply October 17, 2011, 9:00 am

Eric Charles

Here’s the bigger picture:
He said he’d call and he didn’t.
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.
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.
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…
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).
Think about it… hope it helps.

Reply October 17, 2011, 12:52 pm


You have really great advice! I had the same question as Stephanie. If your guy doesn’t call you or call you back for a night, are you suppose to act like it doesn’t bother you? Or do you give him a taste of his own medicine the next day and ignore him? I guess it is a small issue like you said when you are looking at the bigger picture.
BUT for the next day without being needy and knowing that “a challenge is everything for men and we value only what we have to work for”. Should you ignore them when they call or text, to seem like you are a challenge or do you respond to him and ignore that he ignored you in the first place?
Thanks for all your advice!!

Reply November 7, 2014, 5:47 am


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 many ways its not a fast track quick fix solution for people……it takes work, understanding, inner reflection, loving action, surrender etc 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..

Reply October 6, 2011, 11:21 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 is not stagnant nor is relating…
One of the significant responses from Eric above is where he explains the “sub text” of 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

Reply October 6, 2011, 8:28 pm

Eric Charles

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.
Thank you for that comment – it makes me feel good to know that my message is getting across. :)

Reply October 6, 2011, 9:33 pm


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?

Reply September 19, 2011, 10:45 am


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 .

Reply September 8, 2011, 4:44 pm

Eric Charles

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

Reply September 8, 2011, 6:01 pm


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.

Reply September 1, 2011, 10:02 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??

Reply August 25, 2011, 8:05 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!

Reply August 14, 2011, 9:13 am

Eric Charles

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.
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.

Reply August 14, 2011, 11:15 am


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 :)

Reply July 30, 2011, 3:49 pm

Rob in SC(CA)

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.

Reply July 7, 2011, 9:40 pm


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!

Reply June 25, 2011, 1:10 am


Is it too late to STOP being needy?

Reply June 22, 2011, 7:18 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.

Reply June 19, 2011, 4:36 pm


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

Reply May 18, 2011, 10:06 pm


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:

Reply April 28, 2011, 10:12 am


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.

Reply March 26, 2011, 10:46 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!! =)

Reply February 24, 2011, 6:35 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.

Reply February 17, 2011, 12:21 pm


I have the same problem.

Reply June 22, 2011, 7:22 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 :)

Reply October 26, 2010, 4:59 pm

A Gray

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!!!

Reply August 20, 2010, 4:26 am


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 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

Reply August 14, 2010, 3:34 pm


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.

Reply June 1, 2010, 9:38 am

Eric Charles

Yeah, frantic behavior would definitely fall under the neediness category in probably all cases…
But it’s not so much the action as it is where your actions are coming from.
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.
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”.
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.
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.

Reply May 31, 2010, 7:49 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.

Reply May 30, 2010, 11:43 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 !

Reply April 13, 2010, 9:20 pm

Eric Charles

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.

Reply March 7, 2010, 5:36 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?!


Reply March 7, 2010, 1:46 pm


This was very helpful and insightful. Thank you!

Reply July 29, 2009, 11:33 am


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.

Reply June 10, 2009, 5:06 pm


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.

Reply May 27, 2009, 11:25 am

Eric Charles

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

Reply May 8, 2009, 12:27 pm


[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!!

Reply May 8, 2009, 11:24 am

lioness in japan

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.

Reply April 15, 2009, 2:37 am

Eric Charles

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!

Reply April 11, 2009, 9:28 pm

Lili Boyd

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.

Reply April 11, 2009, 8:54 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!

Reply April 11, 2009, 7:05 pm

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