Dating: Go ahead and get needy

Don't be all "too cool for school" when it comes to a new date.

Many of my dating clients—both male and female—worry about coming across as “too needy.”  So when out on dates and in relationships, they overcompensate and show no need at all.  They’re petrified of showing need to a partner because we’ve been taught that being needy is the most pathetic thing you can be. We assume it’s safer to air on the side of caution and if anything appear “too independent.”

The problem is, complete independence doesn’t work in relationships—and is similarly a turn off when dating. When you aren’t willing to show any vulnerability it puts up a wall between you and anyone trying to connect with you. You come across as disengaged and robotic. 

Showing people they have the power to affect you shows the real you, and that draws people in when you’re talking about dating, and it keeps people satisfied when you’re in a relationship. People like to know they matter, especially people you’re romantically involved with. When you don’t show need, don’t rely on your partner for emotional support, or don’t express a strong desire to spend time with them, it makes them feel unwanted, unvalued, and insecure. 

I’ve counseled smart successful women who worry that their job titles or the letters after their name will drive men away. It won’t. What drives men away is any air of “I have my job, so I just don’t need you.”  Ladies, it’s okay to need both.

I’ve also worked with guarded men who are confused why the women they love feel so unhappy in the relationship.  In trying to live up to the cultural norm of the stoic self-reliant man, they have alienated their partners by seeming detached and disengaged which makes their partners feel unimportant.  When these guys take a leap of faith and show more need (that existed in the first place just wasn’t articulated), the relationships get more stable.

There is absolutely a balance between showing some need and being completely dependent on somebody else.  But don’t let the fear of being “needy” keep you from accurately gauging where that balance is. 


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