No one wants to be thought of as needy, but plenty of women have been labeled exactly that by guys we’ve dated at least once. When that happens, it’s hard not to wonder if perhaps you are asking for too much. In fact, maybe the problem isn’t that you’re needy but that he’s incapable of giving you what you need. Here’s how to tell the difference:
Are you always the one calling or texting first? At the start of every new relationship, finding a balance in terms of how often to communicate can be tricky. If you reply to his texts right away, will you appear too eager? If you wait too long, will you seem disinterested? Once you’ve been dating for a little while, you should naturally come to a decision that works for you as a couple. Be sure you’re not the only one making an effort to get in touch. Does he call you to check in after work? Send a text to say goodnight? If you’re constantly checking your phone and never seeing his name come across the screen, keep reading.
Is he easily distracted when you’re together? How often does your guy appear to be in space when you’re in the middle of a conversation? When you’re out to dinner, is he more interested in checking out the waitresses or playing on his phone? When his friends are around, does he remember you exist? Pay close attention to these clues.
Are your conversations based on his interests? Much like the question above, look to what conversations have held his interest in the past. Being emotionally unavailable lends itself to selfishness. Think back to your longest or most in-depth conversations, ones where he wasn’t distracted. Have they always been about him or what he’s interested in? What happens when you ask him for advice about one of your problems? If he’s not engaged, there’s a problem.
Does he make and break promises often? While it’s totally normal for plans to fall through, this should be the exception, not the rule. How many times have you read this text message or one like it: “Sry, can’t hang 2nite”? Be especially wary if he fails to give reasons for his frequent cancellations.
Does he get upset when you’re busy? When you’re out with your girls, does he suddenly show interest in being your number one priority? Seeing your usually disinterested boyfriend become desperate for your attention may be flattering, but be careful. You shouldn’t always be expected to respect his time apart when he never respects yours.
Does he put others’ needs above yours? In an ideal relationship, your guy should focus on his own needs ahead of yours (as should you). This will make for the healthiest relationship. The problem arises when he puts everyone’s needs first and yours last. Take notice if his buddy’s baby mama drama routinely trumps the events of your day.
Does he set unfair boundaries? I once dated a guy who told me we could talk on the phone on Mondays and Wednesdays… every other week. Insane, right? This was his attempt to prevent me from becoming needy when really, he was just emotionally unavailable and dead set on staying that way. Boundaries can be beneficial in a relationship, but make sure they aren’t one-sided, strict, or just plain old weird.
Was his last serious relationship full of red flags? We don’t always get the full story when talking exes with our current guy. That’s to be expected, but there are certain keywords you should listen for: did he call his last girlfriend needy? Did she annoy him by “calling all the time” or was she “too attached”? It’s possible she was all of these things, of course, but if you’re starting to feel her pain, is his ex really the one to blame?
Was your last relationship healthy? Just as you considered his previous partners, think back to yours. If every guy you’ve ever dated thought you were needy, well… there may be some truth to that. If most of your exes communicated well, enjoyed spending time together, and put in equal effort, that speaks volumes about your current boyfriend.
Does he make you feel guilty? That ‘winner’ I dated in the past who set all of those unfair boundaries had another clever trick: he was an expert level guilt-tripper. He managed to make me feel guilty for showing interest in him. It’s totally normal to want to spend time with your guy. If you DON’T want to spend time with him, that’s a different problem altogether. If your boyfriend makes you feel bad about wanting to see him, it doesn’t make you needy. It makes you human.
Do you feel needy? Don’t be alarmed if you answer “yes” to this question. Consider why you feel this way. Is it because he’s always blowing you off? Is it because you only get to see him on his terms? You know how they say truly crazy people never think they’re crazy? Well, needy people often don’t realize they’re being needy. If you’re concerned, that’s a good sign. Perhaps you’re not actually needy after all. You’re just with a guy who can’t give you what you need.
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