Are you a needy person?
We’re all told that this is about the worst thing you can be if you want to find love.
But recently I’ve been looking at neediness in a new way.
How to not be needy to a guy: 12 key tips
Being needy sucks. At least that’s what we’ve been told by dating coaches, the media and even our friends and romantic partners.
What guy would want a woman who’s needy, right?
But here’s why most of us look at this in the wrong way and lie to ourselves.
1) Be honest
Being needy is natural.
We are all needy to some extent or another.
We’re needy for food, water, safety and, yes, for love.
Neediness doesn’t make us weak or repulsive, it makes us human.
The problem with being needy is in our relation to it and how we deal with it, not in the neediness itself.
Here’s what I mean:
If you want to know how to not be needy to a guy, you need to be honest about what neediness is and how it works.
You need to grapple with your own relation to neediness.
Does being needy make you upset, insecure and act in desperate or reckless ways?
That is a problem.
On the other hand, does neediness make you express interest in those you’re attracted to, be persistent in your romantic goals and care about your relationships?
That’s a good thing.
As Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown talks about here, neediness doesn’t have to be a weakness or an attraction-killer, if we’re honest about neediness and its positive aspects.
2) Be direct
Experiencing neediness is natural and sometimes even positive, if you respond to it in a healthy way.
The best way when it comes to how to not be needy to a guy in your actions is to be direct with him.
Don’t beat around the bush.
I used to stew and marinate in my neediness. I’d fantasize for weeks about asking a girl out I saw around university.
Then I’d finally approach her after getting my nerve up and trying to play it cool.
But my desperation and nervousness oozed off me. I was putting my whole self-worth on the line for the interaction, and it was repulsive.
I can see that now.
Here’s what I should have done:
Realize that my neediness is OK if I embrace it. Go up to the girl I find attractive and just say hi. Ask how her day is. Don’t worry about asking her out.
Just offer her the chance for a conversation, and go from there the next time I saw her.
But instead, my own insecure relation to my neediness made me come across awkward, ultra-thirsty and borderline creepy.
It’s the same if you want to know how to not be needy to a guy.
Let me emphasize this:
It’s not you being needy that’s putting him off. It’s you being uncomfortable or unconscious about your neediness and needy behaviors.
That’s a subtle, but huge, difference.
3) Be ready for love
Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard and why neediness can be such a big deadweight?
As I said in the last point, this is something I’ve grappled with a lot in my life.
Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…
When you’re dealing with insecurity about your own neediness around a guy you like, it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless.
You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.
I want to suggest doing something different.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.
As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel horrible about things like our own neediness.
We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person, and we berate ourselves for being too needy.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to the neediness that I’ve struggled with for so long.
I highly recommend checking it out and seeing if the message resonates with you as well.
4) Be focused on your life
Another one of the key things to realize about how to not be needy to a guy is to be focused on your own life.
Part of the thing about neediness that drives people off is not the neediness itself, it’s the vacuum surrounding it.
If somebody can see that you’re basing all your future happiness on them it’s a hell of a lot of pressure.
On the other hand, if they can see that you also have your own life and goals, it’s much more attractive.
The truth is that it can ruin even strong attraction if you put all your eggs in one basket.
Think about it in reverse:
How would you feel if you knew that you were responsible for a guy’s happiness based on whether you wanted a serious relationship with him or not?
What if you just weren’t sure?
You’d feel pretty pressured and backed in a corner, like you had to be into him to save his life.
5) Be neediness-positive
These days there are growing movements about being sex-positive, fat-positive and so on.
It’s time to start being more neediness-positive.
If we learn to recognize the positives about being needy, we can improve our relationship to it.
We can turn being needy from a weakness into a strength.
Here are just a few positives of having a needy side that you may not have considered before:
- Being needy shows that you care about someone and what they think of you
- Being needy shows that you don’t want just anyone and that you have feelings
- Being needy demonstrates that you are in touch with your feelings and pay attention to them
- Being needy means that you’re willing to take risks and put your heart out there
These are all potentially positive qualities!
It’s just about what you do with them.
Let’s embrace being neediness-positive.
6) Neediness doesn’t have to be clinginess
A little bit of neediness can be positive, especially if you let it work for you instead of against you.
But a lot of neediness that becomes clinginess is generally very unattractive.
That’s because clinginess isn’t the same as strong attraction:
Wanting a man to the point of need can actually be romantic and erotic.
Wanting someone to fill in your gaps and “complete” you is a different thing.
It’s shaky, codependent and potentially toxic.
Part of being neediness-positive and having a proactive relation to your neediness is about being self-conscious.
If your neediness makes you reach out to someone you like a bit more…
If your neediness makes you affectionate and go in for a few more kisses when you’re out with them…
That’s also good!
But if you let your neediness make it so you start texting them every few minutes or ripping your hair out when they haven’t contacted you yet today…
Your neediness has become clinginess. And you’re going to want to pump the brakes.
7) The truth about attraction
The truth about attraction is that it’s not a choice, it’s a reaction and a process.
You can’t force someone to talk to you or be attracted to you.
When you have a healthy relation to your neediness, you can express interest in a man without making him feel pressured or forced to return your interest.
Attraction has a chance to grow in spite of the neediness when you own your emotions and your desire.
But when neediness drives you forward impulsively and without moderation, it can become too much and repel him.
He may get the feeling that he’s expected to return your interest and that you will always be dependent or clingy around him.
And this can be enough to scare him off and make him reject you.
Navigating this balance can be tough, and the best advice I’ve seen on how to do that comes from relationship guru Michael Fiore.
He teaches how to make even the most commitment-phobic man want to stay with you.
Check out this wonderful free video to see how to use science-based techniques to make him love you, so much so that he never wants to be apart from you again.
8) Neediness makes the heart grow fonder
There’s a saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
In my experience it’s absolutely true, although too many weeks and months of absence can make the heart switch to a new object of affection.
Neediness is similar, in that you can let neediness make your (and his or her) heart grow fonder.
The way to do it is to let the neediness settle and savor it a bit.
“When it’s time to hang out again, you’ll both have had the chance to actually look forward to seeing each other, making your time together all the sweeter.”
From your point of view, you’re letting the desire to see that person be balanced out by some restraint.
You’re accepting your neediness, but you’re also not impulsively or immediately acting out on it.
From the other person’s point of view, any neediness and desire they have for you is also growing as the romantic and sexual tension grows.
Neediness that you act on right away loses its potency.
Neediness that you let settle down into a kind of pleasant frisson of sexual and romantic tension can actually be your ally.
9) What do romantically successful men have in common?
If you want to know how to not be a needy guy in the ways that can sink you, look at the women you know who are the most successful at attracting women and having relationships.
What do they have in common?
Do you think they deny their neediness and always pretend to be playing it cool?
Of course not. They just know when to pump the gas and when to pump the brakes.
Here are some critically important traits I’ve noticed about romantically successful women:
- They focus on all aspects of their life, especially finding their purpose, not just on romance and finding a partner.
- They express their desire for somebody else, but once they put their cards on the table they pivot back to what’s in their control and accept the response of the other person even when it’s painful.
- They accept the needy parts of their behavior without indulging in them too much. They have a healthy balance between neediness and indifference that’s spontaneous and genuine.
- They express their desire in and out of relationships in a way that is affirming and reassuring but never stifling or possessive.
10) Be realistic about your neediness
One of the most important steps to take if you want to know how to not be needy to a guy is to be realistic about your neediness.
One person’s neediness is another person’s romance.
Think about the last time you were really interested in someone and they were also really interested right back.
Did it turn you off?
Most likely it made you very happy.
That’s why it’s crucial to think of neediness contextually.
In a situation where a guy is not very into you, being needy can be an awful turn-off, absolutely.
But in a situation where a guy is into you, being needy can be his dream come true.
“I don’t think there’s such a thing as being objectively needy or clingy. It really depends on the person you’re in a relationship with.
“For one person, your needs might be too much for them, but someone else might love how much you want to be close.”
Personally, I feel that if you have almost no time alone and get upset when you’re away from someone for an hour that is objectively too clingy or needy.
But then again, many of the greatest love stories in history were people who rarely spent time apart, so maybe in some rare cases it can be healthy, too…
11) Mirroring, instead of shadowing
There’s a popular concept in relationship psychology called mirroring which is important to mention here.
It basically means that we mirror the behavior and energy of someone we are attracted to in order to “move at their pace.”
In terms of neediness, it means to keep your expressions of neediness roughly equivalent to the ones you’re getting from the guy.
If he’s reaching out to you on a daily basis, you respond.
If he’s sending you funny videos with a romantic side, you send one or two as well.
When I think of my worst mistakes in relationships and romance, they happened when I stopped paying attention to the other person’s actions and just began doing whatever I wanted.
My biggest successes came when I mirrored and showed a level of interest fairly equal to what she was already showing.
12) What’s so bad about being needy, anyway?
What’s so bad about being needy, anyway?
It’s natural and healthy to care about getting what you want.
What I’ve really tried to emphasize in this article is the following:
There’s nothing inherently unattractive about needing something or someone.
The unattractiveness comes from our relation to our own neediness and how we act based on it.
Think of neediness like a radio transmission:
The signal is coming in. You want someone badly, maybe you even feel you need them.
So the radio is receiving the signal.
But your hand is on the dial.
You decide how loud to turn up the volume.
You decide on whether to hook an amp up to the radio and go blast it outside the window of the person you’re attracted to.
You decide whether to turn the volume all the way down and pretend you never heard it in the first place, which is going to come across awkward and fake.
The neediness is just the transmission. What you do with it is up to you.
Making neediness work for you
Here’s the thing with neediness:
It can either be your worst enemy or your best friend.
Neediness can be the awkward burden you carry around and feel insecure and angry about, or it can be an open part of you.
We’re here and we’re needy!
So what! Embrace it, relate to it, use it.
When you own your neediness, it doesn’t have to own you.
When you push down and reject your neediness, it oozes off of you like shameful toxic slime.
This is really something that you have to experience for yourself by taking your neediness and making it work for you.
Like I wrote earlier, the shaman Rudá Iandê’s teachings about finding love and intimacy really changed how I look at this subject.
They also had a measurable and positive impact on my love life and how I go about relationships and the search for relationships.
If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.