Nobody wants to be that girl (or that guy). I’m talking about the desperate one who’s always chasing after someone who’s just not that into her. The insecure one in a relationship who can’t spend an hour apart from her partner without checking her cellphone and email -- or his. Trouble is, once you’re in a relationship, worrying that you’re too needy can prevent you from connecting in ways that nurture genuine, healthy closeness.
How do you tell the difference between Good Needy and Bad Needy? Here are some guidelines:
Bad Needy is all about fear. Doubting your partner’s devotion, you try to keep him on a short leash. When you’re Bad Needy:
1. You expect your partner to read your mind, pump you up, and solve all your problems -- and you get furious when he doesn’t. “My girlfriend got a new nightgown and I didn’t notice it,” one man told me. “She wouldn’t speak to me for two days.”
2. You don’t talk about things that bother you because you’re too afraid to make him mad or turn him off.
3. You get angry or tearful at playful banter.
4. In a new relationship, you get sexual in order to hold onto him, instead of waiting till sex feels like a natural move that reflects your connection.
Good Needy grows out of a relationship that gives you both room to breathe. It doesn’t mean acting too cool or not wanting compliments or time together. In a healthy relationship, expressing your needs grows naturally out of a rich mix of closeness and trust. Feeling lucky you found each other, you’re confident and flexible about your needs. When you’re Good Needy:
1. You trust that your partner, despite occasional carelessness or conflict, is genuinely interested in your needs and wants.
2. You know you’re terrific -- not perfect, but special in your own unique way -- and you expect your partner to respond to your good qualities and accomplishments, even if you sometimes have to call his attention to them with a smile: “Like my haircut?”