Are You Good Needy or Bad Needy?


Are You Good Needy or Bad Needy?
How to know whether you're sucking the life out of your relationship -- or making it stronger.

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.

5. You check his phone or computer for emails and texts. (It's a different story if your relationship is recovering from an infidelity.)

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?”

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Jean Fitzpatrick

Marriage/Couples Counselor

Jean Fitzpatrick is a New York psychotherapist and marriage counselor.  Jean's practice includes individual and couples, and she specializes in affair recoverypre-marriageprebaby and postpartum counseling. Jean is a member of the elite Marriage Friendly Therapists network and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.  Jean has been interviewed in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Women's Health, on CNN and in USA Today, the NY Daily News, and other media outlets where the subject is marriage and family life. Jean's articles on family life and emotional and spiritual growth have appeared in many national magazines over the past twenty-five years, including Parents,Working Mother, The New York Times Magazine, and Family Circle, and she has written 6 books on family life.  

Visit Jean's website:

Follow Jean on twitter:  @therapistnyc35

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LP, MA, Other
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Marriage
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