What Men Really Mean When They Say You're 'Too Needy'

"You're too needy" is hurtful, or he might mean something else.

Woman poking boyfriend, being 'needy' SHOTPRIME | Canva

Did your guy just tell you that you’re "too needy?" First of all, ouch. Second, before you get mad (or feel hurt), did you ask what he means? When we fight, we often dismiss our partner's use of a default phrase as another blatant insult intended to wound us in the heat of the moment. But is that really what he's doing (or what he meant)?

"Too needy" is a catchphrase tossed around to end (or fuel) many fights. It’s right up there with "You’re crazy" and "You’re just like your mother." As a result, it's quite easy to believe every time such a phrase escapes your man's lips, he's being a complete jerk.


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Here's what it means when a guy says you're too needy:

1. Your entire social life centers on him

Ladies, more than anything, guys fear losing their freedom — their ability to spend time doing their things and pursuing their favorite interests and hobbies. If you think that since you’re a couple, you should spend all your weekends going out with your friends or rearranging furniture in your apartment, his alarm goes up. You're not only drastically altering his lifestyle, you're imposing a huge responsibility on him: maintaining your happiness.


That's a heavy burden to bear. So, every once in a while, when he wants to spend a Friday night watching the game with his buddies, feel free to have a girl’s night instead of making plans to visit your parents. After all, shouldn’t you have a little fun of your own? It wouldn’t hurt to ask what he wants to do on Saturday night. Sometimes, his idea of entertainment or leisure does not meet yours — and that’s fine. Compromise is vital to any successful relationship.

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2. You over-think his every move

You read way too much into all of his actions. Sometimes, if he hangs up the phone before saying, "I love you," it just means he’s busy or preoccupied. Or he thinks you know he loves you, and he can skip saying it this one time. Don’t automatically jump to the conclusion you're heading toward a breakup and he no longer loves you.

Sometimes, little things like are exactly that: little things. If your relationship is fine, let it slide. Because if you don’t, you will push this relationship to the brink by micro-managing and questioning his every thought and action.




3. You attach yourself to him in public

Do you insist on holding hands when you walk into a room? Do you never leave his side after entering a party? Do you demand to take part in all his conversations when you’re in a social situation? If so, stop it. Yes, most people know you’re together, and yes, some don’t. So what? Are you so insecure you can’t let him out of your site to enjoy a conversation you may not even be interested in?

If that’s the case, ask yourself why you are in a relationship where you don’t trust your man. If he doesn’t feel comfortable holding your hand from the moment he sits down to dinner until the moment he gets up, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you or find you attractive. It may just mean he prefers to use both hands while using his utensils.

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4. You insist on knowing where he is at all times

Do you find yourself texting and calling when he’s not with you, asking where he is or what he’s doing? Do you need to involve yourself in every trivial detail of his life? Ask yourself why. Is it insecurity or boredom? In either case, it's an internal problem (AKA, your problem) you need to fix by seeking counseling or self-work. When you externalize the issue, you make it seem (perhaps correctly) that you don’t trust him. And isn’t trust one of the essential driving factors of any long-lasting relationship?

5. You continuously grill him about other women

If you're in a coffee shop and a strange woman says "Hey" to your boyfriend, do you need to know who she is, how he knows her, and if he thinks she’s pretty? Do you question him about women at work, who he finds attractive, or who dresses the best?

Interrogation becomes very tiresome very quickly. Every woman is not a threat to you. If your man wants to leave, he will leave. It might not be because he fell in love with someone else. It’s because he cannot tolerate the level of distrust and jealousy you display when it comes to other women.


He thinks she is too needyPhoto: MDV Edwards via Shutterstock

It's true, ladies. Some men throw canned phrases and labels at you like a cruel curve ball. And how do you respond? You raise your defenses and no longer care to understand if the situation warrants a fight or not. He hurt your integrity. However, if you're in a relationship you value, "You’re too needy" is not a phrase you want to dismiss. His saying that is often warranted. Ignore that fact, and you'll likely create a volatile relationship.

Guys have different tolerance levels for your neediness. The key is to know his breaking point.


While you may think kissing in public is a show of affection, he may feel it’s your way of "claiming him." So, what’s the answer? Communication! That, and not over-complicating issues more than truly needed. After all, your relationship should, at the very least, include love and pleasure. Being joined at the hip does not prove nor qualify, either.

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Marina Margulis is a matchmaker and dating coach. She has been featured in Good Men Project, DatingAdvice, Scribd, and more.