There are many dating rules I loathe but the one I dislike the most is the ‘you need to act chill and pretend like you don’t give a shit in order to get a man to like you.’
Why must we do this, I hear you ask? Because apparently if we don’t, we will be seen as needy, clingy and overly emotional.
Some people do possess unrealistic expectations from their partners, but that’s for another post. This one is about the things that are NOT needy.
Stating what you are looking for.
The dating game is complicated enough as it is – why make it more complicated by not telling somebody what you’re looking for? I don’t mean inform someone you want to marry them on the first date – but telling a person you are looking for a relationship/casual fling/life partner is not needy. It shows confidence and saves you a lot of time-wasting. By laying your cards on the table, you are giving the other person the opportunity to either stick around and see where it goes or leave before you invest in unnecessary time and feelings.
However, if the person is not looking for the same as you, appreciate their honesty, thank them and move on. Don’t try to change their mind, or worse, show anger. The other person is entitled to their wants and needs just as much as you are.
It is not needy to let someone know you’re unhappy in the relationship.
If you’re feeling unfulfilled or unhappy in your relationship (or whatever it is you have) it’s not needy or unreasonable to let the other person know your feelings. Clear and honest communication is incredibly important and you should never be afraid to express your thoughts. Having needs does not make you needy. If you’re too afraid to let the person know you’re unhappy with them, maybe you shouldn’t be seeing them.
But you need to remember, people are not mind-readers. Please don’t act passive-aggressively or exhibit anger if they can’t figure out what’s bugging you. You have to speak to them.
It is not needy to ask for compromise.
Compromise is necessary in a relationship, and there is such a thing as a healthy compromise. If you’re in a relationship, asking your partner to tag along to one of your hobbies is not needy. If you don’t see the other person very often, it is not needy to find out if they can make a little more time for you. Making compromises can strengthen whatever you have.
However, you need to know the difference between small and big compromises. For example – if you have trust issues, it would be unreasonable to know your partner’s whereabouts of every second of every day or accuse them of cheating when you have no evidence.
It is not needy to wonder about the future.
I don’t mean rush into a relationship or write down baby names after date one – but planning for the future is a natural part of life and being human. It is perfectly fine to mention what you want out of life and finding out whether the person you’re seeing can fit into your plan. Again, its another way of saving time and feelings.
Telling someone you care about them.
It can be scary admitting how much you care about someone – especially if they haven’t told you, but it is not needy. Many of us fear rejection and that’s normal, but life is too short. If you care about someone, let them know. If they don’t feel the same way? Let them go.
Texting them first.
The only time it is needy or clingy to text someone first is if it’s followed by 100 more texts when they haven’t replied. If they take days to respond to your message, it is not needy to ask them why. And if they still ignore you or don’t understand where you’re coming from, lose them. It takes someone less than 30 seconds to send a text saying they’re currently busy and can’t text much.
Stop saying sorry for being a normal human who wants love, respect and acknowledgment. You will never be seen as needy for the right person because they’ll be right there with you.
You’re not needy for wanting a phone call, a text back, some sort of plan or commitment. You’re not needy for asking where you two stand or what your relationship means. You’re not needy for wanting the person you care about to be more present in your life.
And anyone who makes you feel otherwise is simply not the right one.
For the longest time, I was so scared to voice what I wanted because I was scared I was asking for too much. I thought that my needs would lead to rejection, or that I would come across as crazy, clingy and high maintenance. As I lived with this mentality, I was endlessly involved in situationships that left me miserable.
When we express our needs we are essentially sharing the most vulnerable parts of ourselves and potentially opening the door for someone to not meet them or worse, use them against us.
But if we do not voice our needs purely based on fear of rejection or discomfort, we are stuck with someone we are not happy with – and that in itself leads to a feeling of rejection. You could ‘lose’ either way, but it is better to lose because you asked for what you deserve, rather than because you weren’t being treated right.
Having needs is simply sharing with others what makes you feel good and what makes you feel bad – and you should never feel crazy or clingy for that.