Wait … did your guy just tell you that you’re ‘too needy?’
Second, before you get mad (or feel hurt) did you ask what he really means? Way too often, when we fight, we dismiss our partner’s use of a popular, default phrase as yet another blatant insult intended to wound in the heat of the moment. But is that really what he’s doing (or what he meant)?
Often, ‘too needy’ is a catch phrase tossed around to end (or fuel) many a fight. It’s right up there with “You’re crazy” and “You’re just like your mother.” As a result, it’s quite easy to assume that every time such a phrase escapes your man’s lips, he’s being a complete jerk.
It is true, ladies. Some men do fight like that — they 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, so … armor up!
However, if you’re in a relationship you actually value, “You’re too needy” is actually not a phrase you want to dismiss. Him saying that is very often warranted. Ignore that fact and you’ll likely create a volatile relationship (if you haven’t already) and, eventually, cause a breakup.
Yes, I said that very often a man saying “you’re too needy” is warranted. Why? Because when he says that to you, he likely means something else. Here are (just) some behavioral issues that define a ‘needy’ woman in a man’s mind. Let’s see if you can recognize yourself in any of these (and if you do, I hope you’ll DO something to fix the situation).
1. Your entire social life centers on him
Ladies, more than anything, guys fear losing their ‘freedom’ — their ability to spend time doing ‘guy’ things and pursuing their favorite interests and hobbies.
If you, on the other hand, assume 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 — WAY UP. You’re not only drastically altering his lifestyle, you’re imposing on him a huge responsibility: maintaining YOUR HAPPINESS.
That’s a heavy burden to bear. So, every once in a while, when he just wants to spend a Friday night watching the game with his buddies, feel free to have a girl’s night out, instead of making plans to visit your parents. After all, shouldn’t you have a little fun of your own?
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to ask him what he wants to do on any given Saturday night, because sometimes his idea of entertainment or leisure does not meet yours — and that’s fine. Compromise is a key to any successful relationship.
2. You over-analyze him
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 he’s preoccupied with something; or he just assumes that YOU KNOW HE LOVES YOU, and he can skip saying it this one time. Really, ladies, HE CAN.
Don’t automatically jump to conclusions that you’re heading toward a breakup and that he no longer loves you. Sometimes little things like that 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.
I remember a client who was freaking out because her boyfriend stopped wearing the chain she gave him for Christmas. She managed to cause a big fight only to find out that it ripped and was simply being repaired; which was a lot more than she could say for her relationship.
Not wearing a chain didn’t mean that he didn’t care for her, but causing meaningless fights over HER ASSUMPTIONS about his every move eventually drove him away. So, please, don’t read into all of his actions as having direct impact on your relationship. Sometimes minutia is exactly what it is — minutia.
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 taking 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, there are some who don’t. SO WHAT? Are you that insecure that you can’t let him out of your site to enjoy a conversation that 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?
Otherwise, playing the role of Siamese twins is not something he signed up for. 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 that he doesn’t love you or find you attractive. It may just mean that he prefers to use both hands while using his utensils.
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 really 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 (a.k.a. your problem) that you need to fix, so seek counseling or find a hobby. 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, ‘hello’ to your boyfriend, do you need to know who she is, how he knows her, and does he think she’s pretty? Do you question him about women at work, which ones he find attractive, which one dresses the best, or which one is the office slut?
Well, that interrogation becomes very tiresome very quickly.
Trust me ladies, every woman is not a threat to you. If your man wants to leave, he will leave. And, it may or may 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.
To be sure, ladies, guys have different tolerance levels for your neediness, and the key is to know your man’s 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 certain issues more than truly needed. After all, your relationship should, in the very least, include love and pleasure. Being joined at the hip does not prove, nor qualify, either.
And one more thing: If none of the above concerns applies to you, then, yes, when he says “you’re too needy,” he just wants out. Let him go, because he is not THE ONE.
This post originally appeared at YourTango.