Neediness is the most misunderstood concept in dating. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what they think being needy means:
“Don’t text a girl too soon. Wait a while before you respond. Be careful of showing your interest early on — especially if she’s REALLY hot.”
But what if I told you that those actions aren’t necessarily needy?
What if I told you that constantly worrying about whether or not you’re being needy is actually being needy?
Let’s clear up what neediness is and isn’t once and for all.
The real definition of neediness
To understand neediness in a romantic context, you must first understand self-confidence. Wikipedia defines it as:
Self-assuredness in one’s personal judgment, ability, and power.
Self-confidence means you trust in yourself and your own worth. You value your own opinion over what others think of you. You internally approve of who you are and what you do.
Therefore, someone who is not self-confident requires other sources to validate themselves. So…
Neediness means you don’t trust in yourself and your own worth. You value the opinions of others over your own. You seek external approval of who you are and what you do.
Simply put, being needy is caring more about how people perceive you rather than how you perceive yourself. Because of it, your behaviors and actions will revolve around pleasing others rather than satisfying yourself.
By this definition, it’s not about the actions you take but why you take them. The intention behind your actions is what makes you needy. Therefore, any action can be needy or self-confident depending on the mindset of where it comes from.
Why is being needy so unattractive?
Now that you know what neediness is, why is it such a turn off?
Think about it like this…
You and a woman just met. You barely know each other. She hasn’t had a chance to invest in you with her time and emotions.
You should want to get to know her, see if she’s willing to invest, and find out if she’s compatible with you. You shouldn’t need to win her over or need her approval.
Why would you? And what does that say about you?
It says that you’re desperate for attention from someone, anyone. It shows you’re obsessed with the idea of her rather than the actual person inside. Therefore, you must not have standards for yourself or many options in your life. You’re then seen as less desirable.
You’re also being dishonest. You’re always micromanaging or hiding your true opinions, wants, and desires for everyone else. You’re demonstrating that you don’t trust, value, or respect yourself. Would you trust a person like that?
Women are attracted to men who have the courage to lead and remain authentic.
Is external validation always wrong?
Gaining some validation from external sources isn’t all bad. Everyone wants to be liked or found attractive – that’s a normal human quality. If you never care about anyone else’s opinions, you may be a sociopath.
How often you seek external validation will change depending on who you’re dealing with.
It’s natural to seek some approval from people you have long-established connections with such as parents, close friends, or your significant other.
It’s not natural to seek constant approval from women you just met, have gone on a couple dates with, or haven’t even been intimate with. This includes your female friends you secretly desire.
And you especially shouldn’t seek approval from women who don’t invest in you.
I get weekly e-mails that say, “Nick, I really like this girl. But she barely responds to my texts, she’s cancelled on dates, and never commits to hanging out. How do I get her to like me without being needy?”
Every single time I want to reach through the screen and slap some sense into them. You are being the most needy motherfucker possible at that point This is how I’m going to start replying to those e-mails.
Again, what does that say about you when you chase someone who ignores you or doesn’t value your time?
99% of the time you’re not going to convince a girl who’s uninterested to suddenly be interested. Nor should you want to.
She’s not going to say, “I haven’t given this guy the time of day and it’s so attractive that he still keeps crawling back.”
The only way to be non-needy in those situations is to walk away. Find women who interest you and who are interested in you.
How to be self-confident instead of needy
To become self-confident you must start adopting the mindset of “What do I want?” rather than “What does everyone else want?” And then repeatedly take actions that are congruent with that.
You can’t go around analyzing what every woman wants and trying to fit that mold. You will never attract the right people for you or have your needs fulfilled.
Instead, you have to think…
“What do I want to talk about despite how I may be perceived? What do I want to do in this situation? What do I want from this connection?”
This isn’t about being a dick or disrespecting others. You simply lead with your intentions and the other person decides whether or not to invest back.
Here are some examples of neediness vs self-confidence:
- Overanalyzing if you should or shouldn’t approach a girl you find attractive. Not introducing yourself because she might think you’re creepy or will reject you immediately. Needy
- Approaching a girl you find attractive regardless of how you think the situation may unfold or what the outcome may be. Self-Confident
- Trying to memorize openers, lines, or routines just so you can talk to women. Needy
- Trying to talk to women as yourself, in the moment. Self-Confident
- Pretending to be a friend or study buddy just to spend time with a girl you want to be romantic with. Needy
- Willing to risk losing a girl by treating her like someone you’re interested in and expressing your sexual intentions. Self-Confident
- Hiding or lying about what you believe in or who you are in fear of being judged. Needy
- Being unashamed about your opinions and all parts of your personality. Self-Confident
- Delaying texting a girl back because you think it’ll make you look cool or like more of a “catch”. Needy
- Delaying texting a girl back because it’s not first on your priority list or you have other things to do. Self-Confident
- Texting a girl for weeks or months because she’s responding and you’re afraid asking her out will kill the connection. Needy
- Texting a girl and asking her out because you want to see her. Self-Confident
- Spending excessive money on or buying gifts for a girl you barely know so that she’ll like you. Needy
- Paying for dinner because you genuinely enjoyed her company and liked what she had to offer. Self-Confident
- Not going for a kiss during a date because you’re afraid she’ll reject you. Needy
- Going for a kiss during a date even though she may not be interested. Self-Confident
- Working on your health, lifestyle, or social skills to impress other people. Needy
- Working on improving yourself and building a happy life for yourself. Self-Confident
- Seeing an attractive woman and telling yourself she’s better than you or “out of your league” before you even know her. Needy
- Seeing an attractive women and telling yourself she’s an equal who you want to get to know. Self-Confident
- Chasing or staying with a girl who doesn’t invest in you, doesn’t respect you, or you know isn’t the right person because you’re afraid of being alone. Needy
- Walking away from a girl who doesn’t invest in you, doesn’t respect you, or you know isn’t the right person regardless of being alone after. Self-Confident
Getting rid of neediness does not happen overnight, nor is it easy. But it begins by deliberately filtering your decisions through “What do I want?”
You will feel more satisfied and reinforce that this is the healthiest way to live. Before you know it, taking the self-confident path will become second nature.