Dating Deal Breaker...The 3rd N...
I have a confession to make - the final N of the ‘3 N’s NOT to Date’ is a prickly one for me to discuss. First, if you didn’t guess it yet- the 3rd N after Negative and Narcissistic is…..NEEDY. This one is tough to admit, because of one simple reason…my own neediness. I was very guilty of being needy when I first started dating in my 40’s. In fact, I would guess that these needy traits actually went back decades. I’ve read about neediness being related to core trust and abandonment issues. I look at my life and can sadly recognize that these are issues that I have dealt with and sometimes still deal with today. I will also admit that there are still times I’ll feel that neediness and have to get it in check. Despite this - I can’t accept neediness in relationships today, because it’s unhealthy for both parties. Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.” And I know better.
There is a difference between needing someone and being needy. In fact, I read online , “Neediness in our romantic relationships hints at an insatiable desire to be affirmed, validated, sought out, and attended to. We tend to think of a needy partner as someone who strains and emotionally exhausts their partner.” Being needy is the absolute opposite of self-confident and self-assured. Being a needy partner whether in a marriage or dating relationship has a feeling of desperation and clinginess. We have probably all experienced that feeling from someone that makes you instantly want space and to run like the wind. Neediness is a true relationship repellant.
Let’s be honest and admit that most of want to be needed to some extent. Yet, unhealthy neediness is a very different looking and feeling animal. It’s been researched that neediness is related to core trust and abandonment issues. I look at my life and can say, check and check to dealing with those issues, but that doesn’t mean I accept neediness. What are some signs of unhealthy needy behavior in a relationship; According to numerous articles and one from Lifehack.com here are few indicators that someone or YOU are too needy:
1. Losing sense of self
2. Constant validation
3. Overreactions are common
4. Constant texting
5. Extreme jealousy
6. Moving way too fast
Other needy red flags; the constant need to be together and not having a ‘self’ identity separate of your partner. Basically losing yourself in the relationship. I have read about the needy partner not having ‘friends’ of their own. I think this one is difficult especially for men who don’t tend to have as many friendships or as frequent friends as women. I do not say this as an excuse though, because emotionally available men are capable and require friendships.
I was guilty of a lot of ‘needy’ behaviors right after my divorce. It took figuring out who I was and liking me, before I could let go of my need to be loved and wanted by others. That is why today I will say that whoever I end up with is getting the best version of me! I recognize the behaviors and now know the unhealthy place that they come from. What neediness does to me is leaves me feeling trapped, controlled and being suffocated. If I had to describe how neediness feels- synonymous with clinginess and desperation. There is no judgement from me on where someone else is on their journey. I truly believe that when we’re committed to self-growth and it’s a lifelong commitment - we recognize, change, grow and repeat. My outgrowth of neediness is a growth gift and it’s also given me a great amount of compassion towards other people feeling needy. To the dates that experienced my neediness - I am sorry. Like the guys who are needy with me, I know we are all just doing the best we can with the place we’re in. That being said, I am still not dating needy. xoxo