Have you notice how often guys say, “Aw, man, she was too needy–you know what I mean?”? Yet, very often, it is the guy who is needy, who can’t let go, who acts like a lost puppy, or worse, a controlling wolf. Check out these 7 signs of a needy man. They are red flags to identifying neediness. Then make up your mind to do something about it.
How to Spot a Needy Man
1. He’s Pushing Too Fast
You just met. You’ve dated a couple of times and then, whoa! He’s referring to himself as ‘your boyfriend’. Where did that come from? At no point have you decided that the relationship is exclusive. As far as you’re concerned, you’re just dating casually. He acts proprietorially, always draping an arm around you, always taking control. It’s all going too quickly.
It’s possible that he is pushing too fast because he’s inexperienced and thinks that women all want a serious relationship. Tell him you need to talk about this. Ask him to slow it down because you are not ready to take dating to relationship level just yet. If he doesn’t back off immediately, dump him.
2. He Won’t Stop Texting You
It’s driving you crazy. You’ve had four texts from him already and it’s only 9am. He has to share every thought with you. You ignore most of them in the hope he’ll stop, but he doesn’t. And then you start getting the ‘Why don’t you text me back?’ ‘Have I done something wrong?’. The tone of his texts escalates until you lie and say you were in a meeting. You can almost feel the relief coming through your phone. The next day, it starts all over again.
This constant need to feel close to you, even via texts, is a sign that he is insecure. Or it could be that he sees it as a way to control you. While you are in contact with him, you can’t be talking to anyone else. If he thinks he has to control you, he is an extremely needy man.
Ask him to stop texting and calling. Explain that you need to be able to concentrate on your work or studies and, although it’s cute, it’s just too distracting. If it continues, dump him.
3. He Tries to Make You Choose…
Usually between spending time with your friends and him. Surely ‘as your boyfriend’ he’s more important? Surely, you were with your friends all day, why would you want to be with them tonight as well? Or surely you saw Julia last week, why do you need to see her again so soon?
Beware of a man who is jealous of your friends. He may gradually try to separate you from them; to put distance between you and them so he becomes the only confidante in your life. This is controlling behavior and is a sign of extreme neediness.
This is something that is quite hard to bring up in conversation without it turning into a fight. Be careful not to accuse him of anything. Simply tell him that you want to spend time with your friends. Explain that your life consists of many aspects and that he is one of those aspects; he is not your whole life as you are not his. If he can’t agree to your request and speaks or acts aggressively, dump him.
4. He Undermines You
This can happen in so many ways, it’s difficult to pinpoint all of them, but you know when it’s going on.
- He insists on paying for everything. That seems great on the surface but it could be the first sign that he’s undermining your independence.
- He questions your judgment. From your taste in music to decisions you make.
- He’ll pick a fight and somehow you’ll end up apologizing.
- He criticize the way you do things from your driving to your make-up.
- He tries to make you feel guilty.
- He instructs you how to drive.
Undermining you is a way to make you feel ‘less-than’, and when you feel less-than, he thinks he’ll be the one who you will cling to. He’s trying to make you as needy as he is himself. Don’t attempt to discuss these things with him. Set a limit on how many times you’ll put up with it (three is a good number); and then when he crosses the limit, dump him.
5. He Tells You How Great He Is
He reminds you all the time how wonderful he is. How lucky you are to have landed him. How he loves to spend money on you. How he’s happy to look after you. He’ll recount how well he does his job and what a bunch of losers he works with. He’ll even denigrate his ex, saying she wasn’t worthy of his attention, and that’s a big red flag right there. Again, there’s no point getting into a discussion, he’ll never change so dump him.
6. He Overwhelms You…
With gifts you neither need or want. Gifts should be appropriate to the stage of the relationship. So yes, it’s okay he brings flowers on the first date, but if he shows up with a designer dress on the second date, that’s way over the top. If he shows up with a grocery bag full of shopping so he can ‘cook for you’ without prior arrangement, that’s also over the top. He’s overwhelming you with his need to demonstrate that he’s the one for you.
Explain to him that, although you really appreciate his kindness, it’s all a bit too much. Ask him to row back on the gift-giving/doing stuff for you. If he continues, dump him.
7. He Talks About Moving In
Sheryl says that her boyfriend of a couple of weeks simply refused to leave. Gradually he brought his belongings to her apartment and, before she really sussed what was going on, he had moved in. Seriously, if he starts talking about taking vacations together, moving in, getting married, having kids, and ‘forever’, it’s a warning sign that he’s a needy man. If it’s not what you want to hear, dump him.
What is Neediness?
Neediness is an expression of the fear of abandonment. It has been linked to depression. While you might feel sympathy for someone who is emotionally dependent upon you, you must know that you can’t satisfy their needs. It’s like throwing thimblefuls of sand into a coal mine. You’ll never be able to do enough to fix them.