I Can’t Shake Coming Off Needy. Do You Have Any Advice?

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

I am a 53-year-old white male. I can’t seem to shake off my coming off needy. I try to go slow but that doesn’t work.

Do you have any advice?

-Randy (Florida)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Randy,

What kind of needy do you mean? Do you smother women with too much attention? Do you have anxiety if you and your dates are not in constant contact?

I want to remind you a relationship is an exchange of care and expressing healthy needs is part of emotional intimacy.

But, having said that, I might remind you there’s a world of difference between healthy needs and irrational, bottomless needs that no one can ever satisfy.

You have to ask yourself, truthfully, which kind of needs you have, and if it is the latter, a good professional therapist can help you learn to contain yourself and understand why you are so needy.

If, on the other hand, you simply can’t tolerate the feeling of “not knowing” that comes in the early stages of a dating relationship, this is something that can be worked on alone.

The anxiety of the mating dance is something exciting to most people. But to others, it can make them too quick to want to find out if love is real and, by doing so, they scare off partners.

Here’s a few simple guidelines that may help you slow things down:

When you first meet a woman and obtain her number or email, do not call her for two to five days. Then set up a meeting for at least two to five days later.

After a great first date, wait a day or two before contacting her again. Make her wonder about your exciting busy life that has kept you from obsessing over her.


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