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

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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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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