Neediness has gotten a bad rap.
You shouldn’t need a man. You should be independent and self-sufficient. You should seek a partner to complement you, not complete you.
Those “shoulds” come from everywhere. Culture. Advice columns. Friends.
It’s not surprising that more and more women are afraid to come out and speak their hearts’ truest desires. They want relationships. They don’t feel complete when they go home to an empty apartment. They don’t want more girlfriends; they want that one special best friend who’s at their side for life.
Recently, the Dalai Lama co-authored an article in the New York Times about the importance of being needed. He mentioned a study that found that elderly people who didn’t feel useful were at much greater risk of premature death. “Feeling superfluous,” he wrote, “is a blow to the human spirit.”
Today, men are feeling more superfluous than ever.
Modern superwomen don’t need them. Women can buy a house, skyrocket up the career ladder, and build a killer investment portfolio, all without a man. Women can even have children without men. Who needs men?
Women need men.
Women need men to love and be loved.
Men need women for the same reasons.
When that natural desire is denied or suppressed, romance dies.
In an attempt to prove how little they need one another, men and women often treat relationships as transactions. “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” These exchanges feel hollow and unsatisfying.
Dating becomes a game of pretending you’re kind of interested but only if he’s interested, and if he’s not interested you’re definitely not interested. Who’s going to break first?
I want to give you 3 ways to break that pattern and show a man you want him in your life, without worrying that you’ll be penalized for appearing needy.
1. Talk about what you appreciate about men in general.
There’s nothing a man loves to hear more than how much the woman in front of him likes men. He knows he’s in the company of an ally. He doesn’t have to worry that she’ll judge him just because he’s a guy.
When you talk about what you appreciate about men, you also let him know what you’re looking for in a partner.
You might say, “I love having guys in my life so I have an excuse to go paintballing,”or, “I love having brothers because they have such a down-to-earth perspective on things,” or, “I’m such a girly-girl that it’s nice to have men around for balance.”
What do you appreciate most about men?
2. Get his help with “guy” things and thank him for it.
Sure, you can change the oil yourself. You can replace the batteries in the smoke alarm. You can get a stepstool to reach that box in the top cupboard. You don’t need him for any of those things.
The longer you live on your own, the more you can get used to doing everything yourself. You take pride in it. It feels great to have your own toolbox and know how to use it.
It can feel silly to ask him for help opening a tight lid when you know you could do it yourself. You managed perfectly well before him.
Whether you need help or not, doing everything yourself deprives him of the chance to do nice things for you. People thrive when they feel useful. Doing something nice for another person and receiving heartfelt thanks is one of the best feelings in the world.
So ask him for help. Thank him warmly. For bonus points, add, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
3. Let him know your world is better with him in it.
Because of the idea that self-sufficient women are somehow “better” than women who need men, many women feel uncomfortable letting a man know how important he is to her life.
He can get the message, in a thousand subtle ways, that you wouldn’t care if you stopped seeing him tomorrow. You’d go on with life, just as you did before you met him.
That doesn’t provide much of an incentive for him to stay.
He flourishes when he knows he’s an invaluable part of a woman’s life. He’s on top of the world when he knows that no one could ever replace him in her eyes.
So let him know how glad you are for his company. Let him know how much better your life is with him in it. Tell him you have a lot more fun now that he’s in your life.
Will he think you’re needy?
He’ll know you need him, and that makes all the difference.