The simple truth is that human beings need other human beings. We need love. We need to feel connected, valued, appreciated and cared for. It’s what makes us human.
It’s why irregardless of how successful we are in our careers, how good our friendships, how much money we have- if an intimate relationship isn’t in our lives…well, life can feel like it’s not quite complete.
In relationships (particularly new relationships), women have become so afraid of appearing too needy that many of us have given up a healthy sense of entitlement and what we truly deserve. All in an attempt to further or keep a relationship.
I hear it from clients regularly that they don’t want to perceived as being “too demanding” or expecting “too much.” And they end up biting their and tongue and tolerating less than behaviour that doesn’t actually leave them feeling good in the process.
In a past life I did it too.
I’ve understood when they were too busy, bit my tongue when they took their sweet-time to message me back or return my phone call, made excuses for the way they spoke to me because they were tired/stressed/overworked.
I’ve accepted or excused “less than behaviour” for the sake of having a relationship or because I’d rather see its potential over its reality. And I kept on doing that for years – even when that behaviour made me feel unhappy. I hate to break it to you (but deep down you already know) that nobody is that busy, people who don’t speak to you kindly when they’re tired and grumpy also do it when they’re not getting their way or when they feel justified.
I don’t have any energy for that kind of behaviour now. In any of my relationships, intimate or not.
No disrespect meant for them at all.
Just a whole lot of respect for me.
To find someone who met my needs and treated me like I deserved meant I first had to change my own energy. My expectations around what I needed had to change before I could attract a man like that into my life. And my basic needs; they had to become set in stone. My expectations in my relationships stopped being wishy washy. Instead they had to became super clear so I could break the past patterns that I could see repeating themselves in my life.
I wasn’t looking for perfection or a perfect man – they don’t exist! I was looking for a man who knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to treat me like I deserved.
Less-than behaviour doesn’t get my attention or have me wanting or hanging on anymore.
Instead it’s a big red flag.
Often when women feel that they’re too needy or that they’re not getting the love or attention they desire from their relationship, I find that they’re seeing someone who’s either unwilling or unable to provide it to them. It’s not that they’re too needy at all. In fact, far from it.
The only time I’ve ever felt I was appearing too needy has been those times in a relationship when my needs weren’t being met, not once but many times over. When overtime I started to want more than they were able to give me, when I was spoken to me like my feelings didn’t matter, treated with carelessness and so on. Does that sound familiar to you?
In fact, the men who happily met my needs and were in the space to do so describe me as the complete opposite of needy – easy going, go with the flow, relaxed, fun, such a beautiful girl, butter wouldn’t melt and full of smiles.
A partner who is willing and able to meet your needs will bring out the best in you. A partner who can’t or won’t will eventually bring out the worst in you.
Until you take full responsibility for what you want and need in a relationship, you’ll waste a lot of time and energy on men who either don’t have what you want or, for whatever reason, simply aren’t able to give it to you.
It’s not solely a case of you deserving better. It’s about you wanting to invest your time and energy into something that’s better for you.
But first you need to know what your non-negotiables are. Your deal-breakers that you wouldn’t compromise on because you need and deserve so much more from your intimate relationships.
Find a piece of paper and make a list of at least five things you need in order to feel happy and content in a relationship. Be really honest and write down exactly what you’re feeling. Put down the words that reflect where you currently are in yourself, whether you’re looking for something long-term or something more casual. If you need no emotional attachment write it down. If you need him to call you or message you back as normally, as timely as a good friend would, put it down. If faithfulness, loyalty and honesty is important to you, put it down. Don’t “easy going” your needs down.
When you have your list look over it and ask yourself: what needs to change in your life right now? Are you compromising on your needs? Or are they being met?
Rather than downplaying your own personal need for love, kindness, respect, rather than questioning where you stand with someone, consider instead taking your needs seriously. Because if you don’t, do you think a man ever will?
This is an exercise taken from my latest book “A Single Heart” – a guide to letting go, moving on and finding love again. You can read more about it here.