3 Ways to Let Him Know You Need Him Without Appearing Needy

3 Ways to Let Him Know You Need Him Without Appearing NeedyNeediness 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[1] 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.

Avoid appearing needyModern 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.

Avoid appearing needy and help him with guy stuffThe 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?

Absolutely not.

He’ll know you need him, and that makes all the difference.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/04/opinion/dalai-lama-behind-our-anxiety-the-fear-of-being-unneeded.html


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5 thoughts on “3 Ways to Let Him Know You Need Him Without Appearing Needy

  1. Lorna (LaLa) said:

    Thank you, James, for finally saying this one obvious, really important thing. Let’s hear a big “Hurrah” for James’ common sense, once again. I absolutely, wholeheartedly, unreservedly, 100% agree with you. “Bol—ks” to what all the “do-gooders” and well-meaning, ill-informed, “modern”, “forward thinking” advice columnists say. Without that special “someone” in my life, I, for one, feel as though there is a huge, big black hole in my heart – and nothing seems to fill it. I try and try to “love myself” – well actually I DO love myself, I know I am a wonderful, caring, loving person, but it has made no difference to my feeling extremely lonely. Until I hear someone else say it, someone who cares for me deeply and actually really means it, it sounds hollow and shallow. In fact, when I was young (many years ago!), it was considered extremely egotistical to have that attitude, and it was frowned on and discouraged. It is only by being shown love, from the first instant of our birth, that we are able to reciprocate love – otherwise we put a shell around our heart to protect it from hurt. Children who are left alone all day in a cot, with no love and attention, suffer terribly with mental health problems. That was shown not so very long ago in the Eastern block countries, when the orphanages were opened up to Western reporters and television cameras. Pitiful and extremely upsetting!! YES – we all NEED to love and be loved. And we NEED to tell the ones we love that we love and need them – it is a basic human NEED. Lorna

  2. Mimi Lupin said:

    Yes, Lorna, thanks for your comments. A very well known and respected psychologist, William Glasser said that our basic need is for love and connection. We all want and need that. You have explained his comments very well!

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Mimi Lupin, thank you for your comment. I will look up William Glasser. Lorna x

  3. Mary said:

    Lorna, your comment about love at birth is so well expressed, thank you. Please tell me, will it have any effect on your future love life, if your biological mother didn’t give you her love at birth, but instead you received it fully from your father and your grandmother. Will you still suffer from the lack of love connection in your future relationships (with the shell around the heart) ?
    Thank you, God Bless you.

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Hi Mary, Sorry I did not pick up your comment immediately. We have had a death in the family, and I’ve been dealing with that. I am by no means an expert, but have read dozens of books and accessed forums like this one and have taken a deep interest in the psychology of humans (and, incidentally, animals). It is certainly well-documented that lack of love has a huge effect on the psyche of people and animals, but, in my humble opinion, the situation you describe would not come under this category. If that person you speak of received love and care from another source, other than the birth mother, that would (probably, but not necessarily absolutely, depending on the situation) counteract any love not received from the birth mother. What I described was the complete lack of love and caring denied to young orphaned children in state orphanages in Romania. They were left alone in filthy, urine soaked cots all day, as the “carers” did not have the time to give them any attention. It is the same with animals. Elephants, particularly, need one-to-one caring and when they are orphaned, a dedicated human carer takes on the role, sleeping with them and giving food and love when required, for a long, long time. Monkeys, too, need this support in a tight-knit community. However, often siblings and aunties take on the caring role of a mother, if the mother it out looking for food or has died. As for the situation you describe – I think we all, to some extent, put a shell around our hearts until we know that they will not be abused or broken. It is normal, and necessary, to protect ourselves from hurt. However, half the battle is won by recognizing that this is happening, and teaching ourselves, slowly, slowly to open our heart up to the love extended by others, and return that love. It is only by giving love that we can receive it, I believe. If one is a closed-up, bitter, angry, defensive person, there is not much likelihood of other people wanting to love you. Try it. Just giving another person a smile on the train or bus, or when out shopping; a kindly word to the girl at the check-out; a heartfelt thank-you to the person on the phone when they help you sort out a problem (I always say “Thank you for being so patient”, and I just know that it goes down well); a helping hand to someone eldery who may be struggling or just a friendly “hello” and warm smile in passing; stop and have a few words with the homeless person sitting on the street (would YOU like to be that person?); smile into their eyes, touch their hand and give them a few pennies or a hot coffee and burger (unconditional love) – all of this will make some-one’s day – I guarantee it, and make you feel great, too. Here in the South of England that does not happen that much. People are very closed-off and seemingly uncaring – too busy to notice each other. Love begets love, and there is no substitute. Think of the badly neglected and abused dog rescued and re-homed. It is amazing what effect love and attention has on that animal. Just open up your heart and let the love flow – there is no better feeling in the world. Worth more than diamonds, gold or money. Without love we wither and die!!! And remember that love comes in many, many forms – just keep an eye out for it, and you will see it all around. And when it comes YOUR way, do not push it away. And remember to TELL the people you love that you do love them – they need that, more than anything. I have just this week suddenly lost a really wonderful friend, and it has brought home to me how precious we are to each other. Lastly, regardng the birth-mother who was unable to give love – try to understand the reason why this was so. Understanding where another person is coming from, and the reasons they do what they do, and forgiving them for it can be extremely enlightening and freeing for us. Love and hugs to you, Mary, and I hope this has helped in some way. It certainly helps ME in my situation to receive comments on this forum. Have a wonderful day!!! Lorna xx

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