Fellas: Do you prefer a needy woman?

Well I’ve just been let “off the hook” for the fourth time now by a guy who has fallen for someone else…a needy woman.

Now, I don’t think I’m being overly judgemental when I call these women needy. They’re probably actually more attractive than me and, depending on what time of my life it was, some more slutty. But I knew of the women before and after being “let go” and even before I was passed over for them, I thought to myself “huh, those chicks are needy.” Two guys even came out and said it - “I love her cuz she needs me.”

Er, ok. Being needed is cool I guess. But these chicks were the type to call 7 times a day crying about their boyfriends, needed to borrow money, needed another ride to the ER, needed the guy to work on their house, needed to be picked up from work, needed to be taught how to use a computer, needed … uh, whatever else needy women need.

Me, I try not to be needy. In fact, I don’t know how. I just bought a house - and I do need help. But I don’t want to seem all needy to guys I am dating so I lean on my friends and family for help. I am usually drama-free. Well…completely drama free. I usually work out any slight emotional turmoil on my own. I’ve got a job (my own business even), a house, a car, hobbies, friends…

I’m the type of girl who doesn’t always call because I don’t want to seem pushy. I will make it clear to a guy how I feel about him - so I don’t think guys sit around and wonder if I’m into him or not. I am super-interested in whomever I’m dating and super caring. I’m always happy to hear from them and make sure I call two or three times a week, or keep up via email. But I just don’t feel the need to interrupt their lives several times daily with mundane bantering.

It’s not like I’m some super-intelligent, super-hot, super-powerful business woman. I’m not one to be intimidated by. I’m extremely approachable and everyone always says how comfortable I make them feel, guys included.

But, some chick comes along who’s suffering from a bad divorce and raising a kid on her own, or some chick comes along who needs help paying her rent, and I’m toast.

In a way, it’s logical. Hell, I like to be needed. But to throw away something good with a really cool, stable woman for something more…costly and time-consuming? What’s the draw?

So guys…do you think you prefer a needy woman? Do older guys (I’m 27) grow out of wanting needy chicks?

And if I need to be, how can I be more needy and not hate myself?

By the way, I’m kind of down right now so please don’t bash me for being crabby for being passed over, or making judgements on other women, or dating the wrong kind of guy. It happens to everyone, my mind is racing, and I want to know if I am missing the big picture.

Some, hell, a lot, of men like to “rescue” needy women. But real quickly most of the guys realize the needy ones are a major PITA. So they dump 'em & go find another damsel in distress. Meanwhile, the needy chick goes & finds another dupe to dupe.

That all works (sorta) until the players get to be about 35 and their teenager games are now 20 years’ worth of stale. Then they’re screwed.
I much prefer non-needy, more or less self-sufficient women. I greatly prefer being happily maried (sorry, I’m taken) to being single. But if I became single I know I have to be able to be self-sufficient and be able to get through life on my own. If I can find somebody else to help/share it with, great. And I’m gonna bust butt trying to find that person. But I can’t count on succeeding. And I much prefer women who have the same attitude I do. And I’m far from alone in that preference.
Looking at it another way. …

We’ve all seen (and bought) crappy products that came in great packaging with snazzy advertising. We’ve also bought indifferent looking products that turned out to be great.

Your challenge is that your advertising is less than the best, while your product is probably first rate. Meanwhile, the needy chicks have that “rescue me” whine down pat, the one that sets the caveman brain all to frothing.

And I DON’T mean your physical appearance. I’m just talking about the early impressions you give off. If self-sufficient shades into “I could take you or leave you”, well a lot of guys need a little more encouragement than that. Encouragement that doesnt have to be needy. From your OP this doesn’t sound like something you’re doing, but I thought I’d mention it for completeness.

Another thoght …

I’ve also noticed that damsel rescuing is a compensating mechanism for insecurity. ie the guy thinks “I’m really not so hot, but I can redeem my low self esteem by carrying this woman who’ll look up to me and make me feel big”. Not that he’d actually have that thought in plain English, but that’s what’s really going on in his head below the conscious level.

So if you keep getting dumped by guys who go off on rescue missions, maybe you’re aiming to low on the food chain.

Whatever you do, don’t try to play needy; it’ll come off false to him & you’ll hate yourself for acting like a loser.
My wife has a doctorate, plays hockey & teaches boxing. It takes a self-confident guy to hang with a “chick” like that. You sound a lot more mainstream than she is. I’ve enjoyed your writing for years and I have no doubt you’ll find the right guy as long as you’re looking in the right general area: confident non-jerks.

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to date or marry a “needy woman.” “I love her because she needs me?” That’s utterly incomprehensible to me.

I’m 28.

So if there’s one of me, there’s probably a lot of others like me in this regard too so I think you’ve got a chance. :slight_smile: (Not with me, though… taken…)

I’m 24, and no, I don’t find this stuff appealing. Being needed by someone who can’t take care of herself sounds like a severe pain in the ass, if not just a burden, and besides, I don’t have some of those typical male skills - I’m not Mr. FixIt and I’m not tall enough to reach the top shelf.

It sounds pompous to say, but loving someone because they need you sounds like a self-esteem thing. If I heard someone say that, I don’t know if I’d take it as literally true because it’s so self-serving: it sounds like “I love being needed and she fits the bill of a person who needs me.”

Everybody wants to be wanted and needed, and everybody has issues. So there’s probably a fine line here somewhere. But I admit that my best friend struggled for years with the same problem ZipperJJ has: men didn’t want to stay with her because she didn’t seem to need them. (I admit that it’s foolish to try to find one cause for that kind of thing, but most of the other causes can be ruled out.) The solution was patience.

When I read the term “needy woman” in the thread title, I picture a woman who calls on the phone her significant other 12 times a day just to chat and/or insists on having very frequent attention by other means. However, you defined “needy woman” basically in terms of one who needs financial support. In either case, such a woman is not for me. I’m not against the idea of entering a new relationship and helping out the lady, but her needing my support would not at all be a source of attraction to me.

What attracts me to the women I like is a laid-back personality, a love for music, and intelligent conversation.

FTR, I’m a 23 y/o male.

Oh, I can. Moreover, I’ve witnessed the phenomenon; usually, it’s a needy man who needs to feel important. Upon preview, Marley23 explains it better that I can, so I’ll leave it at that.

I understand that you’re feeling down, Zipper. It will get better in due. We all wish you best.

ZipperJJ, sounds like what you really “need” is to sashay over here where we’re tired of women playing stereotype roles. I personally think there aren’t enough rolleyes in the world for that whiny “damsel in distress” voice. So stick with it–I know this is cliched, but be who you are and you’ll find someone. Anyone who would dump you just because you don’t play dumb enough has serious emotional issues and IMO you should be glad you got the early warning sign before the relationship got any more serious than it already had. (I’m 19, FWIW.)

God no. Consider yourself lucky to be out of a relationship with someone who needs to be needed. I think the needy woman’s counterpart: the guy who thinks he’s in charge is every bit as neurotic and pathetic as the needy woman.

Give me a woman who can organize an election in a war zone and look good doin’ it (that would be my wife, dudes)

I do not. My last girlfriend ended up being too needy and it certainly contributed to why we parted ways. I like strong intelligent women. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t wrong to need support sometimes - we all do. But it should be a balance.

Being “needed” is a powerfully intoxicating feeling. Most people fall for someone who “needs” them at least once in their lives. The vast majority eventually realize that being “needed” is not the same as being loved, and get over it for good.

But there are definitely people who suffer from white knight syndrome, and are always in search of a damsel. There are also always damsels (of both the male and female persuasions) looking to be saved. Neither sort can function in a drama-free relationship of equals, they need a problem to feel alive, so when there aren’t any, they create them. Be happy that they ususally find each other, and leave the rest of us alone.

I had a long conversation with a male friend about this topic. His opinion is that men don’t necessary want a “needy” woman (i.e. one that calles 20 times a day) but they do want a woman who has a place and a need for a man in her life.

I’m trying to think of a good way to phrase this. If you’re too self-sufficient and reluctant to rely on a guy for anything, he can feel as though there’s no room for him. A lot of guys like that you may need his help to, say, get a car repaired or buy you dinner or to accompany you to the movies. If you always have alternatives, why do you need him around? Not that you should helpless without him, but that he should be able to feel useful.

Truthfully, this wasn’t a perspective I’d considered before. I’ve always tried to be really, really self-reliant but I can sort of see his point. I haven’t actually changed anything (mostly 'cause I gave up on dating a year or so ago) but it was an interesting conversation.


My sister does that whole damsel-in-distress act all the time, complete with whiny voice and bitchy manipulation and then wonders why asshole macho-men flock to her as if she’s covered head to toe in Preparation H.

I told her that what she does is the equivalent of rolling in ground meat and visiting the lions, but she doesn’t think that’s the case.

Okay, so I’m not a guy, but I would like to chime in anyway. I think that, while you aren’t coming off as needy (and that’s good) you may also be coming off as not really interested in being completely invested in the relationship. The bolded sentence above kind of seemed weird to me. If you’ve been dating a guy for a while, say three or four months or more, and you needed help getting something fixed on your house, I think most guys would expect you to ask them for help. This can be a fun thing to do as a couple, and a nice thing for them to be able to do for you. They’re men, most of them like to fix stuff. So, if you don’t ask them for help and then mention it later, they’re going to wonder why you didn’t ask them to help. They might think it’s because you aren’t that interested in them, or don’t really want to spend the time with them. I know that isn’t how you are meaning it, but guys like to help. They don’t want to help you shop for a new outfit, but they do want to help you build your deck.

The other thing is about the phone calls. No, don’t call every half-hour, but if you are in a long-term relationship most people expect to talk once a day or so, either in person or via phone. I’m not saying there aren’t guys who would rather be left alone, but if they’re really into you once a day to say hi, how are ya, is a sign of interest and caring. If a guy I was dating didn’t want to talk once a day I would think he was too busy for me for whatever reason, and wouldn’t get too attached. And while e-mail is great, it just isn’t as personal as a phone call.

There is a line between needy and distant. You sound great, and I know you’ll find someone perfect. Just be sure they know you do need them a little bit. Best of luck.

OK, I’ve read this post five times and I still don’t understand why men would flock to someone covered in Preparation H. K-Y Jelly, yes. Or Smuckers jelly, for that matter. But Preparation H?!?


'cause they’re assholes?

:smack: Thank you, tremorviolet.

Naw, I couldn’t find any love for a needy woman. Incompetence (real or feigned) and drama and self-absorption turn me right off. I’m an older guy, and I never wanted a high-maintenance girlfriend or wife. I went without one for ages, until I found one who didn’t fit the profile. Then I married her.

My wife has two degrees, and spent quite a lot of time on her own before we knew each other, so she was quite self-sufficient. We enjoy the heck out of each other, but we don’t need to be in each other’s hair all the time. She has remarked on how peaceful it is in our home. Even our silences are comfortable. We have an understanding: we don’t own each other. She’s not my property, and I don’t tell her what to do, and vice versa. She is staying with me because she wants to, because I make it worth her while to want to. She hasn’t presented me with anything that I wouldn’t support her in, and hasn’t been cloying or irrational, even once.

I guess a lot of men want to rescue a woman, but I’ve also seen the fallout from that kind of relationship. After she’s been rescued and isn’t needy anymore, the man loses interest. A lot of men seem to be threatened by confident, competent women, but that’s exactly the kind of wife I wished I could have, and I told that to mine, before we were married. I think that was the response that clinched it.

Needy is bad. Want is good.

Examine the following potential broadcast messages:
A) “I neeeeeed you.” leech noises
B) “I want you.”
C) “I’m superfly extra game and I don’t care if you call so fuck right off. Hey, how come you don’t call anymore? You’re a dick, you said you cared about me.”
D) “I’m fine without you. I’m fine with you, also. I guess. I’m good on my own though. Whatever you want is cool.”

Messages A and C are the province of losers, bitches, clingy proto-soulmates, emotional cripples and bunny-boiling psychopaths. Message D is a statement of total ambivalence that will be met with a similar reaction.

You should be broadcasting Message B, on the “I Want You” channel. A man wants to be wanted, rather than needed. Well, maybe needed occasionally, like if she needs me to move furniture or needs my help to take her clothes off. But not needed in a call-ten-times-a-day, I-can’t-stop-holding-your-hand kind of way. You have to send out Message B broadcasts during the relationship as well…otherwise he’ll get bored and wander off to a stronger broadcast. And don’t change the frequency later on, men listen to Message B because we like the sound of it.

To recap, making a guy feel wanted is good, we like this alot. Making a guy feel needed is a bargain basement game that you’ll only play against hosebeasts. You’ll scare away the good fish who rightfully fear and loathe the needy chicks, and only keep the losers until a more needy/more psychotic/more ambivalent girl comes along.

Needy isn’t good. I much prefer an independent woman.

I can cook.
I can clean.
I can take care of the kids.

If you want to go out for the evening, fine by me, as long as I get my share of independence. And as long as we spend some quality time together too. This makes for a much more stable relationship in the long run.

I am generally a very self-sufficient person, but I will admit that moments of need have often afforded me a chance to meet guys, back in the day. Guys don’t want to help you fix your interpersonal drama, but if they get the chance to help a cute girl with something fairly concrete, like a car repair, many of them call that good. And on the bright side, it helped me select for guys with at least some useful skills.

I think my experience bears out the recommendation to shop higher on the food chain. Having a guy help you with your house, or doing something with your business, etc is a good start. It will attract a better quality of man than the one you attract needing help to pick up your kid at his dad’s when your junker car broke down and you can’t take another day off work at the Quickie Mart. And help him back, of course. One of the nice things about being in a relationship is that you can each be self-sufficient, but you can also get the synergy thing going and each play to your strengths.