You are a divorced father, and it is the weekend for your eight-year-old son to stay. You wake up early as the day is dawning because you and your son are attending one of his all-day Boy Scouts’ events. As you go out to pick up the newspaper to read with your morning coffee before your son wakes, you recognize a car park down the street facing your house. It is the woman you are dating from the office sitting in her car watching your home at 6 am on a Saturday morning. What do you do?
- Wave at her, acknowledge her presence and walk over to her car like this behavior is normal.
- Turn, go back inside your home and call her later to confront her about her behavior.
- Turn, go back inside your home and decide never to call her again.
I had a friend that did this to the man she was dating, and he chose #3. True story. She would not face her behaviors which resulted in her acting out in the workplace and having to get help from a mental health professional to keep her job.
The most significant fear of the needy woman is that something or someone will cause her to lose her man…her relationship. Her focus is not about “him” the person but the relationship because it validates her. One of the tell-tale signs of a needy woman is how she refers to the man in her life in general conversation. If she refers to him by his name, this is good. If she refers to him as “my husband” or “my man” like he is the purse on her arm, the jewelry she has adorned, or the vehicle she drives, then she may suffer from neediness. When I hear this, I imagine the man stripped of his identity and humanity.
Now, that may seem harsh, but I remember a conversation I had with a man that opened my eyes to this phenomenon. He told me what he liked and disliked in a romantic relationship. One of the things he said was “I don’t want a woman who is sitting around waiting for me to come home and make her happy.” Since I am completely the opposite, this piqued my curiosity. I started observing the behaviors and conversations that women have about their relationships over the years. I wanted to determine if there were indeed women who put so much of their well-being and happiness in the hands of a man.
Surprisingly, I found there are women from all walks of life who use the romantic relationship as a crutch to bolster their self-esteem, self-confidence, and worthiness.
Here are five of my most common observations about the needy woman:
- She must be in a relationship. She will even hold on to one lousy relationship until she finds a new one.
- Insecurity and jealousy consume her which leads to her being very diligent in keeping her man from being near other women. She believes that all women have super-persuasive powers and can swoop her man away to make him do something he really doesn’t want to do.
- She voluntarily subjugates her routine to his routine to accommodate his life.
- She doesn’t foster and nurture independent relationships beyond the romantic relationship.
- She becomes suspicious and depressed if her man wants some space to foster his independent relationships (i.e., friends, spend time with children from a divorce).
I am a live-and-let-live kind of person, but I must confess that it is hard to witness the behavior mentioned above in a Sister. However, I do realize that we are all on a journey to self-discovery and every path is not the same. I hope that we all stay steady on that path and not deviate to pick up a “crutch” along the way. The reality is no man wants to be your crutch and the recipient of your needy behavior. He is an emotional human being, too, and not responsible for validating you.
L-O-V-E should not be about “needing from” another person but “sharing with” another person. Keep that in mind, and you will avoid this relational pitfall to stay on the path to a meaningful connection.