in: Dating & Relationships

Neediness: The Cause & the Cure

While many of us are looking for love, neediness can be a relationship-blocker. MeetMindful expert, Anthony Recenello explains the source of and the cure for this love-sick desperation.


You have an opportunity to go on a date. Maybe you just want your socks rocked off or maybe you are looking for the person of your dreams.

You know how they say that once you stop looking, that ‘one’ usually pops up? Why do you think that is? Is it magic? Does God know when you’ve stopped looking and then deems you worthy for a relationship?

I think there’s something to this. I think that when you are looking, you become attached to that looking. You begin to get nervous that one date or another may not work out. And when some dates don’t work out, you begin broadening your search to people you may not be as interested in; you become more concerned with the achievement of sex or a relationship before you consider the person you would actually be having it with.

This is called needinessor desperation.

There’s two reasons I think people are repelled by neediness, even in small amounts. First, to show neediness sends a message that you are not happy, that you need someone to get you there. No one wants to coddle you.

Segundo, it sends a message that you have low standards.

A happy person doesn’t want anyone to need her or him. Rather, they want to know that you like them because you see them as different. They want to know that you like them because they match your high standards. A woman or man wants to feel valuable around you. 

If you value a person too instantly, it communicates that you do not have a refined taste for personalities and looks—in other words, low standards.

When you are desperate, you automatically lower your standards. You will take someone that you don’t value highly because you would rather have someone over no one. Do you think that someone would want to be with you if you group him or her with people you see as mediocre? It’s a lack of taste in the people you want to be with and a lack of care for who you bring into your life.

Especially in my hometown of New York City, most professionals are working to lead top-notch lives. They work to have the best jobs possible, best bodies possible, perfectly groomed and dressed, top physical and mental health and the best social skills. They value their efforts to excel, and want to be with someone who can not only inspire them for further greatness, but also recognize and appreciate the high standards they hold for themselves.

Because of this, your discernment and subsequent judgement is a powerful tool to wield in your social skills and dating life. People will see it as disrespect if you demonstrate approval toward them without first discerning who they are and what they can offer you; however, if your approval and interest is commensurate to the high standards you want in your life, people will not only see you as a high-value person, but they’ll also feel valued being around you.

Make your approval match your real standards instead of the neediness you harbor for being in a relationship.

You can’t fake your detachment from the outcome. If you fake it, they’ll know—your neediness will still be shining through from the inside. Faking high standards is merely desperation manifested through the backdoor. Neediness is communicated in the subtle micro-expressions, and even further back behind that. If you are desperate, the only solution is to shift the way you approach your dating life.

When you can train to ignore desperation and instead focus on your true interest in who you want, you can see a person with clear eyes. Your true interest in that person will surface.

Sometimes the person you were pining over may no longer be as alluring to you. Once you were blinded by the need for a person, any attractive person. This is exactly what that person disdains in you. You don’t want them, you just want someone who works. The moment you lose the neediness, you can see the person for who he or she truly is, and your real interest and attraction and fun comes out.

To be discerning with a person shows that you took the time to truly figure them out.

It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for “the one” or not—that is not what determines if he or she pops up. It’s your neediness that scares away all of the prospective great mates. When that neediness has vanished, those prospective ladies or gentlemen will feel good being around you; your claw of desperation isn’t digging into them, using them as a source of validation for yourself.

If you want a relationship, that’s good. Go for that. But do not let that goal affect the way you perceive or treat the person youre interested in. You will definitely push him or her away from you. Rather, simply enjoy your time with them and allow your natural interest to escalate the relationship by itself. Don’t spend your time micro-managing every move to get to the next level. Don’t try to force interest, or be frustrated by a lack of it. You’ll be killing every opportunity you have for some great prospective relationships.

It’s a bit Zen.

Stay purposeful about your love life, but be detached from any outcome. Show your interest, but keep that interest clean. Don’t taint it with desperation. This is a mindset, not a technique. You have to feel it. You have to be fine with the idea of never being with another person for the rest of your life; but at the same time, being purposeful about meeting the people you want to be with, and moving forward with the ones that match your high standards. Your dates will go much better approaching it this way.

I’m obsessed with human interactions, kids—and I’m happy to be one of your resident dating coaches at MeetMindful.

[image: via Kevin Jaako on flickr]

About the Author:

Anthony Recenello

Anthony Recenello is a private social development mentor for the professional gentlemen of New York City. He teaches successful guys how to get with the great girl they've always wanted, build a high-end social circle, and live like a stud. His company is called Wolf & Garden. He also runs Tales of Woo, a video blog telling the inspiring stories of New York’s successful couples.


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