She Isn’t Being Needy, She Is Just Madly In Love with You

There was a fascinating article over at Rerules a few months ago that told the story of the “madly in love” female archetype. It was an interesting perspective because it pinpointed an issue that is often ignored in relationship coaching.

That is, the woman who comes across as needy and overly attached but who actually does the unthinkable and finds a man who appreciates her and loves her just the same.

Is this even possible? Is this a bad example of a self-respecting woman in an adult relationship?

Believe it or not, I’m going to go against the usual “stop being needy!” argument we hear so often in online dating courses, and am going to say yes, it does happen sometimes. What I want to do is discuss the psychology of this kind of a relationship and why it sometimes works (but might not work for you). Let’s break it down to a few key points.

1. Not all “madly in love women” are codependent.

Codependency is a really nasty behavior and Dependent Personality Disorder is downright scary. This is the Misery-type of relationship that will literally tear a man’s ego apart and make him a victim to the dependent’s paranoia. This is also the start of abusive relationships, where one partner controls the other.

But it’s also fair to say that not all affectionate and “clingy” women are codependent. Some really just do wear their hearts on their sleeves. And some are naturally very affectionate and the guys they end up with, really like that kind of over-affection. And it’s adorable. It’s not always common, but it’s adorable.

But what actually characterizes these relationships, and why they work, is that the woman appreciates the man for who he is and is NOT trying to change him, train him, or mold him into an unrealistic ideal. This is usually what co-dependents do, and in extreme cases, they make browbeat him or sabotage his entire life just to keep him permanently dependent.

If this paranoid and abusive behavior is absent from the “clingy” relationship it might work.

2. Of course, this type of relationship has happened before. This was the norm in the 20th century.

Many wives were stay-at-home moms and homemakers while the men worked. Sometimes couples were even the usual Archie and Edith Bunker stereotype, particularly from the “Greatest Generation” that saw World War II. He was the strong silent type and cantankerous while she was the bubbly housewife who always made dinner on time. It doesn’t feel modern or politically correct, but that’s the way it was back then. And plenty of couples were happy with that dynamic.

3. Just because it happens to others, doesn’t mean YOU should take that risk.

This is the most important point I want to stress. Yes, I have met couples like this, and more power to them if that’s what makes them happy. But I’ve also seen the opposite. Women who have ruined a good prospective relationship because they become too controlling, too clingy, too needy, and too “male” in their behavior. Like I’ve said before, men want to chase and they want to impress.

With a lot of guys, the harder you try to impress them, the more bored they become. This isn’t all men, but it does seem to be a common characteristic among wealthy, confident men. Go figure.

What I don’t want to see is a really smart and attractive woman make the mistake of idolizing a man who’s just going to break her heart. That’s why I always advise the women I coach with this simple nugget of truth:

Don’t chase him. Encourage him to chase you. Remind him that this relationship is all his idea. You don’t have to play hard to get. But you should enjoy teasing him and getting him to WORK HARDER at impressing you. Because that’s what turns him on, that’s what keeps his attention.

4. There’s nothing wrong with affection. But men want the affection, not the drama.

The problem with really needy, “overly attached girlfriend” type of women is that they have a dark side that invalidates all the affection which plenty of men would probably like. But for every “sweet” thing she says, she also shows negative qualities of paranoia, low self-esteem, raging arguments, and ultra-controlling behavior. This is what a man truly fears, getting involved with a mentally unstable girl who’s going to end up killing him in jealousy!

If you sense you’re a little too clingy, then make sure all the attention you give him is positive. If you sense your neediness taking over, stop, cease and desist. Stay busy and keep active, fighting away those toxic thoughts that can ruin good relationships.

5. Always be aware of the value you have and what you provide for him.

At the end of the day, one thing stays true in ANY relationship. You both provide something of value to each other. Without that “trade” that you agree upon when you first fall in love, the relationship will deteriorate.

If you’re ever in a position where you seem to need him more than he needs you, and you’re starting to feel uncomfortable, ask these questions:

• What does he expect from me?
• How do I make him happy?
• What qualities does he love the most about me?
• What keeps him faithful to me?

These honest questions will help you realize the value you have and what he cherishes the most about you and the whole relationship. For example, there are plenty of women who don’t work. But they provide affection. They take care of the home or the children. For other relationships, the women do work and maybe both partners value a relationship built on 50 / 50 financial support.

It’s not so much a golden rule of what all women should do. It’s a matter of analyzing the situation objectively, figuring out what he needs from you to stay happy, and then talking it over with him to make sure there are no resentments.

I’ve often said here that I do believe a woman should work, be successful in her own right, and be as independent as humanly possible. That usually makes a man want her more. I also realize there are exceptions to every rule.

So if you ever find yourself in this kind of “you love him more” relationship, just be cautious. Don’t risk destroying the relationship by doing a 180-degree turn and confusing him by being cold or aloof. Focus on making all of his experiences positive, without any negatives. And of course, and always, encourage him to chase you because that’s what he likes the most!

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About The Author

Matthew Coast

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