“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were."
~ Richard Bach
When dating, it’s important to look at your expectations in romantic relationships. Typically, women want a deeper connection than men do. However, if your man is quiet or aloof, it may be unrealistic to expect a lot of in-depth conversation. If he’s a macho type, he probably won’t dive into much his emotions. In addition, if he drinks a lot, he may not be emotionally available. So what do you do?
Ask yourself: based on your partner’s personality, are you expecting him to be different than who he really is? If so, you’re in for a mountain of frustration. Dating is like interviewing. You need to take the time to decide if he is a good match. Seeing how he handles emotions will give you valuable information. Watch how he handles stress and disappointment. If he shuts down emotionally or uses substances to numb out, you are in for a tough road. These are signs that he is emotionally unavailable.
Notice when the conversation gets too emotional, does he avoid them? He may have a blank look of confusion. That’s because men focus more on resolving problems than on processing them. That’s how they’re socialized. Look for a willingness to be open about their feelings.
The difference between a man being emotionally unavailable and your own neediness can be difficult to decipher. Typically, women have a stronger need for emotional sharing and connection than men do. That’s why you cannot have them be your entire support. It’s a set up for disappointment.
Consider whether you are asking too much or not enough of him. If you consistently find yourself making excuses for why he can’t be supportive, it might be the latter. Expecting him to be “your everything” indicates a need to reassess expectations. Instead, strive for a healthy balance that will help you create healthier relationships.
Michelle Farris, LMFT – www.counselingrecovery.com
The question of if you’re being too needy or a man is emotionally unavailable cannot begin to be answered without first understanding your particular patterns in a relationship.
Because chances are that if you notice a man pulling away, this is not the first time it’s happened to you in a relationship.
I know that when I was dating it happened to me on numerous occasions and I had to take a hard look at myself and my dating patterns.
The truth is, as is often the case, that the answer is both!
You are being needy and the man you are seeing is emotionally unavailable.
The reason for this is because often times women will specifically go after men that are emotionally unavailable, if not consciously, then unconsciously. There is a reason you’re doing this – because it actually gives you something.
You might be thinking, “Why the hell would I purposely go after a guy who’s emotionally unavailable?”
There are multiple reasons: low self-esteem, being addicted to the chase, thinking that if the emotionally unavailable guy will just come around then you’ll know you’re good enough.
If you are going after men who are emotionally unavailable, then chances are you’re also going to be needy, because you feel you have to be in order to have any kind of connection with this guy who really didn’t want a long-term commitment to begin with.
If you’re currently stuck in this cycle then I feel for you girl, it’s not easy. But do yourself a favor and choose dignity and respect. If this guy that you’re into simply isn’t coming around, it may be time to go another direction.
Alexis Meads, MA - www.alexismeads.com
The key here is to be mindful of how you feel needy and getting in touch with what you are experiencing. If your man was initially attentive and is now pulling back, then there may be some factors to consider. Neediness is a form of control. When a woman is needy, they are seeking attention and connection that is from a depleted state. She is indicating to her man, fill me up, I am empty. That is a very draining energy to be around whether it is with your man or other friends.
If you are whole, and realize it is essential to be whole, and avoid depending on your man to fulfill all your needs, then the likelihood that neediness is going to occur is much lower. However, let's face it, we are not all rocks and self sufficient all the time, we are human and can be at times, vulnerable and a bit needy, so don't be too hard on yourself if you find yourself needy, it is when it becomes a pattern of behavior that one should take the time and explore the reason further.
Ironically, needy women tend to gravitate toward emotionally unavailable men which exacerbates the feeling of emptiness, creating blame and fear which creates more neediness. If you are needy, and seeking attention from a man that has not demonstrated the capability to respond to you in a healthy and fulfilling way, then there is a reason you are still with him.
Remember, personally fulfilled women are not women that don't need men, they rather enjoy them and feel good around them and have ways to maintain their own fulfillment whether he stays or leaves.
Lisa Bahar, MA, LMFT - www.lcbahar.wix.com
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