- So, my question is-what are others thoughts on how needing anyone affects other people's perception of you?
I have been needy myself, and it is always received poorly. I have been told it makes me less attractive to my partner when I come off as needy, because they would rather see me as someone strong and independent, able to make my own choices and handle my life, come what may. It seems that the kinds of men I am attracted to do not like the idea of taking care of a woman who is an adult and clearly able to take care of herself. I never seem to attract the paternal types who want a helpless needy woman to dote on, so when I become needy I am usually rebuffed and smacked back into reality almost immediately.
When I see someone else in the throes of that kind of neediness, I find myself repelled by it as well. To me, it is a form of self-pity and not very attractive. It says to me that a relationship with this person will be high-maintenance and exhausting.
- Are you revolted by people who are looking for a partner versus people who are just out to enjoy life and see finding a partner as a nice side effect?
I have long believed that dating can be fun just to get to know someone and do interesting things. The key is not to use it as an audition to find a partner. I've always tried to keep this in mind, both in my pre-marriage single days, and now that I am separated and practicing poly. So, when I meet someone, or read profiles on OKC of someone, who says they want to find a partner or basically they have a role to fill, I cringe. I do want to be desired just because the person is attracted to me and wants to get to know me more. I don't like a lot of expectation to fulfill a pre-conceived ideal placed on me.
However, I do understand that kind of searching. I spent most of my adult life as a single person, as I married for the first time rather late in life. My familial upbringing never emphasized finding a spouse as the be-all-and-end-all, but there certainly was an attitude in the atmosphere of the general culture I was raised in that told me if I was single and didn't have a partner, I was less than adequate. So, yes, there were periods in my life where I felt I "had to" find someone to love me in order to feel like I counted and had value. Those ideas usually hit me very strongly when I was feeling lonely, very insecure, or if I didn't have enough creative/intellectual stimulation in my life to keep me busy.
- Do you encounter this?
Not often, to tell ya the truth. I think I am instinctively drawn to men who are very independent and not looking for a person to insert into a role. I think I encountered it a lot more before I was married, through my 20s and 30s, which always surprised me, I recall.
- Does it bother you?
Yes, and I avoid getting involved with guys looking for that, and will decline further dates or contact.
- If you feel repulsed by this, and your partner behaved this way in seeking another partner, what would your reaction me?
Truthfully, if I had a primary who was so desperate for a secondary just to keep up with me as if it was a race, I would want to slap him. I would insist that he get counseling if he expected our relationship to continue, and I would probably take a break from the relationship until I saw some real progress.
When I was dating Burnsy, I had a feeling his heart wasn't in it and so I asked him point blank whether or not he was seeking additional relationships just because he wife had a lover. He answered honestly, and the answer was yes. That did not sit well with me at all. Yes, he was attracted to me and we had a nice rapport when we started, but on his side it was manufactured, in a way, out of his need to keep score. I broke up with him soon afterwards, and told him I felt he had issues to resolve within his marriage and that I didn't see that he was ready to be in any other relationships until he did that.
Someone who *needs* to have a relationship andonly seeks someone so that they can feel reassured about that is a total turn-off. I don't want to be someone's prize that he can show off to prove everything's even with his wife's relationships. I want to be appreciated for what I bring to his life and loved simply for being me.
- Have you been like this and overcome it? If so, how?
Well, as I said earlier, yes, I have fallen into that kind of desperation and self-pitying, validation-seeking behavior. I think what usually shakes me out of it is some sort of "rude awakening" -- either a break-up, an honest talking-to from someone, or an open-eyed assessment of the damage I have caused myself. Eventually one has to really see what damage they are doing to ourselves and our relationships. It can be torturously uncomfortable to just sit and feel our the depth of our insecurities, but we must! We also have to ask ourselves what kind of person we want to be, and what kind of effect we want to have on the people we love, and the world. A person who is basically good will strive to be a positive force, and someone who wants to be happy and satisfied has to, at some point, realize how letting our immature and insecure "inner teenager" make decisions for our adult life will not bring us satisfaction.
I think that, also, what helped me was having long periods of time not in relationships at all, allowing myself to experience the depth of my loneliness when it came up and not acting out in some way to avoid it (whether by being needy in my relationships or drinking to excess, for example), and learning to rely on myself to meet my own needs.
Last edited by nycindie; 10-10-2012 at 03:44 PM.