Originally Posted by SeventhCrow
Problems arise when a general need--that of companionship--gets corrupted. We have a need for companionship and we fulfill that need by finding companions. When we treat that general need, instead, as a need for a specific person--instead of recognizing that many other persons can provide what we need--then the fulfillment of the need is twisted and dysfunctional.
There's also the related problem of dysfunctional need that leads to entering relationships that clearly aren't healthy--of wanting somebody so badly that anybody who exhibits any interest becomes acceptable, whether or not it's a good pairing. I think this sort of dynamic is at play when most people speak of somebody being "too needy."
So, if Jane wants a romance with somebody because she feels the human need for companionship, that is good and healthy. If Jane feels the need so strongly that she'll hook up with anybody who chats her up, without considering whether it would be a good relationship, then she's needy in a dysfunctional sense.
I see this in action frequently. Anybody who needs to be involved with somebody--seemingly anybody--presents as desperate. They're really only ready for relationships when they reach the point that they want a healthy relationship and aren't looking to jump into one at the first sign of possible interest. It's when they can consider whether a match could be good for them--and pass on a match that doesn't appear to be good--that they're dealing with a need in a healthy fashion, instead of being "needy."