Read My Mind

Feeling Needy Around Women

by Dr. Robert Glover on Oct 29th, 2012.     7 comments

needy-manA common issue for Nice Guys is feeling needy around women. They often approach them in a “please like me” kind of way -- passive and ineffective.

Once in a relationship, Nice Guys tend to hook up a hose to their woman and expect her to constantly validate them and be their core source of social and emotional connection.

This may feel familiar to you, but it’s not an effective dating strategy.

The main reason that seeking approval from a woman doesn’t accomplish what you want is that your “needy traits are "feminine" in nature.

The “feminine” seeks external validation. The feminine craves approval.

The “masculine” is self-validating by through action. That is why women are generally turned on by men who “do,” not men who seek their approval.

If you approach women from a needy place, seeking their validation, any woman you attract to you will probably be fairly "masculine" in nature. That means she will most likely be pretty controlling and dominant, and maybe even mean and aggressive. She might completely lack the "nurturing" (feminine) qualities you say you crave. She could even resent you for having to take care of you, which usually turns off the sex switch as well.

That is why I teach men to embrace their masculine side by creating a great "cake" of a life. This great cake is made up of:

  • Pursing your passions

  • Doing guy things with guys

  • Leaning into challenge

  • Regular, strenuous exercise

  • A regular practice for personal growth (spirituality)

  • Give your unique gift to the world

As you work on making the great cake, you can invite a great woman to be your icing. She will never be the cake or even one of the key ingredients in your great cake.

With 30 years experience as a marriage therapist, and two marriages, I have observed that when men make a woman the cake of their life, it always falls flat.

As I heard David Deida, the author of “The Way of The Superior Man” once state, “What kind of woman would be attracted to a man who has made her his greatest passion?”

Healthy women are attracted to a man who is making his great cake. They don’t want to be the cake. They like being the icing (women have told me this).

Oh, one more thing. You don’t have to wait until you make the great cake before you start interacting with women. They are attracted to the fact that you are doing the things that will result in a great cake.

Since most Nice Guys have difficulty making their own needs a priority and tend to be pretty risk adverse, doing the things to make a great cake can feel initially overwhelming. That’s okay. This one of those things that you don’t have to do perfectly.

Take out a piece of pager and start writing down some concrete, doable things that you can start working on in each of the four areas above. This will put you into your masculine self. From that place, you will fill yourself up and won’t be as likely to turn to a woman to do it for you, something she can't do anyway. You will also look immediately more attractive to the women you meet.

So make start working on your cake. Then invite a great woman to be the icing.



Topics: Dating Essentials Women


jwardl says ...
SO, so true. Looking back on most of my life, I can now see that I was anything but a nice guy, using women to feed a hollow ego. Not that I didn't legitimately like (or in one case, love) them, but the hunger for validation was all-encompassing and overpowered all else. I've come to see our "nice guy" syndrome as being an emotional addiction, and actually suspect that all addictive behaviors (including drugs, sex, gambling, overeating, etc) are a manifestation of social anxiety.

Dr. Glover and all of you have helped to tech me that the role of a woman in our lives is to make us happier, not happy. Once we get our s*it together, we naturally desire women, but no longer need them. And it's that desire that gets a woman's attention: desire for her, desire for life, desire for hobbies and other interests. It's alot of what makes us interesting. Curiously, this was part of an epiphany I had along the way: that what we men have always heard (and been confused about) concerning women wanting us to be emotional doesn't mean they want us to be weepy, week-kneed, wusses -- but that they want us to be genuine, real, and express ALL our feeling without reservation (including tears, fear, etc -- if sincere).
Roger says ...
It seems what Dr. Glover is saying is mostly true, but I was married to a woman for 10 years who seemed to have manipulative ways around just about everything. I was in situations where no matter what I did she seemed to control the outcome (such as building a large house). When I would assert my views she would withold sex and made it very clear by her actions that my role was to figure out whatever she wanted, do whatever that was, then I would have great sex.
This seems to contradict the nice guy theory where standing up for yourself makes the woman more sexually avaliable. We subsequently divorced and I could write a book on all that happened since the divorce, always her controlling the outcome (like the house, I couldn't force the sale of it and it was eventually foreclosed on)
Perhaps I was married to a very unusual woman, but I have heard other guys say similar things about their wives.
It is very hard for me to adjust to a "no more mr. nice guy" theory when that never worked in my marriage
Thomas says ...
Roger. Sounds like your Nice Guy found a possibly personality-disordered not-always-nice-Gal who was a nearly boundless fixer-upper for you. In my own work as a recovering NG (and a trained therapist -- the ultimate nice guy job) and with relationships, I've found it's common for us to take upon the "work" of histrionic/narcissistic/borderline types who carry openly (and inappropriately) all of the outward anger we can't deal with in ourselves. They offer us job security in our need to be ever more nice guys. A borderline type will be especially seductive when your defenses are down as her protests/anger/crazy-making will be very tempting to fix. And who better than a Nice Guy to hold space for a crazy bitch like that! I say this last as tongue in cheek as I've been that guy. And it's real. It takes two to Tango and our healing of course in on fixing ourselves and unhooking from this distorted way of managing our anxiety and self-worth. But we can pick especially challenging partners. Again, they provide so elegantly a situation for us to practice our mixed-up NG craft.
Brian says ...
Okay, I can confirm from 20 years of experience: "If you approach women from a needy place, seeking their validation, any woman you attract to you will probably be fairly "masculine" in nature. That means she will most likely be pretty controlling and dominant, and maybe even mean and aggressive. She might completely lack the "nurturing" (feminine) qualities you say you crave. She could even resent you for having to take care of you, which usually turns off the sex switch as well." We will most likely wind up divorced once our last kid goes to college. She can be cute and funny yet she craves a certain amount of compliments but NEVER hands them back. Always criticizing, never appreciating I have become the dirty rug on the clothesline being hit by the broom. I even get criticized if I say she doesn't hand out compliments. I'm doing this for me and my kids. If she wants to change and come along for the ride I might consider but the more I learn about this and the more confidence in myself that I get I'll be ready to move on.
Laila says ...
I love this post and I love the cake analogy! I am a woman and my last relationship was with a Nice Guy. And I definitely felt like he was trying to make me his cake. I was aware of it at the time and I tried to explain it to him, and encouraged him to seek happiness outside of our relationship and to take more pride in himself, but it would have been easier if I had been able to show him this blog.

I am a pretty feminine woman and I am most attracted to masculine, dominant guys (my initial attraction to my ex was largely based on the fact that I had falsely identified him to be one of those). I definitely became less nurturing and more masculine in the relationship, and it was a role I resented taking on. My sex drive all but disappeared.

Obviously, I have to take responsibility for my role in the relationship, and I have had a history of enabling Nice Guys. I'd love to see a post by Dr Glover aimed towards partners of Nice Guys, helping us understand how we can improve our relationships.
Laila says ...
And, I love the idea of being the icing! Similarly, I don't want a man to be my cake either - I have a great career, great friends and hobbies, and a rich spiritual life. I want a man who feels the same about his life! I want to be chosen, not needed!
Andrew says ...
that makes being the initiator, pursuer, having to do the approaching and asking out, sealing the deal even harder because it's hard to be assertive and at the same time avoid coming across as needy or desperate


No Spam! We Promise.
Upcoming Classes & Seminar
Scroll down for more dates

March 2018 ATWI Ad
April 2018 Positive Emotional Tension Ad
April 2018 TPI Puerto Vallarta Ad