How Can You Deal With a Partner Who Needs Constant Attention?

You love them, but they can be a headache. 

In her vetting process for potential clients at her matchmaking company, Platinum Poire, co-owner Rori Sassoon says she can spot emotional or financial neediness within a few minutes of meeting a person. She also combs through their bio and photos, and usually knows what is a lie and what isn’t. If they are showing neediness beyond what is normal, she can spot it—and she usually turns them away form her exclusive, high-end business. 

What she is spotting early on is what many people don’t see until after they have been in a relationship with a needy person for some time. 

“After the honeymoon phase is over, needy people do not set healthy boundaries and that starts to become a problem,” Rori says. “This wither stems from their childhood, they didn’t get enough attention, or being bullied, so now they need to be validated. It can be exhausting to a relationship.”

She says that neediness can be emotional (constantly needing love validation), but can also come in the financial form. Rori often sees women with their own money date down because they may not be so conventionally beautiful on a physical level, so they use their finances to say ‘I have someone gorgeous and handsome.’ They need to prove something. It’s the equivalent of a wealthy, not so handsome man with arm candy.”

How to deal with both types of neediness:

“You need to create balance, you need to be an adult and respect your partner the way you’d want to be respected,” Rori says. “Calling someone and asking where are you is a turn off. Pushing and pushing for what you need is a turn off.  Step back, hopefully you will get the answer you want. 

“What if your partner makes you feel insecure? Ok, instead of saying I miss you and nitpicking, or being annoying because you want them to say ‘I love you and I miss you,’ you need to respect your need for connection instead of fearing your needs. Have a conversation about it.”

Rori says noticing early on that you connect to your partner’s lifestyle can also save you heartache. 

“Say your husband is a doctor and he’s on call, respect that, don’t give in to the chaos of the neediness,” she says. “You have to be able to communicate. Reevaluate if something’s wrong. Different people bring out different things in you, but certain people are too needy overall. Men get crazy from being needy and clingy. Someone who loves you will tell you.”

How to spot someone who is not overly needy? (We all have baseline needs.)

“Make sure they have their own network, life, and pursuits,” Rori says. “If one person is a partier, a networker, if you can’t deal with that be the person that’s going where are you?”

And if you are with someone who is needy, but you love them to pieces, therapy can fix the problem. 

 Absolutely a person can fix being needy,” she says. “You just need to recognize your own issues.”

In the meantime, while they talk it out, telling your partner what you need in order to be happy is all in how you frame it.

“It’s how you communicate,” Rori says. “I love you, you are an amazing partner, but this bothers me. I feel we can overcome it and have a better relationship if we fix it is a good way to go.”

If you want to date someone who won’t have many emotional or financial needs? Find someone humble. 

Rori says, “People who are humble are people who are secure in themselves.”

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