What do you think is the biggest dating mistake?

Its being needy. What I mean is this: a person getting into a relationship has to be prepared to GIVE. Being a giver – as I’ve said before on this blog – is crucial. The reason is simple. If both people in the relationship are needy, then each is always expecting something/wanting something from the other. Neediness is like a bucket with holes in the bottom; you can never put in enough.

WHY NEEDINESS IS LIKE A BUCKET WITH HOLES

Let’s answer this important question by taking a zoom lense into a home with little children who are well-loved. Jimmy, 3, is building a lego tower and the whole thing won’t stay built. Down it comes! Jimmy doesn’t really know whether that means he is just stupid and incapable or whether that’s what is supposed to happen based on the laws of gravity. Jimmy hasn’t interacted with the world enough to really know. So, his dad, watching, says, “Good job!” Jimmy is puzzled. “But it came down!” he says. “Oh, yeah, that’s okay,” his dad answers. “When you put that many bricks on, it will come down. But you built it up real nice.” Now, Jimmy knows two things: he gets gravity and he gets that he is doing things the right way. Whew! He decides to put on fewer bricks next go-around to see what happens.

Jimmy’s dad has done something really important for his development. By giving him simple feedback, he’s given his son the confidence to experiment without feeling shame or concern about his own capabilities.

Now, imagine what happens to a child like Jimmy who is not given that kind of feedback. Maybe the child is ignored or scolded also. Imagine the hundreds and thousands of incidents that pile up over the years with the child not knowing just how good he really is. That child will be so needy that another adult, a friend or lover can’t ever make up for what wasn’t given.

TWO NEEDY PEOPLE CAN BE A RELATIONSHIP HEADACHE

So there you and your sweetie are, two needy people, wanting, wanting, wanting. Can you see this? Each one wants and suddenly there’s a tug of war over who gets more and who gets first. And the truth is, as we said, no matter how much each one tries to give to the other, it will never be enough. And they won’t try as hard as they possibly can anyway because each one is already needy! And each one is not getting the positive reinforcement for trying in the first place!

You can see how complicated – and troubling – this can be. So what’s the solution?

OVERCOME YOUR NEEDINESS

The solution is you have to be the one to supply all the missing reinforcement of your past to yourself. You, yourself, and no one else. How in the world can you do THAT? It isn’t easy and it isn’t a quickie job, but it is possible. Here is why I know it’s possible: Because we human beings were made to grow. That’s what evolution is; that’s what learning is; that’s what skill-building is. Everything in our world points to the potential for growth.

To accomplish this, one might need help from an objective outsider – teacher, clergy, friend, therapist. But many people can successfully fill the gaps alone. Two tools – and I’ve said this one before, too – are vital: affirm yourself and get rid of the toxic tapes inside your head. There’s a lot written about both on this blog and in my book. But the key is: do this BEFORE you settle down with your true love if you want that person to remain your true love.

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