Am I “Needy” If I Want to Talk to A Woman I’m Seeing Online?



Over the past couple of weeks I’d been e-mailing a woman who initiated contact with me. It was pretty apparent from the timing of the mails that she didn’t always have access to the web which I, being in IT, do.

We had our first conversation on this past Tuesday night and it went well. We have a date scheduled for Saturday evening to get drinks. During the call she gave me her regular e-mail so we wouldn’t have to work through Match. The next day I sent her a very short e-mail mostly to answer a question she had that I didn’t have the answer to Tuesday night. I also said I enjoyed talking with her. She responded that she enjoyed the conversation and was looking forward to Saturday.

Now, I thought it would be appropriate to speak one more time before Saturday. So yesterday (Thursday) I sent an e-mail asking if it would be better to call that night or Friday. That’s all the mail said. I didn’t get a response yesterday so I didn’t know if she got the mail or not. I posted this information on a forum I use – and while a couple of women said I should go ahead and call, several others said that I was appearing needy, that I shouldn’t have asked when a good time to call would be. Some even said that I shouldn’t have had any more contact until Saturday at all.

Now, I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about the guys that call several times a day but I don’t think I was approaching that territory. As far as I was concerned, I was being considerate in asking when a better time to call would be. Did I show weakness? Neediness? Expose my throat?

Has it really come to this, that it’s not just “don’t be a stalker” but that any sign of showing you want to talk to the person is a sign of weakness and grounds for elimination? If so, why do we have the audacity to wonder why so many of us are still single?



Dear Markus,

Thanks for the note. Since you’re a regular reader and commenter, I wanted to get back to you as quickly as I could.

Anyone who’s been here before knows that I never ever EVER validate the person asking me a question.

  • If a woman says that her boyfriend is a jerk, I’ll ask why she’s dating a jerk.
  • If a man says that women are fickle and judgmental, I’ll ask if he’s fickle and judgmental.

I think there’s nothing to learn from pointing fingers at the world’s injustices. The real power comes from seeing the world clearly, assessing your role in why things happen, and deciding if there’s anything within your power to alter the future outcome….

Which is why I’m as surprised as anyone, Markus, that I don’t have any constructive criticism for you. If I were your dating coach and you told me that story, I’d tell you to do the exact same thing again. And if all you got back from this woman was stony silence, at least you know you acted with class and integrity.

This reminds me of a friend who’d had a great first date shortly before he was to leave town for a business trip. Instead of telling the woman he’d call her upon his return, he decided to make an effort while he was gone. Great move. Making an effort shows a guy’s serious, a quality that 99% of women say they’re looking for in a man.

So my buddy calls her on Sunday and leaves a message. Four days later, he checks in again to see if he can reach her. Leaves a message. He returns home, and hears through the grapevine that she thought he was a good guy but was a little too “needy.”

This drives me fucking nuts.

Ladies who are reading this — I am pleading with you to find some consistency. I do not advocate that you date some wussy-stalker who has no mind of his own, except when it comes to texting you 42 times a day to show you he cares. I do advocate, however, a more commonsense policy — one that is better aligned with your stated goals.

You’ve told me in no uncertain terms that you’re sick of men who are players. Men who charm you and don’t follow up. Men who sleep with you and don’t call. Men who text at midnight on a Friday to see if you’re around. Men who take you out for months and never commit. We’re all in agreement that these guys are the ones who ruin dating, because you never know where you stand with them.

Then why the HELL can’t a good guy make an effort towards you without being labeled needy? Isn’t this exactly what you WANT? A guy who does what he says and says what he means? A guy who calls when he says he’ll call?

Why the HELL can’t a good guy make an effort towards you without being labeled needy?

Listen, I’m not saying that this woman has to like Markus. For all I know, he left a really creepy message that lasted for four minutes before cutting off due to a full mailbox. But presuming he did nothing wrong, what is he to take from this latest dating endeavor?

So what are you looking for, ladies? The badboy who keeps you guessing? Or the good guy who makes a normal and sustained effort without overdoing it?

Go on, we’re dying to hear…

(Oh, and since this is not a piece attacking women, please don’t counter with all the things that men do wrong. It’s irrelevant, since two wrongs don’t make a right. Just let the guys here know: you DO want them to make an effort when they like you, right?)


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  1. 21

    to Markus,

    if you like this woman, try not to let the word “needy” discourage you. She may have just used that term without thinking…and lets say she really meant it, so what? I think there is nothing wrong with a man sounding needy…if she is frightened by your neediness, find another woman….try and stay with the ones that are not as sexy. They haven’t been hurt, runover, used, etc…… as much and are not as finicky, sensitive, etc…..

  2. 22

    Ron Dec 25th 2007 at 08:11 am 17
    Kathy and SallyNYC have excellent points and get the door prize. Very interesting insight from both women. Thanks for that.

    Ditto. That was a fascinating insight that never occurred to me before. I wonder if the mistaken perception of “neediness” on a woman’s part only exists when she is totally disinterested. I think sometimes this perception may happen when a woman can go either way, but a guy makes too many contacts before having won her over.

    Beyond that
    Rule #1 of dating: Never get hung up on one person (easier said than done, I know)

    Always be willing to “walk away from the sale”?

    make sense of another person’s behavior. It will drive you nutz – from my experience, the vast majority of people out there act irrationally and illogically.

    I agree, it will drive you nuts, especially if you are self conscious in some way.

    I don’t think people are that illogical though. People lie about why they were not interested in people either not to hurt other people’s feelings or not to make themselves look bad. Who wants to admit to their friends that they walked away from a great catch because the person was 5 lbs too heavy and they were hoping to make it with someone who has nicer hair?

  3. 23

    Markus Dec 25th 2007 at 01:51 pm 20
    I disagree Ju. Not all bad boys are attractive. They get more mileage out of whatever they have with their attitude.

    Thanks Markus, that would have been my reply based on my life experience. I haven’t seen any ugly bad boys, but I have seen some women go for them over equally ( or more ) attractive men who were “nice guys” ( insecure ).

  4. 24
    mrs. vee

    IMHO, there’s little difference between a “he’s-just-not-that-into-you” scenario and a “she’s-just-not-that-into-you” one. If a girl is attracted to you, there’s almost nothing you can do as a courtship gesture that will turn her off. So I see nothing wrong with a confirmation call. If she’s weirded out by something a insignificant as one pre-arranged phone call, that prob’ly just signifies there would be larger gaps in communication styles down the line. Ascribing neediness to someone you’re not that interested in happens with both males and females.

    Sorry it wasn’t a connection this time, Markus.

  5. 25

    She didn’t say or imply I was needy. When I asked for help on this on a different forum I was told I would appeasr needy. As such, I didn’t call her. I’m not too worried about it. She’s a vegan and I’d like someone that will eat ribs with me. 🙂

  6. 26

    Markus Dec 26th 2007 at 10:13 am 25
    She didn’t say or imply I was needy. When I asked for help on this on a different forum I was told I would appeasr needy. As such, I didn’t call her. I’m not too worried about it. She’s a vegan and I’d like someone that will eat ribs with me. 🙂

    I’m a vegan. What geographic area does she live in? 🙂

  7. 27
    Kat Wilder

    I agree with what some of the women have said here if a woman is into a man, she won’t feel that he’s coming off “needy” if he calls her a few times. You’ll have to take your cues from what it feels like when you’re on the phone, but if she were willing to write you off so quickly, that would speak more about her than you (and you might have saved yourself some grief).

    One online guy and I spoke about two hours every night for more than a week before we finally could meet. We were both into each other equally, and neither felt overwhelmed or that the other was needy.

    That said, when I was dating someone a while back, he liked to call a lot 2 or 3 times a day. I wasn’t used to that and it was weird at first (plus, I felt like I had nothing left to say!), but then I got to like it … mostly because I liked him.

    If she hasn’t called off the date, don’t overthink it. You’ll know after you meet whether it’s clicking or not and whether yourcalls are appreciated.

  8. 28


    Not that it’s the point at all, but my math was 100% correct – I wasn’t counting how many times you DID see, talk to or e-mail her (which was still 4 times in 5 days: Tuesday call, Wednesday e-mail, Thursday E-mail, Saturday meeting) but how many times, in your ideal world, you would have ended up contacting her.

    Don’t be defensive (you miss the point that way). This is friendly advice, okay?

    Just show a little restraint – believe it or not, it’s an attractive trait. Just because the “bad boys” take it to an extreme doesn’t mean you should do the opposite.

    Here’s a way to play it: On Wednesday you followed up by e-mail on your phone conversation, essentially confirming what you agreed to on Thursday. Unless she responds and asks you something more, leave it there. See her Saturday.

    At the very most, IF you had a specific question or detail to hammer out – don’t e-mail at all! Just call her Friday and ask, get the info you need, then tell her you’ll see her then and go on with your exciting Friday evening.

    The e-mail asking to call is probably the crux of the issue here…it’s kind of, well, weak.

  9. 29

    …if you like this woman, you can turn her into the “rib” you want to munch on, if you get my drift. It usually takes 3 dates for a woman to warm up. Keep in mind, that, if she is a cutie, you are competing with a half a dozen other guys who want her attention. A woman’s mind was built to follow a man…..she has to be attracted to you first…..women operate off their feelings…..

  10. 30

    I totally agree with Evan here and the other posters regarding the guy’s calling.

    Every time a guy asks me out, I would expect him to call that day or the night before to confirm. It shows he’s still interested and that he’s polite and respectful.

    And I mean a phone call, not an email. Once I had a date with a guy after work but hadn’t heard from him to confirm so I made other plans…turns out he emailed me to confirm, but I wasn’t able to access my personal email from work.

    If I don’t hear I assume he had second thoughts. Whenever this has happened and I called I either never hear back or he says that something came up.

    Markus you’re not beeing needy. I agree with the above posters, any time a woman complains that a guy is being ‘needy’ or ‘smothering’ she’s not that into him.

  11. 31


    I know this is all over at this point, but what did the woman say about your email regarding calling her? Did she even get it before Sat. when she called you to confirm? Did she get it, but just ignored replying to you? Either way would be telling.

    For what it’s worth, I think you handled the situation perfectly. Before a first date, I would much appreciate a phone call the day or two beforehand to firm up plans. Nothing needy about that, just considerate and practical.

    What comes off as needy/clingy to me is guys who attempt contact several times a day before we even get to know each other! A short email to say Hi, etc. everyday is ok. I think the fact you emailed her to ask when to call was a really nice thing to do–not annoying at all. But if someone doesn’t/can’t check her email everyday, a phone call should be fine too. With the understanding also that she could call YOU if she liked.

    Good luck on finding someone to eat ribs with you. Yum!

  12. 32

    I posted a response earlier but after reading some of the other posts feel as though I need to respond again.

    JuJu: It’s not the indifference that makes bad boys attractive, it’s their physical attractiveness that affords them the opportunity to be indifferent.

    What are high school where looks trump all? No No No sophisticated women are not going to go out with a (insert name of hot celebrity here). look alike that takes us for granted.

    Steve: “What I think women have trouble articulating is that they want (whether they know it or not) a nice guy who is also indifferent.”

    Wrong Wrong Wrong. Guys reading this post please do not follow Steve’s advice! Women want a nice considerate guy. We don’t want a guy who can take us or leave us. If we’re interested we want to know that you care!

    Like I said earlier- If I woman is interested she welcomes the calls/ emails. If she’s not you’re labeled as needy. I think all the women reading this can agree with that!

  13. 33

    to sallynyc,

    It has been my experience, that, women, don’t change their mind, their “feelings change.” She may label a man as “needy” for the moment, but, once she has warmed up, everything is hunky-dory….mostly, women warm up after the 3rd date,..well, maybe not,… always,… not if she has recent hurts…in that case, it is time to move on to someone else….

  14. 34

    Interesting Steve, that you know more about women than we know about ourselves: What I think women have trouble articulating is that they want (whether they know it or not) a nice guy who is also indifferent.”

    No Steve, I know for certain I don’t want a nice guy who is indifferent. Indifference translates to ‘just not into you’ for me, and time to move on to someone who is actually interested. Indifference is dull.

    Sallynyc, if I’m interested I certainly welcome emails/phone calls! The whole needy/clingy thing comes into play when a guy is excessive in that way before you get to know him and if it appears he is pushing for too much of a relationship before you really get to know him.

    And yeah Hunter, usually by the end of the third date I know if I want to keep seeing the guy or not. First dates can be awkward, so “warming up” by the third date is not far off the mark if I’m interested.

    Isn’t all of this true of both genders though?

  15. 35


    Somebody know an aspect of yourself better than you do isn’t a new thing nor is it an insult. It is as old as time and it is why people consult psychologists, clergy, or just talk to old friends. Since nobody can be closer to a person than her/himself people often miss seeing things about themselves because they are too close to the problem.

    The inadequate word “indifference” I used was not meant to be used as meaning indifferent to everything, only as to whether or not a man would be “successful” in a dating sense with a particular woman. In other words, he is spending his time with her because he [b]wants[/b] to, not because he doesn’t have other options ( not just social, but other sources of happiness in his life ). In other words, you in particular are special.

    Assholes have this level of indifference, but they are also indifferent to everything else that is important, like the woman’s feelings, values, thoughts etc.

    Strong men, who are self assured and have well rounded lives who also happen to be “nice guys” have the qualities I delineated in the first paragraph and since they have those qualities they do well with women.

  16. 36

    In response to Evan’s story about the guy who called the girl while he was away on business, if she thought he was coming across as needy then that means she wasn’t that into him to begin with. At least that’s how I would react. If I am really interested in a guy I’ve just gone out with, I would be doing back flips after hearing from him while he was away. But if I was feeling lukewarm or uninterested, then I would categorize the calls as being too pushy and coming on a bit strong.

    Is that fair? No. But I think that’s how a lot of girls would react. If we like you, then we are excited to hear from you. If we don’t, then we roll our eyes and chalk it up to coming on too strong.

  17. 37

    I think the way we perceive other people has a great deal to do with how we feel and what we are thinking at any given time plus our emotional response to the person or situation in question. And it can clearly be colored also by what we really want or need at the time – or what we think we do or what we think we should feel. It isn’t uncommon for one person to be a bit more into the other and that isn’t a problem. As long as there isn’t too great a difference. Figuring out if you are on a similar wavelength on that can be very difficult. Then too, it is if your communication styles mesh or are at least compatible – both from a frequency issue, depth of communication, and of course, logistically speaking (One of you always has email, one doesn’t, etc.). I don’t think that you, Markus, did anything wrong or needy. Had you left three messages in one day, then I would have been concerned : ) I too would rather get a confirmation of a date – especially with someone I hadn’t met yet – close to the day supposed to go. Showing you care and that you are considerate is a good thing. As to not having a cup that is running over, I wouldn’t take that personally. Too many people on dating sites seem to always be looking for “the next best thing…” without actually giving the current “thing” (forgive my phrasing) and honest shot. I think a lot of women play the field now too. Often it is hard to just take a good look at one guy and see if he is good for you when the emails don’t stop coming from others during the process. I would rather find just one person to be hung up on and have him feel the same about me. I don’t like emailing or dating several people at once. Makes me feel guilty. I think you have to do what you feel is right and do what you want to do as long as you don’t feel seriously compelled to have to do it. In other words, if you were antsy and felt you had to call her, you might then have had an underlying need or reason that wouldn’t necessarily serve you well in the short or long term. It all comes down to the “why” for me. I wish there were more people who stayed in contact and who responded when you sent a thank you note for them taking you out. Many don’t even reply even if you go middle of the road in case you had a better time than he did, or if you say, “thank you so much for coffee, dinner or whatever – It was great meeting you and I hope you find what you are looking for with someone special.” I don’t think all women don’t know how to treat men or vice versa. Generalizing leads to nothing good. But I do think fewer people in general treat others as well as they could. We use not having the time as an excuse. I’m sorry your dates didn’t work out Markus, but some day you will find a girl who wants you to contact her so much, that she will be picking up the phone too. Do good things for yourself and do what you want in life that makes you happy and other people will be attracted to you. Not implying you aren’t already – just don’t neglect yourself while looking for someone else : ) Then, if it takes a while to find her, you will still be content and productive in the process and have even more to offer to the right lady.

  18. 38

    to selena,

    you said, “isn’t all this true of both genders”….mostly, a mans biggest sex organ, are his eyes……we warm up before the 3rd date….

  19. 39


    Thank you for your most brilliant observation. I applaud you! You have stated all that I feel and think. We as men and women must be more appreciative of the opposite sex. We must stop looking for someone “better” than the one we just met. We need to just give everyone a fair chance. Again, thank you Jessica for your fantastic observations. Happy New Year and much luck to you!!

  20. 40

    Thank you so much for the kind message! Glad what I said resonated with you. I realize now I should have put it in paragraphs to make it easier to read. I learn a lot from reading Evan’s blogs and the pursuant comments from other readers – both the men and the women – so am quite pleased if I have added to the experience for someone else as they have for me. You have a Happy New Year too! Hope you find whatever/whomever your heart desires.

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