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. 41
    Michael Ejercito

    I would not text a woman forty-two times a day.

    For one thing, it would inflate my cell phone bill, which would leave me without money for important things – like taking her to dinner.

  2. 42

    I have made the semi-mistake of misjudging how much contact is necessary or desirable prior to actually meeting the person. It seems like, with a first meeting, that it’s pretty unnecessary to call prior to the meeting. If you have ONLY been online with the person or maybe a few phone calls, it is a BIG adjustment to actually meet the person. I’d say, you made the connection, you got the confirmation that you were meeting at a certain day, specific time; enough. Leave it alone. Show up when you said you would–that’s all that’s necessary. No in-between contact is necessary or probably even desirable. It’s anti-climactic to contact in-between. In-between making the date and keeping the date, we are figuring out what to wear, talking to girl friends, painting toenails, making our own internal arrangements… this is a bit of a stressful time. Having a guy call during that time doesn’t come off as needy, per se, but it does seem unnecessary. It’s just a bit too much extra energy at a time of some butterflies. Think of it as the kind of hiatus you need prior to a business meeting–if the client kept calling you when you knew you were seeing them the next day, what would you think? I promise you, it would not be generous. You might not see them as needy as much as you would think of them as slightly over the edge emotionally, a little too invested, that sort of thing.

  3. 43
    Mike Paahana

    meeting girls online is easy, u jus gotta go for it, some times can sometimes no can but u not going no unless u chance um

  4. 44

    You did nothing wrong. You can’t second guess yourself based on the behavior of someone you have never met. Perhaps she didn’t have net access and didn’t see your note. Perhaps she’s busy on dates with other guys. Perhaps she was really excited to meet you, then went out with someone else who she got really excited about and… a) she forgot about you, b) felt unsure if she should still see you. Most women aren’t used to playing the field. It could be so many things that have nothing to do with YOU.

  5. 45

    Telling me you can’t live without me after one month, will render you needy, whether I am into you or not. I do no want to hold anyone else’s life in my hands.

  6. 46

    First off I will say that online dating sucks. It is too easy to reject someone. Women are fickle as it is. I tried it and don’t like it at all. I have much better luck at my local bar. You meet face to face and will know right there if there is an attraction.
    As it is I really don’t like women and I don’t usually give them the time of day.

    1. 46.1

      That must be a real turn on for those gals.   Who doesn’t want to go home with the guy who despises them?

  7. 47
    Karl R

    James said: (#46)
    “As it is I really don’t like women and I don’t usually give them the time of day.”

    If a woman said, “I really don’t like men and I don’t usually give them the time of day” (or if she demonstrated that attitude), I would consider that a perfectly sound, non-fickle reason to avoid dating her.

    Similarly, I would say that your statement indicates that you’re the type of man women should avoid. They’re women. You don’t like women. Some of them may be rejecting you because they’re fickle. Others may be rejecting you because they’re perceptive.

    How do you feel about women who don’t like men and usually don’t give men the time of day?

    Why would you expect women to feel differently about you?

  8. 48

    @ Michael #12

    Thank you!   Hit the nail on the head!   No need for any further discussion.

  9. 49

    I believe it all comes down to balance.  I have two recent examples of two  good guys who I have dated. I will call them John and Mark. John creeps me out, and Mark is the balanced guy who is consistent, but not creepy. They are both sweet, both good looking, both charming…However, the key difference between the two is John doesn’t respect boundaries, and Mark does. John will call and text constantly knowing that I’m busy with work or my kids. His texts are all pointless chit chat type stuff. Mark text or calls me daily, but actually has a purpose when he does. He also has a life on his own, and respects the time I have with my kids or with work. If I don’t get back to Mark immediately, he gets it. If I don’t get back to John immediately, he calls and leaves more messages asking me what’s going on? Why haven’t I called him back? blah blah blah. He also found me on Facebook, and I’m still not sure how that happened, as we have zero mutual friends and my name is super common. Red flag! So anyway, that’s where it becomes a huge turn off. ick! I believe it’s probably the same for men as well. No?  

  10. 50


    Provided your message wasn’t creepy and you really, truly only reached out those times, I don’t think you did anything wrong at all.

    When I connect with a man online, we shift to a brief phone conversation. Should plans be made, I think it’s reasonable if he’d like to touch base throughout the week until we meet for the first time. I prefer this, as men who have booked dates out a week, I’ve encountered a few times where they cancel last minute on me. And I think that they do this because a better option came up. Not cool. At least, if the man is staying engaged with me, I know there is some interest and I’m not questioning on a Friday night whether he’s showing up!

    So, this past year, if a guy plans a date with me and then over days there is nothing, I honestly do not show up. If we planned it within 24-48 hours, I will. But I personally think that no communication at all over 4-7 days before a date is too long and prefer not to even plan anything with someone anymore that is a week out, if I can avoid it.

  11. 51

    I think it really depends on how he messages and what her expectations are.   If she’s fairly independent and they’d established a date for Saturday,   and she said “Looking forward to seeing you (for the first time) Saturday,” in my opinion there really is no need to talk multiple times between Wednesday and Saturday, particularly if all the contact had thus far has been online emails and a preliminary phone call to determine if it’s potentially a good idea to meet in person.   You don’t go from strangers to talking every other day immediately and if someone pulled that on me I’d be wondering why he wanted to be my insta-boyfriend before he even knew me.

    Obviously there ate going to be different situations.   For example, if you two met by chance at a cafe and just couldn’t stop talking for hours,   it would probably be appropriate to call her the next day to ask for a proper date, assuming you hadn’t locked that down already.   But that’s a situation where strong chemistry has already been established.   In situations where a gal is just going to be meeting you and is aware that in-person chemistry may be vastly different than online chemistry or phone chemistry,   seeking her attention when it has already been established that you’ll be meeting Saturday is indeed overeager.

    For some, this extends into relationship territory as well.   If you make plans for the Thursday,   calling her Wednesday night and wanting to talk into the night is not a good idea. The whole point of dating is to enjoy one another’s company and build a solid foundation for a potential future together if it’s a match, not to gain an emotional bastion on which to lean. Forgive my bluntness,   but a woman wants a partner, not a barnacle. Maybe this is you and maybe it isn’t,   but it is clear from what’s transpired that you somehow ended coming off that way.   Given that,   it’s likely that either you didn’t read her signals correctly or you expected too much too soon, or perhaps both.   Remember that online dating is a supreme risk for women.   Guys most often hope she won’t be fat (which is in itself an issue,   but not for this topic);   gals most often hope he’s not a killer or stalker.   Next time read carefully what she says.   If the call or letter ends with “See you ____ (insert date here)!”, you’ve effectively been dismissed until that date.   There is no reason to seek further follow up until then,   because there’s no date yet after which to tell her what a great time you had and you aren’t close enough yet to be talking all the time.

  12. 52

    I think it’s polite and respectful to find out a good time to call. Some women may think your willing to call when they say so they assume you are going to free yourself at anytime, thereby, being needy. I would say handle it like setting up a meeting or just say, I’d like to set up a time that works for us both for a chat before we go out Friday. How is tomorrow at 7 or 8pm? If not, let me know a time after 6pm that you’re available. If not, I’ll talk with on Friday. I’m dating now and find your approach refreshing instead thinking I’m free to take your calls at any time.   If she doesn’t respond, shes being rude. I wouldn’t bother another attempt.

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