Hey Doc. I’ve got a neediness problem.
Let me start from the beginning; things are going great! I’ve gotten more confident about myself and less reserved about expressing my interest in women, and that’s led to dates with really cool, attractive people. Although I still at times struggle with my insecurities, I’m laid back enough in public that they don’t stop me from getting attention from people I’m interested in.
The problem starts when sex and intimacy arrive on the scene. Once I’ve seen somebody naked enough times, I can’t help but get invested in them, and once I’m invested in someone, my insecurities kick into high gear. You see, I have a long-standing and deep-seated fear that the people who like me will just suddenly… stop liking me. So things that were innocuous before I started to get invested, like cancelling dates or going radio silent for short periods, start to feel really concerning. I start to wonder “is this person losing interest in me?” and it makes me really, really anxious.
I’m a huge believer in the power of communication, so I try to channel that discomfort into honest conversation in the format of “It’s not your fault but I’m feeling a little insecure because of X, is everything alright with us?” The problem is that my rather transparent need to be validated turns the perceived problems into actual problems, and often directly causes people to lose interest in me. They get the sense that “oh, this guy is way more invested in this than I am” and all of a sudden that girl I was so excited about is telling me she’s “too busy to see me”.
My question is, how do I deal with these insecurities or channel them in ways that don’t damage my relationships? Because at this point the feelings themselves have become a source of dread; I worry that when I start to falter I’ll say something needy-sounding and bugger things up, and thinking thoughts like that makes me even more insecure.
Trying To Play It Cool