Disclaimer: Here's the heads up on what I'm about to share. It'll be really easy to read what this woman allowed a man to send her through and call her "crazy", "desperate" or "stupid" but, before you do that, try and reflect on if there's any relationship you've ever been in where you were needy for a man. Personally, while things may have never gotten quite this extreme, I know there have been times when I put myself through more than I ever should have in the name of (so-called) love.
I'd say for the past 6-7 years or so, about twice a year, I'll hear from a woman who claims that she's still in love with one particular man. A man who won't commit (or even really claim her in public). A man who brings her in but won't take her out (that's my way of saying he sexes her but doesn't date her). A man who's told her that he doesn't feel the same way she does, not by a long shot. Yet, she still claims that she completely adores this guy—a guy I don't know (because I don't use "know" loosely), but a guy I certainly know of.
He's not a bad person. He's really not.
Anyway, she's sooooooo into him that she even told me that one time, after she came to his house unannounced (for the umpteenth time), he let her in, had sex with her, and then put her out. I mean, literally picked her up and put her out. Even after that, she still claims to love him.
Yeah. I already know that some of y'all read that and immediately got H-O-T. But who are you the most upset with—him or her? If it's him, what are you mad about? That he made the decision to get some before he humiliated her? If it's her, is it because she 1) disrespected his space by not calling first; 2) had sex with him even though he had already told her what the deal was, or 3) she allowed her "devotion" to him to get her to the point of getting put out yet she still professes her love for dude?
No matter what side of the fence you're standing on, I promise you I get it. When we're not emotionally involved in a relationship or situationship, it's easy to see the crazy for what it is. But I remember discovering that a guy I dated rotated me and six other girls in the same picture frame and my still deciding to date him. I remember finding out that my first love had me and another girl pregnant at the same time and still calling him my boyfriend. I remember going above and beyond for a guy, running into him and his girlfriend (even though he told me he didn't have a girlfriend) and not immediately cutting things off. I also remember thinking that my sticking around was an act of love when really, just like ole' girl, it was nothing more than unadulterated neediness.
Needy. It's such a dysfunctional word.
Whenever I think of it, one of the definitions that immediately comes to mind is impoverished. An impoverished person is someone who is deprived of strength. So, you know what that means, right? You can't really be needy if you're a strong and courageous individual—if you're someone who is mentally, emotionally, and spiritually empowered and powerful. (Now bookmark that for a moment while I make another point.)
Even if you can't relate to the instances of neediness that I just shared, here are some other examples of what being needy in a relationship looks and lives like:
- People who move too fast in relationships are typically needy.
- People who are clingy in relationships are typically needy.
- People who are jealous and overbearing are typically needy.
- People whose lives totally revolve around another individual are typically needy.
- People who diminish their value unless they are with someone are typically needy.
Now here's where it all comes together. How is it that so many of us—men and women—can find ourselves being needy and calling it love? I think the answer lies in a definition of power:
Power: ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something
Back when I was being a needy chick, it was due to so many things—my dysfunctional upbringing, abandonment issues; being a words of affirmation person while hearing relatives and racist educators say some pretty damaging things; being in so-called friendships that lacked reciprocity; doing most of the work in most of my romantic relationships and growing up in a church that taught very little about self-love (love your neighbor AS YOURSELF, y'all—Mark 12:30-31).
Lord have mercy. I can look back now and see that because I lacked the ability to love myself I was constantly looking for someone else to do it. And since I wanted a man in my life and I lacked self-love simultaneously, that want turned into a need. And the longer I went without loving myself, that need turned into bonafide neediness.
'Cause here's the thing. When you don't have a healthy and clear understanding of what love is, you'll let some of the most toxic imitations of love define it for you.
You find yourself thinking that tolerating abuse—neglect is a form of abuse, by the way—is being loyal. That sharing a man is being patient. That not requiring what you want is being low maintenance. That sacrificing yourself in order to keep "him" around is nothing more than a normal act of compromise. You find yourself believing that having something is better than having nothing when sometimes that "something" is, ironically, less than nothing. All of this will have you out here doing the absolute most, all the while believing that it's love when it is nothing of the sort.
It wasn't until I developed the ability to see me, to honor me, to LOVE ME that I was able to tell the difference between loving a man and being needy for one. And what's the main difference? I don't NEED a man.
Now, I'm not meaning this in the extreme sense. God made men (and men are not designed to think or act like us; otherwise, they'd be women…but that's another message for another time). All of God's creations serve a divine purpose. For that reason alone, I need men in my life. What I'm saying is I am not gonna die if I'm not in a relationship with or even dating someone. I will die if I go without food and water for too long. Those are needs.
At this stage in my life, having a man in it is literally like the icing on the cake. It will add something very sweet and special to it—but the cake is pretty delicious all on its own.
Now that I have developed the ability to love myself—to apply the Love Chapter (I Corinthians 13) to how I treat even me—the power that I thought I could only get via another person, I now hold. I am strong and courageous (which basically means not afraid) enough to be alone. Why? Because I don't need someone to love me. I LOVE ME. Everyone else is a bonus.
For me, that's the true difference between loving a man and being needy for one. When you love yourself, you've got the Miki Howard effect. What I mean by that is, back in the day, she released a song entitled, "Come Share My Love". When you love a man, he's coming into an abundance of love you've already got. When you're needy for one, you want him to give you something that you don't even have.
The woman I mentioned earlier? She's not crazy. She simply doesn't love herself. Enough. Yet. Once she's capable of loving herself, she won't be looking for that dude (or any man) to do it. She'll realize that no truer words have been spoken than when writer Maureen Dowd once said:
"The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for."
Love is healthy. It's godly. It's empowering. It's honorable. It causes you to thrive—mind, body, and spirit. Continually so. If you can't apply these words to the situation you've got going on with a man—be careful. What you're thinking is love may be disguising itself as nothing more than mere neediness.
The good news is…now you know the difference.
Featured image by Getty Images.
Ask Ayana Iman: I'm Stuck In A Codependent Relationship - Read More
How To Love Without Being Clingy - Read More
You Can't Sex It Away: A D*ck Appointment Is Not An Antidepressant - Read More
- The Difference Between Needing, Wanting And Loving Somebody ›
- Five Ways to Overcome Feelings of Neediness | Psychology Today ›
- The Difference Between Being Needy In A Relationship and Having ... ›
- What is the difference between vulnerability and neediness? - Quora ›
- Are You in Love Or in Need? ›
- On The Difference Between Being Needy, And Owning Your Desire ... ›
- Being Needy in a Relationship | 5 Signs to Look Out For ›
- How To Be Vulnerable Without Being Needy- 7+ Love Experts ... ›
- The Difference Between Being Needy And Asking For What You ... ›
- The Difference Between Need and Being Needy – Vanessa Smith ... ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
One thing about Megan Thee Stallion is that she’s going to motivate you to stay active. From afar, she seems like the perfect gym bestie, and up close, it looks like her workouts would have us gasping for air. But hey, she doesn’t call her routines “bootcamp” for nothing.
After an extended break from social media and the public eye, the Houston Hottie is back sharing the high-energy workouts that are keeping her lean and she’s happy to report that “the results have been resulting."
The 28-year-old rapper dropped an Instagram Reel, detailing the workout routine that’s putting her endurance to the test. With the help of her personal trainer, Megan has one word in mind when it comes to her progress and that’s: “Consistency.”
The “Savage” artist has been traveling, making “hot girl moves," and after returning from a trip to New York, she expressed that her trainer is pushing her to keep the same energy back in the gym.
“I had just gotten back from New York and I told my trainer, ‘Look, friend, I was having a time. Can you please take it easy?’” Megan said. “He said, ‘Hmm, I’ve seen you doing all that hot girl s—, so what you need to do is get in that gym and have that same energy.’”
Her trainer then instructed her to do jumping squats with an exercise ball and resistance band around her legs for an extra burn. “I put my thing down, flipped it, and reversed it and that’s what happened. This sh– burned like a motherf—,” she teased in the video’s voiceover while executing both forward and backward jumping squats.
It’s clear that when it comes to Megan’s fitness, her trainer doesn’t play around about pushing her to her limits. In the next set of her cardio moves, we see the Grammy-winning artist jumping rope and moving on to a combination of mountain climbers and lateral jumps over a speed hurdle.
“Right here, that’s when I realized: I’ve been saying my trainer’s crazy but I know he’s really, really crazy because he must think that I’m trying out for the Houston Texans or something,” she joked.
To finish her workout, Meg hit two more barbell exercises, one being a set of cleans with 10-pound weight plates on the barbell. She then closed out by doing lunges with the barbell racked on her shoulders.
Of course, the best way to close out a workout is to nourish yourself with a balanced meal. Meg showed off her delicious post-workout plate with salmon, a sweet potato, and assorted veggies.
With so much of her public life being shared on the internet, it’s nice to see her letting us in on her progress in a fun and motivating way. “I just want to be transparent with y'all. Working out hurts, but it’s really a mental thang, so go do it!”
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Taylor Hill/Getty Images