Needy kind of love: (for a friend who is hurting)

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

I am at my heart’s end. This is the third time someone I really loved dumped me. I am wondering just what is wrong with me. I work hard and put in long hours but I need to in order to be a good provider. I am smart, good looking, and treat anyone I am with respectfully. I think I am a kind and sensitive guy? You would think I am a great catch? A longtime friend of mine says it is because I keep picking fixer uppers.

Broken heart

Dear Heart,

Love is like a rainbow it has many shades. What is important isn’t the specific shade but whether those colors balance in a couple. Anyone who likes “fixer uppers” needs to be needed. There is nothing wrong with a needy kind of love but if it is not balanced it is a short lived kind of love. Anyone incapable of taking care of their own needs will depend too heavily upon you. In the beginning you will invest too much in them and this can strain your resources. Eventually you may have to pull back in order not to destroy everything. If someone is accustomed to abundant generosity, that will disappoint and infuriate them. You will be a false savior, a false knight.

Some need is okay and can be sweet, but too much need is parasitic. Find someone who is your equal, who doesn’t need fixing or saving but who really enjoys people and loves to share. This is a healthier more balanced form of your need to needed by people.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: I have known guys like you and my heart goes out because you think you are doing all the right things. You want to be a good provider. You are respectful, kind and considerate. The unfortunate thing is that these are great qualities in a doorman, but a boyfriend needs to be something more.

I once had a man try to woo me who was the most considerate, respectful and generous person you could imagine. He came from a family of lawyers and was an attorney himself and if I’d wanted a good provider he sure fit the bill. But he was so stuffy and stiff, always on his best behavior- he lacked a certain human playfulness and spark. He lived such a careful life that it made me want to mess things up just to see something unexpected happen. I felt terrible because he was so sweet, but I couldn’t imagine a relationship with him. I wanted someone I could have a full, yin yang sort of life with. Not someone who treated me like a porcelain egg.

I don’t know you well enough to make any helpful suggestions. But along with trust, being vulnerable is a big part of true intimacy. If you just put on your perfect, best front all the time, you can become just a little too much like the doorman- which is maybe why those girls keep walking out the door.


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Needy kind of love: (for a friend who is hurting)

  1. Disagree and NOT needy says:

    I don’t think it is about picking up fixer uppers. Everyone has baggage and that does not make me a fixer upper. I think you are unreliable with all your long working hours. I agree that you need to work hard to be a good provider, but when is it enough?

    A woman wants someone who she can count on, vent to, and be there when she needs him. If you are not there physically and emotionally, what good are you. This is NOT because I’m a needy woman. I want to be able to find someone to share my adventures and not have to wait when you finish work and are available. At that time, you may be too tired to do things with me.

    If you so call loved the person, did you try to find out how you can be better in your relationship? Stop blaming the other person in the relationship and examine yourself.

    • Dear Disagree I agree everyone has different needs and expectations. There is no right way to have a relationship. The problem is when the two people in a relationship have different needs and expectations especially if the rules changed mid relationship which it so often does. Some careers demand that they come first for instance farming. It is important that these things are discussed early on in a relationship such that everyone is on the same page.

      Dr. B.C.

      • No crystal ball says:

        You can’t discuss everything early on in a relationship. People change as your environment changes, so the rules change. Communication is important throughout the relationship. This way, there are no surprises and if the needs and expectation change, there should be new compromises. Bottom line, there is no crystal ball to any relationship.

        If the career is heart of the issue, Mr. Nice Guy needs to chose between the career or the relationship.

      • @ No crystal ball : True. Communications and negotiation should be taught in health class as its such an important aspect of quality of life. Studies on the democratic schools like Sudbury valley which emphasize these skills foremost even over a specific academic curriculum show their students are a lot more successful in life as compared to public schools where these skills are mostly neglected.

        Dr. B.C.

  2. Seriously? says:

    I don’t think “fixer uppers” is your problem. Sounds like you may have a combination issue of being arrogant enough to believe that you are all that and having no real clue how to communicate with a woman. Going through the motions of being a good provider does not automatically make you one nor does it qualify you as the catch of a lifetime. While staying on the right path is super important, communication is KEY to a healthy relationship. Then there’s the simple fact that maybe the women just decide you aren’t all that! You cant expect a woman to sit back and say “oh this guy works long hours just to provide – man what a catch!”! If after working those hours you cant come home and satisfy the many needs of a woman, you are doomed! Stop thinking about yourself and what you are doing wrong and start thinking about what you can do right for the next woman in your life.

    • Dear Seriously,

      Good points to consider but life and relationships aren’t always easily defined. I know some people whose careers cannot be separated from the relationship. Some jobs due to travel or needing to be available 24/7 or the need to be working on multiple time zones at the same time means the whole family needs to make accommodations to make things work. Many of these relationships do not survive but I know a fare number who are on the same page and although far from easy they are working it out.

      Dr. B.C

  3. Dear Seriously,

    Broken heart emailed “I had lots of time for that relationship. So you might want to set that commenter straight. I’m successful enough not to have to work overtime.”

    Dr. B.C.

  4. Ken Bryant says:

    Dear Broken Hearted,
    In that great boy scout list you wrote about yourself do you see anything missing? You’re missing! How does your absence manifest itself? Unhappiness. If you are with someone else there are two ingredients: 1) your perceptions of each other and 2) how you interact with each other. Turn that generic boy scout list into a tailor-made list built on these ingredients. For the most part, show her your perceptions through actions. Actions are a lot more convincing to her and satisfying to you.

  5. No crystal ball says:

    Fine, you don’t work overtime and have much time for that relationship, but did you ask why all the ex’s want out? Ken is right. You need to see what is missing in yourself. Maybe you are not what they are looking for and that you can’t give them what they want. It could be that they don’t want a good person like you.
    You should really figure out what type of woman do you want and what type of man do those women want before committing to them. Again, if you don’t communicate, the relationship will fall apart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s