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Shana, I Keep Attracting Needy Men



Because I didn’t marry until I was 46, there were times I felt as if all the good men were taken.  

This week, I received another message from a woman who asked, “Where are the guys who are committed to honoring a woman, being a provider, and who believe in chivalry? Instead, all I seem to attract are men who are needy, weak men . . . men who don’t have their lives together and who are always leaning on others. There aren’t any strong men anywhere.”

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So, what do you do when you feel as if you’re only attracting needy men who aren’t the kind you’d like to marry. . .men who--for lack of better terms--don’t seem as if they have grown up? 

Today, I want to share seven tips if you can relate. 

Tip #1: Acknowledge that emotionally weak and needy men do exist 

There ARE men who don’t have their act together. Maybe they are needy financially or emotionally. They don’t know what it’s like to care for a family, honor a woman, and they may not believe in chivalry. These men do exist. In fact, we could probably say they are everywhere. 

When you acknowledge this truth, it may help you to stop saying you are attracting them, and instead start saying that they are just out there. You are just running into them, and other women everywhere run into them too.  

Tip #2: Acknowledge that good men exist too – and they are also everywhere 

It would be inaccurate to say that all the good men are taken, that there aren’t any good men anywhere, and that all that’s left are weak, needy men. 

Take online dating for example. According to the most recent statistics, 44 million Americans online date. That’s a lot of people. That’s more than metropolitan New York and metropolitan Los Angeles combined! Just over half of those users are men. Out of all of those millions of men, I am not convinced that they are all bad and that all the good ones are taken and that they are all weak and needy. 

Tip #3: Trust that all the good men aren’t taken 

When I was single, I went on dates with several men who clearly were not ready for a relationship. Because of their dating experiences, recent divorce or professional setbacks, they were not in a place to marry and care for a family or wife. 

If I had decided, through my experiences with a handful of men, that all the good ones were taken and there aren’t any good men anywhere, I could have shut down my heart and missed the really great guy who I finally did meet and marry. 

My point is that it can be easy to go to the worst place. . . thinking there aren’t any good guys left, but this simply isn’t true. We want to look at it logically. And, logic doesn’t prove that there aren’t quality men left anywhere—even though it may feel like it. 

Look outside your own experience for proof that there are some really great men who are available. Perhaps you know some of your friends, in fact, who have married awesome guys--even over the age of thirty, forty, fifty or sixty.  

Tip #4: Be realistic 

If you feel that all you are attracting is weak needy men, get real about the numbers. How many men are you talking about? One? Three? Five? Is your assessment of your circumstance exaggerated from disappointment, or are you telling yourself the truth? If you are saying that there aren’t any good men left, is your conclusion based on limited experience?  

Tip #5: Don’t waste your time with the needy, weak men

If you are meeting needy, weak men, men who aren’t grown up, who aren’t the kind of quality guys you wouldn’t want to marry, are you getting involved with them? Are you spending your time thinking that you can change them? Or have you created good boundaries in your life so that you don’t waste precious time with them? 

I always say that dating is kind of like having a fence around your yard with a gate. You can’t control who comes up to the gate, but you can control who comes through the gate into your yard. So you may not always meet men who are the quality kind, but you can keep from developing a relationship with them. 

Tip #6: Ask yourself why you continue to date weak and needy men

If you are dating needy men who don’t have their lives together, find out why. 

You may have heard me talk about one woman I coached who told me that she always seemed to attract needy men who are on the down and out. They needed to borrow money from her and weren’t successfully taking care of themselves. She told me that she didn’t want to date this kind of man. 

When I asked her why she got involved with men who she described as being in a “bad way” we discovered that she grew up hearing that it was mean to say no, and that it was unkind not to help. Plus, she said it made her feel good to help. “I like helping,” she said. 

So, when we looked at, “I like to help” and “It’s not nice to say no” and “It’s unkind not to help” I realized that she was allowing the kind of men into her life that she would never want to marry out of guilt, even though she didn’t want to date or marry these men. She was allowing them through the gate in her yard and wasting her time.  

Recognizing why she was doing what she was doing was a big first step toward getting a relationship with the kind of man she does want.  

Sometimes women allow weak men into their lives because they are empathetic and compassionate like the woman I just mentioned and because they have a hard time saying no. They may also not believe they are worthy of the kind of man they want. 

Other women may allow weak, needy men into their lives because they have a difficult time letting a man be a man. It scares them to let go of control. They want to make all the decisions and call all the shots in the relationship. So, they naturally attract passive, emotionally weak men. 

Tip #7: Ask yourself if you truly believe all the good men are taken

Finally, ask yourself if you do believe there aren’t any quality men around and that all the good ones are taken. If you do truly believe this, you may be tempted to settle for men who won’t be good to you or for you. Because, if you want to be loved, but think you have to take what you can get. . . well, you can see how that story would end. You will get involved with the kind of men you don’t want. 

I hope this has been helpful—and that you have been encouraged!  You are worthy of being loved--and being loved well--and there are some really great men out there! 

Remember, the dream you have to love—and be loved—is possible, and remember to keep it sunny! 

Your coach, 



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