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Is Needing Someone Unhealthy?

DR. DENNIS NEDER AND KYLIE Dr. Dennis Neder, Author: "Being a Man in a Woman's World"

Dear Dennis:
I'm a 19 year-old girl and am pretty inexperienced when it comes to relationships. I'm scared of ending up in an unhealthy relationship like so many of my friends claim to have been in. I don't really know the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships which is what worries me.

Some of my friends have told me it's unhealthy to be with someone who needs you too much but how much is too much? Others have told me it's unhealthy to need the person you're with at all in a relationship. I don't know what to believe!

My boyfriend told me last night he loved and needed me and it scared me. I didn't know how to interpret it. I kept thinking does he mean he can't live or function without me or that he simply can't imagine his life without me?

What does it mean to need someone in a relationship anyway? How can I tell a healthy relationship from an unhealthy one? And is it ok to need the person you're with? Why are break-ups so painful? Is it because of your broken heart or because you need that person in your life and they're no longer there?
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer me, I really appreciate it.

Let me set you straight here. It's not unhealthy to be wanted - or to want someone in a relationship. However, it's unhealthy to want someone or to be wanted in an UNHEALTHY relationship.

Your girlfriends are simply spouting some stupid thing they've heard on Dr. Phil or read in Cosmo. Unfortunately, these women also don't know reality from marketing hype.

There is a mis-belief that being independent in a relationship is a good thing, but let me ask you - how many of your girlfriends are in long-term, healthy relationships themselves? None? I thought so.

We are a media-dominated society. Unfortunately, people (especially young women) are picking up all sorts of stupid, meaningless advice by those with a greater agenda rather than learning what reality is.

Let me give you a dose of reality: in "healthy" relationships, people are "interdependent" on each other. They bring their own strengths to the table, and willingly rely on the strengths of their partner where they are weak. This isn't unhealthy at all - it's the height of health!

In fact, nobody "needs" another person unless they are very mentally and emotionally ill. These are rare people however and frankly, you'll probably not meet very many of them in your life.

What's much more common is to realize that other people help you make you feel "whole" and that's a good thing! If you were entirely whole by yourself, you'd never need or want to have anyone else in your life ever - and THAT is unhealthy too!

The fact is that others make those good parts of us even stronger. Trying to deny that fact leads to all sorts of unhealthy beliefs and behaviors - just like your girlfriends' beliefs and behaviors. Take a look at how they view their past relationships as an example.

Your boyfriend is simply saying that you "complete him" which is actually very healthy. You shouldn't be freaked out about hearing that, nor should you be freaked out about feeling it yourself. Regardless of what your friends say or you may hear on Oprah or read in Cosmo or even see on TV, needing and being needed is the foundation of any good relationship.

As to why break-ups hurt so much, it's simple: it's because you get used to feeling "complete" through the other person. You invest your heart - and head - in the relationship and get back far, far more than you put in. It's like winning big in Vegas!

When that ends, you feel the loss, but here's another important fact: that feeling of loss eventually fades away, and you're left with only the good feelings and memories of that person! This is like a little gift from nature, but more important, you get to keep that strength you gained from having been in the relationship itself, and invest it in another relationship later on as a better, stronger even happier you.

How cool is that?

Best regards...
Dr. Dennis Neder

Have a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all email. You can write to me at for answers.
For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit:


Copyright (c) Dr. Dennis W. Neder All rights reserved.



Dr. Dennis Neder


Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Author of: Being a Man in a Woman's World
Dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of relationships.
Start having the relationships YOU deserve!
Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all letters. You can write to me at for answers. For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit: 
About The Book:

Men and women continue to complain about their relationships. Married or single, the same issues seem to keep coming up.

Many men have trouble meeting women. They might meet them; they just can't get their numbers. When they do get a number, they can't get them to go out. When they do get them to go out, they wind up spending a fortune and getting dumped a month later. Of those that actually do establish relationships, they find them unfulfilling and fraught with the same, consistent, almost predictable problems.

This book began life about 13 years ago. It was directed to the single man looking for love in Southern California. Since then, it has evolved into something similar, but much more broad in scope. It seeks to bridge the gap between men and women by combining an understanding of men's place in today's world of women, communication skills, sales skills, and an organized plan - once and for all. It does this by focusing on the man's core - who we are, by evolution, by education, by society, and by necessity.

Men and women have continued to have the same problems for hundreds of years. It's time to put these problems to rest. We are in a woman-focused time in history. Not that this is bad, but it is one-sided. Men have an opportunity to succeed in their relationships just as they have strived to succeed in their jobs.

It's time for men to take their place. To be the partners that women want them to be. Not necessarily what they say they want, but what they really want - and need! As men we owe this to our women. Women crave who and what we are fundamentally. May the joy of being a man become part of your daily life. May the women in your life find new reasons to love and cherish you. May you begin to get along, communicate, and find your best with your partner. I wish this for you.

Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all letters. You can write to me at for answers. For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit:

aLoveLinksPlus is pleased to feature Dr. Dennis Neder every Thursday with new articles to help men take their place as partners in a women's world.



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