Take measures to not need a romantic partner to meet your emotional needs.
For someone in your position, this is probably the single biggest challenge in dating. We all crave emotional connections with other human beings, but some of us are starved of them. When someone starts to show us a little emotional intimacy, we therefore cling to them like a person who found a hamburger in the desert. This, in turn, causes that person to feel overwhelmed and violated, perhaps “used.” They weren’t signing up to be your source of validation and 24/7 attention. They just wanted a friend or a first date. As such, the behavior motivated by your desperate position perpetuates your desperation by repelling anyone who would otherwise share the emotional intimacy you need.
Thus comes the question – when I’m desperate for emotional intimacy, how do I not behave in a way consistent with someone who’s desperate for emotional intimacy, since I know it discourages people from being emotionally intimate with me?
The best suggestion I have is to start finding other ways besides a lover to meet your emotional needs. First and foremost, this means starting to provide for your needs yourself. Start loving yourself. Ask yourself: instead of looking for someone else to give me meaning and happiness, what can I do to start providing those things myself? How can I show myself that I love myself every day? What small gestures of self-love can I make? What grand gestures? I know this may sound weird, but you’d be surprised how much self-love can help your confidence. You will always have someone in your life who loves you and who cares about you. If you’re in the habit of treating yourself like crap, or if you literally hate yourself, this is the first thing you need to work on to overcome “neediness.”
The second step I would recommend is to begin introducing yourself to lots and lots of people. This doesn’t mean dating lots of people, though there is room for dating in there. Rather you just want to be radically expanding your social circle and interacting with as many people as you can every week. Start going to meetup groups. Join a social sports league. Take classes with several students. Take up a social hobby. When you’re invited to parties, go to them. At these events, talk with people. Listen to their stories. Share some of your own. Having lots of shallow friendships will not provide you with the same fulfillment cuddling with a lover will, but it is better than absolute loneliness, and it provides some comfort. More importantly, the more time you spend with these shallow friends, the more likely they will be to turn into deeper friendships.
This leads me to my next suggestion: take advantage of propinquity. Propinquity is the human tendency to like people we interact with often. If you see the same group of people every week for several weeks, you are probably going to start to like each other. If you’re always meeting strangers, you will always be hesitant toward each other. When you find a social hobby you like, keep going to it regularly and keep on greeting the people you meet. The natural order of things will be for you to become very close friends.
When you’re constantly showing yourself self-love, when you have a bustling social life, and when you have an inner circle of friends you trust, you should find yourself a lot less invested in whether any given woman likes you or not. When your happiness lives or dies based on her opinion, of course you’re going to be “needy.” When it’s nothing more than a matter of “oh cool, there will be one more intimate relationship in my life” vs. “oh well, I guess there won’t be,” you’re not going to be as needy.
While in this mindset, be sure to be dating several women and learn to embrace rejection. Rejection doesn’t mean you’re going to be alone forever, because you’re not. Worst case scenario, you still have yourself and you still have your friends. Rejection just means you and she weren’t compatible. Dating multiple women also makes sure you’ll have several other chances to find someone you’re compatible with. Don’t go into the interaction thinking “I have to win her over so I won’t be lonely,” go in thinking “I wonder how well we work as a couple.” With the foundation I just described to stand on, that shouldn’t be too difficult a mindset to adopt.
Good luck. This isn’t an easy thing to do, but you’re fully capable of it. I hope this helps.
Not to look needy, don’t be needy. It’s a state of mind.
Make every conversation a genuine conversation in which you want to speak. Never go with the lousy idea that you will get her ; it might happen, but you shouldn’t calculate. Just go, and talk, and you’ll see. Don’t be intrusive or accomodating, don’t make too much compliments of things that look fake and… needy.
You’re human, be it. Speak, that’s it. If you play the game you won’t look needy and won’t care to be mistakenly taken as one by someone less open minded than you.
In short, don’t be afraid of seeing a girl you made laugh leave. Just chat, whether it is for one sentence or one hour.