• Resolving Problems

My best friend is desperate and makes bad choices when it comes to men

Published: March 1, 2014 | Last Updated: March 1, 2014 By | 9 Replies Continue Reading
What do you say when your best friend is desperate she will hook up with anyone?



My best friend of over ten years is very ‘clingy’ when it comes to men. She can never be single, and when she is, you never hear the end of how lonely she is or how she wants to meet a nice guy.

Every time she goes out, the next day I get a “So I met this guy…” text. Recently, she met a friend of a friend via Facebook (he lives in Texas, she lives in Kansas) and they started talking about getting married! He’s in the military so it started out to be strictly monetary and contractual. I mean, come on—they lived 1,000 miles away from each other!

So they met finally after a month and visited here and there (and when I say visit, I mean she flew to Texas). Then after 2 months, they got married. She began to become obsessed with the idea that she was married and then ‘fell in love”. I say that with quotes because she always, always falls in ‘love’. Well I wasn’t surprised when two months later, he told her he didn’t love her and requested a divorce.

So last week, she mentioned she was talking to a guy from California about being ‘friends with benefits.’ How do I tell my friend nicely that she’s being too needy and desperate for male attention? Please help me!

Signed, Carla


Hi Carla,

Sometimes our friends behave in ways that are self-defeating. They may smoke too much, drink too much, spend too much, or be indiscriminate in their choice of friends or partners. In this case, you see your friend being so needy that she always picks the wrong guys just so she is involved with someone.

There isn’t much a friend can do when her friend makes poor choices and/or bad decisions. You can:

  • Let her know your concerns
  • Remind her of past mistakes
  • Caution her to take things slowly
  • Be there for her when she falls

But it’s up to her to decide whether or not to change her behavior. It seems like your friend lacks insight and makes impulsive decisions. Since you are close friends, tell her directly that she seems to get too involved too quickly with the wrong persons and might benefit from talking to a professional to figure out why she repeats the same pattern.

She might get angry but hopefully, she’ll respond to your well-intended suggestion. Unfortunately, nagging doesn’t help. All you can do is gently remind her again each time she falls.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Category: Needy friends

Comments (9)

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  1. Eliza says:

    It’s now 2021 and I’m dealing with a friend that I’ve known for 4 years who gets tunnel vision and wants to marry every guy ahe dates.

    She’s emotionally co dependent and needs a man to fulfill her inner happiness. She expects a man to love her & know right away that he wants to marry her and have kids. All it does is push them far away from her. She has a great job, hobbies, nice style, but lacks self love. She doesn’t get real with her true wants & needs, take time to get to know herself, so she makes it the mans job to give into her desires and fix her problems.

    Every guy she dates within the first month she’s telling them she wants kids/marriage and they all response that they just met. Pressuring them to say they want that with her, eventually they stop talking to her.

    She won’t let a man lead & let a relationship progress organically,instead she controls everything because she wants a relationship so badly. I gave advice, she didn’t listen, and has repeated 2 more times since our talk. So now I’ve decided to not engage in these talks because it’s,enabling her behavior, making the guys the jerk, when in reality she needs to focus on self love.

    • Irene says:

      It sounds like it would be useful for your friend to speak to a mental health professional to gain some insight as to why she is so needy that she is making bad choices. In a way, this might be easier during the pandemic because of tele-therapy. As you’ve found, there are limits to what caring friends can do or say when someone is making bad decisions. Try to focus on the positive aspects of your friendship, be free with bringing your friends strengths to her attention and be available to support her during appointments. You’re a good and caring friend!

  2. Melinda says:

    I know this was two years ago, but I feel compelled to respond.

    First…your friend is a grown woman who will do what she wants to do. We can hope that the people we care about will make better choices in life, but we can’t control that.
    All you can do is hope for the best and try not to judge her too much.

    My mother is a lot like your friend. Years ago, she married a man with a lot of serious issues…violent temper, disrespectful, etc.
    He is not a good guy. Not somebody I would want her to be with because I feel that she deserves much better.
    But you know what? I can’t control the situation or my mother’s questionable choices in men. All I can do is continue to show her love and pray that someday she will see the light. For years I’ve been wishing he would go away, but they are still together so I have to accept it.

    Some women are needy for male attention because they have low self-esteem or they can’t handle being single and independent.
    They feel that a man in their lives (even if he is bad) will fill that empty space inside.
    When I say being “independent” I’m not just talking about money…I mean being a woman with self-esteem who is fine being on her own, without validation from relationships with men.
    My mom has always worked and earned her own money but she also made very bad choices with men because of her self-esteem issues and she passed those onto me.

    And I agree with Amy F…people HAVE to deal with their problems before jumping into relationships.

  3. tanja says:

    I am of the believe that as you get older, friendships change. It is not the same. sometimes the people with the many friends are actually the loneliest people and sometimes the person with the one or two good friends or no friends and a husband and huge family are the happiest people. In this case, I was once the friend that had many different boyfriends. I was needy and clingy. No one can tell you to be different. I was that way for years. I had two “good” friends that were also like that. To the outside world, I looked like I had a lot of people who liked me and a string of guys who wanted to be with me. The reality was that it was all superficial. The guys that wanted to be with me, did not want long term and were often disappointed when I would go on a few dates but not have sex with them. I was also very lonely inside, but it did not look that way on the outside, not even to my parents. My parents were going through too much stuff to notice. Also, I was not close with them. They also gave no guidance or told me not to do something. They were free for all hippie kind of parents, not warm, affectionate or loving people, but they were kind and nice. But, my sister and I grew up with no rules and no consistency. My mom could get mad at any moment without warning and my dad the same thing, but he was more even tempered than my mom. He also had no other responsibilities in the house other than to work. My mom had to work and take care of us. My twin and I were very different, we are not close today. She got more attention than I did because she was always sick.

    Meanwhile, I was on a self destructive path, that included dating my university professor and a man 20 yrs older than me, simply because he paid me attention. Yes my mom knew but did not say anything and to this day, I think if it was my daughter, I don’t care how old she is, I am going to say something no matter what. But, her view was once I was 20, I am an adult and on my own.

    So, the point is that your friend has to come to terms on her own. She sounds like a very lonely person. She has to learn how to be comfortable with herself first and it can’t come from friends. I would not say anything, but be there when she falls, suggest to her to see someone. Let her know you are not a superficial friend but you really care about her, like a sister.

    Now, I am married to a wonderful man, who became my best friend, my only true friend now and we have two kids together and being with my kids have been the best years of my life. I am alone a lot more than I ever used to be, but I am not lonely. I have learned to like myself. I do a lot of art work when I have free time, running around and caring for my kids and husband. We do not have a lot of people in our lives at all. Not the way we used to. But, we have good quality people now. We have his parents, my sister and two other couple friends and that is it. My father is dead now and my mom lives in a different country.

    But, I am happy being with him, and friendships change once kids are involved as well. But, it was not by accident I met a good man. I decided to stop dating for one year before he came along. I read Dr phil books. I decided to spend more time alone and if I go out all the time with any guy that asks me, I may not be home to answer the phone when Mr right does call. So, I spend one year alone and distanced myself from friends that were pulling me down, although I still talk to them on the phone or by text because I always want to keep doors open with any friendship, you never know when you need them and they need you.

    So, be there for her, you may distance yourself from her if you feel, but be there for her when she calls and needs a friend.

    Good luck.

    • Lauren says:


      Your story sounds a lot like mine. Growing up in high school and college it seemed on the outside like I was a girl that other girls would want to be; I had a handful of men to choose from at all times, but I never realized how much I relied on having prospective guys there go out with if I started to feel lonely. Having them there kind of hid that I was even lonely at all because they were such a quick fix. I also fooled around with my college professor because he stimulated me mentally. Well now, I, too, am married to a REAL best friend, he is wonderful. But when he is away, working, I am having to learn how to accept being alone. I am much happier than where I was before, but I still am learning to overcome my loneliness and trying to discover ways to make friends. It’s not easy when you aren’t in school anymore. When I’m at work, I tend to draw a line of professionalism because it just does not feel right getting personal with someone at your place of work.

    • Ambra says:

      I know this post is old. And you might not get a chance to read this. But, from reading your reply, you really opened a painful truth about life, love, and friendships! I have a friend who is terrible at making good sound decisions for herself or for her relationships with people. She is currently convincing herself that she has ended a violent and toxic relationship with her baby’s father….but in reality she’s only put him on hold while she gains success and sabatoges other people’s marriages and her own friendships with others. She has a very poor radar for the worst people to let into her life!! If she went on 5 dates in a row with 5 men and only 1 was a serial killer…she’d go for the serial killer! She is clingy and desperate for anyone who pays her attention. Anyways, I love the idea of being alone and independent for a year! Find yourself and allow the right and good people to find you. Allow your true soulmate to approach you. And it will only happen as long as you’re in a good place. Not financially or independently but emotionally and mentally solid. You don’t need a fan club. Or a following. You don’t need every guy fantasizing over you. You just need yourself and belief in your heart that you are enough. You are here and you will be happy with people who ove you and be loved how you want to be. Amen!! Thank you for your perspective and honesty! Impact!

  4. Amy F says:

    Irene has great advice.
    I always tell people, you can’t have a healthy relationship with a significant other until you first have a healthy relationship with yourself, because you’re bringing your individual issues in to that partnership. Your friend is cheating herself out of the opportunity to have a strong, self-sustaining long term relationship by jumping from guy to guy. She’s not learning to rely in herself, her strengths, and confront her weaknesses, because she’s too busy running from being alone.
    Being in a relationship doesn’t solve problems, though it can temporarily mask them, particularly during the “honeymoon phase” of a new relationship.
    This isn’t something you can help much with on your own, unless she’s willing to listen and heed your advice. She might not even see herself as having a problem. Professional counseling would be so beneficial to your friend, to help her find her inner strength, her power, and to learn to have stronger standards for herself and those she dates. The healthier she becomes, the more discriminating she will be in her life.
    In the mean time, try not to get caught up on the drama of her relationships, so that you’re not unintentionally enabling the blind excitement she seems to thrive on.
    Good luck.

    • Daniel Converse says:

      Carla and tanya both of your friends see othet peoples life an dream it is there life they see .ladies please sit your friends down do what Irene said but with a twist give them horrific tale of if the next time they chat or even meet up with a guy an it seems great but to only take every thing from them including there heart an love ina nice fashion .don’t be afraidto tell them how much you care Iin their happiness but be firm.next time they want to meet some guy go with them anIif you feel their is something wrong with him 90% of the time you are right.

      • Ambra says:

        Amen!!! You’re so on point!!! I’ve been struggling for years with my best friend! I’ve never gave it to her straight nor say exactly how I feel about it. I understand the whole “don’t give advice unless it is seeked” thing. But sometimes you gotta do it. Cause it goes beyond just advice…we’re talking about a major life choice to be reckless and self destructive! When is time to just say, “Hey, woman! You are beautiful and you are enough! You deserve better and you owe yourself to make it better!” Damn!! Ok. Done with rant. 2 years later! Ha!

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