Everyone has needs. Mine revolve around fresh air, salted margaritas, stinky cheese*, and self-respect.
One of the hardest lessons of adulthood is finding the line between having needs and being needy. However, if you have any desire to be involved in healthy relationships, it's worth it.
Having needs is a legitimate statement of self-esteem. We all need to be respected, treated compassionately, and liked for who we are. Needs are manifested by clearly stating fair and reasonable expectations for others. It drives the bad, selfish people away from you, because they're too self-involved to meet your standards.
Neediness is born of low self-esteem. It's a constant barrage of loyalty tests, anxiety, and desperation for approval. Neediness is no way to live, and it drives good, healthy people away from you because they get sick of your drama.
You need for your significant other to meet up and play nice with your friends. It is needy to expect your friends to emphatically approve of your significant other, especially if he's not that nice/doesn't treat you well/is married (and not to you).
You need your friends to RSVP to a dinner party in a reasonable amount of time so you can plan a menu. It is needy to hound them weeks in advance for a response, because you're anxious to see how much they like you.
You need for your significant other to make an effort, so you know you are valued. It is needy to expect a thousand yellow daisies because you saw it in a TV show once.
You need for your significant other to make specific plans with you, in advance, so you are not stuck waiting by the phone, or dropping everything and running like a puppy the second he whistles for you. It is needy to actually wait by the phone or act like a puppy. Make plans with your friends instead.
You need your significant other to notice when you've gone all-out to look your best. It is needy to expect your significant other to notice a microchange in your hairstyle, or that your socks match (even if that's a rare thing).
You need for your significant other to care about your birthday. It is needy to schedule your birthday party on a date that poses a big conflict, just because you want to stage a manipulative loyalty test.
In the comments, tell me your line between "needs" and "needy."
*However, may I suggest never eating blue cheese while lounging barefoot? It's hard to tell where the smell is coming from.