The word “clingy” isn’t exactly something many people would like to be called. And for some guys, a clingy girlfriend is their idea of a nightmare
So many guys will leave their girlfriend because they’re just too clingy. Guys don’t jive with it.
It’s not just guys either, of course, clingy behaviors are a symptom of unhealthy relationship behaviors, and no one likes those.
So if you want to keep your guy around, it’s important to make sure you aren’t being too clingy.
It can be difficult to avoid clingy behaviors, especially in the beginning of a relationship.
You have really strong feelings for your new boyfriend, and because it’s so new, you’re probably a little afraid of losing him. You’re not 100% sure you can trust him to not leave.
Dating is hard; when you do finally find a special someone it can be so difficult to know how to balance your excitement with the need for space.
The fear of losing those we love is strong. Leslie Becker Phelps, Ph.D. says that beauty, love, and loss are all part of the same thing.
So if you’re finding it difficult to avoid clingy behavior, or step back and give your boyfriend space, that’s okay. A clingy girlfriend isn’t a “bad” girlfriend.
So how can you know if you’re being too clingy? And how can you change it if you are?
These are good, valid questions to be asking.
I’ll run through 8 big signs that you might be too clingy, and then talk about what to do if you are.
8 signs you’re too clingy
1) Are you jealous of his time?
When a new relationship starts–truthfully at any stage of any relationship–the concept of ownership is going to come up.
What do I mean by that?
There’s this tendency to think that because we are in a committed relationship with someone, they, therefore, owe us their time, or their energy, or their attention. As if it belongs to us.
But a healthy relationship doesn’t include ownership of the other person.
If you find yourself jealous of the time that your boyfriend spends with other people, it could be a big sign that you’re being too clingy.
He has relationships outside of his with you, just like you do (hopefully). When he spends time with those people, there’s no need to be mistrustful or jealous of his time.
But what if you think he just isn’t into you anymore? Here are some big ways to tell.
2) Are you constantly bringing up “the relationship”?
How often do you do a status check with your boyfriend? Do you check in on “how everything is going” a lot?
If you’re constantly asking your boyfriend if he’s still into you, or if you give him the lowdown on the progress of your relationship each week or even day, it can come across as very clingy.
Your relationship will progress and grow naturally, without the need for constant updates.
Constantly asking your boyfriend how he feels about your relationship isn’t going to make him love you more or speed up the natural progression of things.
In fact, it might make him annoyed, and make your relationship begin progressing backward.
If you’re legitimately worried that he’s pulling away, though, here are some reasons why that might be the case.
3) How many times in a row do you text him?
Repeat texting isn’t always a bad thing–people who get overly upset if you text more than once in a row are overreacting, in my opinion.
That being said, there’s no excuse to overtext your boyfriend, hover by your phone awaiting a response, or constantly nag him with texts.
They’re all forms of overtexting, and they’re a big sign that you’re being too clingy.
If he hasn’t responded to you, don’t text him again in the hopes to get a response. Respect his time and space away from his phone.
He doesn’t owe it to you to constantly keep you updated on where he is, when he’s going to call you, or who he’s hanging out with.
Besides, always being plugged into our phones is bad for us.
If you overanalyze what he texts you, or anxiously check your phone awaiting a reply, it’s probably because you’re being clingy.
Over-texting will not bring him closer to you, in fact, it’ll probably do the opposite and push him away.
4) Are you jealous of his friendships?
Humans are social creatures. More than just enjoying company, we need it. Human interaction is vital to living a balanced and healthy existence.
So if you’re jealous of your boyfriend’s other friendships, you’re jealous of something that he really can’t change. You’re also being jealous of something that’s healthy. That just doesn’t make any sense.
Being jealous of his other friends is a really big sign that you’re being too clingy.
It’s understandable to want to spend time with your boyfriend, and reasonable to maybe even ask him to give you priority over his other relationships.
But, demanding all his time or getting upset when he hangs out with his other friends is not as understandable. Beyond that, it’s a big flag in his mind that you’re being really clingy.
Here are some good ways to stop being overly jealous.
5) Do you give him the chance to miss you?
If your man never misses you, then how is he going to want you more? The thrill of the chase isn’t something that just stops dead as soon as you start dating.
There’s more to a relationship than just spending all your time together. Even when you’re dating, making sure your boyfriend has the chance to miss you will make him want you even more.
If you’re always there and ever-present, whether digitally or otherwise, he might start to get the sense that you’re being clingy.
If that red flag gets set off in his mind, he’s going to be scrambling to find a way to avoid you and all the behaviors that make you clingy.
Giving him that space is important–for both of you to be healthy–but it will also make him that much more into you.
6) Are you always prowling his social media?
Social media is definitely both a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, it’s a great way to keep in contact with all the important people in our lives. On the other hand, it’s an easy trap to fall into if you have a tendency to be clingy and obsessive.
Do you watch your boyfriend’s stories the instant he posts them? Are you scouring his posts for details about where he is and with who?
If you’re constantly checking up on all his social media pages, it might be a big sign that you’re being clingy.
If you’re haunting his comment sections to see if he’s responding to people when he hasn’t responded to you, that’s a sign you’re too clingy.
If he sees you liking his every post immediately, commenting a lot, or sending him direct messages, he might get the sense that you’re being clingy. And no boyfriend likes that.
Social media is a great way to stay connected with people, but sometimes it’s just a good idea to stay disconnected, at least for a little while.
7) How accommodating are you towards him?
Being too accommodating is a big sign to your boyfriend that you might be a clingy girlfriend.
If you’re always at his beck and call, he might wonder what you do in your free time, or if you really have a personal life at all.
If he doesn’t think you have much of personal life, he might think that you’re, well, boring. Or worse, clingy.
Especially at first, the temptation to always accommodate your boyfriend can be strong. You want to be kind, and take advantage of every opportunity to spend time with him.
However, he will be into you more if you show independence. An independent woman is an attractive one.
Though it may feel like you’ll spend less time with him than otherwise, the rewards will be worth it. The time you do spend will be more rewarding, and he’ll want you all the more.
8) Are you trying to rush things?
A healthy relationship will progress in a natural way through different stages. There won’t be any need to force it or rush it.
And, that pace of progression will be different for different people.
So if you’re thinking he’s taking it too slow, that is a valid feeling.
However, that’s no excuse to try to rush things when they’re too early or force him to be uncomfortable.
If he finds you trying to push things along too fast, he could get the idea that you’re being too clingy. If you want things to be too serious too fast, it’s going to scare him off.
Don’t try to force commitment out of him, don’t tell him you want to introduce him to your parents when you’ve only been dating a week, and don’t talk about a distant future that includes him and all your plans.
Doing these things is a big sign you’re being a clingy girlfriend, and it might just scare him off completely.
Here are some ways to navigate the natural stages of a relationship, and how to take things slow.
If you see yourself doing any of these 8 things, there’s a good chance you might eventually scare off your boyfriend due to being too clingy.
Like I mentioned, though, being a clingy girlfriend doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad girlfriend. It means you have a lot of affection to give, and that can transform into anxiety and insecurity.
Insecurity is unhealthy in a relationship, and anxiety can lead to both partners becoming unhappy.
Focusing on why you might be exhibiting these behaviors is one of the most beneficial things you can do.
Where are the insecurities coming from? Does it have to do with trust issues or something similar? Maybe it stems from low self-esteem: you don’t think you deserve him so you’re always afraid you’re not doing enough
Self-examination is always a great place to start.
And besides, being clingy isn’t the worst thing in the world, there are plenty of other damaging relationship habits that are more terrible.
So, if you’ve identified some of these clingy behaviors, what can you do about it?
Let’s take a look at 5 ways to change your clingy habits.
5 things you can do
1) Put your phone down
The least productive way to spend your time will almost always be on your phone.
Compulsively checking your messages to see if he responded, opening, closing, and reopening social media to see if he’s posted anything new, these only reinforce nervous behaviors.
They will only serve to make you more worried about what your boyfriend is doing and when, and who with, and for how long.
Respect his space, digitally and otherwise, and he’ll respect you in return.
Besides, when you’re not on your phone, real-life can happen. Maybe you’ll have more time for that instrument you were learning, or for writing out your feelings in a personal journal.
2) Focus on your personal time
Along those same lines, if you’re having a hard time not fixating on what your partner is doing, take the time to focus on yourself.
Personal time is often taken for granted, especially in the budding beginnings of a relationship.
But time to yourself can be the time when you heal most, grow most, and take care of what makes you.
If you focus on doing what you love while you’re by yourself, you will be all the healthier for it. You’ll be more independent, interesting, and confident.
I know I could always do more self-care. When I’m feeling lonely and isolated, I make it a focus to do something good for my body. Whether that’s something like a face mask, a soothing bath, yoga, or any number of other good-for-you-good-for-your-body activities.
Next thing you know, you’ll have forgotten all about the insecurities with your boyfriend, and maybe he’ll have actually texted you first.
3) Branch out in other relationships
Rekindling old friendships, sparking new ones, reinforcing the relationships you currently have–these are all great things to do–instead of helicoptering your boyfriend.
Romantic relationships, especially at first, tend to block out or push aside other relationships. It’s just what happens. There’s only so much time in a day–and when you want to spend it all with your partner, other relationships suffer.
But it’s not good for a romantic relationship to always stay this way.
It can lead to some unhealthy habits, and things like codependency start to become a danger.
If you fear being too clingy or want to stop being so clingy with your boyfriend, focus your time and energies on relationships outside of yours and his.
It could be an old school-friend or even your parents. Maybe it’s just doing more with your long-time best friend.
If you branch out in your other relationships, you’ll have less time to overthink things with your boyfriend, and that will give him more space.
Who knows, maybe you’ll make him a little jealous, instead.
4) Encourage him to pursue his interests
If you’ve exhibited signs of being too clingy and he’s worried about it (or maybe he’s even vocalized it already), it will go a long way to show support for his personal passions.
Instead of constantly talking about the state of your relationship, or texting him all the time to see what he’s doing, showing your support in this way is much more constructive.
He’ll see that you care about him, not just your relationship with him. You show him support for being independent, and he’ll feel free to express himself.
And be comfortable in the relationship.
Because really, the biggest problem with being too clingy is that your boyfriend just can’t feel comfortable in his relationship with you.
Encouraging him to pursue his interests might just encourage you to do the same. Independence is almost always a good thing.
5) Ask him what you can do differently (or stop doing)
Sometimes a straight-up conversation is the best remedy.
If your boyfriend has voiced concerns about you being too clingy or has made it known that certain things you’re doing upset him, a conversation is never a bad idea.
Good relationships are all about open, constructive communication.
Ask him what kind of space he needs, and do your best to give it to him.
If there’s something you can be doing differently, ask him what that might be.
If he’s kind, thoughtful, and worth your time, he’ll explain how best to adjust the relationship to make it work for both of you.
Here are some great ways to get better at communicating with people, in your relationship and outside of it.
Being clingy is one of the biggest relationship blunders out there.
And while it may be one of the most innocuous behaviors when it comes to toxicity, there’s usually some form of unhealthy reasoning behind why someone feels the need to be clingy.
Things like fear of abandonment, fear of neglect, insecurity, lack of self-love, and anxiety can lead to clingy behaviors.
Make sure to ask yourself why you feel the need to cling so close to your boyfriend. What is the real reason for needing to compulsively check in on him all the time?
Once you can identify your behaviors and begin to understand the reasons behind them, you can move forward.
Not only by being the greatest girlfriend in the world but also by becoming the greatest, healthiest version of yourself.
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