How to Stop Being Clingy

woman and man with scooter

Being that clingy girlfriend, or boyfriend is never fun. So why do we do it? And what can we do to stop it?

There are many reasons why we might be clingy, but often it’s as a result of fear – fear of being abandoned, fear of feeling lonely, fear that someone else will hit on your partner if you aren’t by their side, etc. Often it works to fulfill our fears rather than cure them though, as clinginess isn’t appreciated by most people, leading them to reject those that cling to them.

Of course, in relationships, we all need different levels of “togetherness.” Some couples prefer doing almost everything together, whilst some couples prefer to spend a lot of time apart. Also, some couples like holding hands and physically being near each other a lot of the day, whilst others need more space. There’s a difference between doing a lot together and being physical than to cling to someone though.

So how to stop being clingy? First of all, remember that it’s a turn off for most people and start being aware of your behavior. That alone will stop you from being clingy. There are other tips that might help too though, so let’s have a look at those.

There is this old myth that when you meet someone you need to be hard to get. That is a myth. However, there’s also a grain of truth behind that myth. You don’t have to be hard to get, but you have to show that you aren’t going to date just anyone. When you first meet someone you might get butterflies in your belly and check your phone five times an hour for messages, but you mustn’t give in to the urge of turning your life upside down to always be available to the person you just met. Why?

If you just met someone you will come across as clingy, insecure and having no life if you reply to every text as soon as you get it, rearrange your schedule to see them and think you’re madly in love before you know them. Men and women want to date people who show that they aren’t going to allow just anyone into their lives – that they actually take their time to get to know someone before they develop feelings for them. Chances are if you don’t take your time, you’ll end up head over heels in love with a person you don’t know, who, later, turns out to be someone you shouldn’t have gotten involved with in the first place. Or it ends with the person knowing that you will do anything for them, so they don’t have to work to keep you. It’s not a balanced relationship. Enjoy the butterflies you get when you first meet someone but don’t mistake them for being true love.

The best way of taking things slow and simultaneously showing that you won’t accept just anyone is to prioritize your life. If you’re at work when you receive a text, don’t reply until you’ve finished the task at hand. Is that man or woman you just met really more important than your career? Wait till you truly have a moment to reply to them.

Likewise, if you’re out with friends, wait to reply till you have a moment. Your friends of ten years are surely more important to you than the person you just met. Sure, they don’t give you butterflies, but butterflies will pass way too quickly if you don’t take time to savor them and you might end up with no friends and someone who isn’t worth your time of day.

When it comes to date nights, make sure your schedule is filled with things you love, so you aren’t available every single night. And don’t change your schedule around unless it’s for something very specific like your date wants to take you to a once in a lifetime event.

The funny thing is people will work so much harder to date you if you aren’t always available to them. Because they will think you’re worth it – clearly you have a life you love, you’ve got standards for whom you date and so forth.

Playing games of being hard to get is no fun, but making sure you have a life you prioritize until you know someone is worth your time of day is both fun and healthy.

Once you are in a relationship with someone, it’s still just as important to have your own life. Do things together, but also apart. A great relationship is one piece of the puzzle that makes life a happy one, but you still need to fulfill all the other parts – a career you love, looking after your body and mind, creating great friendships, having hobbies you enjoy and so forth. You’re much less likely to be clingy if you are already satisfied with life in general. If you’re unhappy you might cling to a man/woman so much more because it’s the only thing that’s making you happy.

Lastly, foster trust in a relationship. If you fear that any man or woman that hits on your partner will ruin your relationship, you either don’t trust your partner (which they deserve – how can you love someone you do not trust? It’s a sign of lack of respect for them), you don’t trust your own worth (see above about working on having a life you love and looking after yourself first), or you don’t have a good enough relationship, as you’re scared it can fall apart. Work on yourself and the relationship and chances are you will stop worrying and, hence, stop being clingy.

People need time to miss each other – going away for the weekend on your own, or with friends, will give your partner a chance to miss you. If you’re always around, every day and night, not only will you lose your own sense of self, chances are your partner will stop appreciating you, because you’re always there. Part of the scenery. So take some breaks!

That’s how to not be clingy folks!