I have a confession:
I was once a clingy girlfriend.
I’m not proud to admit it, but hey, who hasn’t been extra needy at one point or another in their life?
We all go through it, but it can take a while to realize just how clingy you’ve become, and it’s best to spot the signs before you drive your boyfriend away for good.
In this article, we’re going to cover all the ways you’re being clingy plus some great tips on how to stop and give your partner the space he needs.
But first, why does clinginess happen in the first place?
Where does clinginess come from?
Clinginess, as annoying as it can be, stems from somewhere.
Clinginess might also come from a previous relationship.
If you faced a hurtful situation with an ex-partner, maybe he cheated or left without giving you a reason, you might carry that fear and distrust into your next relationship.
This experience might have made you feel insecure about yourself and that’ll be reflected in how you act around your new partner.
And finally, clinginess might not be clinginess but different expectations and levels of affection and attention.
If you’re extremely passionate and affectionate with your partner, but that’s just not his personality, you can easily come across as clingy to him.
But in reality, it’s just your expectation of how love is shown and received.
So as you can see, clinginess comes in many different ways, and sometimes, like in my case, it can be a culmination of different reasons (which makes it all the harder to recognize).
But one thing is for certain:
Just because you’re clingy, doesn’t make you a bad girlfriend!
It’s like with everything in life, in small doses it’s fine but once the neediness takes over and becomes constant, that’s when problems arise.
The good news is there are ways to overcome it, but first:
What are the signs that you’re being a clingy girlfriend?
Let’s find out…
18 signs you’re way too clingy
1) You constantly text him
I get it, you’re loved up and you want to talk to him constantly.
Whether he’s at work, in the toilet, or out for a run, you text to see how he’s doing or to organize plans to get together.
It might seem harmless to text him throughout the day, but doing it constantly will probably drive him a little crazy.
After all, what happened to ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’?
A little time apart is okay, it’ll give him a chance to miss you.
2) You get upset if he makes plans without you
Here’s the scenario:
He lets slip that he’s going to a party on the weekend with some old school friends. It’s a reunion and he hasn’t seen his friends in many years.
Instead of wishing him a good time and thinking about your plans for the weekend, you’re now sulking and questioning why he didn’t invite you.
But here’s the thing:
He doesn’t have to invite you to everything he does.
If he wants to reconnect with old buddies, the last thing he wants is to have his girlfriend hanging around distracting him.
3) He has to ask for some personal space
If he has to ask for some space or time alone, you’re going in hard with the clinginess.
Now, some guys are more upfront than others and they’ll tell you straight to your face that they want to be left alone.
Others won’t, they’ll stay quiet but inside they’ll start to resent you for not backing off.
That’s why it’s best to recognize the signs of clinginess yourself before it’s too late.
So the next time your man is quietly working or concentrating on a passion of his, leave him be and give him space.
You don’t need to be sitting right next to him breathing down his neck, it’s not attractive and he’ll quickly start looking for ways to avoid being around you.
4) You easily become suspicious
Do you feel like you’ve taken on the role of detective in your relationship?
Every time his phone vibrates, you’re craning your neck to see who it’s from?
Or whenever he takes a call outside, you frantically start trying to work out who he’s talking to?
This is a clear sign of insecurity, and it shows that you don’t have a lot of trust in your partner.
Plus, living in suspicion won’t exactly make you a fun girlfriend to be around.
Sure, in some cases he might arouse your suspicion by acting weird, but if this is the case every time he’s on his phone it’s a sign you’re being clingy.
5) You think about him constantly
Thinking about your loved one often is normal.
But thinking about him constantly isn’t healthy.
It’s important to have other things to focus on rather than just him, as this will spur on your neediness.
Essentially, the more you think about him, the more chance you have of overthinking.
Suddenly, you’re questioning something he said two weeks ago and wondering what he really meant by it.
This will do nothing to improve your relationship, and you’re adding more fuel to the fire by obsessing over him.
6) You plan your day around him
And it might not stop there.
Do you make your plans around him?
I know I used to. I would clear up my schedule just on the off-chance that he’d be free.
When your friends want to meet up, you find yourself planning it for a time that you know he’ll be busy just so that you don’t have to miss seeing him.
But there’s a major problem here:
You’re setting yourself up to be disappointed.
What happens when you avoid making plans for the weekend in the hopes that you’ll spend it with him, but then he’s not free after all?
Now you’re left sitting at home wishing you hadn’t turned down dinner with your friends, and you’ll probably take all this frustration out on him, even though he had no idea what’s going on.
7) All his attention should be on you
It doesn’t matter that you’ve just spent the last three hours with his undivided attention on you — you want more.
At the peak of my clinginess, I got annoyed when my ex-boyfriend seemed more interested in watching TV than talking to me.
What I forgot to take into account is that we had spent the entire day together, he’d wined and dined me and now he was tired and wanted a few minutes to zone out.
It’s only with hindsight that you realize how needy or clingy you’re being, and often it’s quite unreasonable.
8) You always stalk his social media
Stalking on social media seems to be a norm these days, but in some cases, it can go too far.
If you find yourself scrolling through his pictures from 2005, you’ve gone too far.
If you find yourself looking at the profile of every woman who liked his recent picture, you’ve hit high levels of clinginess.
And worse, if you constantly check to see when he’s online but not messaging you, congratulations you’re becoming an official stalker.
Remind yourself that he has a right to privacy, he has a right to have friends and he has a right to be online, even if he isn’t talking to you.
9) You question his love often
Questioning his love is a sign of insecurity.
Sure, sometimes it’s normal to have doubts, especially if your relationship is a little rocky.
But if he constantly shows you his love and commitment, but you find yourself questioning it, you’re not convinced.
Put yourself in his shoes:
How would you feel if you gave someone all your love, but it was never enough?
With time, this can be disheartening and off-putting for your partner.
10) You want to talk to him all the time
Here’s the truth:
A little mystery is sexy.
If you’re sending your man 20-minute long voice notes every time something happens to you, you’re removing all sense of independence and mystery from your life.
Save some things for your next date, not only will he be more intrigued but you’ll appear more interesting and desirable.
11) You cancel plans just to spend time with him
We all know a girl who puts her boyfriend over her friends.
The moment she gets into a new relationship, you know you won’t see as much of her anymore.
Chances are, this girl is needy.
If this is you, stop while you’re ahead!
You need to keep a balance between your friends and your partner. It’s important to keep hold of your close friendships, after all, your friends will be there for life.
And although you hope your partner is a lifelong commitment too, if it doesn’t work out you’re going to need the support of your friends and family, so don’t abandon them.
12) You get jealous easily
I remember the feeling of my heart sinking whenever he’d show me a picture of a pretty girl.
Whether it was his colleague or a girl in his friendship group, I’d instantly hate the fact that he’s hanging out with someone so attractive.
But this level of jealousy isn’t healthy.
And it’ll quickly take its toll on your relationship if you can’t handle the fact that your partner will interact with other women.
13) You don’t like it when he hangs out with friends
And this jealousy doesn’t end with pretty girls.
Even wanting to go out with his friends might make you annoyed, because the more time he spends with them, the less he’ll spend with you.
But deep down, you’ve got to recognize that being together 24/7 won’t do any favors for your relationship.
It’s essential to have your own lives, your friends and your interests.
14) You always need reassurance from him
Do you find yourself annoyed at your partner if he doesn’t behave affectionately with you?
Do you feel the need to ask him multiple times a day whether he still loves you?
If so, there’s no doubt you’re being a clingy girlfriend.
Now and then we might seek reassurance from our partners, we want to be reminded how much they love us, but it shouldn’t happen daily.
If you do it too often, you run the risk of him getting fed up.
15) You assume all plans are made together
He mentions he plans to go for a walk on the weekend, and you automatically assume he means the pair of you are going.
Or, you make plans and without even asking him if he wants to join, you assume he’ll come along.
Essentially what you’re doing here is taking away both of your individuality in the relationship.
You’re creating a relationship where you’re one single entity rather than two individual people in love (which isn’t healthy, by the way).
Not only will this be highly annoying for your boyfriend, but he’ll feel like he’s losing his sense of independence, and his right to have a choice in what he does.
16) You agree with everything he says
In the beginning, when you were showing off your sassy, independent, strong personality, you would openly disagree with something if you felt strongly about it.
Maybe you’d even challenge his ideas and open him up to new perspectives.
There’s no doubt he found that extremely attractive.
But as your relationship evolved, you might find yourself taking a back seat and agreeing with everything he says.
Now, instead of showing off your critical thinking skills, you’d rather go with the flow in the hopes that he’ll love you more.
But in reality, this isn’t the way to his heart. If anything, you’re making yourself less interesting and doing the opposite of what you’re hoping to achieve.
17) You intentionally put yourself down
“Eurgh, I look like crap today”
“What do you think of this dress, it makes me look fat right?”
If you regularly make negative statements about yourself just to get a compliment out of him, you’re officially in the clingy girlfriend zone.
Instead of letting him compliment you genuinely, you’re forcing him to reassure you that he finds you attractive.
You’re also showing how insecure you are.
Now, having insecurities isn’t your fault, but it is your responsibility to try and overcome them.
Setting up a compliment from him won’t help your self-esteem in the long run, that has to come from within.
And when you learn to make yourself feel great without the approval of someone else, he’ll find you even more attractive, trust me.
18) You’re always pushing the relationship milestones
Are you the one pushing all the milestones in your relationship?
Did you rush to say the magic three words, “I love you”?
Have you roped him into going away together, just so you can get those glowy holiday pictures together to post on social media and show what a wonderful couple you are?
If so, not only are you being needy, but you’re stopping the relationship from taking a natural course.
And all of this will push your boyfriend away.
Not only are you rushing the relationship for your agenda, but you’re not giving him a chance to take the lead at all.
So, by this point you should know whether you’re a clingy girlfriend or not…and although you might feel a little embarrassed for behaving this way, it’s okay.
The important thing is to make changes when you recognize a problem and to do it before it’s too late.
So let’s find out how you can make yourself attractive, lovable, and a great girlfriend, without all the clinginess:
6 ways to stop being clingy
Getting over your clinginess will involve working on yourself and overcoming some of your insecurities.
It’s a double win – not only will you strengthen your relationship, but you’ll be doing yourself a massive favor by becoming a secure, independent person.
1) Let him miss you
Don’t always be first to text, avoid giving him a daily update of every detail of your day without him asking first.
This time apart is valuable, and when you do speak on the phone or meet up, you’ll have a lot more to share than if you spend every second texting him.
2) Have your own life
Go out with your friends, throw yourself into your work and pursue your passions. If you want to go for a run or take up an aerobics class, do it for yourself, not on the assumption that he’ll join you.
If you want to make plans, go for it. If he’s a loving and respectful partner, he’ll be happy that you’ve got your own life and you’re not dependent on him.
3) Give him space
If you notice that he’s busier than usual, instead of getting annoyed and taking it personally, understand that he’s got a lot on his plate and it’s nothing to do with you.
A big part of overcoming your insecurities is learning to reassure yourself.
When you feel like you haven’t got enough attention, instead of jumping to conclusions, remind yourself that he still loves you even if he’s stressed with work.
4) Bring back some mystery into the relationship
The easiest way to be mysterious is to live your best life and get on with it without asking his opinion every five minutes.
Whether you go for that promotion you were nervous about, or you finally decide to take that solo trip you planned before you got together, make the decision and just go for it.
Not only will he see you as an independent, sexy woman, you’ll also start to overcome your insecurities by facing your fears and building confidence.
5) Encourage him to be independent
This might seem hard – your insecurities will make you believe that he’ll leave you if he has too much independence.
Or worse, he’ll meet someone else.
But once you take that first hurdle and realize that your boyfriend isn’t going to cheat at the very first opportunity that he goes out alone, it’ll get easier.
And, he’ll appreciate and love you abundantly for letting him have his own life and friends.
6) Get to the root of your insecurities
Work out why you’re a clingy girlfriend in the first place.
Is it because you’ve been hurt in the past?
Did you have a bad relationship with your parents growing up?
Are you suffering from low self-esteem?
Whatever the reason, ultimately you can’t overcome it without knowing what it is first.
Take some time alone to reflect on your life, read up on the issues you struggle with, and put together coping strategies that’ll make your life easier.
And for more excellent ways to stop being clingy in your relationship, check out this article by Hackspirit founder Lachlan Brown.
So, as you can see, overcoming your clinginess isn’t going to happen overnight, but it’s also not impossible to achieve if you put your mind to it.
Once you put these six points into action, you’ll start to see just how much your relationship improves.
Your boyfriend will be happier, and most importantly, you’ll be living your life for you – without waiting for reassurance, validation, or attention from a man (or anyone else for that matter).