When you’re in love, especially in those early stages where every call, text, or in-person meeting is enough to leave you buzzing, it can be very easy to slip into a habit where you constantly crave the attention of your partner. However, despite your best intentions, acting clingy towards your significant other may not always be an attractive trait. In some cases, it can do more harm than good in your relationship.
We’ll be taking a look at what it means to be clingy, why it happens, and most importantly—how to get it under control so you can enjoy a healthy and happy relationship with your partner.
What Does the Term Clingy Mean?
The word “clingy” rarely conjures positive associations when it comes to relationships. It means the act of attachment to something or someone, such as tending to stay extremely close to them. Who then is a Clingy Person?
When you think of a clingy person, you’re probably picturing someone suffocating their partner with constant affection or someone who falls to pieces if they have to spend any meaningful time away from their other half. But, according to sex therapist Vanessa Marin, that less-than-flattering portrait might not be giving the partners we label clingy as much empathy as they deserve. A clingy person, therefore, is a person who glues or gets too attached to their partner to the point of freaking out and throwing tantrums, whenever their texts or calls are not replied to or responded to.
The truth is, no one really likes a clingy significant other. Yes, it’s nice to be needed, but there’s a difference between that and someone who will literally follow you into the bathroom or freak out when you don’t respond to their text after five minutes, even though they know you’re in class or busy.
Signs Of A Clingy person
If you’re experiencing the following signs, you don’t need any other explanation as to the type of partner you’re involved with.
#1. You Need To Constantly Reassure Them Of Your Love
They say no matter how many times you say it, they want you to say it once more. In any relationship, all of us expect a certain amount of reassurance that our partner loves us, but clingy partners take this to the extreme. This might be due to their constant need to be reassured of the soundness of the relationship and to overcome that insecurity in the relationship.
#2. They follow You Around
When you’re secure in a relationship, you have no problem letting your partner go off and do their thing while you do yours. But, those who are overly clingy may feel the need to follow their significant other around everywhere.
#3. They Stalk You On Social Media
You know they spend hours on Instagram looking to see what you’re up to. God forbid you like another person’s sexy bathing suit shot…Or, if you end up in someone else’s Instagram story…nothing can save you from their wrath at that point.
#4. They have trust issues.
The chances of your partner being clingy are high because of a lack of trust in you. So anything you tell them, even if it doesn’t necessarily need to be proven, they will want you to prove every bit of it to them. And also, they would want to monitor your movements and those of those you are with—is it female or male?
#5. They Always Getting Ahead
A clingy person asks to meet your parents after the second date. They talk about doing long-distance when you both head to college next year, but you’ve only been together for a month. They can think about these things, and even write them down in a journal, or talk in confidence about them to a friend, but if you think they’re moving too fast, consider cutting it off before they get too close.
#6. They Make Enemies With Your Exes And Also With Your Friends.
They hate all of your friends because if you’re hanging with them, that means you’re not hanging with your partner. And don’t even get started on your exes. They can’t stand that you still keep in touch with the girl you dated back in your sophomore year.
Instead of making enemies out of all of your other relationships, your partner should respect that you have such close friends and that you were able to end your previous relationship on a civil enough note that you could remain pals. If texting your ex really bothers your bae, they should try having a mature conversation with you about it.
Clingy Person In A Relationship
In romantic relationships, the term is often used to describe someone who needs reassurance from their partners in a heavy-handed, frenzied, or even compulsive manner. It often looks like someone who asks for repeated promises in the relationship, yet even after their partner goes out of their way to demonstrate their love and commitment, the “clingy” person remains skeptical of how the other person is really feeling.
Clinginess often gets a bad rap, but oftentimes, people who are exhibiting clingy behavior may not be aware of how they’re coming off. The terror of abandonment overrides their ability to stay cool since they are more focused on soothing their insecurities. Patterns will commonly manifest in behaviors such as incessantly texting your partner throughout the day to check in, excessively monitoring their social media accounts to see what they’re up to, and making early effusive professions of love (which may ring hollow in certain moments) to secure a closer connection.
According to licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Studwell, clinginess in a relationship can be defined as “excessive amounts of wanting to be with or control the other person.” She explains that clinginess in a relationship can create uncertainty and instability. It will often push a clingy person’s partner away — causing an eventual breakup if they’re not able to acknowledge and fix this particular issue.
Causes Of Clinginess In A Relationship
The major cause of clinginess, apart from the obvious, which could be a result of personality traits, is past relationship experience. Partners who exhibit clinginess actually act based on past heartbreak or have the mindset that since they had a bad experience in their previous relationship, it might happen again in their present relationship. Therefore, they try to get extremely attached or try to control their partner. They will also want to be on top of their partner’s movements, so they won’t miss when their partner cheats. But what they don’t know is that the more they act that way, the farther away from them they will push their partners, and it will affect their relationship negatively.
How To Avoid Being Clingy In A Relationship
You can avoid being clingy or a clingy partner in the following ways
#1. Accept there might be an issue
An important thing to do when making a change is to take personal inventory of your actions. By doing this, you can observe whether or not you are indeed clingy.
If you find that you are constantly seeking to communicate/meet up with your partner, or if you are tirelessly monitoring their activities on social media—there’s a high chance that you are clingy.
Accepting this fact frees you to take the steps necessary to change your pattern of behavior. It is especially important to perform this exercise because the word “clingy” has significant power as an insult.
#2. Take some time to focus on yourself.
Take the time to re-discover yourself. What are the things you like to do? What are those books you’ve been meaning to read? Give them a shot.
When you feel the usual urge to reach out to your partner in quick succession, fight it off and use that trigger as a reminder to focus on a thing that benefits you directly.
#3. Spend some time with friends
When you are in love, it’s easy to feel consumed by your feelings and focus all your energies on your partner. This can be unhealthy for other relationships and can strain the connection you already built with friends, long before the start of your relationship.
How To Deal With A Clingy Person In A Relationship.
Couples therapy is always a great option for anyone experiencing problems in a relationship, but if you’re looking for an immediate way to deal with a clingy partner, Dr. Studwell says it’s important to remain calm. You can offer support while still voicing your concerns. “Reassure the person who is being clingy, show them they can trust you, and tell them honestly how it feels that they don’t trust you and the relationship.”
Furthermore, it’s best to confront clingy behavior with specific examples of what you don’t like. You can offer reassurance of your desire to be in the relationship and your romantic interest in your partner. You can also talk about alternative behaviors that you would like or that would make you feel like your partner is less clingy.
Open communication and embracing time and space away from each other can actually change your relationship for the better. Set a healthy example and also speak to your partner in a way that there will be no room for hurt or misunderstanding. Lastly, reassurance. As I have actually stated before, reassure your partner that you still care, love, and cherish them and how much they mean to you. Help them remove the negative mindset they are carrying in their mind. Most importantly, make them see how unhealthy it is for your relationship.
Clinginess may be the result of anxiety and can greatly interfere with the innocent pleasure that can be derived from a relationship. However, it is very possible to ease your way out of this behavior and into more healthy interactions with your partner.
Accepting your traits and speaking honestly with your partner can help with managing any clinginess in relationships.
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FAQs On Clingy Person
Is clingy person good?
Clingy isn’t a good adjective in most circumstances. Being clingy suggests that you are overly reliant on someone and wish to be with that person almost always. People will usually advise you that being clingy is unhealthy for your relationship. However, there are some advantages.
What is an example of a clingy person?
A clinging person is one who sticks close to you or clings on to you. A clingy friend, for example, rings you every 10 minutes and always wants to do whatever you do.
Is it toxic to be clingy?
While clinginess may have been “acceptable” in your prior relationship, being overly clingy is often regarded as a destructive dating behavior.
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