Want to know how to stop being clingy in a relationship? Too needy or dependent in a relationship? Then my friends, fear not – because you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to get to the bottom of:
- How to recognise when you’re being clingy.
- Understand why you’re being clingy – where the behaviour is coming from.
- Know how to stop being so clingy.
- Know what to do when you feel a clingy spell coming on.
So let’s start from the top…
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. That means that, at no additional cost to you, I may make a commission if you click through and purchase. Please note, I will never recommend anything that I personally have not used or “approved!”
What Is A Clingy Person?
First off, is you want to know how to stop being clingy, I guess we better get clear on what being clingy actually means. See, by definition, a clingy person is “someone who is too emotionally dependent on someone else.”
Is It Bad Being Clingy?
Being clingy has long been deemed as a bad thing, an undesirable trait, a turn off – especially in the earlier dating stages. The problem is, it’s also often thrown around too easily, the label coming out as an insult, or the term even used as a joke.
The reality is, that when you really like someone – no matter at what stage of the relationship you’re at – it’s normal to want to spend a lot of time with them, get close to them.
It’s actually human nature. In fact, it’s similar to our basic need of feeling hungry and wanting food. (Yup, it’s true!) You like the person, you feel safe with the person, you want to be around them. So no, you’re not crazy.
Fundamentally however – being overly clingy isn’t healthy. It’s not good to be so dependent on one person. Not good for you, and not good for your partner.
It can become suffocating – which is why you want to learn how to stop being clingy. Not necessarily all the time.
I mean, at the start of a relationship when you’re so smitten, every moment you’re together you’re pretty much attached at the hip. You can’t keep your hands off each other – it’s cute.
Or when you’ve had a rough day and come home to your partner and ALL YOU WANT IS CUDDLES! Yes you’re being needy, yes you’re being demanding. But they’re your comfort. And being clingy on occasions like this is perfectly fine.
You just need to make sure that your clingy behaviour isn’t constant or excessive. You’re not being unreasonable or controlling as a result of it. You’ve got the right balance, and you’re not like it all of the time.
Signs You’re Being Clingy
So what are the signs you’re being clingy? Uncontrollably clingy? (And not just clingy on a bad day, like mentioned above!)
Well, have a read through these and see if it sounds a little familiar…
- You constantly text your partner and get upset or worried if they don’t text you back within a timeframe that you think is reasonable… which is often, actually unreasonable!
- You even text excessively when they’re busy – like when they’re at work or out with friends. I mean, come on, give them a break!
- Then there’s the fact that you’ll often double, triple, quadruple text, or give multiple phone calls. (Geeeez!)
- You follow them around. I mean, literally, around the house. And when out and about – like if they’re running errands and you insist on going along with them.
- You feel hurt or angry if they go out without you, especially multiple times. Are they not interested in you anymore, do they not feel the same way? – These are the kind of things that will then run through your head.
- You start to dislike those that “take them away from you” or feel threatened by ex’s / people they used to speak to. You’re irrationally jealous and nothing they say quite eases it.
- You stalk them on social media. They don’t know it, of course. But you’re the first to notice a new story, a new post, a comment they made, a post they liked.
- You overanalyse their actions on social media.
- In fact… you overanalyse their behaviour in general.
- You probably don’t trust them. This is because clinginess is often closely linked to insecurity.
- You always prioritise them, but overly so. It’s always them, and often only them. Forget friends – your focus is on your partner, that’s your biggest concern!
- You move the relationship along quickly. This is for security more than anything else, but links back to the attachment that you have and wanting it to deepen or strengthen.
- You’ve lost your own interests. You don’t do your own thing so much anymore.
- You’re either too accommodating, tolerating anything just to keep him happy, keep him there…
- Or too demanding. You put unrealistic expectations on him and put pressure on the relationship.
The thing is, if you’re being clingy, you don’t really want to be. None of this behaviour makes you happy. None of it makes you feel good. But that’s why you have to recognise the signs and decide to change.
So how do you do it? Well, if you want to know how to stop being clingy, I’m going to guide you through, step by step, right now. (So listen up, and listen up good. This is the moment is all starts to change!)
How To Stop Being Clingy In a Relationship
So the first step to know how to stop being clingy is to understand where clinginess comes from. What is making you clingy in a relationship? Why are you behaving this way?
Once you know that, you can actually get to the root of the problem to better address it. So let me run through a few potential reasons with you.
Have a read, have a think, recognise what sounds most like you, recognise what else it could be, and then let’s go from there.
Where Clinginess Comes From
Clinginess can be a caused by a variety of things. To touch on just a few, it could be down to:
- Low Self-Esteem or Insecurity: You may be clinging on or demanding attention because of the fear that your partner doesn’t feel as strongly as you do, you’re not good enough for them, or they’ll leave you for someone else.
Maybe you’ve always struggled with low-self esteem, or it could be caused by a negative past experience – a toxic relationship, a partner cheating or breaking things off without warning, for example.
- Anxious Attachment Style: It could also be a manifestation of attachment styles learnt earlier in life. Our attachment style describes how we tend to form relationships with others and how we relate to them.
Different attachment styles mean differing sets of behaviours within relationships. Someone who seems to need constant reassurance may have an anxious insecure attachment style. Click here to find out yours.
- Bad Habits: You could also find yourself being clingy, not because of anything “deep” but simply out of bad habit. Perhaps you don’t have enough hobbies or interests away from your relationship.
Maybe your friendship circle is pretty small which is why you make your partner “your world.” It’s nothing to feel embarrassed about, and if it is down to this – that’s actually good news as it’s the easiest thing to work on!
What Else Causes Clinginess?
Now there’s another cause of clinginess that’s slightly different now. It could be that:
- Your partner is telling you that you’re being clingy, when actually – what you’re asking for is not unreasonable. What they see as clinginess you may simply see as a reasonable request for your needs to be met. (In this case, you’ll probably have found that many of the signs of clinginess as listed above, were not actually you.)
- Going one step further than this, it could also be that your needs aren’t being met, you don’t feel appreciated in the relationship, which – as a result – is brings up insecurities. This leads you to act in attention-seeking behaviours. See, inherently you’re not a clingy person. It’s simply that your desires aren’t reciprocated on the expected level and so it’s resulting in you acting in ways that you don’t even want to.
In both of these cases, it’s important to not pass blame. Instead, you need to work on communicating honestly, calmly and openly with your partner so that you both understand each other, the differences you have, and how to best work together to make one another happy.
How To Change Your Clingy Behaviour
So now you know why you’re being clingy, you can then take the action that you need to work on it. Regardless of the cause, in order to stop being so clingy, you have to:
- Identify the issue.
- Swat up on better understanding it.
- Put into action the suggestions for changes that you learn and read about.
- Speak to a therapist or coach to help you work through it.
- Keep taking consistent action to work on it, until you feel the shift within you.
This process can be applied to literally any cause of clinginess. It just takes a bit of work… and commitment… but I know you’ve got that. You don’t want to stay in the same place. You’re serious about this change!
How To Stop Being Clingy
What else can you do to stop being clingy? Well, I want to run through some quick-fire tips that you can work on, no matter what the cause.
1) Set Yourself Boundaries
Know what is and isn’t okay. Now when doing this, you don’t have to do it on your own. Talk to your partner, get clear, learn to both compromise, learn to better understand each other and make sure you’re on the same page.
2) Learn To Be Your Own Person
Take time to get to know yourself again, to re-create yourself even if you want or need. Here, bob on over to these two articles:
In fact, whilst we’re on the topic of recommendations, I also want you to have a read of:
It’s time to stand on your own two feet, girl. And to feel confident doing so! To want to do so. This leads me onto my next point…
3) Shift Your Focus
Every time you find yourself feeling clingy – every time you feel a burst of clingy behaviour coming on, shift your focus.
So maybe you’re about to pick up your phone to text again. Instead, drop it. Put it down. Push it to the side. And spent some time reading a personal development book or cracking on with a project you’ve wanted to start for a while now.
Or if your partner’s going out and you feel yourself starting to get a little funny about it, stop thinking about THEM and start thinking about YOU. What could you do? How will you enjoy your night? Could you go out too?
4) Work On Your Confidence
I touched on it a little above but I want to highlight it again. See, this clingy behaviour… it’s not you. Not really. And it’s certainly not who you want to be.
Like we said above, self-doubt, insecurity and a lack of confidence usually always comes into it. For this reason, working on building yourself up – not just in the way you act but the way you feel inside – it’s everything when it comes to how to stop being clingy.
So, I want you to start with these:
I also want you to work through this:
You may also like to try:
I know I’m jumping you through to a lot of places on this article, but it’s because so much ties into it, and so much will help. So pick and choose the best places to start, based on how you feel.
Just be sure that you do ONE thing today, from at least one of the articles you’ve read, one little action, that’s going to push you in the right direction towards change.
5) Get Committed
If you want to know how to stop being clingy, the best thing you can do it to DECIDE. Decide, right now, in this moment that enough is enough. You don’t want to be this way, and you won’t be this way anymore.
Okay, maybe it won’t be that simple. Maybe you’ll have a few slip-ups along the way… but that’s okay. Because it’s all about progress, and then keeping up that progress.
So keep working on it like mentioned above, keep talking about it with your partner – don’t make it this shameful, embarrassing thing. Make it like –
Yep, I know I have these tendencies, but they’re going to be in the past. Work with me on this. Keep me on track!
I supportive partner, who shows you the love you need, shows you that you don’t need to be clingy – they’re still there and they’re not going anyway… well, it makes the world of difference. So that leads me onto my final point…
Work On Building Trust In Your Relationship
The stronger, the more loving, the more trusting a relationship – the less you will feel the need to be clingy. Well, the less you should…
If you’re still being clingy when you know you have a partner who loves you and won’t be leaving you, then it goes back to those internal issues – that fear of abandonment, the intense self-doubt. Because when this takes over – it doesn’t matter what your partner does, you’ll still feel the way you do and consequently act the same you do.
So like I said, root of the problem, research, learn, take action and keep taking action.
In the meantime, keep working on strengthening your relationship, making it the best that it can be. And that doesn’t mean you have to put PRESSURE on it. It just means you have to keep feeding it… keep watering it, like a plant, so it blossoms.
So here, have a read through of these whilst you’re at it:
- How To Build Trust In Your Relationship
- How To Deal With Issues / Conflicts Without Having To Argue (!)
BONUS: Learn How To Strengthen Your Relationship
If you’re struggling with clinginess, one programme I couldn’t speak highly enough of Tony Robbins Relationship Programme. It shows you not only how to strengthen your relationship with your partner, but also how to strengthen your relationship with yourself.
Tony has helped me through some of the hardest times of my life, his techniques and teachings are literally life-changing, so if you feel at the point of utter despair (or simply don’t want to get there!), this is well worth checking out.
That’s all for this one. Read it, digest it, read it again if you need… and then make a plan. Decide what you’re going to do to change your behaviour and start taking action!
Because it’s time to say GOODBYE to the clinginess and HELLO to the new and improved more-like-you-version-of-you!