Being close to your boyfriend is lovely – but being clingy to them is horrible. You don’t like being clingy, as you understand how annoying it must be for your guy, and he doesn’t like it either. Normal dependency is actually very healthy in a relationship, and in fact, mutual dependency is one of the markers of a healthy, fulfilling relationship. If you’re feeling upset, you rely on your partner to comfort you.
If he’s feeling poorly, he expects you to look after him. That’s normal. However, clingy, angry, desperation when your partner stays out ten minutes late is not. When people believe that they cannot function properly without someone else to make them a whole person, there’s a problem.
To move away from being a clingy girlfriend to being an independent person that can function on their own, follow the steps below.
Figure Out Your Feelings
If you think that you’re being clingy, probably the first thing that you need to do is to identify those feelings. Once you’ve identified your emotions, feelings and behaviours, you can better spot them – and put a halt to them – next time. Clingy behaviours include injecting yourself into every part of your guy’s life, offering unwanted advice and support, constant texts, phone calls and emails.
You also need to work out why it is that you’re being clingy. Clinginess is usually associated with negative, worrying emotions such as insecurity, jealousy or anxiety. Identify why you’re being clingy so that you can work on that part of yourself.
For example, if you’re jealous of your spouse – perhaps of their job or their life, you might find yourself constantly forcing yourself into his presence so that some of their character can rub off on you. It’s important that you identify those negative emotions – remember that although this clinginess will be uncomfortable for your partner, it’s also not good for you. Feelings of insecurity, jealousy and anxiety are not good for anyone’s wellbeing, and so it’s important that you work on these emotions.
Listen to Your Body (and His)
Spending time with your guy and communicating with them by texting or emailing should be fun and enjoyable. But when you’re hanging out with your boyfriend, texting them or calling them, and you feel anxious, insecure or nervous, or your stomach is in knots, it probably means that you’re being clingy. If your guy doesn’t pick up the phone immediately when you call, does it make you feel more anxious and more nervous? Do you want to call them again and again until they answer? You’re definitely in the clingy zone.
Also, take a look at your boyfriend’s body language. If you’re being clingy, it’s likely that he’ll put the brakes on and pull away from you a little bit. He might want more space – and if he does, it’s likely that he’ll make less eye contact with you and will also touch you less frequently. If he doesn’t seem interested in making conversation and uses “back off” body language, such as crossing his arms and crossing his legs, it’s likely that he wants space – and plenty of it.
Get Your Emotional Needs Met Elsewhere
Once you’ve identified that you’re being clingy and the reasons behind your clinginess, one of the first steps to learning how to pull away from your guy is to get your emotional needs met elsewhere. Relying on your partner for absolutely everything is not okay – so if you want to dampen down the clinginess, it’s important that you get some of your emotional needs met elsewhere.
This doesn’t mean that you should go out and forge a relationship with another man. It means that you should work on yourself – join a class, join a reading group, pursue a hobby or a passion of yours that you’ve always wanted to do – whatever it is, if you pursue other interests and if you meet new people, you’ll be more well-rounded as an individual and more likely to feel “whole” – without having to cling to your partner.
Also, remember that you have friends and family too. Pull back a little bit from your guy and remember that there are other people in your life that you can talk to, spend time with and enjoy being with. Your guy isn’t the be all and end all of your life, and once you realise that, you’ll start to be less clingy – and your guy will thank you for it.
Give Even Stevens
Remember that it isn’t your place to do everything for your boyfriend, nor is it your place to try to solve all of their problems for them. That’s not what they do for, so you shouldn’t do it for them. In general, you should give as much into a relationship as you get back. Put in the same amount of time and energy into your relationship as your partner does. If they text you once, text them once – don’t text them ten times until they reply.
Eventually, as you show them that you need them just as much as they need you – and that you have an equal, mutually benefiting relationship, your relationship will strengthen and your trust will grow. As another example, if you regularly shower your partner with gifts, but you never, ever get anything in return, it might indicate that you are being clingy – and that they are not as invested in the relationship as you are.
Remember That You are a Whole Person
To stop being clingy, you need to boost your own confidence. Remember that you are your own person and that you survived before you met your guy – and you could survive if you broke up. You shouldn’t have to answer to anyone else, and nor should your guy. Remember your own merits and achievements and embrace them. The sum of you isn’t you + him = a whole – it’s you, and you alone.