Have you ever been told that you're too clingy? Has your current partner or a past partner ever accused you of being needy or dependent? While your intentions may be entirely good, being too clingy in a relationship is anything but that.
What Is Being Clingy?
If you describe someone as clingy, it means that they become very attached to people and depend on them too much.
You may enjoy spending time with your partner, but it’s imperative to have some boundaries in place. These five essential steps can help you go from clingy to self-sufficient.
1. Put Down the Phone
If you tend to be the clingy type, you may be used to constantly contacting your partner throughout the day. Whether via text, talking on the phone, or sending pictures, articles, and emails, your days may currently consist of endless conversations back and forth. However, while you may simply miss your partner and enjoy being in close contact with them at all times, this actually comes off as clingy and needy. Rather than giving your partner space to be able to concentrate on other matters, take on the day, and have some downtime, you are bombarding, distracting, and likely annoying them with your incessant need to reach out at all hours.
When you feel the urge to frequently contact your partner, it’s important to put down the phone and use that time to focus on yourself rather than reaching out. Put your phone in a box if you have to, or hand it off to a friend for a bit.
2. Pursue Your Own Passions
Being clingy in a relationship can often stem from a person’s lack of other interests and hobbies. Strive to have your own life away from your partner and make your personal passions and pursuits a priority. Having activities and pastimes that are important to you can help you to find your own path that’s separate from your partner.
By taking a spin class, signing up for piano lessons, or joining a book club, you’re helping yourself to become less needy by having your own life. You don't need to spend every moment with your partner, so be sure to find your own areas of interest that you can enjoy solo as this will make you more independent and more interesting and engaging as a result.
3. Give Your Partner Space
You may not like your partner doing things without you. Whether it’s having dinner with friends, going out to a bar, or seeing a movie, clingy people in relationships have a hard time with the fact that their partner has a life away from them. However, it’s vitally important to the health and success of your relationship that your partner is able to do and enjoy things without you, as it’s the unique facets of your personality that make you a better team. Since you’re a couple and not a clone of your partner, you should support your S.O's endeavors and desire to go golfing with friends or have a girls' night. This way you’re showing your partner that you care about their needs, that you’re secure in the relationship, and that you place a priority on their happiness.
4. Stop Being Jealous
It’s not uncommon for people to behave in a clingy and needy way because they’re jealous or worried about their partner’s loyalty or possible infidelity. For example, you may insist on texting your partner throughout the day because you’re worried about his or her relationship with a cute coworker. Or you may want to hang out with your partner 24/7 because you don't trust their behavior in your absence.
However, being envious and mistrusting is only going to push the two of you farther apart. Since relationships are based on mutual trust, your clingy nature is actually showing your partner that you don’t believe or have faith in him or her or in the strength of your connection. On the other hand, if you choose to trust your partner and work through these jealous feelings and emotions, you'll be far less clingy and your relationship is far more likely to succeed.
5. Build Your Self-Esteem
While it may seem challenging at first, it’s time to recognize that you're able to accomplish things on your own without anyone by your side. In many cases, being clingy stems from a misconception that you need others around at all times for help and support. However, you’ll soon recognize that you’re able to have achievements on your own and that it’s okay to spend time alone and do things without relying on others.
You may even grow to enjoy these moments by yourself and complete tasks and projects on your own. If you work towards improving your confidence, self-esteem, and ability to be more self-sufficient, you’ll naturally be less clingy and needy.