You’ve been told in the past that you’re a clingy girlfriend. But what does being clingy really mean? You might just feel like you’re showing how much you care for a man…so why does he take it as you being clingy? And how can you keep from turning off your next boyfriend?
16 Signs to Watch for That You’re Being Clingy
Naturally, you do not want to be clingy. Am I right? I’m guessing you don’t realize that your behavior might turn off men that you date, and I want to help you discover what behaviors might be construed as clingy so you can avoid them.
1. You’re Insecure When You’re Not With Him
If you don’t naturally feel like a secure woman — either because you never have been one or because you’ve been in a bad relationship that took away your confidence — you may worry when you’re apart that he’s not really into you…or that he’s with another woman.
This is a tricky one because you have to first find confidence within yourself before you can be a good partner. When you’re confident, you are assured that the man you’re dating is into you. And by you exuding that confidence, you make him want you even more.
If you find that you are insecure when you’re apart, try not to bombard him with calls, texts, or questions. Realize that a healthy couple spends time apart, and that when you do spend time together again, you’ll have lots to catch up on.
2. You Turn Down Invites from Friends To Spend Time with Him
Your group of girlfriends goes out every Thursday for happy hour, but you can’t remember the last time you went.
Because you’d rather hang out with your man. Not that he’s demanding your time every Thursday…you just neglect to mention to him that you were invited to hang out with your friends.
The problem with spending less time with your friends is that you can’t guarantee the man you’re dedicating so much time to will even be around in a few months. If you piss off your friends by never hanging out with them, do you think they’ll be very sympathetic to you when you break up with this man?
Friends come first. Period. A good man won’t want to take away the time you spend with them. If you do put him first, he probably will see it as you being clingy.
And just a heads up: your friends probably aren’t going to like your boyfriend much if you always hang out with him, even if he doesn’t deserve their dislike.
3. He’s Always Your #1 Priority
You’re going out on a double date with your BFF. When she suggests a Mexican restaurant, you say, “oh, I don’t know. Bobby doesn’t really like Mexican food.”
When you order pizza with your boyfriend, you always let him order one with pineapples…even though you hate them.
You stay up way past your bedtime to talk to him on the phone because he’s a night owl.
Essentially, you’re shaping your decisions around what he wants, not around your own wants or needs.
Let me ask you: how long do you think you can sustain this? How long can you put someone else first? I’ve gotta be honest: I’ve never known a successful relationship where that worked long-term.
Certainly you should compromise from time to time. Let him pick the show on Netflix tonight. Give him the bigger half of the cupcake. But your needs are important too, and by giving him what he wants all the time, you’re not letting him see the real you.
4. You Text Him Constantly
Look at your text chain with this guy. How many texts in a row did you send him last without him responding? If you’re double texting (or even quadruple texting!), you may come off as being clingy.
That’s not to say that if you text him once and then remember something else you wanted to say, you can’t occasionally send a couple of texts in a row. But if you text a lot because you haven’t heard from him in a reasonable period of time, he’s going to be turned off.
Listen. I know that you’re really stoked to have finally found a great guy. And maybe he’s distracting you from being able to get any work done. I get it. But realize that if he’s not texting you back at 10 am on a Monday morning, it’s because he’s busy.
Not because he’s not into you.
Not because he’s with another woman.
So rather than letting your imagination run wild about what he’s doing while he’s not texting you, be glad that he’s a well-rounded individual. Then consider finding new hobbies so you can be one, too.
5. You’re Offended If He Goes Out Without You
“Hey babe. I’m gonna go shoot hoops wit
When you hear this, you’re instantly jealous. Why’s he gotta spend time with his boys? Are you not important? You start fuming and gearing for a fight.
Realize that you may have an insecure attachment style, and this might keep you from seeing things (like him going out without you) from his perspective. You may want to spend all of your time with him and be frustrated if he doesn’t feel the same way, but realize that everyone is different. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you.
6. You Worry He’s Cheating (When He Isn’t)
You saw how he looked at the waitress at the restaurant last night and worry that he went back to get her number. Whenever you’re not together, you fret that he’s with another woman.
Unless you have a real reason to suspect he’s cheating, thinking
Be careful. If you accuse him of cheating when he absolutely isn’t, he may get frustrated that you don’t trust him, and you might push him away when that’s really the last thing you want to do.
There’s a way to talk to him about your insecurities…and it doesn’t involve finger-pointing. Open up to him about your thoughts and let him reassure you that he cares.
7. You Look to Him for Your Happiness
When Rod Tidwell (played by Tom Cruise) tells Dorothy Boyd (played by Renee Zellweger) “you complete me” in Jerry Maguire, you totally get it because that’s how you feel about this man.
The problem with looking for someone else to complete you or make you happy is that they never can. Happiness has to come from within, otherwise you’ll find yourself being clingy and trying to spend as much time with this guy as possible…and
At the same time, you’ll push him away and then he’ll leave…and you’ll definitely be unhappy.
Focus on finding ways to be happy outside of a relationship. Do the things you enjoy. Spend time with your friends. A man should be part of your life…but he shouldn’t be your life.
8. You Facebook Stalk Your Man
Maybe before you even decided to commit to one another, you were on Facebook seeing what this guy was up to. Maybe you did your homework before your first date to check up on him, and now that you’re in a relationship, you’re still lurking on his profile.
“Bethany? Who’s Bethany? Why’s she hearting his photo?”
“When did he eat Mexican? He knows I love Mexican!”
You’re reading far too much into his social media activity, and it’s making you a little wonky. This is definitely one of the signs you’re being clingy, so go on a Facebook Fast. Stay away from his profile and focus on getting to know him in person.
9. You’ve Broken Into His Phone to See Who He’s Texting
You’re so sure that he’s texting another woman that when he’s in the bathroom, you break into his phone (of course, you know his password). You probably don’t find any evidence to back up your worries, but you’ve just violated his trust in a major way.
You have to ask yourself why you’re being clingy like this. Did something happen in a past relationship that has made it difficult to trust men? Learn to leave the past behind and start anew with this man, because he doesn’t deserve your mistrust.
10. You Have No Life Outside of Him
It started when you began declining invites from friends. Now your social circle has shrunk to just the two of you on your side (he still has friends that he tries to spend time with, though it causes arguments with you).
You might be perfectly happy making this guy your world, but he may not be. And it isn’t healthy. When you come to rely on one person for your fulfillment you limit your potential for happiness. What happens if the relationship ends and you’re left friendless and alone? Food for thought.
You’ll learn to be a happier person if you develop a life full of satisfying activities and people outside of the man you’re in a relationship with. And your relationship will be stronger for it.
11. You Act The Way You Think He Wants You To
Normally you’re pretty strong-willed, but you find yourself acting shy and demure around your new boyfriend.
Why? Because you think that’s how he wants you to be.
The problem with changing how you are for someone else is that it’s difficult to put on that mask long-term. Sure, for a few months you might be able to pull off being dainty and delicate, but if that’s not who you really are, sooner or later, that brash and sassy self will break through.
And that’s completely okay. If this man wants you to be someone you’re not, he’s not the man for you. The right man will love you for all your quirks. He’ll love the fact that you whistlesnore. That you talk with your mouth full when you get excited. That you are the life of the party.
So rather than acting like someone else, work on finding someone that wants you to be authentic.
12. You Constantly Need Reassurance That He Cares
Another sign of being clingy is that you constantly want him to tell you he loves you or misses you(if you’re there yet in your relationship; otherwise you just want clues that he’s into you).
Your biggest fear is losing him, and so you constantly tell him that you love him…and wait. I don’t know…I always feel like saying “I love you” or “I miss you” just to hear it back is kinda devious. If you feel it, sure, say it. But don’t sit waiting for him to respond or requiring him to tell you how much he adores you 100 times a day.
13. You Worry About Him Breaking Up with You
You lie awake at night and wonder when it’ll happen…
…you’ve been anticipating it from the beginning…
…you hold your breath each day, thinking today might be the day…
…that he breaks up with you.
Every time you get into the tiniest argument, you’re sure this will be the one to end it all.
What?! That’s no way to be in a relationship. If you’re worried he’s going to end things, why are you with him? Why are you so certain that he’s staying in a relationship when he isn’t happy?
Your insecurities are rearing their ugly heads again.
There’s a research study out there that found that, when people worry about the possibility of their relationship ending, their feelings of romance and attachment dwindle. Ask yourself whether your worries might be keeping this relationship from realizing its full potential.
14. You Overaccommodate Him
When he comes to your place after work, you’ve got his beer chilled in his favorite mug and his favorite sports team on the television. You defer to him about making plans every time you go out.
You are, in a sense, coddling him.
Sure, it’s nice to feel taken care of once in a while in a relationship, but it should be a back-and-forth between partners, not one-sided.
He may feel like you’re being clingy if you’re there to fulfill his every wish. That feels more to him like a fantasy, when all he wants is the reality of you.
15. You’re Jealous of His Friends
“I wish you wouldn’t hang out with Ted,” you say, “I think he’s bad for you.”
The truth is: you’re jealous of Ted. They’ve been friends since they were boys, and he tells Ted everything. You want that same bond with your man that Ted has, and you feel like he’s getting in the way.
And if he’s got female friends? That’s a whole other level of jealousy. You might worry that he’ll fall for one and that makes you feel vulnerable.
The thing is: if this guy deserves to be trusted, then you have to trust him. He needs both his friends and you in his world, so try to accept that.
16. You Push for the Relationship to Move Ahead Too Soon
Another sign of being clingy I’ve seen with my coaching clients is when they try to move the relationship forward too quickly. Maybe after a few dates, you’re ready to lock it down and make this guy your boyfriend. And maybe he’s down with that…but there’s also a good chance that he’s not.
If this guy you’re dating is The One, it’ll happen. You can’t rush true love, so try to savor whatever stage you’re in and then enjoy the process of falling for one another.
How to Stop Being a Clingy Girlfriend
So maybe you’ve identified several of these signs of being clingy and realize you’ve been guilty of them. Now you’re ready to do better.
Work On Your Confidence
I cannot stress enough the importance of being confident. I never see confident women being clingy. They’re assured of who they are and how a man feels about them, so they’re able to let there be space between the two of them.
Give Him Space
Once you realize that being clingy has the opposite effect from what you wanted (being closer to him), you will find it easier to give him space.
The great thing is that you’ll then probably feel closer to him, as weird as that sounds! Spend more time apart. Text or call less. I guarantee if you do, he’ll be the one reaching out!
Find Your Own Hobbies and Friends
I said this before, but having your own life is key to a happy relationship. If you don’t currently have hobbies, go out and find them. Meetup.com is a great place to find groups that center around fun activities, like kayaking or crafting.
Having friends as an adult takes work, so make an effort to connect with at least one friend a week and meet for coffee, lunch, dinner, or happy hour.
Spend Time Alone
Maybe you’ve never spent much time alone. Many people haven’t. But there are some real benefits to being on your own more, not the least of which is getting to know yourself better.
Give Him a Chance to Respond
If you’re a textaholic when it comes to your relationship, let me challenge you: the next time you send your boyfriend a text, wait for him to respond. If there’s something else you want to tell him, just wait until he texts and is ready to have a conversation before you bombard him with multiple texts.
The beauty of having an active life is that you don’t even feel the need to be clingy when you’re busy. Sure, you’ll miss him and want to know what he’s up to, but he’ll be happy to see that you are living an active and fulfilled life.
You don’t want to end up being clingy and pushing your guy away, so pay attention to your behavior and try these remedies for being clingy so you can just be a great partner.
Let’s talk! Leave a comment below sharing an example of you being clingy…then which of these tips you’d use next time.
Learning how to give a man space is just one strategy to move toward commitment. Sign up for my How to Get a Guy to Commit training to seal the deal.