There is a fine line between being a loving girlfriend and a clingy one. All boyfriends want a loving girlfriend who cares for them like no other. What boyfriends don’t like is a psycho who stalks their everyday life and does not give them space even to breathe. Are you that psycho girlfriend? Be prepared to become his psycho ex-girlfriend if that’s you. Men loathe sticky girlfriends and you should know better if you want to show your guy you care. If you notice the clingy girlfriend signs in your behavior, maybe it’s not too late to rectify yourself and save your relationship.
One of our male readers shared his dating horror story with a girl he met while pursuing higher education abroad. She would want to spend all her time with him and get frustrated if he made plans with his friends even if they involved her. She wanted all his attention and demanded he share his location with her. She would constantly check his ‘last seen’ to make sure he was not avoiding replying to her and even threatened him with suicide when he tried to break up with her.
We know that clinginess is confusing. You don’t want to be too clingy or too distant. It is difficult to find the right balance between clinginess and distance. The truth is that the extent of clinginess varies from relationship to relationship. What could be too clingy for one boyfriend could seem like lots of love and care for the other? But there are some needy girlfriend signs that most men get put off by. We’re here to help you decode those signs and learn how not to be a clingy girlfriend in consultation with life coach and counselor Joie Bose.
What is being in a clingy relationship?
“Being ‘clingy’ is subjective and differs in definition from person to person. The moment you start saying that your partner is clingy, it means that there is something about this relationship that you don’t like and you want it to change. It’s often an indicator that one partner who finds the other clingy is not happy. It is also at times an indicator that the clingy partner is perhaps suspecting the other and has trust issues,” says Joie.
So, if you sense that your partner feels you’re being a clingy girlfriend, it’s a good idea to reflect on your behavior patterns. For example, being in a clingy relationship could mean that you’re a girlfriend who is overprotective, jealous and crosses all limits of possessiveness. Another tell-tale sign of an annoying clingy girlfriend is that she wants a relationship where it’s just the two of them and there is no room for their boyfriend’s friends, family or colleagues.
What makes a woman so clingy and needy? Are all women in relationships clingy and needy? Most women who are clingy are not even aware of the negative effects of their actions and probably do not think they are doing anything wrong. It’s as if their judgment and self-awareness are clouded with an influx of emotions and love hormones. They constantly feel the urge to either talk to their partner or meet up with them. Staying apart even for a few hours makes them insecure about the relationship, causing them to act out. These are needy girlfriend signs and if you can relate to them, you definitely need to work on your attachment style and behavior patterns.
Clinginess could either be due to the initial excitement of a relationship or the fear of a potential heartbreak. More often than not, the signs of a clingy person are a manifestation of latent insecurities and fears. For instance, the fear of her boyfriend cheating on her may make her so paranoid that she forces herself into her boyfriend’s life to constantly be a part of it. But this results in making her look like the sticky girlfriend about whom horror stories are written.
Related Reading: Are You In A Clingy Relationship? Here Is How You Must Deal With It…
15 Signs Of Being A Clingy Girlfriend
Are you afraid to screw up a relationship because you can feel yourself becoming too clingy? Do you sense that your boyfriend thinks you are a clingy girlfriend but doesn’t tell you? Don’t worry, this article will help you see through all those overwhelming emotions and become the girlfriend your boyfriend actually wants to spend time with.
If your boyfriend is asked, “Are you dating a clingy girl?”, would he say, “Yes”? Read through the following clingy girlfriend signs as warning signs in your relationship.
1. You do not give him space
You become so desperate to be a major part of his life that you even want to become the air he breathes. You want him to spend his entire day with you and will keep asking him whether he thinks about you. You want him to give an update of his whereabouts every 5 minutes and will start obsessing if he stops replying to your texts all of a sudden.
“To assess if you’re being an overbearing girlfriend, pay attention to how your boyfriend reacts to your advances, plans and suggestions. For instance, when you make a plan, does he half-heartedly accept it for he fears your reactions and then spends all his time on his phone instead of focusing on you? It could be a sign that you’re being a clingy girlfriend and he is feeling stifled in the relationship,” says Joie.
Men love their space more than anything else. Your connection with your boyfriend can improve markedly if you understand the importance of space in a relationship. He will gradually let you enter that personal space he holds so sacred. Be patient enough to let it happen on its own. Don’t push it. Don’t show the clingy girlfriend signs.
2. You want to talk to him the all the time
We all love the honeymoon phase of a relationship where you both can’t keep your hands off each other and have so much to talk about. You want to talk to each other day and night and eagerly wait for the next time you meet. After the honeymoon phase wears off, things get back to normal as the temperature of your relationship is in control.
If you still want to talk to him the entire day even after the honeymoon phase is over, then stop. When you keep calling or texting him incessantly, even if you know that he might not be able to talk, you are being an intrusive needy insecure girlfriend.
Then, on top of that, you may want to FaceTime, video chat all the time and tell him to show on video where he is hanging out. This will only result in you pushing him further away. “When there is constant pressure from your end to communicate and be in touch, he may switch off his phone and not be reachable sometimes. He will, of course, say it happened because his phone ran out of battery but there is a pattern to this. This is a sign that he needs his me time but can’t tell you,” says Joie.
Related Reading: Why Is Space So Crucial In A Relationship?
3. His entire life must revolve around you
After getting into a relationship, many people forget that they still have separate lives. A clingy girlfriend is the first one to forget that. You want him to do everything solely with you. You want to be the most important person in his life and in this attempt, you force him to plan everything according to your wishes. Wherever he goes, you follow. These are clingy girlfriend signs.
We know of many such stories but here’s the one that stands out the most. After four months of dating, the girl being talked about made her entire life about her boyfriend. She was already texting him and calling him all day but then she also started adopting his hobbies and interests. She noticed that he often used the excuse of watching cricket with his friends and excluded her so she made it her job to learn everything about the sport and demanded to be invited too. She ordered books online and read up on the game.
It reached a point where she would even come to his workplace and eat lunch with him because she couldn’t be away from him for so many hours. The guy didn’t know how to deal with his clingy girlfriend.
4. You are over-dependent on him
You take this relationship too seriously. By building your whole life around him most of the time, you have forgotten what your life was like before him. Doing anything without him makes you feel nervous. You call him to solve every minor issue in your life. These are signs that you are being highly clingy. For a happy relationship, one must have their individual lives and interests as well as some in common.
“If you feel you are unable to do things without him and constantly depend on him for things, it is definitely a sign that you depend on him too much. Even if he doesn’t say it, you are being an annoying clingy girlfriend,” says Joie. If you really see, clingy is another word for a needy girlfriend.
If you’re still not sure whether you fit the description of a clingy girlfriend, perhaps pay attention to how much of this relationship revolves around your needs, wants and desires. If you lean on your boyfriend for all your needs – no matter how big or trivial – and he has no option but to comply, you definitely need to figure out how not to be a clingy girlfriend.
5. All his attention should be on you
You want him to give you his undivided attention. Even him talking about another girl makes you furious and suspicious. You feel like you should always be on his mind like he is on yours. Initially, your boyfriend might find it cute. He might even think it’s a sign of love. Constant attention-seeking will eventually frustrate him and he will want an out.
While jealousy is completely normal you must be able to control your behavior and show some restraint. Do it before he thinks you are an unstable girlfriend. “When your happiness and sadness depends on how much time he is giving you and spending with you, it is a sign that you are being clingy and that is not good for you either. If you get irritated and sad when he chooses to spend time with others excluding you and begin to wonder how much your worth is in his life, then your relationship is not solid and constantly asking him about it will make him be bitter about you! This is NOT healthy,” says Joie.
Related Reading: How Being Clingy Can Kill Your Relationship
6. You become suspicious
There are parts of his life that you might not be involved in. Not knowing his whereabouts will make you suspicious. All sorts of weird thoughts and ideas will be in your mind. The fear of him cheating on you will make you paranoid. You will start asking him constant questions and you won’t believe him even if he is telling the truth and will constantly demand proof.
Even if deep down you know that his actions are not signs of a cheating partner, you still cannot shake off your feelings of insecurity and the fear that your boyfriend will hurt you and break your heart. Constant suspicion is a big turn-off. It will only distance him even more as he begins to notice these clingy girlfriend signs in you and may even consider ending the relationship.
7. You are constantly thinking about him
It’s good to be crazy about him. But by constantly thinking about him and your relationship, you are leaving no room for your individual life. It is very important to have a life of your own in which your boyfriend doesn’t play a part. Maintain a balance between your individual life and your love life. Make sure you don’t ignore your friends while you are in a relationship or distance yourself from your family.
For instance, even when you are out shopping with your friends you are buying stuff like shirts, perfume, tie, watches – only for him. You must make an active effort to be there for your friends and family and also invest more time in your professional career. Focus on exuding signs of a confident woman instead of being an overbearing girlfriend, it’s the former that will make you more attractive to a man.
Related Reading: 5 Things Men Do To Make A Woman Feel Insecure
8. Insecurity creeps in
Somewhere within, you get a feeling that your boyfriend isn’t as serious about your relationship as you are. This makes you uncomfortable and insecure. Thinking about the fact that you may not be his only top priority might make you fear that your relationship is threatened. You try as hard as you can to become his priority.
You might be important in his life but you cannot constantly keep seeking validation about this. Your boyfriend will have things in his life that are as important to him as you are and this is completely normal. Trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship and if you don’t trust him, then what are you fighting for? If he is looking stunning in a leather jacket compliment him, instead of thinking other women will be eyeing him.
It’s vital to understand that these insecurities that you grapple with may have nothing to do with your boyfriend but are a symptom of an insecure attachment style. Even if it were any other guy in his place, in all likelihood, you’d still behave the same way in your relationship. You have to be committed to looking inward and doing the necessary work to break these unhealthy patterns that for no fault of yours have taken hold in your mind. That’s the answer to how not to be a clingy girlfriend.
9. You are jealous that he has a life without you
Your boyfriend has a life of his own. He could be making plans without you and you don’t enjoy it. You are jealous of him enjoying life without you and question whether his friends make him happier than you do. You even try to sabotage his plans and forcefully include yourself in them. You are nothing but being a sticky girlfriend and you could end up being his nightmare. He would not really know how to deal with his clingy girlfriend, and not surprisingly, this would lead to fights and constant tiffs and eventually he might dump you.
“Are you an obsessive clingy girlfriend who is jealous of her boyfriend’s friends and social life? To find the answer to this question, notice the way his friends behave around you. If his group of boys stop talking and begin acting all formal the moment you come in, it indicates that he behaves in a certain manner in front of you and differently with them. As you are too clingy and will perhaps enquire too much, he prefers to keep that from you,” says Joie.
So, you see how being a clingy girlfriend can be counterproductive. You cling to your boyfriend in the hopes of getting closer to him and making sure that he doesn’t leave you, but in the process, you’re only driving him away. You may not even know who he really is. How can you then hope to build a long, fulfilling relationship with him?
Related Reading: How To Deal With Jealousy In Relationships?
10. You are possessive
Every girlfriend is a bit possessive about her man but too much of it is the doom of a relationship. If you are being over-possessive, you need to learn to rein in your impulses and reactions. Stop being obsessed with your partner by constantly reminding yourself that he is a part of your life and not your life itself. Over-possessive girlfriends start treating their boyfriends like their property and no one else can even eye them.
A casual conversation between your boyfriend and a female friend will make you want to scratch the girl’s eyes out. You must be able to trust your partner and understand that at times he will interact with the opposite sex and even have close friends who are women. Irrational jealousy and possessiveness have no place in a healthy relationship.
11. You are too available
Always being available for him will make him take you for granted. He will know that you will always make time for him and thus he will only make plans at his convenience and not be afraid to cancel on you at the last minute. Know your self-worth and make him realize it too. Do not put him above everyone and everything. If you had plans to meet your friend for coffee don’t cancel on her just because your boyfriend is available now.
One of the most telling indicators of you being a clingy girlfriend is that your boyfriend becomes the central and sole focus of your life. Your friends, family, even your career become secondary. So, if you’re the kind who’d ditch a friend at the last minute just because your boyfriend has time for a coffee date or blow off a work presentation because he suggested you Netflix and chill, you’ve got trouble brewing in that little romantic paradise of yours.
12. You don’t think he loves you enough
Have you ever asked your boyfriend whether he loves you about 500 times a day? Do you keep gifting him things and expect him to reciprocate constantly to show his love? You are already being clingy. Whatever validation he is providing you with is not enough for you and it might never be. Him telling you his feelings isn’t enough validation. You constantly want more, even if you don’t know it just yet.
There is constant doubt in your mind about his ‘true’ feelings. If you constantly feel this way and there have been instances to suggest that he pretends to love you, have an honest conversation with him. If it’s not the case and it’s your paranoia that’s turning you into a needy insecure girlfriend, you need to delve deeper and get to the root of these suspicions and insecurities. Otherwise, the signs that you are a clingy girlfriend will take a toll on your relationship, sooner or later.
13. Low self-esteem
“What did I do to get someone as amazing as you?” This is something we all have told our boyfriends at some point in time. Do you think that you don’t deserve him? Do you think that he is too good for you? Low self-esteem usually makes a person more insecure. Constant self-doubt and self-deprecatory talk are signs of a clingy person.
When you’re that person, you cling to every possible thing that you think can make the relationship work because you fear that he will find someone better and leave you. If you didn’t deserve him, then he wouldn’t have chosen to be with you. But he has. That in itself is reassurance enough that you needn’t worry about him abandoning you.
14. Stalk his social media account
Social media accounts are a great way to gather really useful information about your boyfriend’s life. A picture is worth a thousand words and so are the comments on them. But what about stalking his friends, friends of friends and friends of friends of friends? Have you reached the point where you stalk all possible accounts remotely related to your boyfriend just to know where each one stands in his life?
While we’re all guilty of putting a sleepless night to good use by browsing through our partner’s social media accounts or even their exes, this tendency tends to spiral out of control when you’re an obsessive clingy girlfriend. Even the slightest aberration from what you perceive to be acceptable social media activity for your boyfriend can set you off and send you into a tizzy of insecurity, hurt and anger.
Related Reading: Should You Share Social Media Passwords With Your Partner?
15. You keep wanting to meet his parents
Wanting to meet his parents when you are in a serious relationship isn’t surprising or uncommon. He is very important to you and what is better than getting to know him further through the eyes of his parents? You want to know his parents on a personal level and want them to like you.
But if you constantly coax him to take you to meet his parents at the early stages of a relationship when you haven’t even discussed the future, it’s a sign you’re being a clingy girlfriend. Meeting the parents is a big step that he might not be ready to take. So trust him when he tells you that he will do it when he is ready. Don’t badger him and let the process take the time it needs.
How To Stop Being A Clingy Girlfriend?
You may not have noticed the troublesome behavior patterns until now but these signs make it clear as day that dealing with an annoying clingy girlfriend is no piece of cake. Sooner or later, it will lead to relationship burnout, leaving your boyfriend with no choice but to reassess his future with you.
We’re sure if you found these signs too relatable, you’re desperately looking for an answer to how not to be a clingy girlfriend. First things first, to avoid being a clingy girlfriend, you need to commit yourself to doing the necessary work to break your attachment patterns and resolve your underlying insecurities and self-esteem issues. To help you get started, here are some tips on how not to be a clingy girlfriend:
- Maintain a distance: Let him call you first sometimes too. It will make him miss you more and keep the spark alive in your relationship
- Have some mystery: Keep some aspects of your life a surprise for him to explore. Don’t give everything away too soon. Men love women who have an air of mystery around them. Make him want to unravel your secrets. Make him crave you
- Boundaries: “Draw boundaries and make sure you do not cross them. Commit to reinforcing your boundaries and respecting your partner’s,” advises Joie
- Do things for yourself: “Are you spending time with your friends/family without your partner and enjoying it? If not, have a day every week when you do that and no, do not text and update your partner during that time. Have a hobby or set time which is exclusive of your partner and encourage your partner to do the same,” says Joie
- Give him space: Accept and reiterate to yourself that you cannot make him stay in your life against his wish simply by clinging to him. You need to trust him with what he does when you are not around and give him space to thrive as the individual you fell in love with
- Don’t involve him in everything: He cannot be a part of every aspect of your life, so force it. “Stop telling your partner your friend’s secrets (if you are clingy, then you probably do this) for trust me, your partner doesn’t share that relationship and being in love with you does not warrant that you share those with him. Even he dislikes it,” says Joie
If you could relate to more than seven points, then it’s time you do something about it before your boyfriend plans to dump his clingy girlfriend. A relationship may not work but being dumped for being too clingy isn’t something any girl wants to hear.
As we have reiterated over and over, the signs of a clingy person are rooted in an anxious-ambivalent attachment style. Since these patterns trace back to your formative years and childhood experiences, you may lack the know-how and necessary tools to break free of them. Going into therapy is the healthiest way to break these problematic patterns and replace them with a more holistic approach toward life, relationships, and emotions. If you’re looking for help, skilled and licensed counselors on Bonoblogy’s panel of experts are here for you.