How to Be Less Clingy and Needy in a Relationship

needy-clingy-guyMany relationships have problems or end because one of the partners is too needy or too “clingy.” Being needy is one of the most unattractive qualities in a man from a woman’s perspective, because it suggests that the guy is lacking confidence and might not have a life,  among other things, and therefore he is being so clingy to that one person  – her – depending on her to make him happy.

Some people, who are inquisitive enough to reflect on their own behavior, realize that they are clingy and start thinking about how they can address their behavior in present or future relationships. However, others get into the same pattern of being clingy again and again, continuing to push people away with their behavior and potentially good relationship go south for the same reasons over and over.

Ironically, even if you are normally not a needy or a clingy lover, the more you like someone the more likely you are to behave clingy and needy, as you will likely be afraid to lose that very special person that you know is so hard to meet and attract. Consider a situation where you meet people one after the other and they all seem to be “alright” but none of them are great or exceptional. And then, you meet someone who is so much more captivating to you on many levels and the kind of person you simply don’t come across very often. Realizing that he/she is a rare kind, you are being much more careful about what you say and what you do and at the same time you are far more eager to see and talk to that person.

If you start dating that person and develop a good relationship, you are likely to experience that debilitating fear of loss, where you are really afraid to be dumped, or you are constantly worried that your relationship somehow won’t work out. You are being extremely nice, excessively accommodating and very careful with your partner. You also want to keep him/her from being exposed to and/or seduced by other people, so you try to spend as much time together as possible, all of which is likely to be perceived by your partner as being clingy.

The reason that being needy and clingy is so unattractive is obvious: first, it makes the other person take you for granted and not see any value in you. If you are always around, always available, and you schedule your life around your partner all the time, this means that no effort is required to please you or to be loved by you. Secondly, clingy behavior inevitable creates an impression that other things in your life must not be all that great and all that important, if your partner is by far the most important thing in your life and your main focus. At first, making someone an absolute priority in your life will be flattering to them, but very soon it will look like a big weakness. It’s a compliment to any of us when we see how important we are to our partner, but inevitably we start wondering – should we really be the most important part in our partner’s life? Shouldn’t he/she have something up their sleeve that they are striving for in their life that has nothing to do with you?

So, how do you handle you become less needy and clingy with your partner?

1. Make sure that your life doesn’t literally revolve around your partner and your relationship.

Maintain and actively pursue new and old hobbies and personal interests and make sure that your social life remains active with a circle of friends and you don’t just wait for your partner to call you or come home and rescue you from feeling lonely and bored. No one person can or should fully satisfy all your social needs, and it’s unfair to expect something like that from them.

2. Pursue your professional and educational goals.

Career or academic advancement will keep you busy and encouraged to grow and will also earn you lots of points with any quality partner as ambition is very attractive. This doesn’t mean that you have to take your work life to the extreme and stay at the office till midnight or not returning his/her calls. It simply means that you should not abandon your plans and goals on the account of your relationship as the above should complement each other rather than be each other’s obstacles. A great relationship should motivate you to study and work hard, and a great job / school program would turn you into a more interesting and successful person, who is more attractive to the opposite sex in general and to your partner specifically.

3. Be conscious of your behavior and of your being needy and clingy, when you are. 

Recognizing the problem is essential to solving it. This applies to just about any aspect of life, and dating is not an exception of course. Remind yourself about the effects of clinginess, and monitor your own behavior, making sure that you don’t impose on your partner’s personal life beyond reason. Intimacy on many levels is a wonderful thing but maintaining individuality and privacy is also paramount to a successful relationship. For example, it is important that you learn both – how to share your deep secrets and find out your partner’s, and also how to respect their desire to keep certain things private.

As the above suggests, maintaining a balanced social and professional life, while reflecting and critically analyzing your behavior are keys to avoiding being clingy in your relationship.

And of course, in order not to act clingy and needy you need to know how to address any jealousy issues you might have.

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  • Devin Jones

    Amen brother/sister!

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  • Mik

    Samba, you sound exactly like me. I feel like I need him to reassure me all the time, and I’m super insecure; he cant take it anymore. I love him but it’s killing our relationship. How’d you go with counselling?

  • IvanSpro

    I think that the best thing you can do is show her with actions rather than with words and that might mean giving her her space. And personally I think you might need a lot of work because it’s not easy or logical in one’s mind to give a person space when all you want to do is love them and smother them. But I do know “easier said than done” is that if you start by talking with your actions rather than words you will be so much more attractive to the opposite sex, meaning even if you don’t end up with this one person there will be ten more that you attracted by working on yourself. Good luck steve

  • Bender 20 (Bender the bending

    Well, I was starting an relationship I also have a social and educational life, and I knew I was clingy… Even if my qualities are around me being “Clingy”, I did try to stop myself though it was hard, and I knew right then and there It wouldn’t work between me and her, because I’m to clingy, more or less probably dorky, too sciencey, and to happy.

    The thing is relationships aren’t relationships anymore, and for me I had screwed up fucking twice, even through a starting relationship! Every now and then I feel bad about myself for being clingy, dorky, and way to happy, I could of made a difference in starting an relationship but it doesn’t work for me. I might as well just live alone.

    Being that yes I am way to happy, I don’t need to be so happy! My life of which revolves around making a girl happy, while I failed to do so, I don’t need comments on my comment.

    Anyway, being as clingy as I am I would not work in a relationship, some people have a crush on me, while I need to know why, I may be lovable, but not in a relationship, I’m to happy, I’m to dorky and sciencey, and to philosophical. If I find the right girl, I’ll be happy, but I doubt I’ll find that one girl. I know I’m doubting myself a lot.

  • Ryan Dewan Crawford

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  • Steven

    I’m giving her space and today she sent me a text if I wanted to talk tomorrow and also invited me to her mom’s for Thanksgiving day as friends. I accepted both invitations. I’m gonna listen to every thing she has to say

  • You should give her a little bit of space and then try to come back, but instead of talking about being clingy, simply become less clingy and show that through your action rather than words.

  • Steven

    I got overly excited in my new relationship with an amazing woman that I became needy and clingy. It pretty much killed my relationship, however she made a comment that she may not be ready to let go which gives me hope. My question is : should I tell her that I was overly excited and blinded by being needy and clingy and I see my mistake and work to correct them Or shall I give her space and let it be what it is?

  • Just me

    I Hi… I just recently moved in with someone 4 months ago. We used to text back and forth all night.. Even while he was at work.. But for 2 months we rarely do… It’s like all contact has stopped… Except for an occasional text. He tells me he loves me and seems great… But should I be worried. Maybe he thinks I’m too clingy or needy… Or is it just since I moved in… The newness of our relationship is over??? I want him to be happy… But I don’t work.. I am disabled so I am home alot. He hasn’t allowed anyone to live with him for 20 yrs… So I feel honored. Just worry… Yet he tells me I let my mind think too much… That we are alright… Yet I miss the texting. I

  • Too long and bad grammar. Please write a more concise message with proper grammar so that other users can better read it and respond. (editorial staff).

  • 21012016

    why was my previous post removed?

  • 21012016

    Hi, i am currently going thru breakup which me myself also dont know when did it really started. Have been fanatically trying to search for solutions online on how to resolve and why it come to this and got me into this site.

    ALright, i start with my situation now:
    I got to know my girl in a massage place and i ask for her contact at the 2nd time we meet 4 days later. after i got her contact i tried to talk to her. we have some intimate messages and i told her i am going to thailand(she is from thailand and working illegalling in another country but is near mine) and she then told me that she will be going back and ask if im willing to go there and meet her. we chat abit and talk abt i ask if she is married, she told me she is divorce with a son and the son is living with his father and she has a old grandma and mother the brother is currently taking care of.

    I was abit wanting to take a step backward upon hearing this, after all this is just the 2nd time we meet(converasation is done in IM) and she told me she has been single and alone for the past 10 yrs. she told me she really wish to see me when she is back in thailand. After a few days of consideration i decided to go with her and thats how our love slowly started. When i mention about wanting to go her hometown see(the place we will be going together is not at her home town, just border to stamp passpassport) she told me only if im marrying her then i can go. I told her i want to see if i can accept her family first. Anyway, we had a good nice valentine small getaway on our first “honeymoon”
    and the following mth i did went to meet her frenz and family as well.

    Everything seems well, until i brought her back home and my parents were very angry and we had quite unpleasant stay at my house for the one week. Things start to change abit, she stard to grumble that i am like a child(o yes and we have language barrier, she knows limited eng and i know zero thai) but still we still carry on… then come to money part, she seem to like to spend on frenz(gahterings but mainly is food and just beers) i know its not alot money but im not working currently and is waiting to go uni(im a matured student by the way, meaning after working a few yrs then go school) she know abt that and i told her before i m not working, going to school (if schol accept me)and also afraid of getting hurt again. she told me she also dont want o get hurt too.

    things went even worst after uni accepted me,.. she become more towards the frenz and give lesser time to me, perhaps we spent TOO MUCH TIME together from the start that she dont treasure our time together as much.

    she say want to go working so i told her i accompany her to look for job but she say when im around she cannot go work peacefully cos she will be worrying as i know zero thai. i agree to her request and went back my country, on the day i left i felt abit weird as she act as though it will be the last time we see each other and she become very lovey during the last 2 days i in thailand and her frenz even come to see me off saying will acciompany her after i on the plane.

    after i in sg, she become VERY BUZY. every day whole day no message and just a “hi” “what are you doing” “i very tired” ” i want to sleep now” i become very insecure due to this and we “fight” over IM
    then she later mention she want to go to INDIA working with visa this time. I went crazy. Sorry to offend if there is any indians here but to me india is a very dangerous place for a woman to go alone and her job make it even more danger. we fight again and again and finally she brought up the real main issue..

    1) im too childish
    2) im too clingy(keep wanting her to message, but once a day only before sleep is that what a gf should do?? and i stallked her FB and IM she have time to update them!)
    3) i cannot accept her frenz(thai love to invite frenz to their house and i told her before i dont like)
    4) she say i dont care for her fren, he fren ever bought me a snack to eat but i did not buy for her (I even have problem buying for myself. she was the one who buy food for me… i just pay money to her)
    5) she think i cannot take care of her family ( i think is money too, but i did pay for ALL MARKETING cost)

    I dont know if these are just excuses or real issues.. i told her if money is the issue i can dont go school(have not start my 1st yr) she tell me she want me go school so that i can get a better job in future, i told her without her no more meaning already she then tell me whether i go school or no, she can leave anytime she want.,

    this was in late june time

    then she started to just message me a few days apart and each time she message what i was doing i was actually drinking (im speaking the truth) and she seem to be pissed with this and ask me y i no take care of my body and she start ignoring me.she ask me how i am i screw up again by saying im sick and cougin for the past few weeks. she say i must be drinking too much and i told her i no more drinking just that i cant sleep.
    I ask if she is still my gf she tell me she want me to forget about her. she tell me she is not a good woman and she wan me to find a better woman. she say im a good man and she will put me in her heart. she told me she is sorry and she will go far away from me. i told her i dont mind her job i just need to know if she still love me she repeated sorry again and that she need to make money to support family(mother and son) i wrote email to her saying i will change(a few days later) and even ask if she still want go holiday with me but she no reply. i worry she dont understand even use google translate for the later..

    i googled and found the NC rule. so i tried the NC rule and indeed she message me again 11 days later. Usual greeting “hi” “how r u” and i just replied coldly “im fine” she replied a “good” and no more message. I have no choice but to go NC again. But i think i am abit overboard to throw her alone although she had her colleuge(she call colleuge fren) and seems to be enjoying herself but i dont want to regret in future so i message her again last night. we had some casual talks but she seem quite cold too. short replies and take quite some time to reply.

    I guess now i have no choice but to do another NC again hopefully she will msg me on my bday wishing me happy bday so that i knw she still remmeber my bday.. I told her i m on holiday week in dec not sure if she will want to meet me(i did not ask this part)

    Right now i guess i really nothing can be done already… if only i can start the NC rule earlier and not appear too needy from the start..

    Is there any way to let her know that i still love her and waiting for her but not appearing needy and lower my self eesteem?

  • Lurie Coward

    You sound like you are in my relationship. I actually found this post while looking for a way to handle, and keep, my currently too needy boyfriend. After reading your response I realized if I was just upfront with him we might start to get things figured out. For example, when you say you have no friends in town, the reason that is is because you don’t follow your hobbies. I’m sure if you did, you would have met a friend along the way. Not to mention, your girlfriend would have had the “space” to feel the need to want you again. Also, when you refer to yourself before the relationship you said you were “confident” and now your only worried about her opinion of you… Think about it…. It’s that confident man that she grew to love in the first place.. If you are no longer that, then are you really the same person at all? Women already have enough confidence issue’s as is, adding a man who needs consistent reminders that they are awesome soon becomes a drag. This also creates a bad dynamic. If you are no longer confident, your most likely no longer caring for yourself, which in turn makes you less appealing, and also makes your perspective less valuable. This can happen in something as simple as you giving her a complement turning into something negative, because why should she value the opinion of someone who doesn’t take care of themselves.

    Love is security, but desire is mystery. The tough part about relationships today is the fact that we expect both. But what we have to realize is that we must be secure in ourselves, and allow the other person’s mystery (in this sense just time apart) to create a desire in us.. and visa versa

    I hope it is not too late for your relationship. I also hope that with an open and clear conversation between me and my loved one that it won’t be too late for ours either.

  • Samba

    Thank you very much will give it a shot and let you know in the future if it helps thank you again 🙂 x

  • You are welcome. I am certainly not a medical expert, but I believe that best way to find a good therapist is like everything else – through word of mouth, relying someone else’s good experience.

  • Samba

    thank you for taking your time to read and reply 🙂 do i go to my gp to look into going for counseling ?

  • It sounds like you made the first, most important step toward improving things already – realizing that you have an issue and there is no reason for you to be that clingy. This awareness is critical to fixing things between you and your boyfriend. A counseling might also be appropriate.

  • Sammyallaway

    Hello guys i am finding all of these posts very useful. Here’s my story……. I have been with my boyfriend for nearly four years, i lost a lot of contact with my family and since then i started to cling to my boyfriend and was so scared of loosing him i ended up suffocating him and its caused a big problem in our relationship. We nearly broke up the other day we have sat down and spoke about things and are trying to see if we can rekindle things i’ve realised i don’t need his reassurance all the time and i am slowly learning to give him space and be my own person again. I was wondering if there was any type of counselling i could go to that would help me gain my confidence and to be less needy with people… do i book an appointment with my GP and see how that goes?

  • StarsCollide

    To love someone does not mean losing yourself along the way and ditch family, friends and hobbies. That person came into your life to flourish what was already there, and not fill up the gaps of oneself. I did not understood it at first, but now I do. Even in a relationship, you still need to stand on your own two deep. Both partners may share a wonderful bond, but they are still two different people. When the other partner is complete, it is not difficult for love someone else because you, yourself, is filled with self-love.

  • It sounds like you have more than enough hints that your wife is not being faithful and she is seeking out “action” on a side. Perhaps it’s time to talk to her directly about it and decide where you go from there.

  • coder

    I have been married 17 years. My wife has always stayed in contact with an old guy friend and they constantly talk on the phone. I have overheard them on occasion talking bad about me when she is mad at me and she resents my intruding on their conversation when I confront her on what was said. Recently, her first boyfriend contacted her on Facebook. I noticed that she was texting him one day and she admitted who it was. They were in love and they never really broke up, just drifted apart. I felt there was something more than catching up because I notice them talking or texting everyday. I recorded a conversation (I know, I invaded her privacy) and they were talking about spending a week together, going to New York to see a show and such. I confronted my wife about it and she said she was just playing with him and she just enjoys the attention. She recently went on a trip to her home town to visit family. Home town is the same place as the boyfriend. Come to find out she has been staying with him and going on dates with him (yes I tracked her phone). When she first arrived she told me she was staying with a relative, but she never did, she has been with him the entire time. Still there right now. In fact, I had a heart attack scare and I am in the hospital. We have been texting and she seems concerned. Yet, I see that they went out for a massage, expensive dinner, and dancing while I lay up in the hospital trying to calm my nerves and bring my blood pressure down. She hates my invasions of her privacy, but it is the only way I can find out what she is really thinking and doing. She never tells me why she’s mad so I pry, even looked in her diary and found the answers she could have just talked about. Am I being clingy or needy because I want to know why she mad, what her friend says about me when she mad or what she is doing with her old boyfriend 1,000 miles away from me?

  • Sneha M

    No, we don’t live together. We mainly talk via WhatsApp. We haven’t reached till getting around part. He is a shy guy when it comes to girls. We’ve known each other for over four months now. Another important thing which I think is holding him back is religion. He is Muslim and I am Hindu. He even put forward pros and cons of our future. He does not have any problem with that, after all that’s what I understand from his talk that day when I proposed him. he is in good terms with my family, so he is afraid to break their trust. And our families are so orthodox too. Inter-religion marriage is not their cup of tea. But telling you frankly, we both love each other as if no one could have ever loved this much…we simply don’t say it to each other. That’s all.

  • Hi, Sneha. I would need to know a bit more about your relationship. Do you live together? If not, how often do you see each other? How long have you been together? Does he travel for work? Do you? This information would be very helpful to answer your questions.

  • Sneha M

    This was really helpful, thanks.
    My boyfriend and I used to talk over texts due to some restraints of meeting together. Mainly because he is an out-and-out busy guy. It was I who proposed him at first and he has not yet made his stand in our relationship. We’ve been texting for four months now and am pretty sure that he loves and cares for me although he does not tells it. He is that sort of a guy who wants his partner to understand from his actions.
    All through the relationship I’ve been the active participant. He asks me to talk and prefers to listen to me, nevertheless he really seemed to enjoy it. Since the beginning he has been like this. But nowadays he keeps me waiting and we text only on alternate couple of days. Is that because I am too clingy and pushy?? What should I do now? The fear of losing him is killing me..I need your advice on this, please.

  • anon

    I have. It hasn’t worke . All its done is upset him . but today its better. Probably bc I’ve had stuff to do while he does his stuff. Just gotta try to keep it that way

  • well, if you also like playing video games, you should then just try to talk to him and explain to him how you feel without turning this into an argument or a fight. Hopefully he can see where you are coming from and make time for you.

  • anon

    I’m not trying to tell him to not play. That would be unfair bc I spend a good amount of time playing too but we only have one computer at the moment . when we get another we will be able to play together and then I don’t think we will have a problem. I think most of it on my side is boredom bc I have nothing to do when he’s on

  • I can relate to any woman who complains about being with a gamer. I could see how this could be a major turn off in every way – from showing childishness to taking away time from other things, but …that’s his hobby and that’s his choice. I doubt it will change if that’s what he likes to do.

  • anon

    Yeah but he’s a gamer. So he’s gonna spend hours a day playing games. Then he works all day and he gets home and plays games to wind down and then he goes to sleep and I just need at least an hour of attention physically to feel like I’m actually loved and he says that I’m just gonna have to get over it. Like he doesn’t understand that I NEED it and even his family thinks I’m too clingy. Its ridiculous

  • I think being a little clingy can be very sweet and flattering and it’s totally natural with someone you love. Like they say – everything is good in moderation, and what that moderation is, is of course very subjective and individual to every relationship.

  • anon

    Lol so I live with my boyfriend and I’m too clingy but like there’s nothing that even discusses what to do if you live with someone you’re clingy with…. Like…….. Is that not a normal thing? Is he not supposed to think I’m clingy if we are serious enough to be living together?

  • That’s a good attitude to have. And remember – this type of stuff doesn’t go away overnight no matter what you do. You will be hurting and missing her for a while. This is normal. It would be more concerning if you didn’t, as if you didn’t have any feelings and emotions. Dealing with this is part of being stronger and more mature – literally and figuratively.

  • Jltk

    I appreciate your response. I guess everyone situation is different. A break is meant to help both people that want to make a relationship work, work! So I will address my issues and let her know that I recognize my issue. I do not have a lot of friends in town so I will have to occupy my time with hobby type activities. But she will also have to recognize that it’s not going to change overnight but I’m going to work on it. After reading this I realize when we first started dating I had this crazy amount of confidence and some how I fell into only her giving me the confidence I need or looked for. I know she isn’t not attracted to that. But I know she is attracted to all my other traits and looks. It also from her perspective might be uncomfortable to come out and say these things to someone clingy like me cause we take it awfully and don’t really listen to what the other person is even saying just “how can we patch this up” because I need your approval. Saying this out loud is actually helping. I don’t want to “need her” but choose her to be with her because she completes me not because she gives me something I am missing inside myself. What do you think a positive approach would be to keep active and build a life outside her? My life should be weaved with in hers but I need that life outside her to give me some confidence and sometime apart to even just tell her I what I did. Always as I would be respecting her wishes of space and time apart so she can have a girls night or just read at home without me breathing down her neck.

  • I think you should take a little break, tell her that you realize that you have been pushy and let her contact you if and when she wants to talk to you again. Regardless, you should work on this not just for to make sure that you don’t make the same mistake in the future.

  • Jltk

    This describes me to a T! It sucks because I am afraid I am a little to late. I have been seeing my amazing perfect want to spend my life with girlfriend for almost 4 years. Everything was great every now and then telling me I’m clingy and we have a disagreement, but always worked out. Out of the blue she told me she needed space,and we are on a break. Am I to late to start working on this clingy behavior. It’s awful I feel bad I haven’t seen it from her perspective. Until I have had this time to reflect on it. I know I am her fire! I just need to feel good and realize that I can’t smother her. Is the break the inevitable end or is there a fighting chance!

  • The fact that you realize that you are clingy should help you to consciously resist the behavior that you think is unattractive and detrimental to your relationship and that’s one important. Remember – clinginess is in large part a choice and not some kind of curse, so you have quite a bit of control over it and you should exercise it sooner than later. Also, admitting to your partner that you know you have a problem can be really helpful in relieving that pressure from dealing with on your own or just with our friends.

  • Kahlia

    Hi ive had issues with this for a while but only really recently realised how bad i actually was. I am lucky enough to have a male best friend we were friends all through high school he recently moved back to his home town im moving over in a few weeks but feel like my clingyness is going to ruin everything i dont want to lose my best friend but i dont know what to do

  • NL83

    Hello fra1234. I just wondered how you went with your situation. I’m in a very similar one at the moment. I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for 3 months now and up until about 2 weeks ago I was seeing him usually on a weds and sun. He’s just started a job as a taxi driver in London so he works nights. But recently I feel like I’m making the effort in wanting to see him and “can’t wait to see yous” have stopped from him. I literally continually think about him and worry and over analyse everything he says and does. Last night I spoke to him about how I was feeling and that I know he’s in a new job and still finding his feet but I feel like seeing him once a week is not enough and that it feels like things have changed. At 1st he was quite defensive and said that he didn’t know what to tell me. Any free time he has it’s spent with me. It’s not like he’s out with his mates and he’s just getting into a routine. I told him that I understood that but I still feel that things have changed. He reassured me and said that since being with me he’s been well happy. I asked if he wanted me to back off and he said no. I’ve been good with my constant worrying and haven’t showed him or told him I constantly worry but I now feel like I’m asking too much of him and he’s gonna get pissed off with me. He’s such a lovely guy and my first real relationship after a 9tear very emotionally abusive one.
    Please help. I do not want to feel like this anymore and I know the more I feel like this the more my fears will show to him.

  • One way to get over this feeling is to work on accepting and embracing the fact that worrying is not going to help or do any good and also realize that not everything is in your control. Sometimes people leave a relationship. It might happen after a month, a year or 20 years. This is not meant to make you worry about it all the time, but to have realistic expectations over what you can and what you cannot control. Once you realize this, you will be able to let it go more, enjoy what you have without being driver by fear of losing him.
    If the connection is fading, you will have to make the call of whether it’s typical change that’s expected in a long relationship or something unacceptable to you.

  • Fra1234

    I was really quite a closed off person in terms of my love life because I was afraid of getting hurt, but when I met my boyfriend we just seemed to click in every way. We’ve been together nearly two years but he seems like his attention has shifted from me quite a lot. I don’t expect loads of attention, that’s not me but the connection we had before seems to have faded – it seems like it’s a lot of effort to come see me these days but he tells me he enjoys spending time with me even though it doesn’t seem like he does. He’s been having trouble with friends/finanacial issues for a while but because we’ve been in this low point for some time it’s hard to figure out whether it’s those issues that are troubling him or if there is more to it such as a problem in our relationship.

    All of this is making me quite clingy and I can’t help but worry all the time that he’s going to leave me and I hate that feeling because I was quite an independent person before/ it makes him feel like he can get away with things. I’ve really opened myself up to him and I love him still but I feel so insecure all the time, on top of this, trouble follows us everywhere such as ex’s or new people and it just fuels my clingyness even more because I feel like I need reassurance, when my boyfriend says we don’t need to reassure each other anymore… He’s probably right, but I don’t know how to get over it and let go of the clingness/insecurity.

  • Matthew Imholte

    Yeah, I am embarrassed I never caught on to the clues before hand in prior relationships, why I avoided this issue of mine. Knowing it was there at all times, in the back of my head I knew I was clingy and/or needy and shoot didn’t bother me any to leave in the dust in my brain. But, suppose this lady I am very fond of and vice versa has been the light to my eyes because I see the traits of an insecure person. Now jealousy, that’s not me but could be her as she has admitted she is insecure and comes from childhood trauma as a little girl and ironically enough I come from a childhood where trauma in school was daily. Would it be a good idea to call her and admit to her that myself is also insecure and that I recognize it not just from within myself but as well her presence? I do plan to alter my actions and behavior starting now and it’s sad that I would have to be nearly 30 to finally realize this, dang it, but better later than never!!!! I will not lose this one, she’s pretty freaking awesome!!!

  • Julian

    @Emily i am a guy and i do the exact same thing with my girlfriend! ANd he had fight because i dont trust her which i honestly should but I cant help myself but im really trying to be better. We can do it!

  • @ Emily – it does sounds like a serious problem. I think the sooner you take gradual steps to make sure your boyfriend doesn’t take you for granted, the sooner you make sure that you have a life of your own and you do things outside or your relationship, the better. Otherwise, your relationship will continue to deteriorate in the same direction as it has been recently.

  • Emily

    This does sound a lot like me, however I do try my hardest not to show it. I don’t tell him what to do, or not to see his friends. When he does though, I tend to sit at home doing nothing, just waiting for him to finish. Or if I do do something, I’ll make sure not to drink so that I can go see him after. I just revolve my plans around him, and he knows it, he knows how reliant I am of him so it gives him confidence to not worry about losing me, even if he does act like a jerk. And then when he acts like a jerk, it just makes me even more upset, therefore clingy. A lot of my girl friends are pre occupied with their own boyfriends and other things, which is what lead me to being clingy. I feel like I’ve just dug myself a hole, and I really don’t know how to get out…

  • Peter

    As mentioned we have taken the step back to go back to dating/casually seeing each other so that we can give each other the breathing space we require and do our own things.

    I am the one who has come on very needy to her and she has mentioned that she has to be harsh to be kind because with the way i have been needy it has been pushing her away. I know she likes me a lot and she knows that we may one day be in a relationship together but she needs to see me as an equal.

    The last 2 nights I have messaged her last saying good night and let he message me the next day. which has been good as it feels like we’ve gone back to how we were when we first started seeing each other, lots more smiley faces and kisses goodnight. I don’t think that even if I message her last every night that I should message her every morning, I should sometimes let her message me, or on the odd occasion I should drop a message in the morning like I did today and I was greeted with a smiley and a good morning, have a lovely day and see you later. I know she likes to express herself with smileys too.

  • practicalh

    Of course this depends on the specific relationship dynamic between the two of you, but generally saying good morning is a bit too much and should be done, if at all, very sparingly.

  • Peter

    When you say don’t go to the extreme of ignoring or not responding to her that will be hard not to do.

    Most nights I am the last one to say good night and recently I’ve let her message me in the morning or when she feels like messaging me.. Should I some mornings say good morning so she doesn’t feel ignored?

  • practicalh

    My pleasure, Peter. Just remember not to make the mistake of going to the other extreme of ignoring or not responding on purpose. Like most other games, this doesn’t work and usually creates annoyance or other unnecessary issues.

  • Peter

    So far it has been going really well. After we said goodnight to each other last night, with her saying she missed me and I didn’t comment back saying I missed her but said goodnight.. At first I thought she was annoyed because I hadn’t heard from her all day till late this evening.

    Tomorrow will be the first time we have seen each other since Monday and it was nice to hear from her that she is looking forward to seeing me especially after last night with her saying that she missed me.

    I feel much better.

    Thank you for the advise

  • Hi, Peter. You are welcome, and I agree. Let her miss you. It’s ok to miss someone and it’s a good thing, which is also surely better than feeling relieved that you are not seeing the other person.

  • Peter

    Thank you for getting back to me.

    I have been reading up a lot online about how neediness can ruin a relationship and have also taken some friends advise.

    After we had this discussion about me being too needy I let her be for the whole day, I didn’t message her and let her enjoy her sisters birthday party. She messaged me at 1am after she had got home telling me about the party and that she had a good time. She said she missed me tonight and it was probably the right choice we made in me not going to the party as she was busy hosting and being behind the bar that she would have felt guilty leaving me to fend for myself around her friends and family.

    She has given me a wake up call and made me see what I am doing that upsets her. So I have started to take a step back because I know how important it is now to give her the breathing space she needs. She is an amazing girl and I want us to work.

    I can see that she has hope for me and her as she wouldn’t be saying stuff like she misses me, wants to see me or thinking about me would she?

  • Hello, Peter. Thanks for sharing an interesting an important for many others story. First, your girlfriend deserves a lot of admiration for what she is doing. Few people bother to go through the trouble of giving their partner (or a friend) that kind of constructive/tough love. Regardless of how things turn out, this is a wake up call that’s to be appreciated.

    As much as women want stability and commitment, if a guy offers more or sooner than what they want and are ready for at that moment, they will understandable feel cornered or even suffocated, so take a step back and give her some space. This might naturally happen because of your new obligations. Remember, like with food, when it comes to relationships – it’s better to not have enough than having too much of the other person.

  • Peter

    I’ve been seeing a girl for the last 2 months and she came out of her last relationship about 4/5 months ago.

    We are not officially together, so we haven’t got the label of bf/gf (even though one day we both want it to be more). We do all the normal things a bf/gf would do like hold hands, kiss, cuddle and stay round each other (we haven’t had sex yet).

    Recently she said things are a little to much and she is scared I’m pushing her into a relationship that may head down a path that doesn’t end well.

    We both agreed to take a step back for a couple of weeks as for the last 2 months we have spent nearly every other day on each other’s company (anywhere between 4-6 times a week).

    She has said that there is no way we can get into a relationship with me acting in such a needy and dependant way, that she wants to see me as an equal partner and not someone who has to be told the appropriate way to behave.

    She also said that she is being harsh to be kind because she really likes me a lot but feels with somethings I say I’m pushing her away. Now this is the last thing that I want to do as I care for her a lot.

    As of next week I’m starting an evening course in carpentry whilst still keeping my current job, and I’m also going to America for 10 days so I’m going to have a lot of stuff on so maybe that’s going to help me a lot, keep me busy, we both get to do our own things and help us both out. It’s only been since my summer softball season has finished so my mid-week league games and weekend tournaments are over I haven’t got much on.

    We both like each other a lot, and I sometimes just find it hard when I don’t get to see her and just need a bit of advise?

  • Good point. Getting a life is not going to fully solve the neediness problem, but it’s one of the first and essential steps toward getting there.

  • @ Megan.
    Hi, Megan. It sounds like your boyfriend might be more clingy and needy than you are. At the very least, he should read this article as well. Without him working on his neediness, you won’t be able to solve the problem, even if you become 100% not needy.

  • Affection is great, but too much of it, like too much of anything else can have the opposite effect from the one desired. You don't want to give more love to someone than they want or are able to receive.

  • Zenny

    What? Wow. You say you love her too much? It sounds like the issues lie within her. It doesn't sound like you're clingy but that she has affection problems. I would leave her and find someone who could 'take all the I love yous'

  • Well, the fact that you recognize the above-mentioned issues in you and your relationship is a major step forward toward dealing with being needy and clingy. Often sharing this discovery with your partner and telling her that you understand you have a problem can be really helpful in working through these issues.

  • ZMKC

    This is me, everything you have said here sounds just like me, this is the biggest problem in my relationship with my girlfriend, its driving her away from me and reading this woke me up and made me relise that i need to change my ways. I really hope i can save my relationship now

  • Courtland

    I hope this works my girlfriend told me I'm too clingy and I say I love you to her too much, I'm going to try to use what yo said to improve our relationship I hope it will I can't loose her she is the conveniently life

  • kayla

    I feel like im involving my life around his, always wanting him to text me, not giving him so space and always wondering what's going on! im always thinking things like what if he finds another girl? or what if he breaks up with me? Im gonna stop because since I read this I know noe to stop being like this because if I don't then I definitely know he will get tired of it and leave me! I couldn't lose him he's to special to me so here I go with my journey! (: Thank you so much

  • Anonymous

    I'm right here with you.

  • Windy

    This helped alot. I lost my relationship last year due to being clingy, and i promised myself i would never be clingy again, and i have started to with my now boyfriend. He gave me a wakeup call, and told me i was being clingy and annoying. this helped a lot

  • bambi

    I think I an being clingy. My boyfriend has even told me I am. We don't have a problem with seeing eachother too much, but when ever he has to leave I act like a child and don't want him to go. Is there any tips that child halo me with this? I have been lately telling myself that he's not like my ex I will see him again, he just needs to go sleep, work, or have his own life.

  • LucyLoveless

    i’ve always had this lingering feeling that my boyfriend takes me for granted – his lack of response or the fact that he hardly ever initiates a conversation (not even a random pun or a short anecdote in the middle of the day, something i would appreciate immensely), unless it’s to ask me for help doing some things. i’ve spoken to him about it before, and i’ve been told by others that perhaps i’m just too available to him. but, you know, this isn’t a game. we’ve already bypassed the Hard To Get bit. i’m not going to start ignoring him just to tug at his strings a bit. it seems childish.

    still. i miss him a lot, and i want to ring or text him or something, but i just know i won’t get a satisfactory response and i’ll just end up disappointed. i just wish there was a way i could tell him that i want him to be more communicative about how much he loves or appreciates me without having to spell it out in block letters.

  • Mic

    Siobhan, this guy sounds like an asshole, no offence. You give him too much kisses and hugs? I love attention and affection and there are few girls out there who actually like to give it. Find a guy who likes it and appreciates your time and love.

  • siobhan

    Hi im really struggling at the minute in my relationship. He says im too clingy and needy and it makes him hate me for it. I get so upset by what he says to me lately i spend prob every night crying over it.we are together over a year and i love him dearly. He thinks i trive on hugs and kisses off him. But i just think it shows love for each other. He says i dont give him enough space and need get a life. I used to be so indrpendent when i met him and strong how did i change so much and become a person i dont know who i am and dont want be like this. Please help

  • Tyler

    So me and this girl have been easing our way into a pretty meaningful relationship to me. Sometimes i feel like im just a stepping stone for her to other guys. So I do my best to keep her satisfied and happy, and for the six months we've been going out I cant recall one thing shes done for me in that kind of way. And this article was really helpful in making me realize what im doing wrong, but i feel like im in a situation where if i dont continue doing everything for her like i do now then she will eventually end up leaving me.

  • kim

    I am a little bit clingy, i just like to know where he is and what he is doing… We meet in the begininng of the summer and feel in love right away. We spent everyday together even in september and partly october, even though the school has already started. He liked my clinginess and he was like that too, but suddenly everything started to change. Sure we had our little fights before every once a while, but those fights became more and more often. He used to give all attention to me, he loved spending time with me always no matter how tired he was and always showed me that he loved me… But out of nothing he said i need to be less clingy and i try really hard and try to do everything perfect, always look and smell good for him. everyone says i have became a perfect girlfriend… But it’s like he isn’t apreciating it, he doesn’t show me love anymore, he lives very close to me and can’t come, he spends more time out partying and putting his friend above me… We see eachother just not so often, and when we do nothing is the way it was… I thought that he m,ight be chating but when i asked him he said no and he never showed signs that he is so i trust his words. I tried being perfect, talking to him and everything but nothing works for more than a week. I’m really getting desperate, because i don’t want to end this relationship. Please i need some good advice 🙂

  • louie

    Wow. I have a psychology degree and have a tremendous ability to help others dissect their own relationships. However, a few hours ago I had an epiphany via a problem in my own relationship. I AM A CLINGER! You have nailed the reasons why as well as my exact behaviors…It is almost embarrassing! I am very grateful for reading this, because this has opened my eyes. Fortunately, my girlfriend gave me warning signs that she was needing space away from my talons. She said she feels like she needs a to feel a bit more “independent.” This weekend I am going up to visit my friend and I am so excited to tell her that I won’t be around this weekend! Time toget my life back! I don’t want lose her!! Thanks again!

  • Sarah

    This is defidently me. I just realized I'm clingy. Wow huge eye opener I can make my relationship better now I'm aware I'm my own issue. Thank you for this.

  • taylor

    I’ve just come to realise that i’m incredibly clingy. in my relationship. I always want to meet him, and when he has to cancel I get annoyed. I get insanely jealous when he spends time with other friends and not me. Since i’ve been with him my social life is just gone. It’s now him, and my school work. That’s it. I’ve told him now that I need some space from him, so i’m going to stop texting him a lot now too :/ I will wait for him to te,t me for once.

  • thomas

    Wow this has helped loads, knowing that im not the only one. My biggest dream is to settle down and im worried that this may never happen, its real hard to change but i guess the main thing is spotting it.

  • Amelia

    This article is exactly what I need right now. My partner and I have been together almost three years and suddenly I’ve had this wave of insecurity wash over me, like I’m not doing enough, and I’ve become so unbelievably clingy toward him, and he hates it. I’m definitely going to make use of these tips.

  • eddie

    Thanks for this article, I am so blessed that I have a GF who I can talk to all the time and she lets me know that when she needs room to breath and that I shouldn’t become so clingy. I am very empathetic when her moods have shifted when she doesn’t feel good or just needs some space. When I sense that in her, I become clingy and I become wanting to make her feel better and I keep asking her if everything is alright or if something is wrong. She emphasized that I have nothing to do with her feeling bad or wanting space. I told her I would to a better job and break into 3rd person view of myself when I start feeling clingy when she is like that and take a step back to let her approach me when she is willing. Self realization of my situation was key. Also, talk with each other about this. Discussing this in a forum only helps you but she/he must also be told about the general situation or else she/he will see changes and wonder why.


    Thanks. I am glad you liked the article. Indeed, when it comes to abandong clingness, jealousy and other similar qualities, it’s easier said than done, and the more you care/love/attracted/infatuated with someone, the harder it is to do that. However, a conscious effort over a period of time can go a long way.

  • Just Like me

    Great article. And though admitting the problem is key and step number one is to admit that you have this problem is a lot easier to say what you need to do then actually doing it and not be "Clingy" unfortunately. Great article though now to work on being less clingy.

  • cares to much

    Yes I just realized I am a very clingy gf making all sacrifices to see and be with my bf but how can I make it seem like I'm not available at all times when he's already used to me getting and doind everything for him….I mean I can see a future fight happening when I can't do something for him…please help

  • A

    Great post. Thanks for all the info. I am going through this right now and learning to be more confident in myself. Jealousy and clingyness are my downfalls. Your two posts on these have given me the strength to MAKE A DAMN CHANGE. I am really excited about the new me. Thank you for being a part of it.

  • practicalhappiness.c


    Thanks for your kind words. I strongly believe that the way you label your relationship doesn't really matter. It's the behavior and the actions that determine whether you are serious. Do you care about her? It sounds like it? Does she care about you? It sounds like it. Although there are no guarantees in life, of course, it's possible that your relationship will evolve into something more than what it is today. By "dating" today, I assume you mean not just going out as activity partners, but also being lovers, correct?
    If so, I don't think that it's too late to stop being clingy if you feel you were. There is no reason to move to another extreme and ignore her. Just pull back a little bit, by perhaps considering to focus a little more on your school, work, and other things.
    Also, it doesn't sound like she was fed up with your being clingy, and you were the one who brought it up first, so it sounds like there is plenty of opportunity now for fixing things that might not even be so broken.

  • Michael

    Loved this article. Thank you. I have a question though….My girl and I are not officially together. We're essentially together but without the title boyfriend/girlfriend. We've dated for 3 months and title ourselves as "just friends" (even though I want to be more). I know she likes me and cares about me but just isn't really ready to be that serious. She recently got out of a serious relationship and I know she needs time, space, and potentially other people to date for awhile. I noticed that I was getting clingy and we talked about it. I guess I'm afraid now that we've passed the point of no return and my question is, "Is it too late? Have I already become clingy to the point where she's going to want to pull away completely? Or have I noticed it in time, can address it, and potentially keep her interest?" Is it possible to save the relationship once clinginess has been addressed or did I mess it up? Any feedback on this question would be greatly appreciated!!

  • Janacie

    thanks so much for this! ii’ve been really worried that ii’ll end up chasing this new guy out of my life by being clingy since ii just got away from a possesivly clingy guy. ii know how annoying a clingy person is, and the last thing ii wanted to do was be just that. ii realized that ii haven’t done much else but school so when ii do have some real social interaction ii didn’t realize how much ii was putting that as my only social bit. thanks so much for mentioning having a circle of friends, ii didn’t realize that because of work and school on different peoples parts, ii started to loose touch with them. the more ii get out of the house and hang out with different people, the less ii feel like a bother to this new guy. thanks so much for helping me realize that ii basically made him my life, and we’ll both feel better when ii get my own!
    thank you thank you thank you!!

  • V

    I just recently found out that I'm a clingy bf. I've been searching through website after website looking for solutions. There is so many good pointers, I know understand that i need to prioritise my own life and basically GET A LIFE

  • Harry

    Thank you so much! I have been hinted now by my girlfriend that I am abit too clingy! This will really help me to change my ways and strengthen our relationship! 🙂

  • Fiona

    I didn't even realise i was being clingy i just clicked on this page and i have found that everything that was being said related to my situation, i feel so bad now i really need to change things i need to have a life of my own aswell as a healthy relationship.

  • rick

    This article was really wonderful. I am married and feeling that my wife is starting to drift away from me — creating the exact type of scenario you outlined. I remember a friend of mine used to say that people are more attracted to our accomplishments than our attentions. Your article helped me remember that.

  • megan

    this really helped. although im not as clingy as my boyfriend is? so does it even help that im trying to be less clingy when im not really the one who is? but im blaming it all on myself. i try to have a social life but me and my boyfriend only end up getting into fights because he just wants me to hangout with him and only him. so then i found myslef getting mad at him when he wanted to do things. he also doesnt want me to have a n y guy friends? i find out relationship really isnt that healthy what so ever but i need to be with him. but i also cant confront him because im just as guilty as he is. whaaaaaatttt shoullllddd i do ?

  • saba

    I felt I was reading my self and I really need to chnge this thankyou

  • leandrie

    Oh my word…. That article sounds just like me…. I am so in love with my new boyfriend I let my whole world fall into pieces. Don’t even know who I am any more… That article sure was an eye opener.

  • Megan

    Thank you so much for this article! I read it because I know I have a big problem of becoming clingy with my boyfriend, who I've been with for over a year. I will definitely take the tips and use them. Thank you!

  • John

    Thank you so much dude like i love my girl and i statred being clingy badly this defintley is going to help

  • christopher

    Thank you, i was reading this, and it was hitting me hard, cause its exactly what i do with my new boyfriend, im so afraid of being left that i became clingy, and i have! i revolve my life around his, and i cant anymore! This article really helped me realize what i have to do! thank you! =]

  • Tadas

    Thank you for this post I found myself in it and I will try to solve this problem as it is really a big problem.