How to Avoid Coming off as “Clingy” in Your Relationship

How to Not Be Clingy in a Relationship

What pisses me off about this age-old issue is that the “solutions” to “clinginess” seem to be all about your partner’s happiness as opposed to yours! The first advice given to the question of how to not be clingy is “keep yourself busy and respect his boundaries”. What a bunch of BS! That advice is a bandaid to make things more convenient for the other person.

But this should be about you! It should be about you feeling secure and safe! Learning not to be clingy is about your well-being, not about your partner’s. You’re not going to do this for them, but for yourself. And we’ve got 15 ways to show you how to not be clingy. Keep reading!

1. Define clingy.

This is overlooked all the time! First of all, where is this coming from? Do you think that you’re clingy? Did your partner tell you that you are?

Or is it possible that you’re dating an F.boy and he thinks you’re being clingy simply because you want to hang out? The answer matters.

If you’re in an established relationship that’s been going on for a while, yes, take that opinion seriously. But if this is coming from a jerk you’ve known for 3 weeks, know that you’re being naive. And in this case, not being clingy shouldn’t be your main concern.

2. Change the narrative.

Stop trying to find out how to not be clingy. And ask yourself why you’re acting clingy. These two have completely different answers. Focus on the second question and work your way from there.

Are you being clingy because you need his attention? In this case, it’s safe to say that the situation has to do with the person and not your general attitude. See step 4.

Do you forget about the person when you’re getting attention from someone else? And in this case, it’s coming from you and your fear of abandonment. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.

3. Work on your self-esteem.

Being clingy has something to do with the fear of losing too. It’s about the idea of abandonment and the assumption that we may not survive it.

It’s about measuring your self-worth according to the amount of attention you’re getting. This assumption is false and sometimes you need to remind yourself that.

Think about a loved one in your life; a parent or a sibling. Would you say they’re worthless if there’s nobody around to constantly verify it out loud? Of course not! Their worth is there. So is yours.

Getting attention feels nice but your life doesn’t depend on it. If you build your confidence on shaky grounds, it’s going to collapse eventually. Build it on something solid, something constant; yourself! You’re always going to be there for yourself.

Build enough confidence to be able to say “oh, well” after a relationship. Decrease your dependence on external factors to make you feel confident.

There are numerous ways that can help you with the process. Taking up a hobby, improving an existing skill, cultivating gratitude, and not worrying about what you don’t have are some of them.

4. See if you may be right.

Is it possible that your clinginess has something to do with your partner? You may be having trouble trusting him. This doesn’t justify clingy behavior, but it explains a lot.

It is possible that deep down you know you don’t trust him. But you like the person too much to let him prove you right.

This is still not healthy. You can’t make someone decent by acting clingy. But if this is the reason you’re acting clingy, it’s time you face that fact and decide what you’re going to do about it.

5. Know that everybody is different.

It’s human to be afraid to do the same mistakes. Most of the time, we can’t help it. It’s highly possible to have trust issues if your trust was exploited before.

Even though it’s an important life lesson that teaches you to be cautious, it’s not fair to start off a relationship with assumptions.

Constantly calling and texting to see if he’s up to something and getting paranoid for no good reason is not fair to the other person.

We’ve established this. If this is about him, you may want to consider moving on. If this is about you, work on yourself.

6. See how your partner’s handling all this.

Every one of us is damaged in some way. Sometimes we manage, sometimes we simply can’t. Those times are easier when the partner is understanding.

Let’s assume you’ve admitted to acting clingy and you’re working on it. Is your partner being reassuring? This is not enabling! This is not about coming up with short-term solutions to long-term problems.

As you’re trying to work on yourself, your partner should make it easier for you to feel safe. He should respect your need for emotional security.

If he’s being vague and sketchy despite knowing about your insecurities, he may not be the best person to support your process.

This is a perfect example of emotional abuse. Acting sketchy on purpose to make someone worried for no reason and blaming him/her for being clingy! Do not fall for that and run for the hills.

7. Prioritize.

It’s lovely to have someone special in your life. But until this person came along, there have been other people in your life just as special, if not more. Your family and friends.

It’s not healthy, nor fair, to put someone on a pedestal and just rearrange other stuff according to that. You can’t treat the newcomers and the regulars the same way.

8. Stick to your plans.

Bailing on your friends, skipping family time will make it easier for you to be dependent on this person. And of course, it’ll make you act more clingy later on.

Because you’ll be isolating a lot of people for the sake of this one. Stick to your own plans first instead of being available all the time.

9. Start being selfish with your attention.

Texting and calling someone don’t have emotional value anymore. It used to mean something before because it wasn’t easy to do so. When things become “given”, they’re instantly stripped of any value.

Taking the time to check in with someone should have meaning. The more you do it, the easier for the other person to take it for granted.

Make these calls something to be worked for and earned. Make sure they know these texts and calls are not given and they need to be deserved.

Being clingy does not necessarily demonstrate the value of your calls. Stop giving it away for free! Your attention should be expensive! Plus, if you do this, it’ll open up some room for the future.

When you’re feeling insecure someday for some reason and actually acting clingy, it’ll be received as a reward for the other person. Your calls are less likely to be left unanswered because they’re rare and valuable.

10. Adap to the change.

When you start off a relationship with constant telecommunication, it’s hard to distinguish being nice from being clingy.

At the beginning of a relationship, you both act clingy. Talking and meeting all the time, checking in with each other day and night…

When the honeymoon is over, you may see some changes. The checking in is not as often as it used to be in the beginning. This is completely normal.

It’s just life. Everybody has stuff going on. If you interpret this as your partner pulling away, you’ll start acting clingy. Instead, know the difference. Adapt to the change and ride along.

11. Be your own person.

If you’re not enough for yourself, nobody’s ever going to be enough for you. Of all the people in the world, if you can’t make your own self happy, nobody’s going to be able to do it.

Because it all begins with you being your own person without depending on anyone. If you think you’re someone who is “to be completed”, you won’t be able to stop acting clingy.

If you focus on being whole by yourself, it’ll reflect on your relationship as well. And it’s not going to be clingy!

12. It’s about your boundaries now, not theirs.

Clingy people tend to forget about themselves. Even though the person didn’t answer your last 5 phone calls, you’re likely to answer when he calls back. Whenever that may be.

Letting someone step all over you like that is not going to help you grow as a person. Starting today, decide on a time frame when you’re not going to be available to take calls or text back.

Being available 24/7 is not an advantage in a relationship. If you narrow it down to 12 hours, the person is going to want to make use of it. It’s basic marketing!

13. Establish some alone time.

This is a great practice towards becoming your own person. Find a day in a week where you spend time alone doing whatever you want.

This may sound boring if you’re new to it. But it’s one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. Go out alone, eat alone, travel alone!

Be by yourself! This will make you less dependent on others to have a good time. You’ll see for yourself how self-sustained you can be.

And next time you’re bored, you’ll take yourself out on a date instead of waiting around to see if your partner can squeeze you into his “busy” schedule.

14. Let them practice.

When you’re the assertive one in a relationship, it’s almost impossible to measure how invested the other person is. If you’re always the first one to call, to make plans, you won’t be able to experience being on the receiving end of things.

Maybe he is clingy. You’ll never know because you never let them! See them try for a change. Make them show an effort to fit into your schedule. If they don’t, think about how long you can tolerate this if you want to keep doing this.

15. Stop feeling guilty.

It’s awful how clinginess is depicted as a relationship mistake. It’s a broad term people constantly exploit. Any act of attention can be defined as clingy and needy today if your partner is a jerk.

Stop feeling guilty every time you feel like paying attention to a person who deserves it. Sometimes people act clingy on purpose.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking emotional reassurance every once in a while. Don’t let this buzzword ruin your attitude and turn you into a calculating person.

On the flip side, I’ve mastered the art of becoming so unclingy that I can’t even remember the last time I went on a date! So maybe take my words with a grain of salt.

Read Next: How To Be Charming On a First Date

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