You meet this very gorgeous lady; you start talking and even go on a few dates. She seems like a self- sufficient, independent and emotionally secure individual. She also smells great, is fabulous in bed and her snorty laugh is just cuteness overload. You are super into her, and literally cannot get enough of her. But one month into it all, she loses the plot…or maybe you just finally realize you CAN actually get enough of her per time.
At first, you mark it off as her just being emotionally invested in you, and you even consider her attachment to you as something you can be proud of. But then, she starts to demand more and more of your time and attention. For no sane reason, she starts to worry that you don’t like her anymore, or as much as she likes you.
She also starts to keeps tabs on your movements. Sometimes she tells you how to manage your time. In short, she attaches herself to you, as though she was boarding the last lifeboat off the Titanic.
You feel suffocated and need your space, but you also do not want her to misinterpret your need for alone time as a lack of interest.
You are afraid to hurt her, but you are going crazy and don’t know what to do.
As this stage stretches on, she starts to look like a monster, you freak out. ‘Adrenalin’ kicks in and your instincts demand that you write her off as clingy and dump her or pull away without warning.
A temporary clingy phase can happen to even the most secure and grounded women; and so, unless you are certain the clinginess is not a phase that can be resolved with communication, but a facet of her personality, you may want to use these 5 tactics to deal with the situation, get her out of the clingy mode, ask for some “me” time without spoiling things and get your relationship into a healthy place.
Communicate directly. Don’t drop hints
Let your girlfriend know, with actual words, how clingy she is and how that makes you feel. Dropping hints by ghosting her, or playing out some passive-aggressive game – such as going for days without texting back in order to “send a message” – will not work.
You may just end up making her feel even more possessive and clingy, especially if she is hypersensitive. Gather some testicular fortitude and have a real, sit-down conversation with her. Without criticizing or labeling her as “too clingy,” Explain honestly, genuinely and calmly what is going on inside your head. Make her aware of her actions, the patterns, and how this might destroy the relationship.
Ensure you eventually get to the point: You really like her, you love spending time together, but you need some “you” time, as well.
Also allow her to share her thoughts on the matter, without judging or condemning her. Perhaps she is battling with some insecurity or she is the type that requires copious words of affirmation and reassurance of affection and you are giving her none.
Usually, a mature girl who truly isn’t about that clingy life, will open up and share this with you…unless she has no clue as to why she is acting that way.
In all, let the tone of your voice and your approach be respectful. Of course, communication is a red zone for most guys, but you must realize that expecting her to know how you feel without communication is unrealistic. If you don’t communicate how you feel, there is no way she will ever know.
After communication, next step is to take action. You do this by setting clear and firm boundaries.
Both of you should clearly map out your physical or emotional space, as well as any other relevant needs then establish boundaries together. For example, if she calls you multiple times at work and it is distracting, or she is always trying to get you to spend more time together, than you are able to give, discuss this.
Draft a schedule or reach an agreement that will not compromise your respective needs, but will still give you room to grow your relationship.
You could decide on hours to have phone conversations and how many times is acceptable e.t.c
Tactfully and genuinely encourage her to live a more active and independent lifestyle; that way both of you can mutually benefit from the added independence. Essentially, establishing boundaries upfront will prevent hurt feelings later on.
Limit Your Interaction Wisely
The time you spend with your girlfriend in a relationship should be about quality and not quantity. You should keep this in mind and work on rationing your interactions in a sensible and mature manner.
You should not feed into giving her constant and unnecessary attention, because that will not motivate her to lose the clingy behavior at all. Do not be at her beck at call, either; however do not withdraw from her abruptly, or communicate with her sparingly. Create a balance.
Long conversations every night about what you feel are well over the top. Also, spending every hour of the day texting and communicating with her is not ideal, as it will ensure your relationship fizzles out faster than you imagine.
Limit your interaction to only once a day, but also have special days where you give her that hour by hour attention.
Set special times to see each other and follow through; you do not need to see each other every day.
The idea is not to reduce the amount of fun or memories you guys make together. Even if she kicks up a fuss about the reduction in attention, remind her the reason behind the action and do not give into any interfering or manipulative behavior such as crying, silent treatment or “cursing out”.
Despite any reactions she may have to the change, stay patient and still surprise her spontaneously. Pay attention to her needs; do or say what makes her laugh, excited or happy, but at a slow pace.
Doing this will help her feel important, and less insecure and she will trust you slowly.
In all, find a balance between you’re her needs and your own need, but make sure you maintain separate lives and don’t let her intrude or interfere in your domain.
Put in Effort and be Patient
Usually, clingy behavior stems from insecurity, worry or low self-esteem. Maybe the girl has gotten serious before you, and she sees that the level of commitment is not compatible. It worries her, so she needs reassurance.
Other times, it could be as a result of either feeling left out, alone or bored.
In this regard, reassurances as well as positive messages are helpful to get the clingy one out of their funk. Giving the reassurance and support could seem exhausting, but don’t give up. After all, a strong relationship is one that has gone through many tests and trials.
Showing her that you can love her even with her imperfection would help her gain trust.
In all, remain patient, understanding, and compassionate. As much as you can, reassure her of your love through small displays of affection. Compliment her.
Never give her room to start making random assumptions about you or the relationship, as that can be dangerous. Always act first before she does. Take the initiative. This will surprise her, make her feel more secure and allow her to calm down.
Evaluate the Progress and Take Action
Next, you need to evaluate the progress. If you have had an open discussion, set some boundaries, you haven’t given into any of her interfering or manipulative behavior and you believe you are now both compatible in your level of commitment, the neediness on the girl’s part should disappear.
However, if it hasn’t, try repeating the step above again to and make sure you set firm boundaries. If after repeating the stages, there still is no change, you may have to consider taking action and pulling the plug on the relationship.
Sometimes, a clingy partner simply might not be in the right emotional place to have a relationship. She may just be too insecure.
A small amount of insecurity is normal for everyone at some stage of the relationship, but when it is an obsessive all-encompassing insecurity and it starts to affect your work, mood or relationships with others, this may be a sign that it is time to move on, especially if your partner refuses to work on the clingy behaviour or acknowledge how they are affecting you.
Before you end things though, please ask yourself these questions:
Did I truly give her a chance to correct or change her unhealthy behavior?
Was I able to create a condusive environment for us to communicate and genuinely open up to each other per time?
Has she expressed why she acts the way she does?
Has she made any progress?
If you have tried everything, and there was no change, then you actually can move on.
The truth is, finding a balance between spending time together and having your space can be difficult in any relationship. Having to deal with an overly clingy or needy girlfriend can be the worst.
Following these steps will help you tame you girlfriend, and get you relationship back to a healthy state.
Have you ever had to deal with a clingy girlfriend?
Have you thought that maybe you are a little too clingy as well? Let me know us know in the comment section.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Atholpady