Wanting reassurance of your partner’s feelings is considered natural when you’re in a relationship. After all, it’s always nice to hear how much you’re valued and appreciated, especially by someone you care about.
However, balance is crucial when it comes to this, as you can easily end up having a clingy partner or becoming one if you’re not careful.
Fortunately, there are certain signs you can look out for to avoid being involved in a too-clingy relationship. You can check them out and what you can do about it here.
The definition of clinginess – what it means to be clingy in relationships
Before we dive into the 15 signs of being clingy, let’s first discuss what it actually means to be clingy when you’re in a relationship.
In relationships, clinginess is typically defined as constantly needing reassurance or support from your partner, often compulsively or frantically.
Clingy partners tend to ask their partners for repeated reassurances and support, even if their partners already went out of their way to prove how much they care and love them.
There are many reasons for clingy behavior, ranging from fulfilling unmet needs, low self-esteem or relationship anxiety. It can even be caused by conditions like Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria, which can manifest as clinging to someone they want approval from, like their romantic partners.
Of course, it can also be from simply being eager to be in a new relationship, which can sometimes lead them to become needy and clingy.
So, how do you know if you have a clingy girlfriend or a clingy boyfriend? How do you know if you’re clingy yourself? Here are the top 15 signs.
1. Constant calls and messages
Communication is critical for any relationship’s success, but clingy partners can sometimes take this too far by continuously blowing up your phone with calls and messages. In this case, they may appear as wanting to always have access to you and your life.
2. Expecting immediate responses
Wanting your partner to respond to your messages as soon as possible is only natural, especially when you’re excited to hear from them. However, one of the signs of being clingy is when your partner expects you to respond almost immediately.
So, they don’t take it too well if five, ten, or fifteen minutes go by without a response from you. They may end up sending you multiple consecutive messages or calling numerous times in a short period.
Even when in a relationship, having enough time to yourself and grow as an individual is crucial. So, another sign of a clingy partner is that they don’t give you enough personal space, always wanting to be where you are, even when you’d rather be alone.
4. They always ask for reassurance
While it’s always nice to be reassured of someone’s feelings for you, a too-clingy partner will constantly ask for reassurance. However, they will still feel skeptical or doubtful about its truthfulness.
5. They don’t like it when you make plans with others
Spending time with other people outside of your relationship is vital for your growth as an individual. However, one of the signs of clingy behavior is when your partner expresses displeasure whenever you make plans with others, whether it’s with your friends, family, or colleagues.
6. They are too dependent on you
Being able to stand on your own even when you’re in a relationship is essential for your growth as an individual. However, a clingy girlfriend or boyfriend will be too dependent on their partner, often making their entire world about the relationship and nothing else.
Wanting to be noticed by your partner is only natural, but it can be a sign that you’re with a girlfriend or boyfriend too clingy when they want you to notice them and only them. So, they can become frustrated when your attention is elsewhere.
Social media has undeniably done wonders for couples worldwide, bringing them closer even when they’re apart. However, clingy people tend to use these platforms to constantly check up on you and may even use what they dig up to ask you what can sometimes be considered invasive questions.
9. They constantly feel insecure about the relationship
Having a few fears or insecurities about your relationship is only natural, especially at the beginning. However, a clingy partner will frequently feel insecure and unloved, and this can manifest in clingy behavior, such as repeated requests for reassurance and updates when you’re not around.
10. They don’t have hobbies or friends of their own
Having interpersonal relationships beyond your romantic one is essential to becoming a well-rounded person. However, a girlfriend too clingy will often center their world around their partners, and you may notice that they don’t have many other friends or interpersonal relationships aside from you.
Likewise, they may also end up dropping their hobbies before the relationship and adopting yours instead so that they can have as much in common with you as they can.
11. They tend to be too possessive
Jealousy and feelings of possessiveness are natural when you’re in a relationship, but too much can harm your relationship.
When you’re with a clingy partner, you’ll notice that your partner is clingy when they tend to be too possessive of you, often expressing their frustrations and suspicions when you interact with other people. This is especially true if they think they can be potential romantic rivals.
Every relationship has its own pace, and it’s essential to respect that if you want to have a healthy and long-lasting relationship. However, when your partner is too needy and clingy, they will often want to speed things up to solidify the relationship.
This often means wanting to meet your parents after only having a few dates or saying “I love you” before either one of you is ready.
13. They always tag along, even when they’re not supposed to
Wanting to spend time with your partner constantly is only natural when you’re in a relationship. However, one of the most apparent signs of clingy behavior is when they always want to tag along to where you go, even when they’re not supposed to.
They will often insist on going with you to events, outings, and even just errands. Sometimes, they might even attend gatherings with you even when they don’t have an invite.
Being in a loving relationship often entails a level of comfort that allows you to be your true self, even when it can cause some disagreements. However, when you have a clingy partner, you’ll notice how they seem to always be holding themselves back to avoid upsetting you.
15. They’re overly physically affectionate
Physical affection is often an essential component for relationships since it can help bring you and your partner closer together, literally and figuratively. However, when your partner is too affectionate, this can be one of the signs of being clingy, especially if they tend to cling onto you.
Being in a relationship with a clingy partner can be admittedly tough, and the constant requests for reassurance can take their toll on your relationship. So, how can you stop yourself or your partner from being too clingy?
To understand why we may think our partner is too needy, watch this video.
1. Accept there’s an issue
Changing your or your partner’s clingy behavior won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. Still, you can be off to a good start if you accept that clinginess negatively affects your relationship.
Accepting that there’s an issue is crucial to any change, and it’s also considered integral to many types of behavioral therapy. So, before starting any changes, it’s best to accept the situation first.
2. Start the conversation
Once you have accepted that being clingy has become a problem, you can then have an honest and meaningful conversation about it. Talk to your partner and respectfully let them know about how you feel regarding their clingy behavior.
Not only can this give you both clearer insights into the relationship, but doing so can also help you come up with solutions that can work for both of you.
Changing your or your partner’s clingy behavior can undoubtedly be challenging, especially if you’re tackling it independently. Moreover, clinginess can sometimes manifest something more complex, such as anxiety or low self-esteem.
So, if you or your partner feel like it’s impossible to handle this change on your own, it might be a good idea to seek the help of a professional. They can guide you while you make these changes and even help you realize and deal with the root causes.
The bottom line
Wanting to be close to your partner as much as possible is a natural part of being in a relationship, but it’s also crucial to give them their space and allow you and your partner to grow as individuals.
After all, being in a relationship doesn’t have to mean the end of your individuality and vice-versa. So, knowing the signs of being clingy can help you identify them when you or your partner does them, which can help you better address them for a healthier and longer-lasting relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.