The words “clingy signs” should be on a sign round the neck of a friend of mine who is getting a divorce. This guy has been the epitome of a good, loving spouse. He took the good with the bad. No amount of bad behavior on the part of his wife made him want a divorce.
There was literally NOTHING she could do to make my friend walk away (and trust me, it got bad). In other words, he was being a doormat. A clingy, needy, doormat. Finally, the she left and ended my friend’s misery.
But that wasn’t quite the end.
She came crawling back, and unsurprisingly, he took her back.
After she learned that she could push him to that point and get away with it….Well, let’s just say a pattern started. Now she comes and goes as she pleases with the full knowledge that he will ALWAYS take her back.
You see, she has learned that he has no boundaries in place, no self respect, or self esteem. And she is taking full advantage of his weaknesses. Therefore, he clings to her for dear life. And in return, she treats him like he is nothing.
The more he needs her, the more she abuses him.
Why? Because you DO always know what you are gonna get. Trouble.
Clingy signs are quite clear to a person on the outside looking in on a relationship, but it’s sometimes more difficult when you are one of the two people participating in it. So when does needing support from your partner cross the line and become just plain annoying?
First, let’s back up for a minute.
So why is it so bad to be clingy and needy in the first place? I can sum it up in one word:
That’s right. When one person is clingy, then they are automatically taking more from the relationship than they are giving. Period.
It doesn’t matter how much you love them if you are smothering them because they will be unhappy anyway. And I am speaking from experience here. A significant other from my past used to get mad if I ate breakfast without him and usually not speak to me for three days. (Even though he wouldn’t get up for breakfast when everyone else did.)
Yeah….it was that bad. And that’s just one example of many…but I digress.
This made me feel like I was carrying a heavy weight because I felt responsible for my happiness AND HIS! I could only hold us both up for so long. After awhile it just wasn’t worth the effort anymore. I believe that’s what happens to lots of potentially great relationships.
Here’s the reasons why:
1. Clingy People Are Usually Selfish (Although Not All of Them Mean To Be)
If you are a clingy person and I just hurt your feelings, I am sorry. But you need to hear the truth and take a good look at yourself. (Your future happiness depends on it.) Clingy people are insecure people. They need constant verification that they are loved, appreciated, etc. Because of that need, they are always thinking about themselves and how their partner is relating to them.
Now, when you are constantly thinking about yourself you can’t possibly be thinking about your partner and their needs, can you?
YOU are responsible for YOU and it’s NOT your partner’s job to make you happy. Clingy people wait for other people to make them happy when, in truth, happiness never comes from external sources. It ALWAYS comes from within.
So if this sounds like you, then go out right now and take up a new hobby that you have always wanted to try. Set a goal and accomplish it. Read some happy, upbeat self improvement books. Make some new friends. Do anything that will make you feel more accomplished, well rounded, confident, and basically good about yourself.
(Then you won’t need other people to make you feel good because you will have the power to make yourself feel better.) By the way, all those traits just named will also make you more attractive to your mate.)
2. People Want To Feel Like They Are In a Relationship With an Equal
An equal is someone on the same wavelength with you mentally, emotionally, and physically. They “get” you like no one else does. And they give as much to the relationship as they take. Relationships are like banks. You make deposits, then you draw out things when you need them. However, it will bankrupt your relationship if one person is always making withdrawals without putting anything in.
Basically, the healthiest relationships are those involving two happy, independent people who don’t actually “need” each other in the most basic sense, but who choose to be together and love each other because it makes them happy.
3. Each Partner Needs Support
One of the main points in life is to find a person to share your highs and lows with. They celebrate with you when things are great, and they help hold you up when things are bad. However, if you are a clingy person, then how can you be a rock for your partner when they need you? (See Number 1 above.
Remember, you are responsible for your 50% of this relationship. Don’t shrink away from your duties. Your partner needs support no matter how strong they are. They need to feel like you always have their back, same as they do for you.
4. Relationships Require Work
All You Need Is Love is a great song, but it’s simply not true. (Now I will have that song in my head all day.) Relationships take work, but if your partner is your top priority it doesn’t really feel like work. Instead of spending your day worrying about where your partner is and what they are doing, take that time to plan something nice for them to show your love. And give them some space so they can breathe. It will be good for both of you.
Can’t decide if you are clingy or if your partner is clingy? Here are some signs:
* Must know where the other person is every minute of every day.
* Don’t like for your partner to spend time with their friends without you (or at all).
* Want your partner to give up hobbies/interests that don’t include you.
* Hold your partner back from their potential because you are afraid of being “left behind”.
* Don’t have a life and plan of your own. (That’s why you are riding their coattails.)
But please don’t confuse any of this as meaning you should always do things without your mate, or vice versa. There’s a healthy balance when it comes to allotting your time with your partner and other people in your life. There is no magic number or percentage. It’s different with each couple. If you both talk openly about it, then you can figure out what works for both of you.
(By the way, good communication also cuts down on clinginess in relationships because you are closer, and therefore, more secure.)
A good resource to help you get closer to your partner is called 1000 Questions For Couples by renowned relationship author Michael Webb (as seen on the Oprah Winfrey Show and many other media outlets.
By the way, if you are completely wound up in each other absolutely LOVE clinging to each other, that’s not necessarily a bad thing (as long as both of you genuinely enjoy it). But one word of caution: It is still more healthy for you as a couple, and as individuals, to have some independent time away from each other. Everyone needs some time alone with their friends and individual interests. Give yourselves a chance to miss each other a little bit.
If you are a clingy person, I didn’t mean to beat up on you. Being clingy is usually a learned behavior and you may have been taught that by your parents. But the time has come to break out of that mold and become your own person.
A strong partner with their own life and interests makes for a great mate.
If you want to have a healthy, BALANCED relationship, then you must be a happy, well-adjusted individual. Now, I know we all have our little issues in life, but I mean generally speaking you should have your act together. Go out and get some new friends and hobbies. Start thinking and acting positively all the time.
Start loving life and everyone around you. All those clingy signs will automatically disappear when you do these simple things because you will be happier, more confident, and more independent. If you need more help getting it together, then go see a counselor. Many churches and workplaces will supply you with counseling services for free.
Here are some books from Amazon that you might find helpful:
For more information read How To Stop Being Clingy.
by Angela Christian Pope @ ModernRelationship.org