4 Things I Learned From Being the Clingy Girlfriend

When it comes to relationships, I'm basically a little ball of walking anxiety.

I've been burned a few times in the past—nothing too traumatic, just the normal wear and tear that comes with braving the dating scene. Unfortunately, I'm also incredibly prone to worry. Combine those fun elements and voila! I'm suddenly the clingy girlfriend everyone wants to avoid.

The thing is, I don'want to be clingy. And I'm probably not clingy in the traditional sense. I don't care if my boyfriend hangs out with his friends over me and I don't need my partner by my side every second. However, my constant worry about the state of my relationship leads me to be hyper-vigilant to my partner's disposition. A slight change in tone or a shift in communication sends me reeling, imaging what on earth could possibly be wrong with our relationship.

Betty and Jughead looking happy with one another on an episode of Riverdale

(Riverdale via The CW)

Suffice to say, I'm annoying. I'm constantly asking what's wrong and convincing myself and them that they're annoyed with me. I need constant communication, and I expect people to always act the same towards me, despite the fact that we're all humans who experience ebbs and flows in our emotions.

Even though I'm still working on my clingy tendencies, I've grown a lot from my behavior. Keep scrolling to read everything I learned from being the clingy girlfriend.

Clingy Isn't Just Clingy

It's really easy to chalk up clingy behavior to someone who just doesn't know how to have a healthy relationship. And that's sometimes true. But clinginess, like most things in life, usually has underlying reasons that are much more logical. In my case, I deal with some pretty annoying fears about abandonment. Space in a relationship scares me, primarily because my subconscious believes that it's the first step to losing someone I care about. Therefore, I cling to someone even harder, ensuring that no space can develop between us.

Being clingy isn't just being clingy. If you're dealing with a partner who latches on to you, or if you have clingy tendencies yourself, it's not because you're incapable of being on your own. More than likely, there's some underlying belief that leads to your clinginess. Once you deal with those subconscious problems, you'll have a much easier time ending your clingy behavior.


(Crazy Ex-Girlfriend via The CW)


Clinginess Pushes People Away

It's probably an obvious conclusion, but being clingy only succeeds to push the people you care about away from you. When you're holding on so tightly to someone, they understandably start to feel suffocated. Instead of responding to your emotional needs and easing whatever fears you might have, they pull away. While you might think you have a right to all your partner's time and attention, you're actually creating a huge rift in your relationship. People need space to be themselves, even when they're committed to a partner. Giving them that time to relax and unwind will lead to much more positivity in your relationship than forcing quality time that they're simply not in the mood for.


You Can't Ask Other People to Fix Your Problems

Perhaps the most important thing I learned from being clingy: You can't ask other people to fix your problems. Let me explain. When I was being clingy in a relationship, I would often respond by expecting more of my partner, rather than recognizing my own negative behavior. I was feeling insecure about our relationship and I wanted more time with them, so I demanded that they give all their excess energy to me. I blamed them for my feelings, instead of recognizing that my need for affection stemmed from my own anxious thoughts.

You can't ask a partner to fix your problems. You can tell them how you're feeling and ask for their support, but you can't blame your feelings on them. You're the only one who's responsible for your feelings. Certain stressors can impact your emotions, but that doesn't make them someone else's responsibility. Before you blame your partner, remember that you're feeling this way for a reason. Then, you can try to deal with it before it devolves into a fight.


(Riverdale via The CW)


Holding on Tighter Doesn't Change Anything

Finally, the harsh and true reality—clinging to someone isn't going to change the outcome of your relationship. Oftentimes, I would start to display clingy behaviors when I sensed a change in my relationship. My partner would pull away from me slightly, so I would hold on even tighter, trying to make the relationship work. And you know what? I never succeeded.

A partner who doesn't want to be with you simply doesn't want to be with you. Holding on tighter and forcing intimacy in your relationship isn't going to change that. If they've made up their mind to leave, they're going to leave—nothing you do will change that. And in reality, you shouldn't try. Being with someone who wants to be with you is the point of a relationship. If you have to force someone to stay, they're simply not worth the effort.


Looking for more dating advice? Click HERE for six things you should discuss with someone before you start dating them.