Needy girlfriends are suffocating and unappealing – both to themselves and to their boyfriends! Learn how to stop being clingy in a relationship, and how to start Blossoming into the woman you know deep down you’re meant to be.
You were created to love and be loved, to give your heart and to receive a man’s heart in return. You were created to be in a relationship as a whole person, secure and confident and happy and peaceful. If you feel insecure, confused or lost in your relationship, something is wrong. Maybe your boyfriend isn’t right for you, or maybe you’re not ready for a relationship. Maybe you are a needy girlfriend right now because you’re not secure or confident in who you are. Maybe you’re scared, lonely, and lost. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you’re here, learning how to stop being clingy in a relationship! Let’s dig in…
What makes you think you’re being clingy in this relationship? Your first step is to figure out what you’re doing and saying that reveals your neediness. Maybe you’re calling or texting your boyfriend all the time, or your can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe you ditched your friends and family for him – or you even moved to a new city or country because of him!
If you feel unloved and lost in your relationship, you are not alone. One of my most popular articles is 8 Signs He’s Not in Love With You. If you gave your all to this relationship, you are not alone. Women tend to throw themselves into their relationships with all their hearts, minds, and souls…and they got lost.
Take heart, and know that you are not alone.
How to Stop Being Clingy in a Relationship
Feel free to write to me in the comments section below. I’ll be asking all sorts of questions about being needy and clingy in relationships, and the best way to respond is in writing. I can’t give advice, but you may find it helpful to work through your thoughts by writing them here or in your own private journal.
1. Learn why you’re clinging to your boyfriend
Before you can discover why you tend to cling in relationships, you need to think about how your neediness affects your life.
Here are some questions to help you see if you’re a clingy girlfriend…
- Are you so scared of losing him that you grip your relationship with both hands?
- Do you believe that you’re nothing without a boyfriend?
- Are you scared to lose him?
- Do you feel like life is meaningless without your boyfriend?
- Do you think that you’re nothing without this relationship?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then yes…you need to learn how to stop being clingy in your relationship. You’re holding on to your boyfriend so tightly, he can’t breathe! And if he can’t breathe, he will run away – emotionally or physically – the first chance he gets.
2. Know why you must give your boyfriend room to breathe
“I view clinginess in relationships as women showing all their emotions immediately and openly,” says Simon on How to Stop Being a Clingy Girlfriend. “Then, they expect me to fill their emotional needs. I feel suffocated at just the thought of being my girlfriend’s source of life. I need my girlfriends to have their own lives and plans, and to want me to be part of their lives – not their whole lives. This makes the relationship go smoothly because she doesn’t need me to coddle or care for her all the time.”
First, Simon talks about how he views clingy girlfriends in relationships – and it is different for every man. Your joy isn’t to try to figure out “how clingy” you can be, but rather to learn how to be yourself in all situations. You need to learn who you are in your relationship, at work, with your family, at home – and that person should be the same in all places.
If you learn why you have to learn how to stop being clingy in a relationship (because you’ll suffocate your boyfriend if you don’t), then you’ll have a better reason to find and be yourself.
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3. Encourage your boyfriend to develop his own interests and life
“A guy has to go to work,” Simon says. “It’s not that he doesn’t want to spend time with his girlfriend, it’s just that he has a job. Some of us even love our jobs! So when my girlfriend lets me go to work without feeling guilty for not texting her every hour, I feel like she’s adding so much more to my life.”
If you’re in a new relationship, both you and your boyfriend may be consumed by each other. It’s natural to think about each other all the time, to wish you could be together constantly, even to stop seeing friends and family so you can spend more time together. This is normal – until it becomes unhealthy. How do you know you’re not in a healthy relationship? You NEED your boyfriend, and you’re searching for tips on how to stop being clingy in a relationship.
4. Hold on to your passions, hobbies, interests
Don’t lose yourself in your relationship. Don’t let your boyfriend’s interests, hobbies, or life consume you. Know that the healthiest, most attractive you is the one who has your own sparky passions and enchanting interests outside of your relationship.
Who did God create you to be? If you don’t know, then take time to connect with Him and learn about yourself. What are you curious about, interested in, charged up by? Those are your passions and interests! They make you YOU, and they make you attractive and fun to be around. If you’re absorbed by things that make you come alive, you’ll have no time to wonder how to stop being clingy in a relationship because you’ll be living freely and joyfully.
5. Learn how healthy relationships can elevate your life
A healthy love relationship is part of your life – but it’s not your whole life. Marriage is a huge and wonderful part of life – but it can’t be your whole life.
If you make any one thing the sole focus of your life, then you will be left with nothing in the end. That one thing, whether it’s a man or a child or a job or your black curly hair and beautiful figure, will eventually disappear.
Are you basing your identity on a man instead of God? Then you are setting yourself up for disappointment and misery because no man can fill all your emotional, physical, social, or spiritual needs. But if you find the true you – the you God created you to be – then you will bring your healthiest, fullest, best self to your relationship. And your relationship will be fulfilling and rich for both you and your man.
6. Learn how to be secure in yourself
“When a woman is secure with herself, she isn’t afraid to define herself and define public opinion,” writes Sherry Argov in Why Men Love Bi**es: From Doormat to Dreamgirl – A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship. “She has her own look. Her old style. Her own charisma. Her own brand of charm. The longer you practice being an independent thinker, the more attractive you’ll be. You’ll wake up and feel happier than you’ve ever been. Your aura and your life force will slowly come back. When you meet someone who is truly great, he makes you believe you can be great, too. This is the kind of relationship you want, and it’s the only kind of relationship worth having.”
Are you secure in who you are? I wasn’t, until I learned how God sees me. Feeling and accepting His love was the only way I got what Agrov was talking about! It was the only way I could learn how to stop being clingy in my relationships, because He is the source of my life, light, strength and power.
What is the source of your joy? Stop for a moment. Tell me who or what fuels your purpose, your passion. What brings you alive, fills you with peace, sparks your light and helps you shine?
7. Pay attention to this, not that
The most important things in life are those that fill you with joy, peace, energy, and a sense of connection with God. These things bring you alive and make you happier than any relationship could! The ironic thing is that these things actually make your relationships better because they make YOU better.
Don’t give up don’t those things you love, whether it’s knitting or running committees or driving monster trucks or planning your academic path through medical school and becoming an oncologist. Those things you love make you more interesting and lovable to everyone, including your boyfriend. He doesn’t want to be the center of your life. He wants to be in a relationship with a girlfriend who isn’t clinging to him as the source of everything meaningful and good.
If you’ve always tended towards neediness and clinginess with your boyfriends, read How to Ask for What You Need in Your Relationships.
8. Learn how clingy relationships start and keep going
In Why Men Love B***s, Argov shares an interesting cycle that describes how girlfriends start being too clingy in a relationship, and how they can’t stop.
The cycle of clingy relationships:
- You develop a single-focused view that what your boyfriend gives you is vital to your life.
- Because you fall into the trap of believing that your boyfriend – and only your boyfriend – can give you everything you need, you give up everything else.
- You feel more and more trapped by your own clinginess in your relationship, but you continue to try harder because you believe your boyfriend is the only one who can make you feel fulfilled again.
- Your boyfriend senses your willingness to give everything up for him, so he stops trying.
- You sense your boyfriend withdrawing and you work even harder. You find yourself becoming even more clingy in your relationship and you can’t stop yourself.
- The relationship self-destructs.
The cycle gets worse as you become more and more depleted and desperate for your boyfriend’s love, time, and attention.
9. Learn practical tips on how to stop being clingy with your boyfriend
These quick tips on how to stop being a clingy girlfriend in a relationship are from Argov’s book…
- Don’t always be the one to drive 40 minutes or two hours for a date. Let your boyfriend make an effort to see you.
- Don’t beg him for attention or affection. If your boyfriend ignores you, don’t try harder and harder to get his attention.
- If your boyfriend is in a bad mood, give him space. Go do your own thing and let him work through his feelings in his own time.
- Do not be governed by your fear of losing a man; the real loss is losing yourself. Women give themselves up small weights in this empty sense of their life and vitality.
- Don’t try to change your boyfriend or the relationship, or try to get him to talk about how he feels about you. And don’t try to change him! This a sign of insecurity in relationships, and it’s very unhealthy.
- Do not allow your boyfriend or relationship to control your life.
- Don’t dismiss what you used to value in your life and what used to be important you.
- Don’t obsess over your boyfriend’s opinion or try to get his approval. Value your priorities, preferences, and life goals.
Here’s my second-favorite tip on how to stop being clingy in a relationship: don’t stop eating, sleeping, or exercising because of a man! Keep your healthy, joyful routines in life. If a new boyfriend wants to spend more time with you, then you can comfortably give, invite him to join you in one of your activities – like taking your dog for a walk or going for a weekend hike or bike ride.
10. Change your perspective on yourself as a “needy and clingy” girlfriend
Does it seem like a lot of work to learn how to stop being a needy girlfriend? See it as a challenge, an opportunity to Blossom into who God created you to be! It’s not about working to be a better girlfriend, it’s about becoming who you know you were created to be.
Many women try to get their value, confidence, self-worth, and sense of security from a man. This is a huge mistake; you’re giving up your very soul for approval and acceptance from your boyfriend. There is nothing worth this, not a marriage proposal, house with a white picket fence, world travel as a couple, a baby, diamond necklaces – you will wind up disappointed. You’ll be empty-handed and emotionally depleted unless you learn to get your value, confidence, and self-worth from God.
Learn how to be happy and love life with your boyfriend – or without your boyfriend. Then he will value, accept, and love you for who you are.
11. Stop trying to control your boyfriend
Your clinginess and neediness in a relationship is often revealed in an attempt to control your boyfriend. And if you’re trying to control him, neither of you will be happy.
“Two unhappy people together never make a happy couple together,” writes Simeon Lindstrom in In Codependency – “Loves Me, Loves Me Not”: Learn How To Cultivate Healthy Relationships, Overcome Relationship Jealousy, Stop Controlling Others and Be Codependent No More. “A woman with a mature, well-developed sense of herself has the most to offer someone. She has her own life, her own sense of self-worth, her own strength. When you remove need, fear, obsession and desperation from your relationship you open up the way for love and affection. What could be more romantic than, ‘I don’t need to be with you. You don’t complete me at all. I am happy and stable and fulfilled without you. But I still want to be with you, because you’re awesome!’”?
Dear Reader – how do you feel, what do you think about these tips on how to stop being a needy girlfriend? While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.
Help – How to stop being clingy in relationships
In Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It, Leslie Becker-Phelps will teach you how to overcome attachment anxiety using compassionate self-awareness, a technique that can help you recognize your negative thoughts or unhealthy behavior patterns and respond to them in a nurturing way.
You’ll also learn how insecurity can negatively affect healthy conversations between you and your boyfriend develop the skills needed to stop you from reverting back to old patterns of neediness and possessiveness in your relationships. If you suffer from anxious attachment, you probably know that you need to change, and yet you have remained stuck. With compassionate self-awareness, you can successfully explore old anxiety-perpetuating perceptions and habits without being overwhelmed or paralyzed by them. You can learn how to stop being needy in your relationship, and be a healthy girlfriend who is happily attached to her boyfriend.
In Codependency – “Loves Me, Loves Me Not”: Learn How To Cultivate Healthy Relationships, Overcome Relationship Jealousy, Stop Controlling Others and Be Codependent No More, Simeon Lindstrom warns that an intense and serious feeling of love can seem like “proof” that you’re meant to be together. But he cautions you to be careful because obsession and dependency is not the same as love.
In a codependent relationship, your affection and attention is coming from a place of fear and need. As a result, you and your boyfriend never really connect with each other. This is why it’s so important to learn how to stop being clingy in a relationship – so you can build a healthy, strong connection with your boyfriend.
May you find joy and peace, love and life in your relationship. Above all else, may you surrender to God’s call on your life and follow His voice. May you trust that He loves you and knows what’s best for you, and that He will lead you to the right relationship.
Trust, have faith, and know that you are here for a reason. You are here for more than a relationship – and you were not made to be a clingy girlfriend!
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.