11 ways to stop being needy and clingy in your relationship

Relationships can be tricky to navigate.

There’s a fine line between what’s healthy and what’s toxic. And oftentimes we find ourselves struggling to find the right balance.

When it comes to being around our significant others, we can cross the line from time to time.

On the one hand, it’s really important to spend time with each other, to share the same activities, and to be a big part of each other’s lives. On the other, no one wants to be with a stage-five clinger. No one wants to be suffocated by a clingy and needy person.

If we’re not careful, we tend to swing closer to the clingy side of things. And trust us, you don’t want to go there.

It’s absolutely crucial to establish boundaries. And it’s even more important to have your own separate life outside of a relationship if you want to keep your own identity. If you want a healthy and long-lasting partnership, this is one thing you can never compromise.

So this begs the question, do you think you’re too clingy? Or has your partner told you so?

If yes, don’t fret. It’s not the end of the world. You can correct this behavior with a few simple tweaks.

Here are 11 things you can do to help you become less clingy and needy.

1. Recognize that you have a problem.

You’re clingy because you choose to be. You can argue that your partner seems distant or too private. That may be a part of the problem. But instead of talking about it openly and honestly, you choose to act needy and insecure.

You can always control the way you react to a situation. And in this case, you have the option to either deal with it maturely or scare yourself into being clingy. Guess what the healthier option is.

2. Work on yourself.

It can be easy to get lost in a relationship. Your lives are so deeply intertwined to each other. At one point, you’ll share a living space, have the same set of friends and family, even probably a bank account. Heck, you might not even mind sharing a toothbrush.

This is why you sometimes lose a grasp of yourself. You start identifying as a couple instead of two separate, fully-functional adults.

So it’s important to remember that just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean you should stop working on yourself. In fact, it’s more imperative that you do so. Make plans with other people, join separate activities, find a hobby.

Don’t forget to invest in yourself, too. The more time you focus on working on personal development, the less time you’ll spend being clingy to your partner. And they’ll appreciate it as well.

3. Develop trust in your relationship.

Let’s face it. You have trust issues. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be this clingy.

Work on whatever trust issues you may have and start cultivating trust in your partner. Do you have any trauma from your previous relationships? Have you been cheated on? Or do you perhaps have some abandonment issues?

More often than not, there are deeper issues at work here. And before you can trust your partner, you first need to sort these things out.

Talk to your partner about it. Be honest so they can also adjust. You can even start seeing a therapist if you have deeply-rooted issues.

Not only will this help you become a better partner, but it will help you become a more secure individual.

4. Build your self-confidence.

One of the main reasons why we hold onto our partners so much is because we are afraid of losing them. This is completely normal.

We all crave security, especially in our relationships. However, this tendency can manifest into extreme clinginess. And when it does, it can be a debilitating feeling. You start questioning your worth, afraid that you’re not good enough to keep your partner.

But don’t let these feelings overpower you. Instead, do things that make you feel good. If you have insecurities about your health and body, work out more. Have a makeover.

However, it’s important that you don’t do it for your partner. Do it for your sake. Build your confidence by becoming who you want to be and not to please someone else.

5. Try to give your partner more space.

It’s challenging to go against your natural state of clinginess. But try to give your partner more space.

You have to understand that before you two became a couple, you had two different set of lives and identities. Therefore, you need to give your partner space to cultivate their own life. This part of their life isn’t necessarily separate from you, just that it’s a part of them. 

Not only will this allow each of you to grow into your own selves, but it helps create a healthy relationship that isn’t toxically dependent of each other. Too much closeness can damage a relationship. It creates a strain and gives both of you a suffocating feeling.

This controlling situation is one of the main reasons why couples break up and it’s definitely an issue you have to deal with more intently.

If you’re in a long-distant relationship, it’s especially important to follow this tip.

6. Learn to handle your own anxiety.

Just because you now have a partner doesn’t mean that they are responsible for making you feel better in every aspect. When it comes to your nerves or anxiety, it’s important to deal with it on your own.

If you find yourself too dependent on your partner, you end up giving them too much responsibility for your well-being, which can be disastrous for you both.

While anxiety is altogether difficult to fix, some of the steps in this article can actually help alleviate the symptoms. Putting the focus on your self for one can help ease the pressure and help you build your self-worth.

7. Try not to be too physically clingy.

Being clingy isn’t just emotional. It can also be physical.

Public displays of affection are healthy to some extent. Some people even depend on affection to feel loved and validated.

However, everyone needs to have their own personal space. And if you don’t establish boundaries, it could be a big problem.

Your partner might feel uncomfortable with too much PDA. It’s best to talk about what you both can handle.

8. Spend more time with your loved ones.

Don’t be one of those people who forget their family and friends once they’re in relationships.

Yes, your partner is one significant part of your life, but they shouldn’t be your whole life.

Don’t neglect to spend time with the people who have been with you through everything. Your family and friends will be the one to pick you up in pieces should your relationship end.

They are also a healthy source of support when you’re going through relationship problems.

Strong connections with other people will ease your proclivity to being clingy to your partner.

9. Let go of your controlling tendencies.

Like it or not, you simply cannot control everything about your relationship and your partner’s life.

Sure, you find some security in having a sense of control over certain situations, but you need to let go a little.

Stop telling your partner how to act, who to spend time with, or what to do. You’re in a relationship, not a dictatorship.

It’s normal to want to make a relationship work. But not to the degree where you are micromanaging every single thing. This is a highly toxic trait that is never good for anybody.

If someone wants to be with you, they will be with you. And if they don’t, there’s nothing you can do otherwise. Again, what you can control are your reactions to the situation.

10. Seek professional help.

There’s no shame in seeking professional help. You’re not crazy but you are acting like you are.

So talk to someone who knows how to fix that. Talk to someone who can help.

Believe it or not, you can get better. 

Speak to a counselor or a therapist who can help you get through steps of healing. Because first of all, this is your problem and you need to fix yourself first before you can fix your relationships.

A therapist can help you get a better grasp of what you’re going through. But more importantly, it’s amazing how simply talking about it to someone who doesn’t judge you can help.

11. Learn to find the balance.

This is the most important step. And probably the hardest.

Either way, you need to find the balance between having your own security in yourself and in your partner.

Trust is hard to give. But if you trust yourself and your place in your relationship, letting go of control can be a whole lot easier.

There is no greater joy than having someone to share your life with. But there is no greater accomplishment than being completely fine with yourself and who you are.

So work on that. Try to find the balance between cultivating yourself AND your relationship.

In short, try to love yourself first.

You are clingy because you lack a sense of self. It’s because you have deep feelings of insecurity and of not being “good enough.”

But it’s not too late to fix that.

Starting today, practice self-love.

Invest in yourself. Focus on your own needs. Discover who you are and learn to accept what you find.

Only then can you give the right kind of love. Because it’s the kind of love you give yourself.

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