What is Considered Clingy in a Relationship?

clingy in a relationship

I said good night in the hope that he will ask me to stay awake for a while but he left. He just doesn’t understand how I feel. 

I know she likes to talk till late at night and I try to stay awake but I have to leave for work early in the morning so I fail to do so.

What is considered clingy in a relationship?

The word ‘clingy’ is often taken on a negative pretext but not necessarily it’s always negative. It basically means being ‘too emotionally dependent’ on someone else and this ‘too’ is significantly the cause behind the negative part of it. When it comes to a relationship, it is an amalgamation of two different or similar people with unique individuality and life experiences. Sometimes people connect really well but gradually they are unable to understand each other’s emotional needs and sometimes they understand but cannot accept and work on the differences.

It is when these emotional needs become stronger and no explanations meet the expectations, that’s when the bond starts to explore its grounds on unmet emotional needs in the relationship. 

How do you know if you are clingy in a relationship?

Few signs of unmet emotional needs:

  1. Unmet need for undivided time and attention
  2. Inability to understand and process boundaries
  3. Extreme possessiveness and a sense of protection towards their partners
  4. Constant following, checking and stalking:
  5. They are very accommodating and more giving by nature
  6. They might choose to stay instead of leaving, or may have a pattern of coming back again
  7. A pattern of questioning

1. Unmet need for undivided time and attention:

Undivided time and attention is a basic need that makes a person feel validated and seen. At times, this need may get magnified, but have intricate underlying causes related to both individual & relational level. 

In case, you are texting your partner and a friend together, they might feel ignored or less catered to. Late replies might fume them and not noticing small details might hurt them.

2. Inability to understand and process boundaries:

‘Giving space’ or ‘me time’ are some of the things that individuals with emotional dependence find hard to accept. They have no tolerance for being alone.  

3. Extreme possessiveness and a sense of protection towards their partners:

Not being the most important person in the partner’s life makes them anxious and frightened. They may engage in arguments on choosing who and what is important. This comes from a place of deep insecurity and lack of self-confidence that their partners would choose someone else or will not love them the same way.

4. Constant following, checking and stalking:

They like to go wherever you go and would like to present in most events of your daily activity. They keep a constant check with the purpose of keeping a track and to reassure themselves simultaneously. They make sure they know and stalk you enough so that they don’t miss out on anything related to you. They center their world around their partner.

5. They are very accommodating and more giving by nature:

Since they cannot understand boundaries, they are unable to understand their own needs or meet their needs by themselves. They try to provide their partner with everything that they didn’t get in the hope to receive some of it back. They can cross oceans for people who mean a lot to them. 

6. They might choose to stay instead of leaving, or may have a pattern of coming back again

Most such individuals tend to let go of their partner’s mistakes as nothing is as important as keeping the relationship intact. They also tend to have fear of abandonment so losing or hurting them is never their way of approaching things. They might get mad but ultimately, they seek resort by self-pity, blame games, by being the victim and just emotionally processing things and situations.

7. A pattern of questioning

This is one of the most common patterns that individuals with unmet needs demonstrate. They will throw a pool of questions and seek reassurances and have a tough time agreeing to disagree. 

Few things that you can do if you think yourself to be too emotionally needy or clingy in a relationship can be:

  • Understand your own needs. What is it that you are seeking? What is missing? 
  • Where is the unmet need coming from? If you had to go back in time where do you see yourself experiencing the same emotions? 
  • Has there ever been a breach of trust? What will help you recover from it?
  • Try not to pressurize your partner and ask instead if they can meet your expectations. 
  • Try doing perspective thinking rather than overthinking. Take one thought or situation and have 3-4 perspectives of it
  • Speak to a counselor who can help you identify the root of your hurt, and will help you heal.  

How to move on from a Sour Relationship?

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