What Is Clinginess In A Relationship And Why Does It Happen?

There are normal relationships, and there are also clingy ones. But how do you define clinginess in a relationship, and do you know why it happens? In this post, I’ll talk about clinginess and why it happens, including those triggers.

Clinginess in a relationship is all about a partner who is dependent, needy, and obsessive. It’s the feeling of being suffocated by your partner. It’s also an emotional condition when you feel like you need to be with your partner all the time. 

If you find yourself being too clingy in your relationship, there are ways that you can try to change this behavior so that it doesn’t affect the health of your relationship. 

But before you can start doing that, you need to understand what clinginess is and why it happens. In this way, you can control yourself and your emotions better.

What is clinginess?

Introvered girl learning about clinginess in a relation

Clinginess can be defined as the excessive need for reassurance or emotional support. Here are some signs of clinginess.

  • When you’re clingy, you tend to get very upset when your partner does something without telling you.
  • Clingy people tend to be insecure and constantly need reassurance from their partners. 
  • They also tend to get jealous easily and may even accuse their partners of cheating or lying if they feel they aren’t getting enough attention.

Clinginess can manifest itself in many ways, such as:

  • You may constantly check their social media to see what they’re up to.
  • You send them long text messages throughout the day.
  • You call them multiple times without getting a response.
  • You ask them to come over as soon as possible when something stressful happens.

Whatever the reason, clinginess suggests insecurity in your connection with your partner.

Why does clinginess happen?

There is no single explanation for why clinginess happens. The truth behind this emotional condition is due to different factors or triggers. 

Take a look at these factors that can trigger clinginess in a relationship.

Anxiety about the future

Anxiety about the future is often rooted in uncertainty and insecurity. You don’t know what will happen next, which makes you feel afraid. And when we’re afraid, it’s natural to cling to the people you do know for comfort, like your partner.

Another reason why it causes clinginess is you can experience a sense of insecurity. This can lead you to repeatedly seek reassurance and support from your partner. 

It’s normal to worry about these things. Still, when it becomes an obsession and hard to control, it becomes problematic in a relationship.

Lack of self-esteem

If you have low self-esteem, there’s a chance that you’re afraid of being alone. Instead of finding your confidence, you tend to search for it in your partner and treat him or her as your one and only strength. And when they go away, it can feel like part of yourself is missing.

A lack of self-esteem can also make you feel like you’re not good enough. This is why you overthink things when your partner doesn’t tell you things, the message you, or call you immediately. And that’s when you start to get clingy and needy for attention and support from your partner.

Fear of rejection

Rejection can cause clinginess because it makes you feel like you need to get close to someone else to protect yourself from the pain of being rejected. You feel like if you’re close enough, then the other person won’t reject you.

It’s not that we want people to reject us. It’s just that when we’re afraid of rejection, we tend to take it personally and assume that any distance between another person and us is a sign that they don’t want us anymore.

That can make us act clingy or insecure in an attempt to get closer because it’s easier than facing up to our fear.

It’s important to ask these questions to yourself when facing rejections.

  • Why do I fear rejection in the first place? 
  • What makes me so afraid of what might happen if I am not liked?

I found a simple answer to these.

As human beings, we’re wired to seek approval from others. Our brains are hardwired to make us feel good about ourselves by seeking approval from others. When someone rejects us, it feels like they’re rejecting our whole self, not just the specific thing they don’t like. 

So, if you tend to cling to people, your brain doesn’t know how to deal with rejection healthily. 

You need some tools and techniques for managing your fear of being rejected. This way, you can stop clinging and start building healthy relationships that aren’t based on fear and neediness!

Over-developed sense of responsibility for your partner

This phenomenon is also codependency. This means you feel it’s your job to care for and protect them instead of letting them take care of themselves. 

This can cause clinginess because if you’re doing all the work, you’ll feel like they don’t appreciate it enough. And suppose they don’t appreciate it enough. In that case, they’ll start feeling guilty and become more likely to do something nice for you in return to make sure they’re not hurting your feelings!

It’s a toxic trait in a relationship. The fact that you are focused too much on your partner and not yourself can impact your relationship negatively. It’s not your job to always look out for them, which doesn’t mean you don’t love them!

How do you eliminate clinginess in a relationship?

When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to get a little clingy. You always want to be with your partner, and you can’t stand when they don’t respond immediately to a text or call.  

But if you want to keep your relationship healthy and happy, here are some ways to deal with this behavior.

Talk about it. 

The first step toward getting rid of clinginess is simply talking about what’s bothering you about your partner’s behavior. Tell them how their actions make you feel, then listen carefully as they respond. When both of you can talk openly about the issue, it will be easier to work together toward a solution.

Set aside time just for yourself. 

One way you can deal with feeling overly attached to your partner is by setting aside time each week to do something on your own.

For example, you can see a movie by yourself or take an evening class at the community center without including your partner in the plans. This allows you to reconnect with yourself and feel less connected with your partner all at once!

Get some exercise! 

Physical exertion helps relieve stress, which can help reduce feelings of clinginess and anxiety in general. It also makes you feel and think good about yourself, boosting your self-confidence!

Set boundaries.

You can do this by setting time together or apart so you both know what is expected and there aren’t any surprises down the road! This helps avoid any issues, like cheating or lack of communication.

Learn how to say “no” when it’s appropriate. 

If they ask you to do something that makes you uncomfortable or unhappy, don’t feel bad about saying no! You have a right to refuse situations or relationships that make you unhappy, so don’t feel guilty about exercising it.

Now that you know what clinginess is and why it happens, you can now transform yourself to achieve a healthier relationship that you can treasure for a lifetime!

Garo Kotchounian

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