You love it when your boyfriend gives you attention. But, what if this gets out of hand? Is there a way to understand when your boyfriend is getting too clingy? Well, if you feel smothered and uncomfortable in the relationship even though he is sweet and attentive, it is possible that you have a clingy boyfriend. There are a few red flags that you can look out for to make sure you are not over-reacting. We have discussed 10 warning signs that are attributed to a clingy boyfriend. It is important to figure out where to draw a line. Otherwise, it may take a toll on your mental health. But, this does not mean that you have to give up on the relationship. Keep reading to find out how to deal with a clingy boyfriend so that you are not under too much pressure in the relationship.
In This Article
What Is A Clingy Boyfriend?
‘Clingy’ is a term often used to describe someone who does not have clear boundaries and tends to get over-attached emotionally or even physically. If your boyfriend is overly possessive, jealous (even of your non-romantic relationships), and irrationally insecure about your whereabouts, he is clingy. He may love you tremendously, but it is unhealthy to not give each other space to grow or be themselves.
A clingy boyfriend may become demanding and selfish, which can be exhausting for you in the long run. He may not want to make plans with other people and want to keep you for himself. There can be many reasons for such behavior, but it mainly stems from insecurity and a fear of abandonment. He probably has severe anxiety that you will leave him or the relationship will end.
Wondering how to tell if your boyfriend is clingy? Check out the 10 warning signs that can help you understand their behavior.
10 Signs Your Boyfriend Is Clingy
1. He Wants To Know Your Whereabouts All The Time
If your boyfriend is constantly bombarding you with text messages throughout the day, it is not a good sign. While it is normal to touch base once in a while and keep the communication going, texting too often can be intrusive and exhausting. He may also tend to get anxious if you do not text back immediately. He may even be controlling as he feels that he will lose you to someone else. However, in a healthy relationship, it is important to have trust.
A clingy boyfriend will want to know everything about your whereabouts – who you are with? What are you doing? Where are you? He wants to keep tabs on your schedule and gets upset if you don’t share it with him.
2. He Needs Constant Validation
A clingy boyfriend seeks constant reassurance. He is insecure or unsure of the relationship. He often doubts if you love him. He may ask you questions like – Do you love me? How much do you love me? What can you do for me?
He may even make over-the-top romantic gestures and want you to reciprocate with the same enthusiasm. Sometimes, he may even get competitive in showing you affection and love. Also, he will get upset or anxious if you do not validate his feelings. He will demand attention all the time and may even guilt trip you if you don’t cater to his unrealistic expectations.
While it is great to be admired and adored, it may come off as superficial and ingenuine if it becomes the norm.
3. He Does Not Like You To Socialize Without Him
This is a big red flag. If your boyfriend has temper tantrums or acts needy when you hang out with your friends, he is insecure and clingy. You both deserve to have lives outside the relationship. In fact, it is considered healthy to have friends, hobbies, and interests that do not overlap. It helps you develop your self-identity and grow as a person.
He may also be overprotective of you hanging out with your friends and try to invite himself to the gatherings or just tag along with you. Even if you do manage to go without him, he will constantly call or text to know how you are doing.
He may even get jealous if you are hanging out with guys. All this boils down to insecurity and lack of trust. Either way, this behavior is not acceptable in a healthy relationship.
4. He Is Not Assertive
He may not hold strong opinions. He gets swayed easily, especially if it involves you. Since he is insecure, he gives in to your requests and is not confident enough to be assertive. This is stifling for the relationship. He may be scared to say what he truly feels as he assumes you will leave him if he disagrees. He would rather keep his opinions to himself than create any conflict.
A healthy relationship entails feisty discussions and arguments without name-calling or insulting. Disagreements and an ability to resolve conflicts help in creating a stronger bond between two people.
5. He Is Incredibly Jealous
A little jealousy is normal in most relationships. But, a clingy boyfriend may be overly jealous and possessive – so much so that you can are constantly fighting.
He may have irrational fears or extreme insecurity when it comes to your interactions with the opposite sex. He may get angry and moody when you talk or spend time with other guys.
He will be distrustful of everyone who is close to you and may even try to sabotage your relationships.
6. He Does Not Socialize Without You
He does not have friends with whom he can hang out. Even if he does, he prefers to spend time with you instead. If he cancels his plans with his friends to be with you or insists that you should also join them, it is a big warning sign of his clinginess. His whole world revolves around you. Since he does not have a support system, his anxiety may be triggered when you have any conflict with him.
7. He Does Not Have Hobbies
If your boyfriend does not have any hobbies or interests, or if he stopped spending time by himself after he met you, it is another sign that he is clingy. It can also get dangerous as he may get obsessed with you. This will definitely change the dynamics of the relationship and aspects of his personality. Since he is not spending time doing anything else, he could be constantly thinking about you and what you are doing, leading to unlikely scenarios in his head.
8. He Does Not Give You Space
He never leaves you alone, so much so that you find his presence smothering. You put up with it because you feel his heart is in the right place and he means no harm. However, we all need space to recharge, and it is particularly important in a healthy relationship to have individual lives.
You may have tried telling him that you need a break, but he probably got offended or hurt by that suggestion. He feels that you should be spending more time with him instead of your friends or family.
9. He Stalks You Online
We all are guilty of checking up on our partners on social media. It can easily become an obsession to constantly check if they are online or when they were “last seen.” Other red flags include him if asking about everyone who is tagged in your pictures or guys you follow. He may even ask you about people who liked your pictures or commented on your posts as he may see them as potential threats. He may even be keeping tabs on these people or your ex-boyfriends by checking their profiles or stories. This is particularly alarming if he is always online but hardly active on his own profile.
10. He Does Not Respect Your Boundaries
You notice that he does not respect your decisions or trust you. He often encroaches on your personal space. He may want to do everything together – simple things like taking a shower or shaving.
He asks you about your day and gets upset if you did something without him. He may get pouty and sulk until you give in or do something he likes to do with you. He does not understand your need for space and takes it as you wanting to be away from him.
If he exhibits any of these signs consistently, he is most definitely a clingy boyfriend. The good news is that you can set some boundaries for a healthy relationship. Check out the next section to find out more.
How To Handle A Clingy Boyfriend
1. Be Honest With Yourself
The first and foremost thing to do is to analyze how you behave in the relationship. Are you enabling him? Were you also clingy in the beginning? Did the relationship lose the initial spark? Are you looking for something else, or have you lost interest in him? Either way, a little introspection is good. It is not healthy for anyone to be clingy in a relationship.
2. Set Boundaries
This is the most important and effective step you can take to manage your relationship if your boyfriend is clingy. It would be great to set boundaries early on in the relationship so it is easy to implement them. However, it is never too late to set boundaries about what kind of relationship you want and what behavior is off-limits. Simply establish a few ground rules regarding when to call and giving each other space. Let him know that you need space to rejuvenate yourself and it has nothing to do with him.
3. Establish Trust
This is more to do with him, but you can help him learn to trust you by not hiding things from him. Be honest and transparent. Let him know that you find his behavior controlling and smothering. Soothe his anxieties and discuss getting professional help, if needed. Clinginess can be a manifestation of underlying issues such as fear of abandonment or having an anxious attachment style. So, therapy may help in dispelling some of the fears and anxieties. Go for couples’ sessions if necessary.
4. Let Him Know He Is Important To You
Shower him with praises and appreciate the things he does for you. Let him know that he is important to you and you love him. Spend quality time with him, go on dates, and do not neglect him. Introduce him to your friends and family, but negotiate how much time you spend with him. Let him know that he cannot be replaced and that he holds a special place in your heart.
5. Cut Down On Communication
Make sure that you do not communicate excessively with each other. Be firm with him – let him know that you will not take calls when you are at work or with someone unless it’s urgent. Ask him not to text you often as it is distracting. Do it in a gentle manner and tell him you will check up on him when you are free.
Wean him off constant texting by taking time to respond or not replying to every text. Slowly, he will pick up the cues and model his behavior accordingly.
You can also have a “pause” day when you take a break from each other. Let him know you are safe but will not be available on call or social media. This will help in curtailing phone time or the need to constantly be in touch.
6. Encourage Him To Socialize Without You
Help him plan a guys’ night out with his friends or enlist him in a class on something related to his interests and hobbies. Encourage him to go out with his friends every week. Let him know that you trust him and want him to be happy. You can ask his friends to help get him out of his comfort zone.
Lack of boundaries, jealousy, a need for reassurance or validation, poor social life, disinterest in personal hobbies, and constantly checking up on you are warning signs of a clingy boyfriend. The good news is that you can change this behavior by establishing trust, setting boundaries, and encouraging him to socialize with others. Here’s to a happy and healthy relationship!