Nothing sends a person running for the hills faster than a partner who won’t give them their space, because this type of behavior does nothing more than wreak havoc on a relationship. From emotionally needy to overly insecure, stage-five clingers are plentiful. (It really is a jungle out there.)
Even if you know clingers are to be avoided, how can you be so sure you’re not doing it? If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re the guilty party, we’re here to shed some light on the situation. Here are 11 telltale signs you’re way too clingy.
1. You obsess over when your partner will text you back
It’s normal to wonder when your partner is going to text you back, but things become problematic when it turns into a full-fledged obsession. Psychology Today says this can lead people to miss out on other things, including other important relationships. If you’re starting to notice this pattern, take a step back to realize your significant other has a life outside of you, and you should have one outside of them. They’ll get back to you when they can.
2. When you don’t hear back, you freak out, or assume the worst
Not hearing back from your partner, especially in the beginning stages of your relationship, can be nerve-racking. But don’t let yourself get caught up in the “what ifs” of it all. If you do, you’re probably way too clingy, and that means the relationship already has an expiration date.
If we learned anything from He’s Just Not That Into You, we know that if a person likes you, they will reach out. So, just settle down. Just because your partner didn’t respond ASAP doesn’t mean they’re blowing you off. On the flip side, if it’s obvious they “don’t have time” or are always preoccupied, you might want to take the hint.
3. You get mad when they go out without you
You have to remember that any relationship requires making time for each other, as well as your separate friend groups. If you get upset or worry every time your partner chooses to go out without you, Bustle says it’s a clear sign you’re headed into clingy territory. Your partner probably doesn’t mind that you spend time with your friends without them, so there’s no reason for you to get upset when they do the same. Oh, and don’t send constant text messages to see how things are going.
4. You ask lots of prying questions
We’ve established that clingy partners get angry when they’re not included in social outings. And the natural next step — at least for someone who’s super clingy — is to investigate. You don’t just want to know about your partner’s whereabouts, you need to know.
According to eHarmony, clingy folks tend to ask a lot of prying questions. Furthermore, the dating site says, “[Clingy people] stay as close as possible under the assumption that being nearby can prevent their prize from escaping.” Of course, this will only end up hurting you and your relationship in the long run.
5. You check in at their go-to spots
If your prying questions haven’t worked, and your next move is to casually swing by their favorite hang-outs, you are starting trouble. This line of thinking is far from rational. Now of course, if you’re actually worried about them, this might be an OK move. But unless you’re genuinely concerned your partner has ended up in the hospital, dropping into their go-to spots is not only unacceptable, it’s borderline stalker. As Elite Daily says, this is definitely a sign you’re too clingy.
6. You only make time for your partner
As much as you enjoy being with your partner, your relationship shouldn’t cancel out the rest of your social calendar. When this happens, PopSugar says your friends may soon start to disappear. Becoming socially isolated is never a good thing. What if you and your partner have a fight? Who will you talk to? You schedule time for your partner, so make sure to do the same with the other people you care about, too.
7. You’ve lost your own interests
This one is huge. Have you stopped doing the things you used to love before you and your partner started dating? Do you only like doing what your partner likes to do? Bustle says this is a red flag signifying you’re way too clingy. You and your partner are two different people with your own interests. While it’s important for there to be some overlap, you shouldn’t lose who you are.
8.You sacrifice your happiness for theirs
Some level of compromise is standard in any relationship. But when you only do what your partner wants to do, even at the sacrifice of your own happiness, there’s a problem. We’ve already established losing your own interests is a red flag, but being clingy goes even further than that. According to Thought Catalog, it’s important to ask yourself if you’re OK “being bored out of your mind, like watching football or gaming … just as long as you’re with [your partner].” If this has become commonplace in your relationship, there’s a big issue that needs addressing.
9. You tag along everywhere
When your partner mentions he or she is going somewhere, it’s not always an invitation for you to come along. AskMen says showing up uninvited to every social gathering could cause some serious strain between your partner and their friends. If your partner wants you to come with, odds are he or she will ask. But if they’re just mentioning where they’re going to keep you in the know, take the hint and make plans of your own.
10. You constantly check up on them on social media
Social media and relationships don’t always mix well. Why? Because these platforms make it way too easy to snoop on your significant other. Storypick says constantly checking your partner’s feeds, or those of their family, clearly shows you’re too clingy. In fact, it could signal some serious trust issues. Needless to say, this behavior is not healthy.
11. You resent their attractive friends or colleagues
It’s 100% possible your partner has a seriously attractive co-worker, but it’s just something you have to deal with. Women’s Health says expressing contempt will only lead to relationship issues. Coming across as clingy is the best possible scenario in this case. If you have serious concerns, simply talk to your partner. Don’t accuse, just talk. You’ll both get a lot more out of communicating in a calm, collected manner.
Additional reporting by Julie Peirano