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How to Stop Being a Clingy Girlfriend

If you’re obsessive about your relationship and trying to control your boyfriend, then you’re a clingy girlfriend. Here’s how to stop – and how to undo the damage neediness causes in love relationships.

On my article about how to stop thinking about your ex, a reader said: “I am clingy and obsessive to my boyfriend. He said he can’t be my full-time boyfriend, and that we need to relax and back off a little bit. What to do about it? It’s freaking me out.”

The good news is that her boyfriend may not be breaking up with her – he just wants a break. He’s telling her that she is a clingy girlfriend, and he needs space. She hasn’t driven him away (yet!). These tips will help her – and you – develop your self-image and self-esteem so you can stop being clingy and start being the girl you were meant to be.

Many women try to get their value, confidence, self-worth, and sense of security from a man. This is a huge mistake; you’re giving up your very soul for approval and acceptance from your boyfriend. There is nothing worth this, not a marriage proposal, house with a white picket fence, world travel as a  couple, a baby, diamond necklaces – you will wind up disappointed. You’ll be empty-handed and emotionally depleted unless you learn to get your value, confidence, and self-worth from God.

5 Ways to Stop Being a Clingy Girlfriend

Learn how to be happy and love life with your boyfriend – or without your boyfriend. Then he will value, accept, and love you for who you are.

1. Stop evaluating yourself in terms of your boyfriend

If you’re a clingy girlfriend, you’re probably also insecure, needy, dependent, and scared to be alone. You’re getting your self-worth from your image of yourself as a girlfriend. You don’t have an image of yourself apart from being in this relationship. Or, this relationship is more important to you than anything else in your life. If you put your boyfriend above all else, you will be a clingy girlfriend.

In Why Men Love Bi**es: From Doormat to Dreamgirl – A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship, Sherry Argov shares an interesting cycle that describes how girlfriends start being too clingy in a relationship, and how they can’t stop.

The cycle of clingy relationships:

  1. You develop a single-focused view that what your boyfriend gives you is vital to your life.
  2. Because you fall into the trap of believing that your boyfriend – and only your boyfriend – can give you everything you need, you give up everything else.
  3. You feel more and more trapped by your own clinginess in your relationship, but you continue to try harder because you believe your boyfriend is the only one who can make you feel fulfilled again.
  4. Your boyfriend senses your willingness to give everything up for him, so he stops trying.
  5. You sense your boyfriend withdrawing and you work even harder. You find yourself becoming even more clingy in your relationship and you can’t stop yourself.
  6. The relationship self-destructs.

The cycle gets worse as you become more and more depleted and desperate for your boyfriend’s love, time, and attention.

2. Think about why you are insecure, needy, and clingy

We’re all insecure and needy in different ways. It’s normal to seek reassurance, love, and affection from our partners. But, if our self-worth and self-identity is wrapped up in our relationship or our partners, then we are skating on thin ice. We can’t get our self-esteem from other people or material things. We need to find more solid, permanent, effective ways to feel good about ourselves.

How to Stop Being a Clingy Girlfriend

How to Stop Being a Clingy Girlfriend

In 11 Ways to Stop Being the “Clingy Girlfriend” in a Relationship, I encourage readers to get their self-identity and purpose from God. If you connect to your Creator, you will find a security and freedom you never dreamed possible. Are you secure in who you are? I wasn’t, until I learned how God sees me. Feeling and accepting His love was the only way I got what Agrov was talking about! It was the only way I could learn how to stop being clingy in my relationships, because He is the source of my life, light, strength and power.

What is the source of your joy? Stop for a moment. Tell me who or what fuels your purpose, your passion. What brings you alive, fills you with peace, sparks your light and helps you shine?

3. Learn what makes you YOU

Who are you, apart from your boyfriend? What are you good at? What do you love to do? What are your hopes, dreams, goals, plans? If you want to know how to stop being a clingy girlfriend, you have to build yourself up as a person apart from your relationship. I’m learning to get my self-worth from God, who adores me. He loves us so much! When I tap into His source of power and love, I don’t need to worry about what anyone else thinks. To stop being a clingy girlfriend, you need to find a healthy source of love and security…and it doesn’t come from the world or people in it. It comes from God.

Don’t give up don’t those things you love, whether it’s knitting or running committees or driving monster trucks or planning your academic path through medical school and becoming an oncologist. Those things you love make you more interesting and lovable to everyone, including your boyfriend. He doesn’t want to be the center of your life. He wants to be in a relationship with a girlfriend who isn’t clinging to him as the source of everything meaningful and good.

4. Know that independence and fullness makes you beautiful

I don’t think you should stop being a clingy girlfriend to make yourself more attractive to your boyfriend, but I want you to remember that independent women are awesome! Independent women are self-assured and able to stand on their own. They are sexy, fun, exciting, and adventurous. They love life, and feel confident that they are powerful and attractive.

If you’ve always tended towards neediness and clinginess with your boyfriends, read
How to Ask for What You Need in Your Relationships

5. Plan something exciting

What have you always wanted to do? Start making plans to achieve your personal or professional goals – and I’m not talking about your goal to convince your boyfriend that you aren’t a clingy girlfriend! Start planning your next vacation, career move, volunteer job, or self-improvement class. Take your eyes off your relationship and your boyfriend. Look to the blue sky, the starry night, the vast ocean…can you see your potential?

If adventure and nature isn’t first on your list of ways to stop being a clingy girlfriend. learn practical tips on how to stop being clingy with your boyfriend.

stop being clingy girlfriend

How to Stop Being a Clingy Girlfriend

These quick tips on how to stop being a clingy girlfriend in a relationship are from Argov’s book…

  • Don’t always be the one to drive 40 minutes or two hours for a date. Let your boyfriend make an effort to see you.
  • Don’t beg him for attention or affection. If your boyfriend ignores you, don’t try harder and harder to get his attention.
  • If your boyfriend is in a bad mood, give him space. Go do your own thing and let him work through his feelings in his own time.
  • Do not be governed by your fear of losing a man; the real loss is losing yourself. Women give themselves up small weights in this empty sense of their life and vitality.
  • Don’t try to change your boyfriend or the relationship, or try to get him to talk about how he feels about you. And don’t try to change him! This a sign of insecurity in relationships, and it’s very unhealthy.
  • Do not allow your boyfriend or relationship to control your life.
  • Don’t dismiss what you used to value in your life and what used to be important you.
  • Don’t obsess over your boyfriend’s opinion or try to get his approval. Value your priorities, preferences, and life goals.

Here’s my second-favorite tip on how to stop being clingy in a relationship: don’t stop eating, sleeping, or exercising because of a man! Keep your healthy, joyful routines in life. If a new boyfriend wants to spend more time with you, then you can comfortably give, invite him to join you in one of your activities – like taking your dog for a walk or going for a weekend hike or bike ride.

Bonus tip: read books about strong, healthy, happy women

clingy girlfriendI’m currently reading I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve by Kate White. She is a New York Times bestselling author – and the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, the #1 young women’s magazine in the world, and a hugely successful businesswoman. In I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, she shares her secrets to success.

I love this book because it offers tips on everything from how to ask for a raise to how to prepare for a meeting. Even if you aren’t career driven, you should read this book. It’ll help you stop being a clingy girlfriend. It’ll give you confidence, power, and the ooomph you need to create your own life.

How to Stop Being a Clingy Girlfriend

How to Stop Being a Clingy GirlfriendIn Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It,  Leslie Becker-Phelps will teach you how to overcome attachment anxiety using compassionate self-awareness, a technique that can help you recognize your negative thoughts or unhealthy behavior patterns and respond to them in a nurturing way.

You’ll also learn how insecurity can negatively affect healthy conversations between you and your boyfriend develop the skills needed to stop you from reverting back to old patterns of neediness and possessiveness in your relationships. If you suffer from anxious attachment, you probably know that you need to change, and yet you have remained stuck. With compassionate self-awareness, you can successfully explore old anxiety-perpetuating perceptions and habits without being overwhelmed or paralyzed by them. You can learn how to stop being needy in your relationship, and be a healthy girlfriend who is happily attached to her boyfriend.

Are you a clingy girlfriend? If you’re not sure, read 5 Signs You’re Suffocating Your Partner.

I welcome your thoughts below. I can’t offer advice or personal help on how to stop being a clingy girlfriend, but you may find it helpful to share your story. Talking about your relationship can help you work through why you tend to cling to a boyfriend.

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4 thoughts on “How to Stop Being a Clingy Girlfriend”

  1. Roxanne Gilbertson

    I use to be clingy with my boyfriend but not anymore I see him only a couple times a week because he has job, a dog and other commitments

  2. Hi would like your option. My job is about makes sure the clients needs are met. I don’t think its much to ask my bf to be there for my emotional needs. We texted everyday then after a week where I growled twice at him. he stopped. First time was because he wasn’t being thoughtful at my place. I started making breaky for both and we swapped showertime. I came out and he had washed his cup and made himself a tea but my cup was still dirty. (there was a few little things like that, that morning.) So stomped around abit then told him I was disgruntled and when he was here we need to work together. That week he pulled back abit, I was starting the normal good morning/ good night text. 4 days later I had a really bad nightmare. I text him in the morning looking for comfort. He obviously didn’t want to give it so I kept pushing. His replys were more ‘thats not good’, some sexual remark about the coming weekend and a mirroring reply carefully keeping the work ‘I’ out of it. All I needed was a’ I wish I was there’ or something. I don’t think that was a big ask. He stopped texting that day and I haven’t tried to text him either. I think I should just walk away but then I feel like I should tell him what I needed from him (but if I do I’m a clingy gf running after him what I don’t want). I don’t need much attention but if I do, I think he should give it and I’m fine. like past bfs if I don’t contact him he will probably contact me in about 6-8 weeks. In my mind its just coz they want a booty call. I like him (but can walk away as well) so my question is this: If he contacts me, I do not want the same thing to happen again. (I’m big on communication but sometime have trouble talking emtions) How am I suppose to tell him what I need (which is just small things, a hug on a bad day, a cuppa if hes making one anyway, emotional support if/when needed) if I’m suppose to be so centred and busy woman. And if I tell him as soon as he starts texting again, thats seen as too much too soon, but if I don’t, then he’ll probably do the same things again because I haven’t spoken up. How do I communicate what I expect and need from him and when.. now so he knows how i felt and walk away or if he texts, straight away or hang out a bit then tell him which doesn’t sound right. How do I tell him what I need as a full confident girl.. Please help, I’m confused.

  3. Hello Rose,

    I think you need to find your PASSION in life — and this has nothing to do with your boyfriend!! When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up? Who did you love spending time with? Where did you love to go?

    Focus on pursuing your life passion. Think about the dreams of your heart and soul. Take hold of your goals, and chase them wildly.

    That is how to increase your self-esteem, and how to stop being a clingy girlfriend. Try it for three months, and tell me how it’s working for you.

  4. Hi Laurie,

    great article thanks for that. I appreciate it. but I think its too much. i have to break up with him… i cannot handle it. everytime i try to date other guy he’s still in my thoughts and i am still comparing him to them. its not fair. my self esteem is very low because he keep rejecting me. he said he love me but he said that we are not bf and gf. i am push him too hard and convince him to be my bf until er fight and i gave up. is he just not that into me?? how to get over with him. i still blame my self because I jump too easy on bed with him without thinking his real intention and I am a looser I fell for him even he said that he is player and he like to have fling with other girls. it hurt so much what to do? where do I start to myake myself whole again??


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