Is your girlfriend like a piece of human velcro?
Is she always there with her puppy-dog eyes, constantly wanting to be near you?
It’s great to be close to our significant others and increase intimacy in our relationships.
But there’s a fine line between connecting with a partner and getting into cling-on territory.
If you have a clingy girlfriend, it’s challenging to lean into the relationship for fear of getting consumed.
Identifying the signs of a clingy girlfriend can help you navigate the issue and talk with your significant other before you peel yourself away entirely.
There are many ways enmeshment rears its head in a relationship. Learn what you can do to make the best decisions moving forward.
What Causes a Woman to be Too Clingy?
“Why is my girlfriend so clingy?”
If you have a needy girlfriend, there are plenty of reasons why this may happen.
Here are the main reasons why your partner may be exhibiting this behavior:
- She has an insecure attachment style: This archetype refers to how we were raised and the influence our parents had on us. If your girlfriend has an insecure attachment style, she will need a lot of extra reassurance in the relationship and may have unresolved relationship issues that come into the relationship.
- Your partner has a high level of anxiety: Your partner may struggle with regulating her emotions, which can lead to mood swings, chronic stress, and a need to cling to her partner in a relationship.
- Poor self-esteem: If your significant other doesn’t think very highly of herself, she may rely on you to help make decisions and want to spend a disproportionate amount of time with you to feel confident.
- Bad past relationships: It’s happened to all of us; we’ve been burned by previous relationships. Some women may respond by holding even tighter onto their current partners to try to control the situation.
- You may be neglecting her: It’s possible you may think your girlfriend is being clingy because you’re not ready for commitment in the relationship. Take time to work out your desire to be in a serious relationship. It can reveal any issues rooted in your own hesitations than your girlfriend’s actions.
There’s plenty of work that can be done to help heal and resolve these limitations.
You can encourage your partner to engage in self-reflection or therapy, but may also need to be patient or put up with her boundaries, as you can’t do the work for them.
11 Signs of a Clingy Girlfriend
These tell-tale signs of an overbearing girlfriend can help you better understand your relationship and your girlfriend. See which ones apply to your situation and use them as a jumping-off point to start a conversation with your significant other:
1. She Texts You Excessively
These days, communication is easier than ever, and it’s common to message your partner several times a day. However, if you have a needy girlfriend, you may be getting texts around the clock. She may ask how you’re doing, constantly update you on her day, or send funny cat videos your way.
It’s natural for this to feel overwhelming, especially if you find it’s interrupting your professional or personal life.
2. She Gets Upset When You Don’t Get Back to Her
If your girlfriend gets angry when you don’t respond to her right away, you may feel like you’re trapped in a dialogue. She may say things such as “You never get back to me” or “You’re ignoring me,” but neither of these comments is founded in an actual conversation about what you’re doing with your time.
You may start to feel guilty if you take any time for yourself and feel the pressure to get back to her right away to avoid conflict.
3. She’s Jealous of Other Women
While jealousy is a normal challenge that many couples deal with, if you have a clingy partner, the jealousy may go into overdrive.
Some jealous girlfriends don’t allow their boyfriends to hang out with other women, go into social situations by themselves, or even communicate with friends on social media.
Jealous behavior can drain the energy of the relationship and create conflicts in other areas. It can also make your girlfriend cling to you even more since she may want to constantly monitor your actions and how you spend time around other women.
4. She Drops By When She’s Not Invited
If you don’t live with your girlfriend, you may feel she’s crossing boundaries if she constantly stops by your home unannounced.
She may be trying to “catch” you doing something while you’re alone. Or she may innocently just want to spend time with you but doesn’t understand your privacy needs well.
She may also invite herself to social and family events you want to enjoy on your own, making you feel like you’re not entitled to personal time with your loved ones or time alone in your home.
5. She Asks You to Make All the Decisions
If your girlfriend constantly asks, “What do you think?” or “What should we do?” When the two of you are making decisions, she may rely on your opinions. When she needs you to make all of the choices in a relationship, it can create a lot of intellectual and emotional fatigue.
It’s impossible to take responsibility for another person’s actions, and clingy partners may pressure us to do just that.
6. She’s Tracking You On Your Phone
Some partners decide to let each other have access to their personal devices, such as passwords, apps, or anything else they may share. And some couples even find it safe to track locations to have a sense of safety in the relationship.
But this could be seen as clingy if your girlfriend is non-consensually tracking your whereabouts or constantly looking at where you’re headed.
If she’s being accusatory or aggressive when confronting you about your whereabouts, it’s a definite red flag that your girlfriend isn’t giving you enough personal space in the relationship.
7. She Asks Personal Questions About You
You may notice your girlfriend talking to your friends or family members about private affairs, which could feel invasive if you’d rather keep certain conversations between you and her.
Depending on how close she is to your social group, it may or may not cross your boundaries in those relationships as well. Either way, it’s definitely a sign that your significant other is clinging too tightly to the relationship.
8. She Crosses Physical Boundaries
If your girlfriend always needs to be physically connected, it may be a sign of co-dependency. Physical over-dependence can include wanting to constantly hold hands or needing to always be in the same room as you if you live together.
It can also take on more sinister tones. For example, if your girlfriend insists on physical intimacy when you’re not interested, it can be a major invasion of your personal space.
A clingy partner may not take no for an answer and constantly push you for more physical connection even when unavailable.
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9. She Uses All Your Stuff, All the Time
There’s no doubt that relationships are about sharing, compromising, and investing in things together. However, clingy partners sometimes claim ownership of things that aren’t theirs.
She may ask to borrow nearly everything you own – or, even worse, she may not ask at all.
This makes a clingy partner feel more connected in the relationship but doesn’t acknowledge the other person’s wishes about their things.
When this moves into more serious areas such as living spaces, finances, or investments for the future, it can be a dealbreaker if your partner meddles with your belongings and resources.
10. She Makes You Choose Her Over Everything Else
A clingy girlfriend may use control to feel secure in a relationship, and one way she can do this is by asserting that she needs to be your priority over everything else.
Making your partner a priority may look like choosing her over friends, giving up free time to be with her, or even making career choices that prioritize your girlfriend.
When these priorities are drawn up and agreed upon together, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of re-prioritizing. But if you feel like your girlfriend is calling all of the shots, giving you ultimatums, or moving too quickly with changes, you may feel yourself pulling away.
11. She Maps Out Your Entire Future
Women who struggle with clinginess in relationships like to know what’s coming in the future. It helps them to feel more secure and in control of their lives. So you may notice your partner pressuring you to make long-term decisions so she better understands how to move forward.
However, no one can ever truly predict the future of a relationship, so this can be a stressful endeavor if someone is trying to force these conversations with 100% commitment too early on.
Your girlfriend may want to know your preference for kids, moving in together, integrating social groups, and planning for marriage.
While there’s nothing wrong with discussing these topics in a relationship, both partners need to leave space for these answers to form themselves over time, depending on how the relationship progresses.
What to Do When Your Girlfriend Is Too Clingy?
It can be tough to admit that your girlfriend is too clingy. But there are plenty of ways to introduce conversations into the relationship that can both confront and resolve the problems.
Remember that your partner may not even know these problems exist in the first place, so communication can go a long way in getting two people on the same page.
Here are helpful tips for navigating this tricky relationship issue:
- Let your girlfriend know how you feel: The first and most crucial step in this process is to let your partner know how you feel. The trick is to do this in a way that isn’t mean or accusatory. Focus on “I” statements that speak to your concerns and feelings without making comments on her behavior. “I” statements help reduce the possibility of the other person feeling attacked.
- State and enforce your boundaries: Now that you’ve told your girlfriend how you feel, it’s time to clarify your boundaries. These boundaries can be around your work life, personal life, spiritual life, or any other avenue that you need space around. Let your partner know you’re serious about your boundaries and reinforce them whenever needed with a simple reminder.
- Ask for more friend time or alone time: If you’re feeling smothered by the relationship, be honest with your partner and tell her that you need more time by yourself or with friends. You can assure her of your feelings for her, but at some point, she needs to understand this on her own. It’s healthy for partners to encourage each other to have alone time and social time.
- Ask her how she feels: It may be a lot for your partner to hear all this, so check in and see how she feels as you express your needs. Listen actively, show empathy, and let her know you also value her feelings and needs.
- Ask her what she needs: If you plan on staying in the relationship, it’s essential to ask what will make her feel more reassured or safe. A conversation about your girlfriend’s needs could open the door to pursuing more support systems and dealing with the root of clinginess.
- Talk to Other Trusted Sources: If you feel unsafe discussing this with your partner or the conversation goes poorly, it doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it. Reaching out to a good friend, taking on a therapist, or even journaling can help you when your partner can’t or won’t listen.
It takes two to cultivate a good relationship, so you and your partner must be willing to make changes to reduce clingy behavior. Your job is to show up as empathetically as possible, respecting your partner’s feelings while standing strong on your personal needs.
Clinginess is a common occurrence in romantic relationships, and it’s usually a result of deeper traumas, insecurities, and fears that haven’t been resolved. Open and honest communication is the best way to help your girlfriend feel more confident and willing to reverse these deep-seated relational issues.
While you can improve the relationship and reduce clinginess, remember that no relationship is perfect. Seek freedom and autonomy in your relationship while remembering it’s also your responsibility to build a healthy and happy partnership with your girlfriend.