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How to Be Less Clingy: 19 Ways to Avoid Being a Stage 5 Clinger

If you’ve been labeled a “stage 5 clinger,” it’s going to take quite a bit of practice to learn how to be less clingy. But that doesn’t make it impossible!

how to be less clingy

When we crush on someone, we tend to always magically be around them. But it’s time to find a healthy balance between showing your affection and giving them personal space. If you learn how to be less clingy, there’s no way that they won’t be into you. So, it’s time you learned how! Look, affection isn’t a bad thing.

But there’s a big difference between being affectionate and clingy. The latter suffocates the receiving end of this, s it really is a crucial skill to learn how to be less clingy. Because there’s still a way to hang out with them without looking too clingy.

Remember, you want to give them space to breathe and think about you without having you always by their side. In other words, you can drop the label “stage 5 clinger.” [Read: 8 signs you’re coming on way too strong]

Why is extreme clinginess bad?

People are entitled to live their independent life without being smothered by affection or attention all the time. It’s a major turn-off when you’re clingy right off the bat, even before getting to know you. This is an immediate red flag for others, and they wouldn’t want to know you if this is the case.

Even when you’re already dating someone or even in a relationship, clinginess just isn’t attractive. Learning how to be less clingy will benefit your relationship and your overall sanity in the long run. You might think what you’re doing is cute, but it’s not for the other person.

You’re suffocating them and not providing them any personal space to do whatever they want. Again, there is a different way for you to show admiration or even love that isn’t as harmful as clinginess. You need to find a balance, and only then will people start taking you seriously. [Read: Am I clingy? Here’s how to really know the truth about yourself]

How to be less clingy

You know their schedule, you know where they hang out on the weekends, or who their friends are. It’s not your fault they post everything on Facebook! Okay, but still, this becomes a problem even if they like you.

If you don’t let someone breathe and have their own space, it’s suffocating and clingy. We know that’s not your intention, we know you like them and just want to spend time with them, but it’s not coming across like that. [Read: How to stop being clingy: 19 ways to gain self-confidence]

1. It’s you

“It’s not you, it’s me” is a line we’ve all heard before.  We know you want me to tell you it’s because they act like this. The thing is, this clingy behavior is because of you, not them. Sure, they may act distant, but you react in this way. Their distance is a reflection of you robbing them of their personal space.

So you really can’t blame them, can you? Instead of communicating with them or looking within, you grab onto them because you’re scared of losing them. You can’t be clingy because of this reason, no matter how valid it might be.

It’s normal to fear losing someone, but acting clingy because of this fear will sabotage your relationship or any potential you might have with them. [Read: 9 effective ways to stop being needy and insecure]

2. Admit that you’re clingy

Maybe someone told you that you’re clingy, so that’s why you’re reading this. But, if you don’t actually think you’re clingy, none of this will help you in learning how to be less clingy. Before you make any changes, fully accept you exhibit clingy behavior. This is the only way to make permanent changes.

The road to any self-improvement is to admit you’re clingy. Only then will you be able to move forward and gradually change your behavior. If you don’t accept your flaws, you won’t become better. [Read: 21 signs of a clingy girlfriend & how to avoid turning into one]

3. It’s all about self-confidence

There’s a reason why you act this way. You’re scared of losing them. Why would you be scared of that? Your insecurities and fears overtake you, thus you behave in a clingy way. Work on your self-confidence instead. We’re all scared to lose the people we love, but it can’t be the only thing you dwell on.

Otherwise, you’ll always be controlled by your fear throughout your life. Do things that make you feel good, and make sure you do these things outside of your relationship. Most importantly, don’t focus on losing them, no matter how scared you are. [Read: 11 powerful confidence boosts to alter your life]

4. You have to sort through your trust issues

You’re clingy because you fear losing this person, but you also don’t trust them or the relationship. You need to fully trust your partner. If not, you will never be able to fully give them the space they need. This means digging through your trust issues and getting to the root issues.

Talk about it with them, with a therapist, and with yourself. Remember that trust is the root of any relationship so if you don’t work on your trust issues, you’ll never learn how to be less clingy. You can’t be in a relationship without trusting your partner first. [Read: how to get over trust issues in your relationship and move forward]

5. Space is a good thing

People get caught up in the idea that they need to be with someone 24/7 in order to show them that they care for them. This isn’t how it works. Too much closeness puts a strain on the relationship. Just because your partner doesn’t want to be with you 24/7, it doesn’t reflect their love for you.

We know how easy it is to take this personally, but it’s not about you. You know what they say, right? Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and it’s true!

They may push you away because they feel trapped when you’re being too clingy. Give them space, it makes the relationship stronger. [Read: 10 obvious hints guys give when they want more space in the relationship]

6. Put yourself first

Right now, all you think about is them. It’s all them, them, them. Stop it. It’s time to flip that around and start thinking about yourself, working through your issues, and reflecting. Give yourself essential alone time. It provides you space to rebalance your thoughts and emotions.

You keep putting others first, but when will you give yourself that same love? You can’t love someone properly if you never put yourself first. So the key to stop suffocating them and learning how to be less clingy is to prioritize yourself and give yourself time and effort. [Read: How to focus on yourself in a relationship & avoid losing yourself]

7. Take control of your anxiety

This is also tied to your self-esteem. You’re anxious because you want your partner to like you and stay with you. But this puts a lot of pressure on them. A pressure that isn’t needed in a relationship. If you find that your anxiety triggers your clinginess, learn to manage your anxiety accordingly.

Take a walk, exercise, meditate or go outside. Do whatever it takes to feel calmer. Focus on taking your anxiety and turning it into a positive outlook. Take on habits which reduce your anxiety and make you feel internally at peace. [Read: 20 mistakes to stop making and letting relationship anxiety go]

8. Clinginess is also physical

We use nonverbal communication as a way to communicate with our partners as well. We hold hands, kiss, hug, lean into them. These are all ways to show affection which is good, you need that. However, it sometimes goes overboard and makes the person feel they literally can’t get out of your grasp.

That’s not how they should feel. So, respect their personal boundaries. Too much of this is no longer affection but your clinginess taking place. So learn the difference and respect also their personal space. If you care about them, you should respect their boundaries.

9. It’s too much of them

Clinginess is from being around too much of one thing. In this case, it’s your partner. If they’re the only person you hang out with, this is a good sign it’s time to expand your social circle. Spend time with your friends, go outside, meet new people, and hang out with your family! Your partner can’t be your only social life, you know?

Balance is everything in a relationship. Of course, still, spend time with them. But also make sure you see other people at least once or twice a week. It reduces your clingy behavior. Trust us, this piece of advice greatly helps when learning how to be less clingy.

10. Talk to your partner

Talk to them honestly and openly. Find out which behavior your partner has problems handling and what their boundaries are. They may be too scared to tell you that they need some time alone or to hang out with friends. Communicate with your partner and hear what they’re saying.

Most importantly, don’t take what they say personally or don’t get angry. They’re trying to tell you their boundaries and how they feel, so respect them.

If you want a trustworthy relationship, start talking about your issues, showing them that you’re aware. They’ll help and support you. Relationships are a two-way street, after all. [Read: How to give someone space without losing them]

11. Don’t think “what if”

These thoughts don’t make things better for you mentally. Take control of your fears and focus on the positive aspects of your relationship. Your overthinking thoughts will never get you anywhere if you want to learn how to be less clingy.

These thoughts are coming from a place of insecurities and fear, so don’t dwell on them. The more you focus on these thoughts, the likely you are to sabotage your own relationship. [Read: How to stop overthinking: secrets to go from overthinker to relaxer]

12. Stop trying to control everything

You can’t control your relationship. There are two people involved, it’s not just you. I know you want everything to work out a specific way, but this is highly toxic behavior for any relationship. You might not mean it, but clinginess is considered as controlling behavior. If someone wants to be with you, they’ll be with you.

You cannot control your partner. In fact, the more you cling to them, the more likely you’ll lose them altogether. Realize that some things or people are out of your control, and that’s okay. But you can’t control your relationship by being even more clingy. [Read: 20 glaring signs you have a control freak in you]

13. Talk to a professional

If you find you can’t control your anxiety or communicate effectively with your partner then why not see a professional therapist? They’ll be able to find the root issue of what’s really causing these feelings inside of you. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our heads that we can’t find a way out.

Therapy doesn’t mean something is immediately wrong with you. But it’s a great way to seek help if you really want to learn how to be less clingy.

They can also help you incorporate healthier ways of coping with your fears and insecurities in your relationship and yourself. [Read: The right way to give space in a relationship without drifting apart]

14. Heal from your baggage

If you really want to learn how to be less clingy, it’s essential to heal from any significant baggage you might have. We all have baggage, but that doesn’t mean you won’t try to recover from them. Especially if you suffer from trust or abandonment issues, it could be why you’re suffocating your partner with clinginess.

In order to change this behavior, you need to heal from your past and focus on the present instead. Let the past go because no matter what, you can never change what has already happened. [Read: How to not be clingy: 12 rules of clinginess to find your space]

15. Respect their boundaries

It’s easy to take boundaries personally, but they teach you how to love them and yourself. If you constantly cross their limits, it also means you don’t respect them, which means you don’t love them. So if you love your partner ad want your relationship to flourish, respect the boundaries they have.

If one of their boundaries is significant alone time every now and then, try your best not to take it personally. It doesn’t reflect their lack of love for you, but they just need time and space to recharge their energy. [Read: How to set personal boundaries & guide other people to respect it]

16. Keep yourself busy

Distractions are beneficial if you want to learn how to be less clingy. So keep yourself busy as that’s the best way to keep your mind off your partner 24/7. Look, it’s not wrong to think of your partner and want to be near them. What’s unhealthy is when you suffocate them to the point where they don’t have space away from you.

So this is your chance to focus on your hobbies and interests and engage in distractions to make your mind busy. You won’t be as clingy when you’re buried doing something else. [Read: How to make the absolute most out of your alone time]

17. Go outside and have adventures

This is your chance to go outside, get some fresh air, and have adventures with your friends. If you want to lessen your clinginess, have a change of environment.

Go on that beach trip, go on a road trip with your family, travel! We assure you, this is going to help you stop suffocating your partner with your excessive presence. Also, you’ll have fun in the process! [Read: Best friend bucket list: 20 exciting adventures for you and your BFF]

18. Be self-reliant *but not excessively*

Being self-reliant and independent is the only way you can learn how to be less clingy. Of course, don’t do it too excessively to the point your partner never feels your love or feels needed.

Be independent in a way that you’re capable of being your own person, but you can also show them affection when it counts. Basically, find the balance between independence and clinginess. [Read: 18 ways to have high self-esteem and start winning at life]

19. Get off your phone

We live in the modern dating era where it’s now so easy to flood someone with calls and texts. If this is you, it can be helpful to put down your phone for a while.

Especially if your separation anxiety is triggered when they don’t respond to your texts for an extended period or they read your texts without responding, put down your phone and gain a little perspective. Your partner could be busy, and they can’t always reply to your messages 24/7. Give them a little breathing room.

[Read: Social media detox: 13 ways to wean yourself off social media]

So, how to be less clingy?

The first step to being less clingy is accepting that you’re clingy. You need to realize that holding on to a person more and attaching yourself to them won’t make the tendency of losing them less. The potential of losing them will still be there. You need to accept that there are situations you just can’t control.

Now that you know how to be less clingy, it’s time you put these tips into practice. It’s time you put some balance in your relationship by using some of the tips mentioned above.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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