Are You A Clingy Girlfriend? Signs You Are (And Some You’re Not)

One of the worst things any woman can be called in a relationship is “clingy.” It implies that you don’t know how to let your partner breathe and that you don’t have your own life. However, is that what this label is really about? Read on to discover the true meaning of being a “clingy girlfriend” and whether or not it actually applies to you.

What’s the meaning of being a “clingy girlfriend”?

When someone describes their female partner as “clingy,” it’s likely because they’re feeling smothered or overwhelmed by the relationship. This could be down to things you’re doing. For instance, you might not be giving your S.O. enough space or time to do their own thing. Or, maybe you’re moving too fast when you only just started dating. If they feel things are too intense or that their lives are changing before they’re ready, you’re likely to earn this label.

Of course, this could also be the person’s way of distancing themself from you. Whether they’re meaning to or not, calling you a “clingy girlfriend” puts space between you. You likely feel bad for crowding them and will back off, thereby letting them off the hook. They may fear commitment or perhaps want to date other people but don’t want to tell you.

In order to determine whether you are actually being clingy or the issue is theirs, you need to pay close attention.

Signs you might be a bit clingy

  1. You add his friends on social media. There’s nothing wrong with connecting with your new boyfriend’s friends, but it’s clingy when you’ve just met them and are love-bombing them on all social media networks. It looks like you’re way too desperate to win their approval so you can worm your way into his life.
  2. You say you’d love to meet his folks. When he talks about his parents, you’re quick to say that you’d love to meet them someday. Um, he hasn’t even hinted at that? Just because you get the feeling that you’ll have a lot in common with his fashionable mom or dad who works in advertising, it doesn’t mean that your boyfriend’s ready to introduce you.
  3. You like what he likes (even if you really don’t). It’s not your fault that you share the same love of dogs or the ocean, but it can look clingy if you’re making it seem like you’re using these similarities to get him to like you. For instance, he mentions how much he loves Mustangs and you change your Facebook profile to a Mustang the very same day. Creepy!
  4. You give your friends the full story. Some parts of your relationship are meant to be private. If you’re telling your friends about your fights, your partner’s secrets or difficult childhood, or how long his penis is, you’re crossing a line! You’re also giving the impression that he somehow belongs to you so you can share details about his personal life.
  5. You check his social media accounts dailyYou feel weird if you’re not up to date on the latest happenings in his life, so you check all his social media accounts at least once a day, if not more, and “like” the majority of his Facebook posts. Whoa, there. Space in a relationship is good and prevents you from being clingy.
  6. You get moody when he compliments other women. You’re out with your boyfriend when he bumps into a friend and compliments her about her pretty hair or ambition when she mentions she just got a work promotion. You feel jealous—why isn’t he complimenting you on those things? Remember—just because he’s dating you doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about other people. It’s unfair to expect him to only give you attention.
  7. You’re always at his side. When out in a group, you’ll try to be close to him, so you’ll take the seat next to him in restaurants and at the movies and you’ll make sure that you get into the passenger’s seat in his car on the way home. If he always sees you in his peripheral vision, it’s a problem. It’s like you’re jumping his space all the time.
  8. You clear out your schedule before he asks you out. You get the feeling the guy you’ve been seeing is going to want to hook up this weekend, so you clear out your schedule even before he asks you. What happens if he doesn’t? You’ll be sitting around alone when you could’ve been enjoying your life instead of waiting around for a guy.
  9. Other women are competition. When you meet his female friends or acquaintances, your immediate thought is that they’re your competition. You study them, looking for what makes you better than them and also look out for any signs that they could be trouble in your relationship. Honestly, this just makes you seem insecure. Even if you’re not sharing your thoughts, people can sense your negative energy.
  10. You put yourself down so he can raise you up. You might tell him that you hate how your hair looks today or that you dislike the dress you’re wearing, just so that he can say, “No, your hair is beautiful!” or, “That dress looks so sexy on you!” You crave his attention and compliments, but don’t make his opinions matter more than yours. You’re not desperate to be liked, so don’t act like it.
  11. You take to social media when ignored. When the guy you’re dating hasn’t replied to your texts but you’ve seen he’s been active on social media, you have no shame in posting on his Facebook wall, asking him why he hasn’t answered your texts. This seems like you’re waiting around for him and even if you’re making it seem light-hearted, it can still feel clingy AF to him. Give the guy some breathing space, FTLOG.
  12. You tell him how you feel. Telling the guy that you have feelings for him isn’t clingy, but it’s how you do it that matters. If you’re writing him long love letters and sharing them on Facebook, or jumping in and kissing him even though you don’t know if he likes you back, you could be getting ahead of yourself and coming across as desperate.
  13. You’re a milestone pusher. You’ll be the first to ask him out, say “I love you” and suggest a holiday away together. Slow down! It’s like you’re making this relationship your one and only priority and not giving him a chance to take the lead sometimes.
  14. Your relationship determines your mood. When your boyfriend makes you angry or sad, you end up feeling crap the whole day—and this determines how you feel about everything else in your life. Don’t give your boyfriend so much power over you!
  15. You keep him on the line. You’ve chatted to the guy for an hour when he says that he needs to go to bed. Instead of ending the conversation, you continue chatting! This is inconsiderate and clingy because it’s like you want to dominate his attention all night long.
  16. You invite yourself to events. He mentioned that he’s going to a wine-tasting event or to see the latest horror movie, and you jumped in saying how much you’d love to go! This feels weird because who says he was even going to ask you out? He could have been invited to those events by a friend and unable to invite someone else. Or, he could have wanted to invite you out but you jumped in and invited yourself, which made it awkward. Stop doing that. It’s annoying.

Things that do not make you clingy

  1. Initiating text conversations. This might come as a surprise to some men, but when a woman initiates conversation with a guy first, it’s because she actually wants to talk to him and get to know him more. Shocking! Some men are turned off by the simple gesture of reaching out, because it obviously means you’re clingy and desperate. If he thinks this way, all it really means is that he’s a jerk who doesn’t deserve your attention anyway.
  2. Asking him out instead of waiting for them to make a move. It’s the 21st century and women now have more confidence and independence than ever before. Some men love this, and some men frown upon it. If grabbing the bulls by the horns and asking him out leads him to believe you’re clingy, screw that. He obviously needs to grow up.
  3. Wanting affection. Wanting to feel cared about isn’t a bad thing nor is it clingy. When you make the first move or show him affection and expect to receive some in return, it’s not clingy at all. It just means you want to feel a connection with him, and if he doesn’t want that, then that’s fine. You’ll find a guy who appreciates it and reciprocates.
  4. Saying you want a relationship. Since when is being upfront about our relationship goals considered clingy? Being honest about what you want out of your life doesn’t mean we’re trying to force him into a relationship. It’s simply what you want to invest your time into, and if he’s not into that, it’s time to move on.
  5. Asking for an explanation when he goes MIA. We’re not talking about a few hours without a text response. We’re talking about the initial stages of ghosting, when he suddenly disappears for days at a time. Your name pops up on his phone or in his text inbox because you’re just wondering what the hell happened to him. He needs to start acting like a grown man and stop hiding behind the “clingy” label to absolve himself of responsibility.
  6. Making sweet gestures. Is it really so terrible when a woman wants to cook a guy a meal or pick up that t-shirt he’s been talking about buying? Is thoughtfulness and wanting to make him happy really what he considers clingy? Because you just think he’s an ungrateful jerk when he makes you feel bad for being nice.
  7. Asking how his day was or what he’s up to. When you ask him about his day or what his plans are, it really doesn’t need to be read into any further than that. You’re just making conversation and you genuinely want to know how he is. Part of the “getting to know you” process is finding out how he spends his days and what his interests are.
  8. Telling him how you feel. Why are some men so terrified of feelings? When you say you like him or make cute comments about your feelings, all hell breaks loose. Heaven forbid you’re honest with him and let him know where you stand. He can’t handle your genuine and harmless interest and think it’s clingy? By all means, release the grip he’s hallucinated into existence, because his ego needs a reality check.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love.