How To Get Rid Of A Clingy Ex Who Just Won’t Leave You Alone

Some exes seem to linger around forever. They won’t stay out of your DMs, they can’t accept that you’ve moved on, and they want their presence to screw up your happiness. It’s like they’re terrified that you’re going to move on to bigger and better things than them (which you are) and they can’t accept it. Ugh! Getting rid of your clingy ex may seem like an impossible feat, there are some things you can try to kick him to the curb for good.

  1. Be blunt. Breakups hurt — that’s just a fact. The pain helps people grow and move on, so you aren’t doing your ex any favors by attempting to avoid hurting his feelings. Be blunt, be honest, and don’t overly concern yourself with being nice. Being kind can be misconstrued for continued feelings, so make sure you’re getting your point across without any confusion.
  2. Get him off your hook. If any part of you is putting him on your hook for later, even subconsciously, he’ll sense it. When you have an obsessive ex, he’ll never stop trying to win you back if there’s any hope of a future together. Cut him off your hook, assure him there’s no possibility for a future relationship, and never waiver from that stance. The smallest glimmer of hope can cause you a ton of grief down the road.
  3. Delete, delete, delete. Delete his number, unfriend him on Facebook, unfollow him on Instagram. You don’t need any extra motivation to contact each other, so remove the temptation. If he can’t muster up the strength to delete you, block him every way you can. If he’s not part of your life anymore, there’s no reason for him to keep tabs on it on social.
  4. Stop responding. When saying, “Leave me alone!” is ineffective, try ignoring him altogether. Sometimes any kind of response, even a negative one, will encourage a clingy ex to keep reaching out. Put him on ignore and he should finally get the message.
  5. Don’t play into guilt or manipulation. When an obsessive ex gets desperate for attention, he might resort to dirty tricks like guilt or manipulation. Stay strong. If you give in to these tactics, you’ll lose whatever progress you’d made on getting rid of him for good. Continue to ignore him, and don’t let him make you feel bad about yourself.
  6. Give up custody of mutual friends that were originally his. Don’t become a hermit just because your ex is lurking around, but don’t try to steal all his friends, either. If they were his friends when you guys met, they have to be just his friends now. People need space to get over each other, and he’s not going to get that if you continue to hang out with his friends.
  7. If you no longer feel safe, call the authorities. There’s a difference between a clingy ex and a stalker. If you feel unsafe or he is disrupting your ability to live your life, you most likely have the latter. There’s no shame in getting help from the authorities, and some exes won’t stop until you get a restraining order. You need to protect yourself, and the police can help you do that. Trust your gut — if you think you need help, you probably do.
  8. Move on with your life. Don’t wait to move on until your ex does. Live your life, go on dates, and have a blast. You’ll get over your breakup faster and encourage him to do the same. You deserve some happiness, so don’t allow him to hold you back from it anymore.
Holly Harris is a freelance writer, full time student, and mommy to a toddler sass monster. In her (nearly nonexistent) free time, you can find her lifting something heavy in her home gym or chugging vodka sodas with friends. She contributes to several other sites, including Elite Daily.