19 Signs You’re Being Overly Clingy in Relationships

Not all of us find it easy to be laid back in a relationship, but being overly clingy can be seriously off-putting for your partner and negatively impact your mental health as well. Here are 19 signs that you may be too insecure and possessive in your relationship and might need to give your partner more space and personal freedom or risk losing them.

Constant Communication

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Marriage.com lists constant calls and texts as the number one sign of a clingy partner. If you feel the need to constantly have access to your significant other, they may feel overwhelmed and suffocated, especially if a failure to reply or answer immediately leads to an argument. Unless you have something to say, resist the urge to check up on them at every moment.

Guilt-Tripping Them When You’re Apart

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Making your partner feel guilty or punishing them for wanting to spend time alone or with others is manipulative and destructive. Supportive partners respect each other’s need for time alone while making time for each other. You should never use emotional blackmail to force them into allocating all their free time to your relationship.

Needing Constant Reassurance

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Our relationships should offer reassuring validation and support, but constantly seeking proof of love or asking what your partner loves about you can be emotionally draining for both parties. Clingy partners force declarations of commitment and promises of forever-ness, preventing their loved ones from expressing this authentically.

Jealousy of Their Social Life

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Everyone deserves their own friends, hobbies, and activities, and being jealous of the parts of your partner’s life that don’t directly involve you isn’t healthy. VeryWell Mind claims feeling threatened by their friends or teammates indicates insecurity and a need for control, which won’t benefit either of you. Try to take an interest in your partner’s life without crossing boundaries.

Expecting Them to Be Available 24/7

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Even the most dedicated and committed partner needs to work, sleep, and shower sometimes, so expecting them to be available at the drop of a hat is unrealistic and stressful for you both. Allocate quality time, like ‘date night’ or shared meals, but don’t insist they’re on call 24/7—you may make them feel like your relationship is a job rather than a joy.

Becoming Easily Upset

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If you get easily distressed or irate when your partner doesn’t reply to your messages or act how you want them to, this indicates insecurity. The Attachment Project says, “Becoming angry or upset if they don’t respond immediately” is a common sign of clinginess. Remember that everyone has their own communication style, and sometimes people just get busy!

Social Media Stalking

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If you monitor your partner’s social media activity closely—checking up on their friends, comments, followers, and likes—you may be too clingy. Such behavior, in excess, shows jealousy, insecurity, and a lack of trust. Plus, misunderstandings on social media are rife, so ‘stalking’ often leads to unnecessary suspicion, tension, and false allegations.

Canceling Plans to Be with Your Partner

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According to Bustle, consistently ditching plans or personal commitments with friends, family, or colleagues to be with your partner can indicate an unhealthy prioritization of your relationship above all else. While this may seem like a good thing, it’s a sure sign of clinginess and suggests a need to focus on others now and then.

Making Decisions Without Them

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Although clingy partners are often insecure and suffer from low self-worth, making decisions without their significant others is a common trait. This often stems from a need to control their partner’s actions, time, or friendships in an effort to ‘keep’ them for themselves. This isn’t healthy or respectful, so always include your other half when making decisions that affect you both.

Being Overly Critical or Controlling

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Choosing Therapy warns that clinginess and excessive control often go hand in hand. If you try to select your partner’s friends, clothes, hairstyles, or even control how they behave, this is unacceptable behavior and indicates an unhealthy dynamic. Loving, well-adjusted partners accept each other’s personal choices and individuality and don’t criticize or control one another.

Excessive Public Displays of Affection

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Do your public displays of affection make other people uncomfortable? Clamoring all over your partner, kissing them a lot, or constantly embracing them can be wonderful in the privacy of your home, but it isn’t always appropriate when around family or friends or when alone in public spaces. Try to strike a balance between expressing your love and respecting social norms.

Emotional Dependence

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Romantic relationships seriously impact mental well-being and happiness, but they shouldn’t be the sole source of contentment and joy in our lives. Relying solely on your partner to ‘keep you happy’ is unrealistic and puts an unacceptable amount of stress on them. To avoid harming your relationship, develop alternative sources of fulfillment, like hobbies, friends, and personal goals.

Unwilling to Be Alone

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Feeling anxious or uncomfortable spending time alone or pursuing individual interests isn’t a healthy way to exist. If you can’t enjoy life when your partner isn’t present, you are too dependent and need to work on enjoying your own company. Otherwise, your partner may feel suffocated, and you may run out of conversation topics.

Jealous of Others

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Possessiveness and mistrust are signature traits of a clingy partner, and Health Shots warns that such feelings can be seriously destructive to a relationship. Your partner should feel comfortable interacting positively with platonic friends, colleagues, and strangers without alerting them to unfair suspicion or feeling stressed about future accusations.

Sulking When They Make Plans Without You

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It’s okay to be disappointed when you can’t spend time with your partner, but feeling so victimized that you withdraw from them is emotional manipulation, pure and simple. People in healthy relationships don’t use childish tactics like ‘tantrums’ to get their way or punish their partner for enjoying time with others. Try direct communication and honesty instead.

Showing Up Unannounced

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Spontaneous romantic gestures can be great, but only show up unannounced if you’re confident your partner will appreciate the sentiment. Constantly appearing in their life without warning, especially in inappropriate places like work or their friends’ houses, is slightly creepy, intrusive, and a sure sign of clinginess.

Making Excessive Sacrifices

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Clingy partners often harbor insecurities that compel them to take action to ‘please’ their partners to keep them around. While loving, thoughtful gestures are appreciated, an all-out sacrifice of your needs for theirs every time is unhealthy. Remember—true love requires mutual respect and equality, so advocate for yourself now and then.

Feeling Incomplete Without Them

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Your relationship should enhance your life, not define it. If your partner’s absence makes you feel utterly lost, without identity or purpose, it’s a sure sign of codependency. You are not one half of a whole, but two whole people who together make a couple. Don’t lose your sense of self along the way—your partner certainly won’t respect you for it.

Pressuring Them to Commit

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Rushing your partner into deeper levels of commitment, like moving in together, getting engaged, or starting a family, isn’t advisable. While it can be frustrating if your own readiness exceeds theirs, be patient. Wait until they are emotionally and financially prepared, and don’t pile on unnecessary pressure or make ultimatums—it will only breed resentment.

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