Am I clingy or is he distant? 10 ways to tell

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You try hard to connect to him, but it somehow feels like he’s not giving back enough.

But is it because you’re being too clingy, or is it because they’re being distant?

To help you out, in this article I will show you 10 ways to tell if you’re simply being clingy or if he’s the one who’s distant.

1) Do you have any of these “clingy” traits?

Before you analyze another person, it’s a good idea that you take a look at yourself first.

After all, it’s easier to assess oneself than to put another person under a microscope.

Do look inward to see if the “issue” isn’t really with you.

Try to see if you find yourself in any of the traits described below:

  • You panic when he doesn’t respond quickly
  • You’re constantly lurking their social media feed.
  • You feel a deep need to be in every event he attends.
  • You keep sending him text after text without waiting for him to respond.
  • You feel jealous when you see him around others.
  • You want to be his Number 1 priority most of the time.

These all describe traits that are common to clingy people. The more of these apply to you, the stronger the case that you might indeed be clingy.

But don’t write yourself off just yet! Sometimes something that might feel like an obvious sign might turns out not to be when put in context.

After all, they do say that the devil is in the details.

2) Does he have any of these “distant” traits?

If you feel like it’s unfair to be the one being blamed for causing ALL the issues and “drama”, then you should try to take a closer look at him.

Try to see if you feel like the traits below describe him:

  • He has trouble making commitments.
  • He used to be much more attentive.
  • He refuses people’s help for no reason.
  • He is a bit of a lone wolf.
  • His replies are short and sparing.
  • He doesn’t open up easily.

These are the kind of things that describe people who are distant and aloof. So if any of these hit the mark, then he’s indeed keeping his distance (possibly, without being aware that he’s doing it).

It could be that there’s something he’s struggling with that he wants to keep personal, or maybe he’s pushing you away. It could even be because he is afraid of intimacy and is just reflexively pushing you away because you got too close.

There are many possible reasons why he might act distant, so it’s best to give him the benefit of doubt than accusing him of being unloving.

3) Check your past relationships

Most people can change quite a lot in a short time.

That said, it pays to look into trends in your past relationships—trends are trends for a reason, and most of the time they betray habits that have yet to be broken.

Have your exes told you that you were clingy? Did you perhaps even observe yourself being clingy in the past, and acknowledge it?

And what about him? Did any of his past girlfriends tell him he’s distant, uncaring, or inattentive?

Don’t be afraid to ask yourself questions such as these, because they can help you understand the two of you as you are in the present.

And don’t rest your laurels simply because you have identified and vowed to change either—nobody is immune to relapses.

Just make sure that while you’re discussing these things, you should treat each other with kindness. Don’t just “dig the past” to prove who’s who’s to blame.

4) Let a relationship expert weigh in

You can read as many articles as you want trying to figure out this or that, but sometimes it can be hard to do everything by yourself.

I mean…how sure can you be that your judgment is truly unbiased? Or that you are seeing everything that needs to be seen?

It isn’t easy.

That’s why I would recommend talking to a professional relationship coach for their insight.

Not only can they offer you a second opinion untouched by your biases, they can also draw on their own experiences, as well as those from the thousands of clients that they have helped.

And as far as I am concerned, Relationship Hero is the best place you can go to.

I have consulted them many times, for many different issues that I was facing with my relationship.

They didn’t just give me cookie-cutter advice, but actually bothered to listen to me and give me advice appropriate to my situation.

To make it even better, it wasn’t even that hard to get in touch with a relationship expert. You can Click here to get started, and you’ll find an advisor in 10 minutes.

5) Pay attention to how you treat other people

One way to find out if you’re a clingy person or that he’s a distant person is by letting our friends and family weigh in.

Take a look at your other relationships.

After your “romantic interest” your clinginess would be next most apparent in your friends… and you might not even realize that you are being clingy!

In fact it might be so normalized in your way of thinking that you might have even thought of those clingy urges as a normal part of relationships until now!

But do look back.

Do you pout when your friends don’t reply to you immediately, or get upset when they go somewhere without you?

Fact is that clinginess doesn’t discriminate. If you’re being clingy towards your friends… then you’re also probably clingy towards your guy.

Clinginess is a behavioral pattern, and all it needs to be triggered is for your feelings towards someone to be especially strong. And the stronger those feelings, the clingier you’ll likely become.

6) Look into your childhood

And by “your”, I mean not just your own, but also his.

We are shaped by our experiences, and many of the problems most people struggle with in the present can be traced back to their childhood.

The experiences we have in childhood inform how we conceptualize and perceive our expectations, boundaries, and so many other things that are important to how we navigate adult life.

So it pays to look into your childhoods to see if either of you have gone through experiences that would make you clingy, and him distant.

Have you ever felt neglected as a child?

Did you perhaps keep moving from place to place, losing friendships as quickly as you made them? Or perhaps you simply grew around people who are just naturally clingy, and you think it’s how love should be?

And what about your guy?

Has he ever opened up about betrayal or some other kind of trauma? Perhaps he lost someone close to him, like one of his parents abandoning him or his best friend getting run over. And so maybe that’s why he’s distant.

It can also help to know how deep your issues lie. It makes it easier to not take things too personally… and how to help solve those issues.

7) Know your attachment styles

The way we handle relationships in our adult lives fall into four broad ‘styles’, and it can be useful to recognize which of these you have.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to find out. You can take the quiz here to identify your attachment style. And if you can, get him to take it too so you can both understand each other better.

There are two styles you want to look out for in particular.

The anxious style, in very broad strokes, means that the person desires to constantly feel occupied and given attention. Otherwise, they panic.

So if you take the test and get this result, then chances are that you’re indeed the clingy one between the two of you.

The fearful avoidant style, on the other hand, would mean that the person seeks fulfillment and joy in no one else but themselves. They’re also often suspicious of people who get too close to them and prefer to create a wall.

If your guy gets this result, well then, you have your answer. He’s most likely distant.

Of course, tests like these aren’t exactly 100% accurate so you still have to see the results with a grain of salt.

8) Get an honest opinion from others

It can be worth it to look for a third party’s opinion.

Friends and family will have often figured out things about you long before you discover them yourself. But they aren’t telling you these things for one reason. And that reason is that you probably never asked. Or they’re scared you’d get offended.

So the clear solution to this problem, then, is to simply ask.

Ask them about yourself, and about him.

If his family or yours had made any comments about either of you, try to recall them and think about them.

In general, you will want to ask open-ended questions like “how clingy do you think I’ve been?” or “has he always been a bit aloof?” instead of yes-no ones like “do you think I’m clingy?” where possible.

Another third party opinion you can rely on would be that of a trained relationship coach from Relationship Hero.

Unlike your family and friends, their views are not biased. They don’t know you personally so they won’t hold back whatever it is that’s truly in their mind. And boy, they have a lot of sensible things to say.

My coach was not scared to be honest with me (even if she’s one of the gentlest people I know), and I believe it was the magic trick that helped me improve myself and my relationship dramatically.

Do give Relationship Hero a try. You won’t regret it.

9) How much time do either of you have?

How much free time either of you have on hand can be a clue to whether or not someone’s being clingy or distant or not.

It might seem weird to think about at first, but the thing is that if he’s always busy—say, with work or school or hobbies—he will have very little time or energy to spare on anything else.

Not only that, his mind will also be too preoccupied to miss you.

So the end result is that he will take a little longer to feel lonely than he would otherwise. He would also be less available in general.

This can indeed make him seem “distant.”

On the other hand, having too much free time means that your mind has too much time to go over your thoughts!

You will feel loneliness and so neediness set in faster, and you will become more desperate to reach out so he can fulfill your needs. You then start seeming “clingy.”

So if the situation is that you have too much free time, while he has too little… then you probably are being clingy, and he’s probably being distant.

The “fix” is straightforward enough—simply manage your time better!—though not always possible.

10) Evaluate how you view love and relationships

Everyone has their own concept of what intimacy should look like.

Sometimes they can be very different and this is usually why a lot of couples get into fights during the first few months of a relationship.

Sometimes having the wrong expectations can make you take a good relationship for granted, or even fail to see love when it’s given to you.

And sometimes you don’t even need to have the “wrong” expectations. They can simply be incompatible or mismatched.

He might be someone who doesn’t think he has to always be around you to love you, and you can be someone who can act “clingy” even if you’re already given love in abundance.

That’s why it’s a good idea to constantly reevaluate how you view love and intimacy.

But then you might wonder… How do you actually set these expectations then? How do you know when you’re asking for too much or too little?

Well, only you can find the right answer for yourself, and you’ll only find it when you have a good relationship with yourself.

This is something I learned from the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê.

As Ruda explains  in this mind blowing free video, many of us are unwittingly sabotaging our own love lives without even realizing it.

Far too often we chase an idealized image of what love is and build up expectations that are guaranteed to be let down.

Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective on love— that there’s more to it than simply monitoring who’s loving more and who’s loving less.

Click here to watch the free video.

What can you do to fix this

Have an honest discussion about your relationship

Sit down and take the time to really talk about your relationship.

Preface it in a way that you want to know if it’s really just you who’s being clingy, because if it’s the case, you want to do the steps to improve yourself.

Open up about how you’ve been feeling about him, making sure not to sound like you’re pointing fingers at him and accusing him. Talk to communicate, not to accuse.

For example, instead of saying “Why are you this cold and distant?!”, try saying “Honey, I love you, but sometimes I just feel like you’re not as affectionate as before. Are you okay?”

The difference is huge.

The first one translates to “Why are you not performing well as a boyfriend? Are you incapable of loving?!”

The second one translates to “I care a lot for you. I notice there’s something wrong. Tell me, I’m here to listen.”

And if you want a fruitful and peaceful conversation, you have to do more of the latter even if it’s not the easiest to do.

Tell him the specific things you need to be less clingy

Has he become a lazy texter?

Well, understand that he’s busy but at the same time, demand the basic thing he should do in this case, which is to tell you that he’s busy!

He can just text “I’m busy, talk to you later” instead of ignoring you, and it will do wonders to your relationship.

And if he’s too busy, you might want to have at least one whole day together to compensate for all the nights he’s working overtime. That way, your anxious and “clingy” side will be comforted by the fact that you have something to look forward to.

Chances are that you’ll also have these little reassuring gestures that go a long way to calming you down when you’re feeling clingy and needy.

Tell him about these and try to see if he’s willing to compromise.

But of course, you have to think about him too. What can YOU do to make him less distant?

I bet he just needs a little space to breathe, or a bit of understanding from you. But ask him the specifics. Does he want you to let him engage with his hobbies without making him feel bad? Then try to do that.

Make necessary adjustments

Since you’ve already discussed each other’s needs, it’s time to translate them to action.

And by that, I mean that you should try to find a compromise. You both have your needs and you want to make sure they’re mostly met without either of you bending over too much and breaking.

And when you’ve decided upon such a compromise, make sure you fulfill your end of the bargain.

Chances are that it won’t necessarily be easy for either of you, but if you truly love one another you would be more than willing to put in the work.

Have realistic expectations

Even then, you’ll have to accept that they can’t turn into an instant affectionate and clingy guy (and trust me, you wouldn’t want that either).

And remind him—and yourself—that you can’t just become chill and zen immediately… and even with time, you’re probably NOT going to chill out completely.

You don’t want to upend each other’s lives and personalities to satisfy the other’s needs, or to lose your minds trying to rush something that simply takes a while.

Relationships take time, and compatibility and affection aren’t just going to be easily set within the first few dates or even years of the relationship.

You love each other. You’re willing to put in the effort to make each other feel loved and respected. But acknowledge that you’re both well, only human.

Thank them for working things out with you

Some guys would retreat further when they’re accused of being distant.

To them, it equates to saying “You don’t love me” and so they get tired of even trying. It also makes them think they’re incapable of maintaining a good relationship.

The fact that he’s willing to make changes to ensure you’re happy is the very definition of love, isn’t it?

So make him feel appreciated. Say “I know it’s hard to find the right distance and I’m happy you’re willing to make things work. I love you.”

These words of affirmation and praise will go a long way.

Not only will it motivate him to do better, it will also make you look at him in a positive light.

Last words

So…are you clingy?

If you find yourself relating to most of the clingy traits above, then you’re definitely a clingy person.

But being affectionate and wanting affection isn’t really a bad trait. In fact, I’d rather be clingy than cold. But if it’s causing you relationship drama, then definitely tone it down.

Likewise, if this article made it clear that he’s indeed the one who’s distant, then you should try talking things over to see if you can come to a compromise.

But here’s the thing: remember that it doesn’t have to be one way or the other— It could be both! It could be that you’re a bit clingy, and they’re a bit distant.

But don’t give up even then. This is totally normal.

What’s important is that you put in the effort to make each other happy, and find a balance where both your needs are adequately met.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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