9 reasons your girlfriend is so clingy and what you can do about it

It’s good to be close to your partner, but what if that closeness becomes too much?

If you are worried that your girlfriend is too clingy or needy, then you’re going to have to get to the bottom of what is going on.

Clinging behavior is not only annoying but if left unchecked it can become a toxic trait in a relationship.

In this article, I’ll share 9 reasons why your girlfriend is acting clingy and what you can do to fix it.

“Why is my girlfriend so clingy?” 9 reasons

1) She feels insecure

Clingy behavior in a relationship often stems from insecurity.

That insecurity could be specifically about the relationship. For example:

She might feel unsure of where she stands. She might worry that she is going to lose you. She might be scared that when she’s not around you could cheat on her.

She might be scared that she’s into you more than you are into her. She might even sense that you are pulling away slightly, and so she tries to hold on to you even more tightly.

The insecurity could also have more to do with deep-rooted insecurity within herself.

Could she have some self-esteem or self-worth issues?

People who feel confident and secure in themselves tend to feel more confident in their relationships too.

That’s because they know what they have to offer, and so rest easier in the belief that their partner is lucky to have them.

If your girlfriend is acting clingy due to insecurity, she may also display some of these other signs of insecurity within the relationship:

  • Always asking for compliments and needing verbal affirmation.
  • Jealousy.
  • Controlling or manipulative behavior.
  • Extremely competitive behavior.
  • Trying too hard.
  • Trying to get your approval.
  • Taking even the littlest comments or criticisms to heart.

2) She hasn’t got a life

If your girlfriend is lacking in hobbies and interests outside of your relationship then she might be needier than normal.

This is especially true if she doesn’t have many friends or isn’t close to family.

Being clingy isn’t always a direct reflection of what’s going on between you two. Sometimes it points to what is (or more accurately, isn’t) going on in her own life.

She might be feeling lonely, bored, unfulfilled, or just plain sad when you are not around. It could be that she has a hard time filling the hours, and so has inadvertently builds too much of her world around you.

If she’s not getting out there and doing things, then she’s going to start looking for ways to fill up her days. That means always counting on you.

The reality is that many of us can get swept up in romance. It’s understandable that we end up neglecting other priorities. When you’re flooded with feel good hormones by being around your beau, you can’t get enough.

If you feel like she doesn’t have much of a life away from you, that’s probably why she is being so clingy.

3) You have different personality traits

It’s always useful to figure out what exactly it is that you find clingy about your girlfriend.

For example, maybe she is naturally a touchy-feely person or a very attentive girlfriend and this clashes with how you tend to be in a relationship.

You might be very independent and need a lot of time alone, whilst she enjoys company when she does things.

Compatibility in relationships is an important part of whether they last. Attraction alone isn’t enough.

Whilst certain behaviors might be agreed upon as totally over the top by most people in society, the truth is that there isn’t a clear wrong and right way to behave in a relationship.

As they say: “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.

Some men may really like an extremely attentive girlfriend. Some guys may also want to text their girlfriend 15 times a day.

I’m not saying that clingy behavior isn’t unhealthy, I’m just trying to highlight that a lot of it also comes down to compatibility. One persons version of clingy is going to be different to someone else’s.

You may be compatible in some aspects but not in others. If you can’t find enough common ground it might be that you’re not right for each other.

4) She expects too much from the relationship

And who can blame her really?

Rom-com movies and the fairy tales we grew up reading mean that such a false image of romance is pushed on us from an early age.

Too many little girls are waiting for their Prince Charming. And it can lead to big disappointment when real-life relationships don’t match up.

She may be clingy because she has an unrealistic idea about what it means to have a boyfriend.

Rather than being responsible for her own happiness, she wants you to be.

Whilst that may sound extreme, it’s far more common (amongst both men and women) than you might think.

So many people are hoping that a relationship is going to be the answer to all their problems.

It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.

As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.

We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.

We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.

We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.

Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.

While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to creating healthy relationships that work.

If you’re done with frustrating relationships and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Click here to watch the free video.

5) She’s really into you

Let’s look on the bright side for a moment:

It could be worse. She could be flaky, dismissive, and make zero effort.

She may be clingy, but that most likely means that she is trying to be proactive with her interest in the relationship. She is just, perhaps unwittingly, going a bit overboard.

One of the most simple explanations for her clingy behavior is that she really likes you and cares about you.

She wants it to work, and as a consequence, she is trying a bit too hard to ensure it does.

She may not even realize that she is being over the top. She may be trying to be the best girlfriend ever.

Unfortunately, this is manifesting in what feels like excessive affection.

Just remember that behind it all, she is probably just trying to do everything she can to show how she feels about you.

6) You’re not on the same page over the relationship

Maybe the relationship is more serious for her than it is for you?

If she is behaving clingy towards you or you interpret her behavior as stifling, it can suggest a certain amount of unbalance in the relationship.

How do you feel about her?

Is it moving a bit too fast?

Do you feel like she wants something you cannot offer her?

Are you feeling freaked out by the level of commitment you think she wants from you?

Sometimes people are on a different relationship timetable to one another, and this shows. It could be that you want different things out of it.

Maybe she keeps talking about moving in together in the near future, but you’re not ready for that.

If it feels like things are moving too fast for you, you may need more space than she does.

7) She isn’t getting her needs met by you

A friendly reminder that in every relationship it takes two to tango.

She may start to become clingy if she feels like she isn’t getting what she needs currently out of the relationship.

The unfortunate thing is:

When one person pulls back, it can cause the other in a relationship to grasp on even tighter.

If she senses that something is up, that you have withdrawn, that you are less attentive, that she is not a priority for you  — she may subconsciously compensate.

It’s one of those irritating psychological things:

The tighter we hold on, the more we lose someone. But the more we lose someone the tighter we feel like we need to grab on.

It’s always good to self-reflect on how you behave in the relationship.

Are you spending enough quality time with her?

Do you give her any compliments or reassurances?

Are you dismissive or understanding when she feels upset?

Before you totally blame her for being clingy, check in on whether your actions could be inadvertently making things worse.

8) You have different love languages

It could be that her needy behavior is because your ways of expressing feelings are different from each other.

Have you heard of love languages?

According to Gary Chapman, the author of ‘The Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate’ there are actually five love languages.

We all have different love languages and show affection in a different way. Yours and hers may be different.

It’s often easier when a couple shares the same love languages, because it’s easier for them to interpret and understand each others loving acts.

But if she shows love through quality time, acts of service, and physical touch, whilst you prefer buying gifts and giving compliments — it can be trickier.

You need to get to know and understand how each other prefers to show and be shown love in the relationship.

9) She has an anxious attachment style

If your girlfriend’s clingy behavior goes way beyond just sending you one too many texts when you’re on a boy’s night out, it could be that she has some deeper mental health issues.

Perhaps she has some abandonment issues or some kind of past trauma. She may have developed an unhealthy attachment style because of her past.

According to Psychology Today:

“Your first couple of years of life are critical in laying down the wiring of your brain and establishing your view of relationships. If you had nurturing and consistent care, you likely develop a secure attachment. But if that care was inconsistent—sometimes you felt safe and nurtured but other times you felt neglected or mistreated—your brain may become predisposed for anxiety, developing an insecure, anxious attachment.

“Like hypervigilance, this sometimes carries forward into adult life. When people you are emotionally attached to seem to pull away, your impulse is to do whatever you need to do to close the gap.”

What do you do if your girlfriend is too clingy?

1) Talk to her

I know, it’s easier said than done.

You may be worried about upsetting her, scared she’s only going to act even more clingy if you admit something is wrong or have zero clue how to approach the subject.

But if it’s bothering you, you’ve got to let her know.

Don’t think of it as being unkind, think of it the opposite way:

If you don’t address the problems, it’s likely to get worse and do more damage.

Raising the topic shows that you care enough to make your relationship better.

How do I tell my girlfriend she is too clingy?

My advice is to be honest, but tactful.

  • Have a couple of examples on hand to illustrate to her the behavior that you are finding intense.
  • Explain how you are feeling without assigning blame or telling her she is “wrong” for doing certain things.
  • Reassure her how much you like her and care about her.

2) Be supportive

You need to be honest with her so you can make changes in the relationship.

But hearing that she is texting you too much, that you want more time with your friends, that you are finding her too demanding —or whatever the problem is— is never going to be great to hear.

It’s very likely that all clingy behaviors have some insecurity behind them, so try to be supportive and let her know that you are there for her.

If you know that in reaction to her clinginess you have probably been withdrawing, make an extra effort.

Spend quality time with her so that she feels like she is a priority to you, and more safe and secure in the relationship.

She needs to feel loved, wanted, and desired. You may even notice that if you reciprocate for a while, she will chill out and relax more.

If she has some issues with herself that she needs to address, encourage her.

You might want to suggest some coping techniques that can help people with needy personalities or anxiety issues, such as meditation or cognitive behavioral techniques.

3) Agree on some relationship expectations and ground rules

So many relationship problems come from a lack of communication over very basic expectations.

We enter into relationships and just assume so much.

But without talking about your preferences, your needs, and your wants in the relationship you are just blindly hoping that you are on the same page.

You wouldn’t start a new job without being clear about what to expect would you?

You need to know these things and negotiate any differences of opinion you could have with your employer.

Ok, I know it’s not the exact same situation, but the basics still apply.

It’s important for you both to express what is “normal” and “appropriate” for you in a relationship.

That way you can create healthy boundaries that protect you and your relationship from harm.

When tackling clinginess, you may need to get very specific.

For example:

  • How often do you expect to see each other?
  • How often do you expect to talk to each other?
  • Is it ok to text and call during certain hours? (Like work times or when you are out with other people)

That might mean letting it be known that you won’t be answering your phone when you’re out playing pool with the guys.

But be sure that it is give and take, and not you laying down the law.

It is about trying to find a compromise that strikes a balance between freedom and feeling secure in the relationship. And it has to work for both of you.

Once you create these relationship ground rules, it’s important to uphold your own personal boundaries.

4) Get expert advice

While this article explores the main reasons your girlfriend is being clingy and what to do about it, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…

Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations. They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.

How do I know?

Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my own relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

Click here to get started.

5) Decide whether it is worth it

No relationship or person is perfect. But only you can decide if there’s more good than bad in your relationship.

If you have genuine feelings for your girlfriend then you are more likely to want to stick around and work through your issues together.

It can be a good idea to think about the overall quality of your relationship. That will include the other traits she has, and behaviors she displays.

These will guide you to know whether this relationship is worth working on, and just needs a few tweaks for you to both be happier.

If you really care about her, you get on great, and you think she’s total wifey material then it’s going to be worth putting in some effort now in order to strengthen your relationship.

If on the other hand clingy behavior is just one of many red flags that you have been noticing, you might decide that you are not right for one another.



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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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