This is why being ‘clingy’ in a relationship might not be as bad as you think

Ever been labelled as ‘clingy’? Turns out it is not such a bad thing after all and may even be a sign of a strong and healthy relationship.

Being labelled ‘clingy’ in a relationship is a title that nobody wants. 

The word is usually associated with someone needing constant reassurance and affection and if you tell someone you’re dating that you’re a clingy person, it’s likely to send them running.

However, despite the negative connations, being clingy isn’t always a bad thing – in fact, it often gets a bad rap.

“Being close with your partner is something that you should aim to achieve in a relationship, as closeness typically indicates trust, support and loyalty,” says Maria Sullivan, relationship expert and vice president of “Embracing clinginess is giving people permission to put their cards on the table, form attachments and be their authentic selves through the dating process.”

In some instances, being clingy is an indication of unmet needs. If someone feels unappreciated in a relationship, it can bring up insecurities that, in turn, lead to attention-seeking behaviours (don’t worry, we’ve all been there). 

What’s interesting is that the more a person’s need for closeness, support and reassurance is met, the less ‘clingy’ they become. Instead of taking the blame for being ‘too much’, it’s important to look at the root of the problem and address the issue from there.  

It’s worth adding that while some may put clinginess down to insecurities, others are simply built to be hopeless romantics. For those, it’s just who they are and how they love – and that’s OK too. Everyone has different needs for attention, affection and time spent together – it’s simply a matter of expressing them in a considerate and constructive way.

However, nobody wants to feel smothered in a relationship, so expectations must be reasonable and healthy and, most importantly, compatible with the person you’re dating. Extreme forms of clinginess that move into unhealthy territory may be better reframed as anxiety instead.

“Clinginess can begin to cross the line from healthy to unhealthy when the relationship begins to take too much time and attention away from other aspects of your life,” explains Sullivan. 

“This can include neglecting friends and family and spending too much time in constant communication with your partner. A few telling signs of unhealthy clinginess in a relationship also include a complete lack of ‘alone time’ or boundaries between the couple, irrational jealousy and the need for constant reassurance from your partner.”

Being open and vulnerable in relationships about your needs reduces the likelihood of either party demanding more than the other can give. 

It may turn out that you are simply not compatible – or perhaps they too are at the other end of the phone waiting for you to call. 

Image: Getty

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