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How to Stop Clingy Behavior

Updated on July 9, 2013

How to Keep Your Relationship Healthy

"Relationships of all kinds are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost." - Author Unknown

There are a few things that can really ruin a relationship (romantic or otherwise) as quickly as it starts: being clingy, possessive or jealous. The more you cling to the point of obsession, the further away you drive the other person. Each of us has our own path to walk in life, and no one can walk it for us. Nor can we walk another's path for them or walk exactly the same path as another. Even in a romantic relationship, each partner has his or her own wants, likes, dislikes, needs, hobbies and career paths. That is healthy. What isn't healthy is clinging to the point of becoming inauthentic, and losing oneself in another person.

When we allow our partner the space and freedom to freely express his or her true self, we simultaneously grant ourselves that same freedom.


Healthy Relationship Tips

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So, how do we break the clinging habit? Here are a few tips:

  • Be yourself - your authentic self. Get comfortable with spending time alone. Alone doesn't always have to equal lonely. Take time to figure out who you are, what interests you and what makes you come alive. It is unhealthy to spend every waking moment with (or thinking about) another person. You are unique, not a copy of anyone else.
  • Value yourself. Often it is those who have a low sense of self trust and self respect who find themselves being overly clingy. Learn to trust yourself, rely on yourself for decisions in your life, and stop leaning on someone else for the "next step". Believe in yourself!
  • Not happy with yourself, you look to others for approval. Stop doing this! You give away your personal power and forget how to rely on yourself and your inner knowing. Set goals, accomplish them and be proud of your achievements. Then, besides being naturally a very worthwhile human being, you will have these accomplishments, solid evidence if you will, of your worth. Then, you will have no need of looking to others for approval or validation.

Help Your Relationship Grow

As you work on helping grow a healthy relationship, allow yourself and your partner the freedom to be yourselves. Don't crowd yourself out of the equation by forgetting who you are as an individual person. Don't smother the other person with excessive phone calls, texts, emails or visits, especially at the beginning of a relationship. If you have confidence and faith in yourself, your partner will naturally be attracted to you and you will find yourself in a healthy, forward-looking relationship.


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    • MotivationSpark profile image

      Chandra Sullivan 4 years ago

      Thank you very much, Beata!

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

      Welcome on hubpages and congratulation on your nomination:) We are all responsible for our own feelings and our own happiness:)

    • MotivationSpark profile image

      Chandra Sullivan 4 years ago

      dashingscorpio, very well stated. I have to agree fully. So many put on a facade of sorts at the beginning of a relationship, afraid to show their true selves, until later in the relationship. I've done it in relationships past, and have had it done to me. It changes so much about the relationship.

      ExpectGreatThings, thank you so much! :)

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      Good advice! Thanks for sharing, and welcome to Hubpages!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      "Be yourself - your authentic self" that is good advice for both the clingy and non-clingy person. Ultimately we are all looking for someone to love and accept us as we are. There is no "right" or "wrong" per se, there is only "agree" or "disagree". If a clingy person fell in love with another clingy person they would be in heaven! What keeps that from happening is non clingy or "romantic" people behave like clingy or "romantics" at the start of all their relationships. After awhile (usually after their mate is emotionally invested in them), that's when they reveal their "authentic self".

      No one ever tells another person, "I don't like a whole lot of hugging, kissing, hand holding, and snuggling!" (When they first meet.) Maybe if everyone were their authentic selves from the start there would not be so many emotionally mix-matched couples.

    • MotivationSpark profile image

      Chandra Sullivan 4 years ago

      NornsMercy, I believe honesty with self to be of such great importance. Thank you so much for the support. If you haven't already, would you also consider voting for this hub at the following link? I appreciate it!


    • NornsMercy profile image

      Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I love how it all starts with yourself. I think that more people need to pay attention to themselves and how they truly feel. Great hub. Voted up and beautiful.

    • MotivationSpark profile image

      Chandra Sullivan 4 years ago

      I'm glad you stopped by, Elizabeth. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Elizabeth Nolan 4 years ago

      So glad I found this