Being clingy, needy, or behaving in a codependent fashion is one of the biggest killers in a relationship. I’ve written numerous articles aimed at helping men who feel stuck in codependent or unhealthy relationships, and now I’d like to address women: Stop being clingy!
People develop clingy, needy tendencies — which can also be termed “codependent behavior” — for a variety of reasons, mostly resulting from childhood experiences or past betrayals. But if you find yourself in this pattern, you are pushing your partner away.
What can you do?
1) Become aware of habits that infringe on your man’s independence.
Stop being so vigilant of his behavior, calling him several times a day, requiring all the details whenever he goes out, etc. Everyone needs a certain amount of freedom. Women typically want more intimacy than a man is able to provide, and healthy women find a balance. If you don’t allow your man space and time to himself, you’re suffocating the relationship.
2) Stop constantly testing him!
It’s OK to have doubts and fears about the relationship — you can work on them. But stop frequently asking him if he loves you, if he’ll ever leave you, if he finds other women attractive, etc. Men find the constant barrage of testing and questioning stressful and exhausting.
3) Get a handle on jealousy, and don’t show resentment for his female friends and acquaintances.
It’s normal for him to have female friends. 50% of the world is female, so if you can’t handle his interacting with women (some of whom are attractive), it’s your problem,not his. Showing jealousy of other women is very unattractive to most men. It might take you some time before you stop feeling jealous, but at least you can stop showing your jealousy from this point on.
4) Recapture your independent spirit, and engage in activities outside the relationship.
Maybe go to dance classes by yourself. Not only will this foster your independent spirit, but it will let your boyfriend be the jealous one for a change. Get yourself out there — don’t be attached to your boyfriend at the hip! Sexy women have their own pursuits — they’re not constantly tagging along with their partners.
5) NOTICE when you’re acting in a way that overwhelms or smothers him.
It’s OK to occasionally discuss the relationship. It’s not OK to analyze everything on a daily basis, forcing him to express exactly how he feels, and getting mad at him when he can’t express it well. This drives men crazy — we’re often not good at talking about relationships, and we can be perfectly content without analyzing every detail. Save the analyzing for your girlfriends.