A new lover can wear out his welcome with nonstop phone calls and plans to spend every moment together. A heart-to-heart conversation is due when the giddiness of romance turns into a dizzying array of demands. Relationship specialists suggest an honest and open approach when trying to figure out how to keep your boyfriend or girlfriend from being clingy. Couples who maintain outside interests grow into partners who admire each other as much for their differences as for their commonalities.
- Skill level:
Initiate a face-to-face talk with your significant other. Explain your frustrations with her angry outbursts and suspicions when you go out with friends or fail to return her telephone calls right away.
Allow your clingy girlfriend to talk honestly about her emotional roller-coaster that propels her to overload your cell phone with verbal and text messages. She may be unaware of her possessiveness. Or, the relationship's newness might be setting off tremors of doubts and fears of rejections based on past romances that failed.
Describe how smothered you feel when she flies off the handle every time you are late or insists on checking your cell phone to see who may have telephoned you. Clarify that this level of mistrust forces you to re-evaluate whether she is ready to be in a relationship.
Listen objectively and find compromises as she addresses jealously issues. For example, if she expresses irritation that you look at other women, stop glancing too closely at other ladies. Likewise, she needs to understand the difference between ogling and innocent looks.
Establish guidelines that allow togetherness as well as independence. Assure your clingy boyfriend that healthy relationships encourage both partners to pursue personal and professional interests on their own.
Keep active circles with friends. Nudge your boyfriend to spend more time with his buddies instead of always hanging out with you.
Honour your commitments. Call when you say you will, and arrive on time for your dates.
Demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm when your boyfriend pursues hobbies or classes on his own. Support him as he develops these opportunities.
Recognise the difference between clinginess and a more serious instability, author Michael Freeman writes on the Relationship Breakup 101 website. Feeling smothered is a long way off from being held emotional hostage.
End the relationship if you suspect your mate's clinginess might escalate into dating violence.
Realise there is no magical moment to break up with anyone. Sticking it out because of pity or sympathy is nothing more than procrastinating, Freeman writes. The sooner you end a relationship, the faster both of you can rebuild your lives.
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