How to handle a clingy boyfriend

Written by laurie anderson
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How to handle a clingy boyfriend
A clingy boyfriend feels insecure or easily hurt when you don't spend the majority of your time with him. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A clingy boyfriend can create unnecessary problems in a relationship. Clingy guys call constantly, become jealous easily and try to prevent you from spending time with your friends. As a result you can feel extremely frustrated, and often a clingy boyfriend's behaviour will cause you to push him away further. However, there are ways to address the problem without abandoning your relationship altogether.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Understand why your boyfriend behaves in a needy manner. He might feel insecure after being hurt in the past, and he could be frightened of losing his relationship with you. Find out if he is still coping with pain from a previous relationship or if he has self-esteem issues he needs to work through to become more emotionally independent.

  2. 2

    Reassure him that you care for him and enjoy being around him. If you are a very busy or social person, he might worry that you have little interest in him or don't really want him. Set time aside in your day or week specifically for your boyfriend, and show him through compliments and physical affection that there is no reason for him to feel insecure or worried.

  3. 3

    Set firm ground rules for your social life. Your friends were there for you before your current relationship and will be there for you in case your current relationship does not work out, so maintain these friendships. Communicate clearly to him that you need time in the company of your friends without him. Help him to understand that having a girls' night, or even time by yourself, is healthy for you and does not indicate that you care for him any less.

  4. 4

    Encourage him to develop and maintain his own friendships and outside interests. Let him know that doing other activities outside the relationship is vital for both of you and that you enjoying a social life does not mean he needs to sit at home and wait for you.

Tips and warnings

  • If your boyfriend shows controlling or abusive behaviour, such as stalking you in your time apart, trying to control who else you talk to or threatening you and your friends, break off the relationship altogether. An abusive relationship is never worth saving. If his clingy behaviour becomes dangerously unstable, seek professional help.

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