What are the signs of a clingy boyfriend? Is he going overboard, or are you just not used to it? If he is, how do you stop it?
If you think you’re starting to see the signs of a clingy boyfriend, it is time to do something about it. Love and affection are great, but it no longer feels special when he starts to smother you with it. In fact, it is suffocating. And that’s not how a relationship should feel.
You should want to be with your man. His compliments and affection should be special, and they should make you happy. But, unfortunately, that’s not the reality when he’s all over you, and you feel like you’re stuck.
Is he a clingy boyfriend?
Having a clingy boyfriend is a lot to deal with. At first, it just seems like he is super into you. All of the attention may even feel good in the beginning.
But soon enough, that love and adoration becomes obsessive and too much. But, before you go and accuse him of being clingy, take a step back and look at what you’re used to.
When I started dating after ending a dysfunctional relationship, I was turned off by every guy that made it clear he liked me. When a guy brought me flowers or did something sweet, I felt more creeped out than flattered. It wasn’t because these guys were clingy. It was because I was used to the opposite.
I had only ever experienced a relationship with a guy who treated me like garbage. So, when I would start meeting decent guys, I was thrown by their kindness. But, it was weird and obscure to me, so I looked at it as too much.
So, before jumping to conclusions about the possibility of a clingy boyfriend, be sure to look at his behavior from a different perspective.
Signs of a clingy boyfriend
How do you know if you have a clingy boyfriend?
This isn’t the sort of thing where, if you’re asking, it’s true. The signs of a clingy boyfriend are a bit more complicated than that. So, if you’re having a hard time determining if his behavior is cute or clingy, here are some signs he’s hanging on just a little too tight.
1. He wants to talk to you ALL the time
Once you’ve established that you’re in a relationship, and aren’t getting to know each other via text, talking all day is a lot. So if every time you look at your phone, there is a text from him, that is probably a sign he is clingy.
2. He clings to you, physically
Cuddling is sweet. Some people just love physical affection. That is all great and fine, but if you can’t sit together without him being all over you, there’s something wrong.
On top of that, the PDA with him is at an all-time high. It doesn’t even have to be inappropriate, but if he can’t let go of your hand so you can reach into your purse or answer your phone, there is a problem. This is a sign he’s a clingy boyfriend.
3. You aren’t excited to hear from him
Instead of blushing and falling harder for him at every compliment, you roll your eyes. You avoid your phone, so you don’t need to be in constant contact. And you look forward to time away from him. You may feel guilty about this because he isn’t mean or cruel, but overly clingy.
But, clinginess can be just as dysfunctional and toxic as cruelty.
4. He freaks out if you don’t respond ASAP
A guy who is confident in you and your connection will accept that you’re busy and have a life outside of him. A clingy boyfriend, however, will freak if you aren’t in constant contact. If it’s been more than an hour or so and you haven’t responded to him, and he double texts or calls, he’s probably clingy.
He doesn’t understand that you have a life separate from your relationship with him, so he expects you always to be available to him. He may even show up unannounced when he can’t reach you. Think of Ross from Friends when Rachel got her new job.
5. He’s all over your social media
Not only does he comment on all your photos, but he watches all your stories and reacts to each. He will check your stories to see where you are and ask you about it.
Plus, he gets upset because you’re not commenting on every little thing he posts or you’re not posting enough pictures of the two of you together. He doesn’t just want reassurance from you verbally, but also publicly. He needs this to feel satisfied. If he does this, it is a sign of a clingy boyfriend.
6. He needs to know where you are
This is a major red flag and a sign of a clingy boyfriend. Not only does he need your attention, but he acts like he has a right to know where you are at all times and maybe even who you’re with. For example, text him you’re at lunch, and his immediate response is “with you?” That could be a bad sign.
I had a friend with the clingiest boyfriend, and every time we went out, even just to run an errand, he would call to see where we were going and request to talk to me to prove she was really with me. This is not normal boyfriend behavior.
7. He ignores his friends
Most guys love their guy time. Just like you need time to yourself, he usually wants to go out with his friends. He has hobbies or sports he’s into. But, if he has stopped seeing his friends and taking part in what he likes, there is a reason for it.
He is making time to be constantly available to you so that you do the same. But, on the other hand, he lets you become his whole word by cutting himself off to everything else.
8. He gaslights you
If you bring up the fact that he is suffocating you, he makes it seem like you’re the one with the problem, and he is a great boyfriend. Try asking him why he doesn’t trust you or needs to contact you all the time, and he will make excuse after excuse.
He will talk in circles to make himself look like the good guy, and you look like the bad guy. This is a major sign of a clingy boyfriend.
9. He’s passive aggressive
A clingy boyfriend rarely gets angry. He probably won’t scream or yell. What he wants to do is make you see him as this great guy. So, instead of freaking out when he’s upset, he guilts you with subtlety.
He won’t be direct when he is upset. He may post things online when he’s upset with the hope that you’ll see it. Say you went to lunch with a male coworker. If he saw you both posted from the same restaurant, he may give you the cold shoulder or subtly ask where you had lunch even though he already knows.
10. He’s jealous
Jealousy is a huge sign that you have a clingy boyfriend. And, he isn’t jealous of anything valid. A clingy boyfriend will be jealous of your male friendships and the attention and time you give to your family and your job.
He has made you the center of his life, so he expects you to do the same.
How to shut down your clingy boyfriend
Not all clingy boyfriends deserve to be dumped. Sometimes, being clingy is part of the aftermath of being cheated on or having trust issues.
Although some clingy boyfriends are beyond hope, many just need to see the light to come back down to earth. Here’s how you can make the relationship work while also telling him to back off.
1. Talk it out
Just sit him down and discuss everything. Let him know you appreciate some of the things he does, but you need some space. A clingy boyfriend can be hard to get through to, so be sure he understands that you just want him to appreciate you as a part of his life, not the whole thing.
Let him know he won’t lose you if he stops trying so hard.
2. Ask why he is clingy
Ask him why he feels the need to offer nonstop compliments or constantly be talking. Don’t use the word clingy or needy because you don’t want to offend him. There is a good chance he doesn’t see what he’s doing as problematic. Instead, just ask him why he showers you with so much affection.
He might say something like, “because you deserve it.” If that’s the case, tell him you’re flattered and understand, but it isn’t necessary. You know how he feels about you and you don’t need so many reminders. Make sure he knows this isn’t you letting him off the hook, but that you’d rather things weren’t so intense.
3. Reassure him
The reason he might be so clingy is that he doesn’t know how you feel about him. Or he has a fear that you’ll leave him. He is likely insecure. Now, you can’t fix this for him. No matter how much assurance you offer, it won’t change how he feels about himself.
So, you can tell him how you feel about him and showing him some affection, but don’t expect that to change him overnight. Let him know that he deserves to be happy and that he deserves you. Also, let him know why he is worthy and that all his confidence shouldn’t come from your relationship.
4. Be blunt
He’s under the impression that you love the attention he’s giving you. Most likely, he was taught to give that kind of attention to the girl he likes. You need to show him that it doesn’t make you feel loved. Let him know that his clinginess makes you feel pressured and like he doesn’t trust you.
While you’re at it, let him know what your love language is. You don’t need gifts or constant communication but would prefer quality time together. Let him know what he can do to show you you’re loved and what he should stop doing. Guys can struggle reading between the lines, so be clear.
5. Give him time
This most likely isn’t something he’s doing to be mean or to annoy you. He’s probably struggling with his own issues, and this is how he is dealing. One conversation won’t fix it. If he falls back into those routines, remind him about your talk.
Give him a couple of chances to start working on his self-esteem so he can become the boyfriend you deserve.
6. Dump him
This sounds harsh, but clinginess can be a cute word to describe control. Guys who want to control you for any reason use clinginess to guilt you into staying. If he makes you feel bad for telling the truth, this goes beyond a clingy boyfriend.
If he makes you feel unsafe, guilty, or just bad about yourself, it is time to move on.
Having a clingy boyfriend can take a lot out of you, but being about to spot the signs and communicate how you feel can be exactly what you both need.