Why Is My Boyfriend So Clingy? 7 Reasons Why Your Man Might Be Suffocating You

Updated on January 9, 2018
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Jorge's relationship advice is based on experience and observation. He's seen many people—including himself—get seduced and hurt by love.

Hopefully your clingy boyfriend hasn't resorted to handcuffs.
Hopefully your clingy boyfriend hasn't resorted to handcuffs.

When Your Boyfriend is So Clingy, He's a Roll of Saran Wrap

If you have a needy man, you may be asking yourself, "Why is my boyfriend so clingy?" every day and coming up with nothing.

You give him attention.

You give him love.

You tell him he looks beautiful in those greasy sweatpants.

So what gives? Why does he keep demanding more of you than you're willing to dole out?

There can be many reasons. Usually, the stereotype is that women are the clingy ones, and while it can certainly be true that a lot of girls are needy for attention and suffocate their boyfriends, occasionally you'll run into a guy with a similar bent.

If it's really bad, it might even make you start to reconsider the relationship. You might be wondering if it's just a passing phase or an inherent part of his personality.

Well, let's take a look at some of the reasons he might be so needy, and maybe it will give you some peace of mind:

1) He's looking to get frisky.

If your boyfriend normally doesn't act clingy and now he's suddenly wanting to hang out a lot, it doesn't have to be anything severe that's causing it. In fact, it could be as simple as his simply wanting to get it on.

Think about the last time the two of you did it. If you've been too tired or busy lately, then he might just be following you around because it will create more opportunities to get the deed done. Most of us can only go so long without it, otherwise the raging hormones begin to get distracting.

Also remember that sex can be an important emotional outlet. It shows him that you care.

Solution: Make some time for him. You know, private time.

Your boyfriend could just be trying to get it on. Once you do, he'll disappear again, don't worry.
Your boyfriend could just be trying to get it on. Once you do, he'll disappear again, don't worry.

2) He's worried you're going to kick him to the curb.

This isn't exactly the healthiest reason, but it's really common. When someone thinks that you're losing interest, many times their (ill-advised) reaction is to try to frantically pull you in closer. Not only does this not work for them, but often it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. You might find yourself actually losing interest in him if he keeps it up.

You can probably understand what he's going through, though. Most people have been on the other side of this ordeal at one time or another.

Solution: Assure him that you care about him and that you have no interest in leaving. (Unless you are planning to kick him to the curb; in which case, stop leading him on.) This doesn't solve the bigger problem of his reacting to distance with clinginess, but, hey, he's only human.

Clinging to the Past

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3) He thinks you're eyeballing somebody else.

Similar to the above, but with a larger element of jealousy, he might be clingy because he thinks that you're interested in another guy. By suffocating you with his presence, he accomplishes three things:

  1. He's able to keep an eye on you and make sure that you're not up to no good with some other bloke.
  2. He's able to assert his position in your life and send a message to others that you have a boyfriend already.
  3. He's able to take up a lot of your time, which is less time you have to spend with your imaginary side piece.

All of this is probably happening subconscious, of course. It's not like he's sitting there, listing these reasons in his mind. He's probably not consciously trying to manipulate you. He's just reacting to fear, and when people act out of fear, they start making unintelligent choices.

Solution: Again, reassure him that you're not interested in anyone else. If you've been doing suspicious things either unintentionally or on purpose to make him jealous, stop. Naturally, this may not convince him. A lot of the time, when people are paranoid about being cheating on or being abandoned, it may have nothing to do with you. In that case, you'll have to decide if it's something you can live with.

Sometimes reassurance is all it takes...other times, he's got real issues.
Sometimes reassurance is all it takes...other times, he's got real issues.

4) You're his only source of entertainment.

Some people live boring lives, don't have any hobbies, and spend all their time with their significant others. There's nothing wrong with this--unless, of course, you find it bothersome.

If this is the reason he's being clingy, it's fairly innocuous. He might not actually think he's being clingy and he might not be doing it out of desperation. It just so happens that he has nothing else to do, so he hangs out with you. If he was raised in a family where people rarely had time alone, it might just be a habit of his to fill his free time with the people close to him.

Solution: Encourage your boyfriend to get a hobby or to make other friends. If he wonders why you're being so adamant about it, then be upfront and tell him it's because you need more time to yourself.

5) He's going through something.

For some people, their first reaction when they're going through a rough patch in their lives is to push people away. For others, it's to pull them close.

Your boyfriend might be going through a difficult time and doesn't know how to express that to you. He might not have even mentioned what's going on. Instead, he's unthinkingly pulling close to you as a source of comfort.

If this is the case, then he's not being clingy, he just needs some support. Isn't that an important part of any relationship?

Solution: Ask your boyfriend if there's anything going on that he wants to talk about. Be a good listener and give him encouragement if the need arises.

6) He has deeper emotional problems (like abandonment issues).

If your boyfriend is consistently clingy, then it's possible that he has unresolved emotional issues. For example, maybe he felt abandoned as a child, and he's reliving that fear in every relationship. On the other hand, maybe his parents totally suffocated him as a child and he's carried that pattern into your connection because he subconsciously thinks that this is what love is all about.

Whatever the reason, you're not his therapist (unless you are; in which case, why are you dating him?), so there's not much you can do about this! He'll have to resolve this issues himself, for his own reasons. It's possible that being in a relationship is slowly helping him to do just that, but it really depends on his willingness to change.

Solution: Have an earnest talk with him about how you feel suffocated, but try not to be openly critical of his behavior. If it seems that he has deep-seated emotional issues, then you might want to cautiously suggest a therapist. I say "cautiously" because no one wants to hear, "Jesus Christ, man, you need therapy!" Try to see if he's self-aware about his issues first and whether he actually wants to resolve them.

Maybe there's such as thing as too un-clingy.
Maybe there's such as thing as too un-clingy.

7) Your boyfriend's not clingy; you're just too slippery.

Finally, it's possible that the problem is actually you!

Or, rather, that your expectations are incompatible with the reality of the relationship. The two of you might simply have different emotional needs and one of you feels that there's too much distance, while the other feels too suffocated.

People are calibrated differently when it comes to this kind of thing, so it's not too surprising that there will be some differences. However, when you're on opposite sides of the spectrum, you may want to consider finding someone who is more compatible with you.

There's also the issue of how much "space" you need and why. Are you too extreme, beyond what is reasonable? Consider whether your desire for distance from your boyfriend is actually part of your personality, or if it is due to deep-seated issues of your own. For example, could you be pushing him away because you've been hurt in the past? As stereotypical as this sounds, it could be a possibility.

At any rate, if you think that your boyfriend wanting to see you twice a week is "too clingy" for you, then you have to admit that you'll have a hard time finding a partner. Maybe you can date an astronaut who is training for a mission to Mars, that way you'll rarely get a chance to see him, and eventually you'll be on different planets altogether.

Solution: Try to understand if there are any unresolved issues in your life that are causing you to push him away unreasonably. If you just have a distant personality naturally (for example, you're extremely introverted), then consider finding someone who is similarly independent.

"Clingy" is Perception

Ultimately, one person's "clinginess" is another person's delightfully close relationship. This is why it's important to communicate your need for space no matter what. If your boyfriend can adapt by finding other people to hang out with and other things to do, then it can make the situation a lot more comfortable.

However, if you try to just deal with it and stay silent, resentment will tend to build in you. Your clingy boyfriend will probably sense it, too. (In which case, he might actually keep his distance.) Instead, bring things out in the open as soon as you can and you'll save yourself a lot of relationship trouble!

Why Your Boyfriend is So Clingy

Why do you think your boyfriend is being clingy?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Jorge Vamos

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      • profile image

        someone 

        4 months ago

        dashingscorpio - I read your comment here and there and I found it very interesting. You sound like you understand and have a lot of experience in life. I admire your expert opinion. I agree with very much what you said. So I have a question for you although I may already knew the answer myself but still want your opinion. Thanks in advance.

        Question.

        I already have a 17 years boyfriend - we have a up and down but mostly up. I am very happy with the relationship. However, there is this married guy at work who is such a charmer and cute and soooooo patient with me we've been friend for 3 years now - He cheated his wife before and I believe he wants me to be his mistress (Although he does not say it) but I tried 3 times to stay away from him but since we work in the same building and it's difficult to stay away or cut clean. I enjoy being his friend but at the same time I don't want to get in trouble. I am the one who take control with the situation - which means I allow him to be my friend or not. So far I am doing a good job, but what do you think? is it ok to be friend with an attractive married guy? although, my boyfriend does not approve because he thinks this guy go after me more than just being friend.

      • dashingscorpio profile image

        dashingscorpio 

        8 months ago

        Oftentimes it's #7.

        "Ultimately, one person's "clinginess" is another person's delightfully close relationship." - Very true!

        There is no "right" or "wrong" only "agree" or "disagree".

        Some people want a "cocoon relationship" and others prefer to have distance, no PDA, or romantic gestures.

        Some folks only want to touch/kiss just before sex!

        They also don't want to snuggle or spoon afterwards.

        Instead of trying to "train someone" to behave as you want them to behave it's better to find someone who (already is) the kind of person (you) want to be with. You're not the only one.

        Very few people are walking around with one hand raised in the air screaming: "I'm looking for someone to change me!"

        Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

        Life is too short to be trying to change water into wine.

        Compatibility trumps compromise!

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