Did you just start dating someone new? Maybe you’ve had two or three dates and you’re really into him. A lot. Too much? How do you know if you’re overdoing it? You might think you’re being sweet and affectionate; he may think you’re a text away from stalkerdom. I know from experience how fast you can lose a guy this way. I did it – once. Never again though. I’ve learned my lesson.
If you think you may be a stage 5 clinger, you better take action fast. It’s like an addiction – and it will definitely chase him away. However, there are ways to end your particular brand of crazy, but let’s start with the warning signs and see if you meet the criteria of the dreaded stage 5 clinger. Do any of the following apply to you?
1. Is your texting ratio off balance?
I mean, you are texting him way more than he’s texting you in response? And do your texts go something like this:
You: Hey, what’s up? Want to hang out later?
You: Or not.
You: What are you up to? You must be busy.
You: Haven’t heard back, I’m starting to worry. Is everything okay?
You: I miss you <3
You: Fine! I guess I’ll just find something else to do then.
You: OMG, I look like a crazy person. I promise I’m not a crazy person. Just text me back. PLEASE!!!!!
Him: Jeez. Calm down. I was at the gym.
Many of us have done this. I have. I texted, then again and again, than realized I was over-texting and sent the apologetic text to explain how not crazy I am…yeah, that ended great.
2. When he fails to text you right back, do you exhaust every other form of communication known to (wo)mankind? Phone call, email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Hieroglyphics, smoke signals. (okay, maybe not those last two. Or maybe?) My dad does this to me. That in itself makes me hope to hell a guy never does it.
3. Do you initiate every text conversation? When was the last time you heard from him first?
4. Do you stalk your own phone every five minutes (or less) to find out if he’s responded to your texts, Facebook message, Tweet, or any of the other 50 ways you tried to reach him?
5. Have you set his picture as your phone’s wallpaper?
6. When he calls, does he pop up as “Bae?”
7. Do you spend hours going through his photos on Instagram?
8. Has your Facebook request to “be in a relationship” gone unaccepted?
9. When he sends you a Snapchat, do you screenshot it? To save… for later.
10. Have you searched him on the internet…extensively? Not just Google, but any site you think will give you more information. And you pay the $2.99 to get the extensive report.
11. Do you show up to places you know he hangs out, just in case he’s there?
12. When you’re at a party or a bar together do you literally cling to his arm the entire time?
13. Are you are okay being bored out of your mind, like watching football or gaming…just as long as you’re with him.
14. The ultimate sign… he’s filed a restraining order. If this happens, you may be doing extra credit here and that’s definitely not good.
So, how many of the warning signs apply to you?
You probably fall into one of the following three categories:
Category #1 Nope, not me, I’m just fine;
Category #2 Eh, maybe I could back off a little bit; and
Category #3 OMG there is something seriously wrong with me, I need help now!!
If you fall into category one, outstanding, you have no issues and are a stable girlfriend.
Falling into category two means you might want to read the following preventative measures and see if your issues are easily solvable.
If you fall into category three you’re definitely heading into clinger territory. Don’t worry; there’s still hope for you. You’ve already hurdled the first obstacle – admitting you have a problem. These 6 measures will help relieve you of your stage 5 clinginess and help you keep your sanity and your man.
5 Steps to Clinger Rehab
1. Put the phone down.
Anything above 2 unanswered texts and you’re headed to Clingersville. In fact, a 1:1 ratio is preferable. Give him a chance to respond. He might be in the shower, at work, maybe he’s on an important call, maybe his phone died. Have some patience. And do not under any circumstances call him or message him anywhere else until at least a few hours have passed. I’d even suggest waiting a day. You should not have to hunt him down to hear from him. If he ghosts you, that’s more a sign that things are really wrong, not that you should keep striving to force things.
2. Let him come to you.
Every once in a while, let him text you first. I know you may like to send the “good morning” text, but you don’t always have to initiate the conversation. Don’t’ worry, if he cares about you you’ll hear from him. It may not be the good morning text, but it will come.
3. Remember he’s not homework.
Stop treating him like a research paper. Step back from the Google. An important part of any relationships is getting to know someone. Learn about him organically. Talk, ask questions, snort laugh. Nothing’s more endearing than a snort laugh (at least I hope not).
4. Get a life.
Seriously, if you’re over-the-top into him, find something else to do so you don’t obsess over him all day. He is not your end all be all. You still have friends. Do not abandon them for any guy. Go out with them. Or pick up a hobby, volunteer, visit your parents. You need your own life– even if you’re happy in a relationship.
5. Take a deep breath.
Stop worrying if he’s going to dump you or if he’s cheating on you. Your insecurities will drive you mad and you’ll start saying and doing things your regret. And if you’re that concerned, you probably shouldn’t be dating him anyway.
You don’t need to be a clinger. You’re better than that. Clingers seem needy and desperate. Plus, behaving that way only forces things to happen in a relationship, like his need for more space, or worse, a break up. You need to let your relationship develop organically. Be patient, wait for things to happen, don’t make him your “everything,” and don’t be a stalker.
If he likes you, there’s no need to cling. If he doesn’t, he wasn’t worth all that time in the first place. Relax, be you, be happy and let things take their natural course. If it’s meant to be, it will work out.