Do you need some help learning how to deal with a clingy boyfriend? So did this reader! Learn what advice our dating coach gave her.
Advice on How to Deal with Clingy Boyfriend
My boyfriend is too clingy. He moved in with me a few months ago, he used to live over an hour away. This is a new city for him; he does not have any friends that live nearby or any hobbies outside of school. I totally understand and sympathize with his situation, but he constantly wants to be around me. Any time I go into the other room, he follows me. Whenever I get on the computer, he pulls up a chair next to me and asks a bunch of questions. I am a very busy person, and it's not like the things I do are secretive or anything I would want to hide, I just like to have space and quiet time sometimes. Anytime I try to talk to him about it, or encourage him to find new interests, his feelings get hurt and he will try to force himself to go find something to do, like go to a store or something. This makes me feel bad because I know he isn't happy or enjoying it. In addition, we are both in college and don't have a lot of money to spend on entertainment. What should I do?-- Contributed by: Erin
It is likely that your boyfriend has always been clingy to some extent and in small doses his attention made you feel wanted and cared for. Receiving positive reinforcement for his clinginess, your boyfriend in turn believed that this form of attention was endearing. Now that the two of you are living together, in large doses this characteristic is no longer as loveable as before. That is OK and understandable. The challenge is in letting your boyfriend know how you feel without losing this wonderful quality.
It is not healthy for anyone to be the whole world of another person. We need time together and time apart in order to grow and develop as an individual as well as a loving partner. The challenge for any couple living under one roof is finding the 'right' balance. This balance strengthens and deepens the connection to a partner. When you lived in different cities, you both had time apart and time together. Now the two of you need to work on the 'how' of living together. This includes spending time developing independent interests and friends as well as interdependent interests and friends.
Guide your boyfriend into talking about the couple relationship by letting him know how you feel about his attention. Explain that being together 24/7 has made it apparent that what drew you to him is now having an opposite affect. Sharing this information with him isn't being mean and hurtful. In fact, it is being loving and kind. When you tell your boyfriend that the health of your relationship depends on both of you having time together and apart, you are sharing with him your heartfelt belief as well as your knowledge. When you work with him to find the right balance for having both, you invite him to problem-solve a solution with you.