Relationships with People who Cling

Is your partner clingy? Is your partner so attached at the hip that you don’t know where your body ends and where your partner’s body begins? Do you wish you had just a little room to breath?

As much as you would like to ignore your partner’s behavior in hopes that it would just go away, the reality is that it may be worth it to explore what is going on not just with your partner but with yourself is well. Everyone does things for a reason, and every relationship is a dynamic creation of two people, so by exploring what’s going on with the both of you, not only may you be able to see the problem, but the solution within the problem to your partner’s need to cling.

So the following are 5 possible reasons for why your partner is clingy in your relationship.

1) Your Partner May Not Be Feeling Safe And Secure: If you observe children, if they are clinging to their parents, it is usually an indication that they do not feel safe and secure, they are afraid that their parents are going to leave them or that their parents are not going to be available.

Now, I’m not saying your partner is acting like a child, I’m saying they may be feeling that same sense of not being safe and secure as they did with their parents. So why would they be feeling that way with you? Sure you can blame it on past baggage, but let’s first examine the relationship dynamics between you and your partner.

If you are never around and you say that you don’t want to be around your partner that may be enough for your partner to want to cling to you, however there is an even better chance that your partner may not feel an emotional connection, which can also trigger a person into being clingy.

So if you were honest with yourself, you are emotionally shutdown? Have people said you are emotionally shutdown in the past? If you are emotionally shutdown, take steps to becoming more emotionally open, whether that is learning ways to heal emotions and experiences of the past that caused you to put up a wall, or learn how to open and express your emotions if you just have never been exposed or learned how to do so.

Even if your partner does have their own emotional baggage, if you become open, not only are you a role model to your partner, your partner may just naturally become less clingy as you become more emotionally open.

2) Your Partner May Be Dependent: Simply put a person who is dependent is someone who relies on others in order to fulfill their needs. To the person they are relying on, it may feel like they are being clingy. Often when one person in a relationship is dependent they develop a cycle with their partner who is codependent. A person who codependent is someone who has learned or decided to try to get their needs met by giving others what they need in front of their own needs with the hope of getting their needs fulfilled in return. Often the ways on how a codependent person chooses to fulfill the other person’s needs may in fact cause them harm in some way.

A spin off or type of codependency that often goes hand in hand with someone who is dependent, is what is called a caretaker. A caretaker believes that their job in life as well as their sense of worth is dependent upon taking care of others.

However what often happens is that by taking care and taking responsibility for others they disempower the person they are taking care of. Often just the thought that they need to take care of others, such as thinking that they need to take care of their partner is enough to actually disempower their partner.

This is how a cycle gets set in its way, because a dependent person can’t get out of being dependent because they feel so disempowered, and the caretaker doesn’t want their partner to be independent because then they can no longer take care of them, therefore they will feel like they will loose the sense of purpose or worth.

So if you were to honestly think about it, do you caretake or have the need to take care of your partner? Do you feel like they can’t take care of themselves and would you feel like you would lose them if they suddenly didn’t need you anymore?

If that is you, don’t worry, there is a way to start changing the cycle and you can do it yourself. The main thing that you would have to do is believe and picture your partner as being a whole, healthy and independent person who chooses to be with you because they love you not because they are dependent on you. If you focus on this belief, you will find that your partner will start to feel better and more confident about themselves and you will find that they will not be needing to cling to you anymore.

3) Your Partner May Lack Boundaries: You and your partner may have heard a lot about boundaries and how people need to be assertive instead of passive or aggressive.

However, some people may not know that people also need boundaries in regards to their physical as well as emotional space. Some people are not aware that others have different levels of personal or emotional space. Your partner may have a lot smaller amount of personal space boundaries and/or emotional space then you, but he or she is not aware of that. They may think that you have the same needs in this area as they do.

So the solution is just to simply explain to your partner that it is nothing personal, but you just need more physical and emotional space then they do. Just the simple awareness of this may be enough for your partner to give you some space in which ever area you need it.

4) Your Partner May Be Relationship Centred: Everyone has what is a called a value hierarchy. A value is anything that a person puts the majority of time, energy and focus on in their life. The more time, energy and focus they put into the value, the higher up the value hierarchy it will be.

As an example a person may be work centred, which means their top value is work, or is friend centred, which means they value friendship, or relationship centred which means relationships and one-on-one relationships are their top priority. The more closely aligned a couple’s hierarchy is, the more compatible the couple will be.

If your partner is relationship centred and you are not, or relationships is not near the top of your value hierarchy, then you will develop powerstruggles, as well as you will feel smothered or that your partner is clingy because they want to be with you every hour of the day.

However, for your partner, they don’t feel like they are being clingy, it is just natural for them to spend that much time with you. So the best solution is for you and your partner to discuss what your top values in life are and if they don’t completely align negotiate with each others so both of you will have time to have your values fulfilled. In this case, you will feel like your partner is not as clingy as before.

5) Your Partner May Be Kinesthetic or Touchy-feely: Last but not least, relationships are all about communication. We all communicate, give love and receive love in what is called communication channels or modes.

If we do not know what our partner’s communication mode is and learn how to communicate in their mode, we may not be able to effectively communicate because we are not “tuning in” to each other’s frequencies.

There are four main communication modes known as Visual, Auditory, Digital and Kinesthetic communication modes. In the Visual communication mode people give love and receive love through seeing and doing things together. Auditory people give and receive love through talking. Digital people give and receive love through philosophical connection and understanding. For people who are in the Kinesthetic mode, they give love and feel love by touching, in other words Kinesthetic people show their love and feel love through a lot of touching.

So for someone who is not Kinesthetic, they may find that the Kinesthetic person is being clingy and are in their personal space. A Kinesthetic person doesn’t know any better, to them they are saying “I love you” through their touch.

If you are not Kinesthetic, but your partner is Kinesthetic, the best thing you can do is love and appreciate your partner for who they are without trying to change them. In fact learn how they liked to be touched, i.e. find out if they like to be held, like to hold hands or have their hair stroked so they feel loved by you, while also teaching your partner how you feel loved in your own communication mode.

For example, if you are Visual, they can show love to you by doing things with or for you, if you are Auditory have them say I love you as often as possible or if you are Digital, get them to seek to understand and connect with you on a deep philosophical level, this way you will not feel smothered anymore.

So a relationship is like a couple’s dance, it takes two to tango and since you are both in a relationship together, the secret to solving any problems in your relationship is to explore it together as a couple.