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Clingy Boyfriend? 17 Signs and Tips to Communicate and Set Boundaries

Great news! You caught yourself a new boyfriend. And when you guys were getting to know each other, he seemed adorably attentive. And he made you feel like he likes you, a lot. And it was cute because you’ve never received this kind of attention. Whenever you want attention, you get it. And that made you feel great.

But now you guys have been dating for a few months, and the attention doesn’t seem to be fading - like at all. In fact, it’s probably gotten worse since you committed. And now you can’t do anything like go to the store or even to the bathroom by yourself. And now you’ve decided that you might have a clingy boyfriend. And it’s getting on your nerves. 

Pay attention because these are all signs of a clingy boyfriend. 

Clingy Isn’t Always a Sign of Deep Affection

So now you’re at a crossroads in your new relationship. You don’t want to make him think you don’t love every second spent with him, and you don’t want to say the wrong thing to your partner about his clinginess. But it’s starting to affect you in a personal way. It could make you feel trapped, or maybe you just want to spend a little bit of time by yourself.

And it’s not like you don’t love him, after all, the first few weeks or even months were great, right? But alone time is important, and everyone has to have that time when they aren’t having to worry about someone else’s priorities first. You still need time for yourself, to engage with your hobbies and interests, pursue your dreams and aspirations, or even just meditate. 

But then his feelings are hurt, and you feel guilty about wanting to spend time alone or with the girls. That, my friend, is not the right kind of clingy boyfriend that you want. In fact, it’s a rather toxic situation. And you should not feel obligated to spend every waking second worried about how he would feel if you went to the store without him. 

Keep reading to learn the signs of clingy behavior and what to do about them. 

10 Signs Your Boyfriend Is Clingy

10 signs your boyfriend is clingy

1. He texts and calls way too much

It’s amazing when your boyfriend texts you good morning or sends you beautiful texts. And only one or two of those are needed. But when you wake up to five or ten, or when you respond and you’re on the way to work, and all the way through work he has called and texted you (even though he knows your break isn’t until a certain time) about 20 times, that’s not good.

And then you have the “Why aren’t you answering me?” texts, and the guilt-trip texts and the “you must be talking to someone else, you haven’t answered me” texts when he literally has only been waiting for a few moments for an answer. That is 100% clingy boyfriend material, and not in a good way. 

This is a problem, and it is not out of love that he is acting this way. It’s a sign that he may feel insecure, have control issues, low self-esteem, or have an anxious attachment style. 

2. He does not give you any space

  • Does he insist on walking you to the bathroom in public places? 
  • Does he sit outside the bathroom waiting for you at home? 
  • Does he cut into your time when you are doing homework or regular work? 
  • Does he make you feel guilty for taking the time to do the things you need to get done, like cleaning or taking care of yourself? 

If any of this makes you feel uncomfortable, it should. This is not normal boyfriend behavior and a big sign of clinginess in a relationship. 

Some things just might need to be done, and not everything is a two-person job. If you find yourself making excuses to your partner about how much faster or easier it would be for you to just do the things you’ve always had to do before he came into your life without his presence, this is the full extent of a clingy boyfriend. 

If you are finding a way to do this so that you don’t have to spend so much time with the person you’re supposed to love - you might be in a toxic situation

3. He needs constant validation

Does your boyfriend need constant reassurance and validation? He may be a clingy boyfriend if he says, “I love you” much more than normal. Does he ask you if you love him? Does he make you promise that you love him? Do you get into arguments over men that are literally a figment of his imagination? 

One word: Clingy boyfriend. 

4. He is always demanding attention

My most recent ex took clingy boyfriend to a new level. As much as you might love him, if he is preventing you from following your dreams, or making a career, cutting into personal time with your children, or family, and all the while saying you don’t spend enough time with him, your partner might have deep-rooted issues that could possibly escalate into a toxic situation. This is a major red flag and you need to pay attention. 

When you are literally giving constant contact and time to him, even when you have other things you need to want to do, and he still feels insecure then it could be time to put your foot down and start setting healthy boundaries.

5. You feel suffocated and trapped

It is not normal to feel like your partner is smothering you. If you feel just trapped by his never-ending need for attention, then it’s not a healthy relationship. You should not be your partner's whole world.

Everyone has moments when they want or need some space. That is normal. And if you’re starting to get annoyed, or anxious, or get that boxed-in feeling when your partner messages you or comes over, then you have to say something. Make your needs clear for your own well-being. Or soon you won’t have a relationship at all. 

6. He is incredibly jealous 

Then there is the type of clinginess that is the absolute worst and the most toxic. Insecurity and over-possessiveness from your partner is not healthy. If he can’t trust you, then why would you want to be in a relationship in the first place?

You should not feel guilty because you want time with your girls or just to spend quality time with yourself. Nor should you have to worry about what your partner might think or say when you do take time for yourself. 

If you have to defend yourself or get into an argument every time you want to take a drive, then your partner might just not be the right kind of boyfriend for you. 

Taking time to get away from your partner should not make you constantly worry or have a panic attack. In fact, it should not cause any issues at all because he should also have his space and spend time focusing on his own needs. 

7. He stalks you online

Most of us have checked out our partners' social media pages occasionally, but if your boyfriend is constantly checking to see when you've been online, this is another one of the signs of a clingy guy. 

Use this tool to check whether he actually is who he says he is
Whether you're married or have just started seeing someone, infidelity rates are on the rise and have increased over 40% in the last 20 years, so you have all the right to be worried.

Perhaps you want to know if he's texting other women behind your back? Or whether he has active Tinder or dating profile? Or worse yet, whether he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool will do just that and pull up any hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more to hopefully help put your doubts to rest.

He may ask you, "who is that guy who liked your profile picture?" He may keep tabs on potential threats if he always asks about different people who interact with your page. A clingy partner is exhausting when you must continually reassure them. 

8. He is not assertive

One of the big signs of a clingy boyfriend is when your partner doesn't seem to hold any strong opinions. He gives in to everything you want to do because he is afraid you may leave him if he disagrees with you.

A healthy relationship does not need constant agreement at all times. Sometimes, disagreements make a relationship stronger and help you learn more about what's important to your partner. 

Your partner's anxious attachment style and clinginess are not a healthy way to strengthen your relationship. A healthy relationship requires both of you to be able to trust each other enough to be honest with your feelings.

9. He does not have hobbies

Clingy boyfriends often do not spend time on their own hobbies and sometimes stop seeing their friends too. It’s vital for each person in a relationship to have their individual hobbies and individual lives outside of the relationship. 

If your clingy boyfriend becomes obsessed with you and acts like you are the only important thing in his world, it could be a sign that he is trying to be dangerously in control. He may make up stories in his head about what you are up to and blame you without any proof.

10. You are not excited to hear from him

If you find yourself rolling your eyes every time your boyfriend texts you, you may have a clingy boyfriend. You may also feel guilty because you can’t wait to have space away from your boyfriend. 

You sometimes fear you will upset your partner if you stop spending time with him all the time. But the truth is that clinginess can be just as toxic and unhealthy as any other form of abuse. 

What Makes Your Boyfriend Clingy?

what makes your boyfriend clingy

1. A toxic mindset

Sometimes being clingy means that your partner may have a toxic mindset about his relationship with you. Sometimes when a partner is too clingy and they make your life harder, it doesn’t even mean they just miss you when you are gone, sometimes it means that they are simply controlling

Being too clingy to your partner sometimes is just an emotionally manipulative way for them to keep an eye on you, and control what they want out of the relationship for their needs. And believe it or not, it’s a huge gateway for emotional abuse

No one should feel guilty about needing some space for themselves. Speaking up for yourself and taking time for yourself will improve your self-esteem.

2. No respect for your needs or boundaries

When a partner is too clingy, and they don’t act understandingly when you say something, then it means that they don’t have respect for your boundaries or personal needs. Also, sometimes it takes some getting used to being in a new relationship - and if it starts off clingy it will probably get worse for you until you put your foot down. 

This lack of respect for your personal space or boundaries is a problem. And the first thing you need to do is establish very clearly what you need. If they have a problem with it, then they need to show respect and compromise with you. That is how a relationship survives after all - with both people working on their needs and meeting each other halfway

3. They need to work on themselves

I could preach for days to people about how before they jump into a relationship (especially if one just ended) they first need to take time to evaluate themselves, and their readiness for that kind of commitment. However, as lots of people do, they could ignore my advice. 

A relationship is a big step, and if you have been recently burned or hurt by someone you loved, it’s possible you have an outlook that could cause some toxic clinginess. It’s okay to be afraid at first or insecure, so long as you actively work on it so that you do not impair your next relationship with your insecurities and jealousies. 

It’s important to know whether or not you’re going to be codependent, jealous, or difficult to deal with. You can’t expect your partner to give up their friends or time that they have always taken for themselves just because you have a need for attention. This behavior is not healthy for you, or your lover. And it can actually hurt the other person more than you know. 

4. Being too clingy can cause the relationship to end 

And then there is just that moment where it all becomes too much. If you are literally thinking about breaking up with your partner because of clingy behavior, it means that you have either not established your boundaries or needs clearly, or he just has not listened to you. 

On the one hand, you may love him and want to continue your relationship because obviously he cares about you. But if you are beginning to be affected negatively in your own mental space, or if you are having emotional backlash from his incessant need for attention, then it’s not a good relationship to begin with.

Telling your partner that you can’t talk at the moment, or you can’t come over or just need time alone should not cause any anxiety, depression, stress, or arguments. 

3 Tips to Set Boundaries with Clingy Boyfriend and Help Him Change

3 tips to set boundaries with clingy boyfriend and help him change

1. Communication

The first step to deal with a clingy boyfriend is to be open and honest. Have a conversation with your partner, and tell them how they are making you feel. Sometimes, it could just be that they did not notice how clingy they were being. 

A good conversation about the need for personal time can absolutely change and solve the problem, as well as save your romantic relationship. And there definitely should not be an argument either. 

2. Be firm with your need for personal space

If your partner is acting clingy and you have communicated your need for personal space and the problem persists, then you need to be firm. Don’t just give in or feel guilty because they expressed hurt feelings. 

You need to take care of yourself, and you need time for yourself for all the things you wanted and needed to do before he ever came into the picture in the first place.

Don’t allow yourself to feel suffocated by your partner, because it will build up resentment. And once resentments build in a relationship they are really hard to get rid of. 

3. Enforce and set rules 

Establish clear boundaries and set some ground rules. Don’t be afraid to tell your partner that when you are in the bath, that bath is your time and your time only. Don’t be afraid to tell them that you like to go for a long walk on Sunday by yourself to unwind from the week. 

Don’t be afraid to tell him that when you put in your earphones at the gym, you’re not checking your phone for that full hour until you’re done. 

Boundaries are the healthiest stipulations in relationships. And if you do not place them, you won’t be happy - no matter how much you love each other. Boundaries help you to stay out of resentment and help you love yourself and your partner more. 


A lot of relationship experts will be wary to tell you if it’s time to end it. But if you have communicated your needs, reassured your clingy boyfriend, and expressed the boundaries you are most comfortable with, and they still continue to make you feel guilty or anxious about spending time without them - then it’s time to walk away. 

Toxic relationships are dangerous, and sometimes a clingy boyfriend is just an energy vampire.

Because here is the ugly truth to clingy boyfriends: sometimes they’re being controlling in a deceptive way. You shouldn't have to give them constant reassurance. And if taking time for yourself constantly creates problems then it’s not a relationship, it's an oppression.

So unless your situation is different and it’s not causing problems in the relationship, then it can be fixed. However, for the most part, an overly clingy boyfriend is not a good thing.

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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