Being accommodating, compromising, and understanding are all important to having a healthy, happy relationship. But research out of Sage Journals Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shows that one more thing is important: autonomy. You need to maintain a sense of self in a union in order to feel happy. Both relating to another person and holding onto your individual identity are important to a satisfying relationship. Often when a couple is unhappy, their issues boil down to someone struggling with one of those. Either someone is too independent, refusing to really fuse their lives with the other person, or they’re too dependent, letting go of their individuality almost entirely. What that feels like to their partner is clinginess.
Having a clingy partner can be incredibly stressful. It can feel as if you can’t enjoy time away from the person, because you realize they don’t enjoy a single moment until you return. For women, this can be very detrimental. Women need quality time with their female friends. Research out of UCLA shows that it’s critical to our stress management and sense of wellbeing. So having a clingy partner who makes you feel bad doing anything without him like girl time is a major problem. Why do women wind up with clingy men? Well, at first, the clinginess can come off as endearing. It can even masquerade as emotional vulnerability, which Psychology Today reports is another secret to a happy relationship. But vulnerability must be paired with confidence, or else you get clingy, which you don’t want. On that note, here are early signs a guy will be clingy.
Frequent and frivolous texting
Everyone has that friend or sibling with whom they text all day. You text nonsense, like funny YouTube videos, or stories about someone at the grocery store, or photos of your meals. You text each other random thoughts. That’s normal to do with a long-time friend or family member. But if a guy you’ve only been out with once or twice starts doing this, he will probably be clingy. Frequent texting is a form of forced and rapid intimacy. He’s making himself a big part of your day and your thoughts, when you barely know one another. A few check-in texts during the week with someone new is one thing; a few texts an hour is clingy.