Relationships have a dependency scale, rating from 1 to 10—one being super independent, ten being too clingy. Answer five questions to see where you land!
One of the more interesting theories I’ve discovered about relationships is the dependency scale. It’s this idea that each person has their own level of dependence when it comes to partnerships rated from one to ten—one being super independent, very little daily communication, etc. to ten, being incredibly dependent, perhaps to the point of even sharing a lung.
The thing is, it’s good to find someone who is around your same scale of dependency need, a two and a nine are probably not going to be on the same page most of the time and both people are probably going to get hurt.
Related to one end of the scale, people often bring up the concept of clinginess as an issue within their relationship.
Being clingy is rooted in insecurity—both within the person as an individual and within the relationship as a whole.
The only way to know for sure that clinginess is happening is to communicate with each other, because one person’s good morning texts could seem thoughtful to one but overbearing to another.
Some questions to ask yourself if you are afraid you’re the clingy one:
1. Do you send texts that often never get a reply? Do you text excessively?
2. Do you call every day and expect the other person to spend a particular amount of time talking with you and then get upset when it doesn’t happen?
3. Are you touchy feely in public while the other person is standoff-ish?
4. Do you have excuses as to why all the other person’s friends are terrible and they should not spend time with them?
5. Do you not only want to, but expect to spend as much time as humanly possible with the other person without caring about doing your own thing or that person doing their own thing?
If you answered yes to two or more of these, you’re probably a clinger.
How to ease back and relax in the relationship.
Step 1: Communicate about Communication
Most relationships fail because people don’t know how to talk to each other. It seems kind of silly, but it’s important to have a conversation about communication style. Establish boundaries, times that work best, and preferred methods. For example, if you both work nine to five, maybe set up a 10-minute lunchtime catchup or an after-work text session.
Step 2: Get a Life (of your own)
Yeah, it’s cool to have couple-like things to do together, but it is vital that people have their own hobbies, commitments, goals. Not only does this keep things refreshing within the relationship as there will be new things to talk about, but it keeps both parties autonomous, interesting, and developing personal growth. And a relationship should be about helping each other reach their full potential as humans on the planet, not just within the relationship itself.
Once the two of you have set up a way to communicate and both respect those boundaries put in place, and once you’ve both found ways to “do your own thing” while still being a “thing,” the clinginess will surely subside.
All it takes is trust, honesty, and openness, which should be the cornerstone of any relationship anyway—develop that and the relationship can develop into something deeper and more meaningful (without the cling).