No one wants to be a stage-five clinger, and no one wants to date one, either. But if your most natural state is to be clingy in relationships, don't fret. With a few small tweaks, you can find ways to combat your not-so-helpful urge to hang with your partner all day erryday and instead focus on yourself. I am all for spending lots of free time with your partner, and I think it's especially awesome when you and your significant other do things together — join friends for dinner, round up a gang for the movies, invite people over for a game of Cards Against Humanity or poker or spin the bottle, whatever. But if you want to shut yourself in a cave with your partner and never come out, it's time for a change.
If trying to figure out how to be less clingy seems an impossible task, you're not alone. Lots of people find it hard to let go, especially when they are head over heels in love with someone exciting and fun and amazing. But clinginess won't lead anywhere good. (And if you're dating a clinger, there are some things to keep in mind as well.)
Here are 10 ways to avoid clinginess — which, in turn, will make you feel better about yourself.
1. Make Plans During The Week
If you have dinner plans three nights a week, you can't spend all of your free time with your partner. Problem solved. And this goes for the nights you and your partner spend time together — try to avoid only hanging one on one. Invite friends. Make it a party.
2. Stay Active
The benefits of exercise cannot be denied. Whether you take a low-key yoga class or pump it up with a crazy boxing class — or even take a stroll around the block — exercise has been scientifically proven to boost your mood and improve your outlook on life.
3. Start A Book Club
You'll have something to do every Thursday. Or Tuesday. Or Friday. And you'll have to read a book every month (or every two weeks), which will give you some much-needed "me time."
4. Find A Hobby
Even if you have no interest in knitting or scrapbooking, there are approximately a zillion things you can do with your free time. Take up kickboxing. Take up macrame. Take up oil painting. Whatever the case may be, stay busy and find something that ignites your sense of wonder.
5. Invest In Your Home
If your space is a nest, you'll want to be in it more — alone. Buy your favorite bath salts, install dreamy curtains, throw together a nook for reading, go grocery shopping and keep your favorite foods at the ready for a meal. You'll want to spend more time at home, and you'll be able to throw impromptu dinner parties for your best pals.
6. Step Away From The Alcohol
Maybe you promised yourself you'd play it cool tonight. But if you go out and have a few drinks, your resolve at midnight will be way less strong. Save yourself from sending late-night texts by steering clear from drinking.
Getting in touch with yourself will help you worry less and feel better about yourself and your life. And working meditation into your daily life is easy — it just requires making a tiny chunk of time for it every day.
8. Work On Yourself
If you love yourself, you'll want to spend time with yourself. It makes sense: We want to spend the most time with those we love. So if you've been finding yourself a tad clingy of late, be sure to get to the root of the cling. Are you afraid to be alone? If so, it might be time to seek a good therapist, and get to the core of your fears.
9. Spend Time With Family
Even if your fam drives you nuts, they may be good for a little hang time. If they live far away, video chat them, or send long emails or letters back and forth. A strong family connection will make it less tempting to spend alllll of your free time with your partner.
10. Take Long Walks
When all else fails, an hour's walk through your pretty city or cozy town will get your head in order — and these walks are fabulous alone-time moments. Whether it's along a dirt path or down concrete sidewalks, long walks are incredible antidotes to feeling clingy. And they can be delightfully meditative. At the end, you'll feel refreshed and ready to tackle your day — or take one in the evening for a fresh start on your night.
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