Six Tips To Get Some Space When You Have A Clingy Girlfriend

Updated April 4, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Having that partner that you can talk to about your day, laugh with, and turn to for support during difficult times can make all the difference for you when the relationship is healthy. However, when you have a clingy girlfriend in your life that doesn’t allow you to have your space, it can put a strain on the relationship. Instead of enjoying all the benefits that a relationship has to offer, you may find yourself trying to get some space. With the right tools and effective communication, overcoming clinginess is possible, as is reestablishing a healthy relationship.

Unsure how to ask for space in your relationship?

Signs of a clingy girlfriend

Do you have a clingy girlfriend? Below is a list of the most common signs.

  • They’re jealous when you do anything without them. Their jealousy isn’t just about thinking that you’re paying attention to other girls. They may be jealous anytime you are giving attention to anything that’s not them. It could be spending time with your friends, going to a ball game, or staying home to have a little downtime by yourself.

  • They want your help with everything. At first, you loved stepping in and helping, but now they expect you to take care of everything. You may not be able to help but think you’re being used.

  • They have low self-esteem. If your girlfriend struggles with their self-esteem, they may depend on your opinion of them to feel good about themselves. That may mean constantly asking you for reassurance or having a need to consistently be built up by you.

  • They don’t want you to spend time with your friends. You may not be able to hang out with your friends anymore because your girlfriend always wants to be with you. Your friends may have even stopped inviting you because you’ve turned them down so many times.

  • They text you nonstop. When you’re not with them, they might text you nonstop and expect that you’ll reply right away. If you don’t, they call to find out why you aren’t responding.

Responding to clinginess

If you recognize clingy tendencies in your girlfriend, here are some tips for you as you move forward.

1. Practice empathy 

Before you start confronting your clingy girlfriend about their behavior, it can be important to take a moment to consider where they’re coming from. Being empathetic and having compassion can be vital in a relationship. Try to put yourself in their shoes and see if you can determine where their insecurity in the relationship is stemming from.

Ask yourself, why are they so clingy? Have the two of you had problems in your relationship that have led them to this place? If you were unfaithful, some of their clinginess could be a natural consequence of the situation. Further, if your behavior is sending mixed signals, they could be worried about the status of the relationship. 

Sometimes, their clinginess has nothing to do with you and could even be a pattern in all of their relationships, including their friendships. Consider that it has nothing to do with you. Is there something else in their life that has caused them to struggle in relationships? It could be that they had a parent leave when they were a child or were hurt by someone else in the past. Before reacting to their clinginess, try to practice compassion and empathy for their emotions and situation. In most cases, clingy behavior is not a sign of intentional ill-will. 

2. Be honest, but kind

If you have an emotionally needy and clingy girlfriend and you want to continue the relationship but can’t keep going the way it currently is, it may be time to have a conversation with them about it. Try not to have the discussion when you’re frustrated, but rather when you feel at ease. Choose the time, place, and your words wisely and avoid being unkind. During the conversation, provide your girlfriend with examples of the behavior you want to change and what ideas you have to help the relationship be healthy. Stay on topic and be intentional with the time you have to talk. 

One way to make this type of constructive criticism easier for your girlfriend to receive is to use the sandwich criticism method. This is where you start the conversation by telling them something positive. Then, you provide your girlfriend with constructive criticism about their clingy behavior. Finally, you finish it up with more positive comments. This can allow you to soften the negative side of the conversation.

3. Create purposeful quality time

If your girlfriend is clingy, it can help to create purposeful and structured quality time for them. Try to set aside some time that is meant just for them. During this time, focus on them without being distracted by other people or things. Consider what things they would like to do or places they’d like to go. If your girlfriend has been acting clingier because they don’t feel that you’re making time for them, this could correct the situation. Value their opinion by asking what they want to do. Let them plan a date night, go on a road trip with each other, and look for purposeful time to spend together. 

Along with planning purposeful time for your girlfriend, take some time to spend with your friends without them being involved. Get this time on the calendar and make sure your girlfriend understands that you aren’t available to them during this time. You can let them know where you will be and what you’ll be doing, but they don’t need to be a part of every moment. It’s healthy to have time with your friends.

4. Establish your boundaries

Relationships need healthy boundaries, especially when there is one partner that is constantly crossing the line. When you have a clingy girlfriend, it can be important to establish boundaries to help you get the space you need. The following tips could help you establish boundaries in your relationship:

  • Be self-aware

  • Be clear about your needs

  • Be specific and direct

  • Be clear about your love while being clear about your boundaries

  • Use “I” statements

Once you have your boundaries in place, it can be essential to know how to effectively communicate them to your girlfriend. These boundaries should be in place to improve your relationship and your own well-being, not to harm it. 

Unsure how to ask for space in your relationship?

5. Support them in getting help

There’s a chance that your girlfriend’s clingy behavior is caused by something else in their life and that it doesn’t stem from your relationship. If this is the case, it can be helpful for them to reach out and get help from a therapist or other professional. As a supportive boyfriend, you can encourage them to get the help that they need.

A licensed therapist can help your girlfriend identify where the clingy behaviors stem from and learn what they can do to address them. This can help your girlfriend not only in their relationship with you but in every area of their life, including their relationship with themselves. Knowing that they have your support in talking to a therapist can be just what they need to move forward in reaching out for help.

6. Give couples counseling a try

If your girlfriend’s clingy behavior has become too much for you, there’s a chance that you are not going to want it to continue. If you feel that you are putting all that you can into the relationship, but your girlfriend is always demanding more or robbing you of enjoying other things in life, it may not be a healthy relationship.

If you love your girlfriend and want the relationship to continue, you can try the other tips in this article. You can also give couples counseling a try. This would allow the pressure to be taken off you as you have an experienced and licensed therapist that can guide you both through making changes in the relationship. It doesn’t have to be you that’s pushing for the changes to be made; instead, the therapist can be an encouraging person. This can help you and your girlfriend work together to make positive changes in your relationship. It can also help ensure that your girlfriend doesn’t feel like you’re against them. Further, instead of simply giving up on the relationship, going to couples counseling may show your girlfriend that you love them because you are willing to work things out. 

Decide if you want to stay together

If you have a clingy girlfriend, you may be left wondering if you want to stay together. If you love them, consider giving the tips in this article a try and putting in effort to save the relationship if that’s a desire of yours. If you find that you’re making an effort to save the relationship and they’re not reciprocating, it might be time to bring it to a close. Healthy relationships are important to your well-being, and you deserve to be with someone who brings positivity to your life. Ending a relationship can be hard and painful. If you need help working through the end of a relationship or deciding how to handle it, a therapist can help.

Online counseling with Regain

Experiencing a lack of space in your relationship can be difficult. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it may be helpful to speak with a professional about what steps to take next. You can get connected with an online therapist through the Regain platform and talk through video chats, phone calls, or in-app messaging. Your therapist can help you voice your concerns and needs to your significant other and help you improve your communication skills as needed. Online therapy can be easy, convenient, and cost-effective when you need mental health support most. 

The efficacy of online counseling 

Those who appear clingy in their relationships may be dealing with an anxious attachment style. Healing from an anxious attachment style is possible, and online counseling has been shown to be a helpful part of the process of becoming more safe. One study found that an online therapy intervention was just as effective as face-to-face ones in reducing symptoms of depression, interpersonal sensitivity, and anxiety in people with all types of attachment styles. An online therapist can help you develop new strategies to build healthier relationships and assist you with issues you experience along the way. 

Counselor reviews

“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”

“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time… She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”


Even if you love your girlfriend and enjoy spending time with them, it can be possible to feel overwhelmed by the amount of time you’re together. It’s natural to need space in your relationship, and it can even make your relationship healthier. Asking for that space can be difficult, but an online therapist can help you come up with what to say. There’s no reason to feel guilty for doing what’s healthiest for you, and you deserve a relationship that honors your needs.

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