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You glance at your phone. You’ve got a notification. It’s your mom, texting to ask if you’ll be home for dinner. You send a quick “yes” her way and resume staring off into space as you wait for your bus. Thirty seconds later, you peek at the screen of your phone again. Zero notifications. Ten seconds later … still no new messages. You open up the WhatsApp chat with your boyfriend, and find it exactly the same as when you last left it. You begin to feel restless. Is he ignoring you?
This is one of the many symptoms of clinginess. And when left untreated, it can consume you and destroy any chance of a trusting, healthy relationship that doesn’t end in flames. It may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s a possibility that awaits those who aren’t secure enough to give their partners space. Here are a few ways to shed the neediness, in exchange for confidence.
Step 1: Drop the baggage.
What is it that’s preventing you from letting go? Find that out and work towards chucking it away. Heartbreak can shatter one’s confidence, and it’s one of the hardest things to recover from. Ignore the past and the potential because this is a whole new relationship you’re in.
Step 2: Get comfortable with solitude.
It’s a genuine fear that most people have of being ditched and ending up alone with nothing but 300 cats. It fuels their need to hang on to whatever relationship they’ve got. But there’s nothing wrong with being single or alone. Try going to dinner or catching a film by yourself. Enjoy a little “me” time. Remember that solitude isn’t necessarily synonymous with loneliness. Once you’re comfortable with it, you will no longer be afraid of it.
Step 3: Pursue your passions.
Life’s not all about fiery love affairs. If a squeeze or a spouse is all you have to hold on to, you’ll start building your sense of security and self-esteem on them. You’re setting yourself up for a fiasco that will leave you with nothing if they vanish one day. Turn your gaze towards your career and hobbies once in a while. Have your own goals – ones that do not involve your companion – and fulfill them.
Step 4: Don’t give too much or too little.
It’s never a good idea to bombard anyone with a throng of messages or calls, especially when all they’re willing to give is a simple one-liner in response. Similarly, nonchalance or playing hard-to-get will just be misunderstood as a lack of interest. Plain and simple: reciprocate with the exact amount of time and attention you’re being given.
Step 5: Remember that he chose you.
You may not be Jennifer Lawrence or Emma Watson, but what does that matter? There’s a reason why your paramour is with you. Stop tormenting yourself over how, compared to the next girl, you’re less attractive, less accomplished or less anything because to him, you could be the hottest, cutest thing on the planet.
Us girls have to work hard to reach a place of confidence and it may be a life-long endeavour. But once we’re conscious of our effort, we’ll find ourselves leaving our phones alone, along with whatever hanging conversations they may hold, and realise that Clinginess is a friend long gone.