Of course, your boyfriend or girlfriend is important to you, but you might need more space than he or she gives you. Maybe he calls you whenever he needs something (which can be very frequent) or constantly demands that you give him time, energy, or money. This problem is especially difficult to tackle because you are afraid that you will harm him. Finding a balance between the time spent together and the time that you reserve for yourself is however possible.
Part 1 of 3: Working on intrusive behavior
Step 1. Understand what makes people pushy
Very often, a person will tend to invade his partner for fear that this one will leave him. You might be spending a little less time together than you did before, calling your boyfriend less often, or not having the same reassuring behavior as before. The fear of being abandoned can then overwhelm your partner. If it is not your role to constantly reassure your lover, see that his behavior and his motivations are still understandable.
If your partner is worried about you leaving him, remind him that if neither he nor you can predict the future, you are both happy right now and that is what he needs to focus on
Step 2. Think about your own story
Some people tend to choose romantic partners who make them feel very insecure. This could be the case with your partner. Without realizing it, you may be triggering insecurities in him that he has never explored. Realizing this could cause either of you to want to get closer to the other or to want to distance yourself. If you could be tempted to run away, it might actually be worth working together to overcome this problem.
- You may also have had contact with an intrusive person in the past, such as a sibling or ex, and your current partner's behavior brings you back to those memories and makes you want to run away. Before blaming your partner, take a few moments to reflect on your own life.
- Have you ever been in a relationship where you tended to be clingy with your partner? What were your reasons for behaving like this? And how did the person respond to your behavior?
- What annoys you so much when someone sticks to you and how do you respond to this type of behavior? Do you respond with rage, frustration, or distance?
Step 3. Know how to spot the manipulation
There is a difference between the need of the other and the manipulation. The manipulation usually involves you ceding something to the other party. A manipulator will use your weaknesses against you, make you feel guilty, or suggest that only you can help them. If you tend to want to help others, make sure your partner isn't trying to take advantage of you. If your lover is intrusive, then ask yourself if he is not trying to manipulate you.
- To manipulate you, your partner could punish you when they don't get what they want (by ignoring you, by not doing their chores) or outright threatening to hurt yourself if you don't do what you want. he wants. If you notice that you are being "punished" when you do not give in to your partner's needs, you are certainly being manipulated.
- If you think you are being manipulated, watch how you react to your partner's requests, especially when it comes to offering them help, money, or giving up something.
- For more information, read How to spot manipulative behavior and How to recognize a manipulative and bossy relationship.
Step 4. Be patient with your partner
Your boyfriend may not necessarily be able to control his need for attention. Remember all the things that make him a great person and make your relationship great. Be patient and empathize with your partner. Maybe he was let go in the past, or he feels something that you don't quite understand.
When you are frustrated or angry, remember to be patient, loving, and gentle with your boyfriend and his emotions
Step 5. Use imagery related to a healthy relationship
If you tend to distance yourself, imagine living a healthy, balanced relationship. If your partner tends to be clingy, ask them to imagine a balanced and healthy relationship. This can help you overcome your stress when the relationship weighs on you.
To do this exercise, set aside time with your partner. Close your eyes and imagine what a healthy relationship would be like for you two. Imagine yourself calm, centered, and happy as you think about your relationship. What do you feel ? What are you and your boyfriend doing together and what are you each doing on your own? Then imagine that this is how your relationship is. When you're done, open your eyes and talk about it
Step 6. See if you are stuck in an interdependent relationship
Often times, the relationship is beneficial to both partners and not just one of them. So if you find that your partner is intrusive, it is possible that you find your value in this aspect of your relationship. The inability to find happiness outside of the person, to stay with a boyfriend who has unhealthy or destructive behaviors (alcoholism, drug abuse) is for example the sign of an interdependent relationship.
- Do you tend to give to your partner (emotionally, physically, financially), even at the expense of your own well-being and your own health?
- Ask yourself if you are giving up your own needs to meet those of your partner. This type of behavior could have short term as well as long term consequences.
- Ask yourself if you are really happy with your partner or if you stay with him or her because of what you would lose by leaving him or her.
Step 7. Live to the rhythm of the relationship
Realize that there will be times when you are seeking affection and your partner will distance himself from you. This is the normal course of a relationship. When you love someone, you choose to support them through their ups and downs, even when it impacts your life. Keep in mind that the situation and circumstances can always change and that relationships are fluid.
Is your partner intrusive because of a specific situation or event? If so, you might have to come to terms with this momentary behavior and give your lover your full support. Sometimes you will also be in situations where you need more support
Part 2 of 3: Bringing up the topic with your partner
Step 1. Think about what is bothering you
If it sounds obvious, think about what is really bothering you. Are there specific situations in which your boyfriend is clingy? Are you responsible for some factors, for example, do you feel overwhelmed by your lover when you are tired, stressed, frustrated? What thoughts and emotions surface when you think of your partner invading you?
- Do you tend to shy away from relationships when they get serious? Have you been a clingy partner yourself in the past? Reflect on your romantic past and see if it has anything to do with how you are feeling.
- Try to see things from your partner's point of view. Could he or she be afraid of losing you or maybe he or she is depressed?
- You might want to write down things that bother you, so you can better understand how to express your situation.
Step 2. Discuss how you are feeling with your partner
It is not fair to you or your partner that you keep your feelings to yourself. Have a chat with your boyfriend or girlfriend and let them know you're feeling overwhelmed. Your lover might not be aware of how you are feeling and invade you without even realizing it and by holding your feelings within you then you start to develop resentment towards them. Schedule a discussion with your partner and gently let them know what's bothering you. This kind of topic can be difficult to bring up, but remember that it is important that you communicate your feelings to your partner.
- Don't accuse your partner of being clingy or pushy. Approach the subject in a gentle way, for example saying, “It is important that we spend time together, but it is also important that we each have our own lives and our own interests. "
- Say, “For me, a healthy relationship means having a good time together, but also spending time away from each other. It is essential for me to keep my own activities and my own friends, while building a balanced relationship with you. "
- Instead of just expressing your concerns, try to present solutions to the problem as well, which you can find in the next section.
Step 3. Share your feelings and concerns
You may want to put the blame entirely on your partner and say “you choke me” or “I hate it when you do this or that”. Avoid this at all costs or you risk hurting your boyfriend. Instead of accusing her of being clingy, let her know how you feel.
- You might start by saying, “Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by all the time we spend together. "
- Say, “my problem is that…” and introduce the source of your feeling. Say something like, “When you want to spend all your time with me, I feel overwhelmed. My problem is that we do so many things together that I don't have time to do things on my own anymore. "
Step 4. Agree on limits
After discussing how you are feeling, set healthy boundaries with your partner. Ideally, you should set these limits to two in order to both agree. If you're feeling overwhelmed by your partner, you might decide to spend one day a week with other people, whether it's your friends, family, or even alone.
- You can set limits on the time you spend together, the time you spend on the phone, the number of texts exchanged, etc. You could then say, "I love receiving your texts throughout the day and knowing that you are thinking of me." But sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed. Could we stop talking by text message when I'm at work? "
- Make sure these limits are healthy. It's not about controlling your partner or letting yourself be controlled. Ideally, these boundaries should benefit both parties, giving you space and allowing your partner not to rely solely on you or your support.
- If your partner constantly calls you for help, set a limit on this or you risk exhausting yourself. While offering to help isn't a bad thing, it can be exhausting. Chat with your boyfriend about ways he might be on his own, call other people, and get through his struggles without relying on you.
- Keep in mind that limits allow you to develop yourself and are not meant to push your partner away.
Step 5. Apply the limits you set
While setting limits is a first step, the real test will be to apply them. As you put this new system in place, your partner might feel like you are abandoning them and going out of their way to contact or see you. When you set limits then you will also need to set how you will apply them. You may need to mute your phone or turn it off completely or say “no” more often. Remind yourself and your partner that you have set these limits to help you and that you need to enforce them.
However, you have of course the right to renegotiate these limits when they are no longer in the interest of your couple
Part 3 of 3: spending time alone
Step 1. Practice your own passions
If you feel like you and your sweetheart spend all of your time together by default, find activities that you can do on your own. Maybe you would like to learn to sew or your partner would like to take up dancing. This is the perfect opportunity to explore your own passions without feeling pressured into including your boyfriend.
- By each having your own passions, you and your partner will each meet new people while doing the activities you enjoy.
- For example, you could try hiking, skiing, knitting, painting, or reading.
Step 2. Spend time with your own friends
Sometimes love gives you wings, and then you might realize months later that you just don't spend time with your own friends and family. For your mental and emotional health, however, it is important that you surround yourself with your friends and relatives. If you've distanced yourself from your friends, try to get closer to them.
Organize an evening with the boys or the girls, which you will spend only with your friends. Organize a weekend with friends or a movie night
Step 3. Play sports
Getting active is a great way to release tension, exercise your mind and body, and get a little sweaty. Exercise is good for your mental, emotional, and physical health, and you should exercise for at least 30 minutes, several times a week.
Many gyms offer classes. If you'd like to try weight training, yoga, pilates, or a fitness class, head to a gym and see what disciplines are on offer
Step 4. Challenge yourself
Set yourself a new goal that you would be unable to achieve at the moment. Having a goal and doing everything to achieve it can be motivating, exciting and challenging.