Your clinginess is never cute

Stop looking for “the one” who will think it is

“Big Raccoon,” Bordalo II

Thought Catalog recently published an article titled: “Date Someone Who Thinks Your Clinginess Is Cute.” In it, author Holly Riordan shares a slew of clingy acts that a partner should embrace.

Some of the things are okay — on the surface, a mutual desire to spend time together and communicate and touch are all fine and well, and sure, you should search for a partner who matches your speed.

The problem is that when you look for “someone who understands the only reason you might come across as ‘clingy’ is because you love him so much,” you both only bastardize the definition of “love”

Clinginess is not love, because love is not clingy

To “clingy” people, their thoughts and actions look and feel a lot like “love” because intimacy and connection is what they most deeply crave— they are the “pursuers;” the “love addicts” of the relationship world. They are preoccupied with proximity.

The problem is that this feeling — the preoccupation with closeness that can come off as clingy — is not love.

These are two very different things.

Love isn’t grabby. Love doesn’t need continuous reassurance by way of texts and touching and talking and time spent together. These things come with love, but in a much more relaxed, reassured way. There is no frantic, flailing fight for them.

The reason that “clingy” people crave these gestures isn’t because they love the other person too much, but because they don’t love themselves enough. They don’t give themselves enough reassurance, so they look to others to provide it.

Clinginess is anxiety, and anxiety is insecurity

And insecurity is never sexy.

Holly writes,

“[Date] someone who would love to hear from you fifty times per day, because you’re his favorite person in the world… Date someone who would never judge you based on how many texts you send in one day.”

My boy is my favorite person in the world, too, but if he texted me literally 50 times a day, I would have some wtf questions for him. (Because there’s an interesting grammatical difference here, between “texting each other 50 times a day” — which is totally normal, especially when it’s slow — and you texting him 50 times. Which is cray.)

The solution to clinginess isn’t to find someone who loves it — and loves you, regardless. The solution is to love yourself more.

The reality that clingy people have to eventually understand and sit with is that no amount of external embrace is ever going to fill their real emotional void — or fix the actual problem.

So if all you do is seek positive reinforcement by way of someone else’s reassurance, it’s just going to become a positive feedback loop, with you increasingly dependent on it and pawing for more.

“Date someone who is just as attached to you as you are to him. Who loves you just as strongly as you love him.”

No, do not look for the person who matches your level of clingy…

“That’s codependence, brutha”

I’m not saying you won’t find someone who finds all of this endearing — there are plenty of people out there who would, and you totally can.

The problem is that the sort of person who’d be into this is the sort of person who struggles with their own emotional or psychological problems.

They’ll get off on your love addiction, and it’ll run the risk of becoming a codependent circle jerk of desperately trying to make someone else happy while also desperately using their happiness to fix your own emotional issues.

Relationships are multiplication, not addition. When you take two half people dependent on one another to “complete them,” you don’t get one whole, you get 1/4.

If you want a whole, closed system relationship, you have to enter with two whole individuals who can stand — and love fully — on their own.

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