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Some love just feels really intense – the early days of infatuation, or long-distance relationships that feel dependent on endless texting, for example.
But what happens when your love gets a bit too much?
If your partner has mentioned that you’re being overly affectionate or that you’re starting to smother them, you might have tipped over into borderline obsession.
It’s easily done, especially in the early days, but there are ways you can stop it from spiralling and getting out of hand.
Here’s how to stop smothering your boyfriend or girlfriend with love.
1. Take a breather.
If things are getting a bit intense and you’re struggling to give your partner space, set yourself the goal of taking a breather.
You don’t need to take a break from the relationship, but it’s a good idea to give yourself a few days to just cool off and stop smothering them.
Set a reminder on your phone so that it’s fresh in your mind each day before you see them.
Set an alarm each evening so you don’t spend all night texting them for no real reason – when the alarm goes off, you say goodnight and you let them have some space.
2. Spend more time alone.
If it seems like you love them too much, you might be feeling extra clingy lately because your relationship has taken over your life!
This happens to the best of us – we spend all our time with our partner and then rely on them more and more to fulfil us, often by seeking constant emotional and affectionate intimacy.
Try to release some of this pressure by learning to enjoy spending time alone again.
Give them some space and take yourself out for coffee, or spend a night apart every so often.
Get a new hobby that’s just for you and really add value to your alone time. It doesn’t need to be lonely or boring, and you can keep yourself busy enough that you won’t miss your partner or be tempted to run back to see them!
3. Start hanging out with friends more.
Again, you need to take a step back from the relationship and stop over-loving your partner.
Hanging out with friends is a great way to feel happy and interesting, to have great conversations, and to feel valued as a human.
You’re still interacting and spending time with loved ones, it’s just not with your partner.
They’ll be able to keep you busy and distracted, and they can help enforce a no-texting rule while you’re with them, just to make sure you’ve not taken your clinginess to new, digital levels!
4. Spend time with other couples.
Sometimes, being super affectionate can feel quite normal – you’ve always been this way and you don’t think you’re being weird by doing it.
Spending time with another couple will help you evaluate your behavior and see how other couples act around each other.
You might realize that you’re being a bit too full on with your partner and that other people really aren’t this intense.
5. Think about where this is coming from.
Consider why you feel the need to show your love so much.
Maybe you’re worried that they don’t feel the same way, so you’re being intense to try to encourage them to be more affectionate.
Maybe you’re trying to convince them to care about you more, or you’re worried they might cheat on you if you’re not loving enough.
Or maybe you’re insecure in yourself and feel really needy with your partner.
Whatever it is, it’s worth thinking about so that you can develop new, healthier habits and work toward a more balanced, mature relationship together.
6. Talk to your partner about it.
If your partner has pointed out that you love them ‘too much,’ you should try to have an open and honest conversation about this.
The more you know about how they feel, the more incentive you’ll have to change.
You need to respect your partner and be able to adapt your behavior in order to have a healthy, functional relationship with someone.
We’re not saying you should completely change your behavior, but that you and your partner can both make some compromises to find a happy medium that works for everyone.
7. Imagine if the situation were reversed.
Try to imagine how it would feel if your partner kept doing something they knew you weren’t comfortable with, even after you’ve mentioned it several times.
You’d probably feel disrespected and like they don’t really care about you or value your opinion.
It can be tricky to see why being loved might upset someone – but it’s more than that. It’s about you ignoring their feelings and doing what you want.
Sure, it’s something that you think is nice, but the principle is the same – you’re not listening to them and it might come across as though you don’t care about the relationship enough to try to change your behavior.
Make more sense now?
8. Remember the long-term.
You might be a bit upset and it can be hard at first to adjust how you act, especially if it’s been such a habit for you.
But, it’s good to focus on the future and remember why you’re doing this. You want the relationship to last and you want them to know how much you want things to work.
A small sacrifice every now and then will be worth it – resist the urge to hug them or text them every so often and you’ll quickly get into the habit of being less clingy.
It’s all for a good cause and being able to compromise is a great skill to have in order to build and maintain a healthy relationship.
9. Find alternatives.
If you feel like you’re smothering your partner with love, and if they’ve started mentioning that it bothers them, you need to make some changes.
Try to find new ways to show your partner how much you love them – it doesn’t need to be hugging and texting all the time!
You can do small things to let them know how much you care, like watching their favorite movie with them or surprising them with tasty dinners.
There are ways to show affection without smothering your partner, it might just take a while to find something that works for you both – but that’s healthy and normal!
You might need to make some compromises in order to keep your partner feeling comfortable, but you can still show them you love them, don’t worry.
10. Think about your motives.
A good way to find a healthier expression of love is to consider why you feel the need to do it so much.
Are you subconsciously trying to emotionally manipulate your partner, or are you trying to guilt-trip them into showing you love in the same ways and with the same intensity as you do them?
The more you can unpack where this smothering behavior is coming from, the easier it will be to back off a bit more and find new ways to healthily express how you feel.
11. Stop being so available.
Your partner might be used to you constantly being there and being available. They might not love it, but they’ll be so used to it that your behavior might start to feel like the norm; like a habit.
We’re not saying you need to go cold turkey, but you should try to keep yourself from being so available.
Getting a bit of distance will stop you automatically reaching out to them and will help you find balanced ways to communicate and interact with your loved one!
12. Spice things up.
Try to reframe your idea of affection. It’s lovely to be consistent and shower your partner with affection, but it can get quite obsessive and unhealthy!
Instead of telling yourself you need to limit your interactions with your partner, which might feel quite restrictive and negative, focus on the positives.
You get to surprise them and be more spontaneous with your affection! This is a great way to reframe the shift in your behavior and make it feel like a good, exciting approach instead of you having to hold back.
They’ll love the surprises and it will feel a lot more fun having little bursts of love and affection rather than constant attention.
13. Trust them.
If you’ve noticed that a lot of your actions stem from insecurities and a lack of trust for your partner, you need to consider why that might be.
Have they given you cause to feel cautious with them? You can speak to your partner about these underlying issues that are causing you to feel more clingy.
You might feel like you need to mark your ‘territory,’ or as though you need to constantly remind them of how great you are so that they’re not tempted to cheat.
Try to display love for positive reasons, not out of fear.
14. Practice makes perfect.
Try to spend quality time with your partner and challenge yourself each time to go a little bit longer without cuddling up to them or getting clingy.
Try a few minutes, then a few more minutes. The more you can create a new pattern of behavior (like sitting next to them without smothering them), the more natural it will start to feel.
You’ll quickly realize that nothing bad happens if you’re not snuggled up for a few minutes!
Your partner might even become more keen to initiate affection because they’ll have had some space to themselves.
It can be scary at first to hold back, but, trust us, it’s worth giving this a go. The more you do it, the less worrying it will feel, and the more quickly you’ll realize that there aren’t any negative consequences.
We all get a bit intense with our partners at some point – whether it’s to show our love, to hide our fears, or to remind other people that our partner is taken.
By delving into the reasons behind your clinginess, you’ll be in a much better place to actively make healthy changes and head toward a more balanced, less smothering, relationship.
Still not sure what to do about the intensity of love you feel and the smothering behavior this creates? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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