It’s no secret that relationships are tricky. Even if you feel like you’ve found the right person for you, it can be hard to find the right balance between closeness and personal space. While that fine line is different for everyone, if you find yourself tending towards the clingy side, here are nine ways to reel in that clinginess and give your partner some room.

1. Work on any trust issues you have

It can sound like a no-brainer, but it’s incredibly important to trust your partner. If you don’t trust him or her, then it will be impossible to let your partner have the space to be who he or she really is. Not having trust in your significant other can make him or her feel less secure about the relationship and lead to feelings of resentment. Trust is key to maintaining a good, long-term relationship that will make both of you happy. Placing trust in your partner can mean anything from not constantly asking where he or she is during the day, to reminding yourself that even getting frustrated with this new step is good for your relationship, even when it doesn’t seem like it is.

2. Let people have their space

Love does not mean you and your partner need to be attached at the hip. For many couples, too much closeness can put a strain on the relationship. While sharing — thoughts, feelings, space, whatever — is definitely good in any relationship, too much sharing can make your significant other feel trapped. No one wants to suffocate in a relationship. It’s best to give your partner the space he or she needs. That way, your partner is less likely to associate your relationship with negative feelings, which makes the relationship stronger in the long run.

3. Focus on yourself

Take some time to really center your thoughts on yourself. It’s amazing how much we can learn about ourselves and our feelings if we just take the time to think about things alone. Take some time to focus your thoughts inward. Time alone can really help you not only feel centered and rested, but it can also show your significant other that you’re not dependent on him or her for happiness. Dependency can lead to one partner feeling more responsible in the relationship than the other, which can lead to major problems in the future.

4. Pursue what interests you

Clinginess can often become a problem for those whose lives center solely around their partner. It’s important to prioritize your own goals and interests. Not only do these give you something to focus your attention on, but they also provide a healthy outlet for your energy. Instead of focusing too much on your partner, try turning it more towards something constructive. This will give your significant other a little breathing room, while still maintaining a balanced relationship.

5. Manage your anxiety

If you’re prone to anxiety or nerves, it can be easy to turn to your partner as a way to ease that discomfort. However, this can make your partner feel too responsible for your happiness, and can be an inconstant way to manage your feelings. Instead, try turning that anxiety into something positive and consistent, such as a daily ritual or activity. Simply doing habitual tasks can ease anxious feelings and leave you with more positive energy to put into the relationship. If you find yourself chronically anxious or with feelings that cannot be managed easily, speak to a doctor.

6. Keep your body language in check

We often use body language to communicate affection, such as holding hands or adopting an open posture around those we care about. However, body language can also be a warning sign. Clinginess can be physical, just as much as it can be emotional and psychological. If you find yourself constantly needing to touch your partner, even as a reassurance that they’re still there, it can be problematic. Some people may feel physically held back or reserved if they are touched too much, so make sure you’re respecting your partner’s boundaries.

7. Build up confidence in yourself

Self-confidence can go a long way in ensuring that you feel good in a relationship. People with more self-confidence are less likely to cling to others as a way of validating themselves. Consider practicing positive thinking and self-love. If you respect and love yourself, it makes it that much easier for others to do the same.

8. Develop your social networking

Often, clinginess can derive from too much of one thing. If you feel like your significant other is the only person you see anymore, it might be a sign that you need to diversify your social scene. Whether it’s going out with friends, joining a book club, or just paying your parents a visit, getting out there and talking to other people can help steer you away from clingy behavior.

9. Talk about it

While it’s always good to talk things over with your partner, working through your clinginess might help you arrive at a solution that you’re both comfortable with. Maybe your partner has a problem with one specific aspect of your behavior, or feels uncomfortable about something. Letting him or her know that you’re willing to work on the problem together lets your partner know that you care about them and their comfort in the relationship. If you work on things together, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to solve the problem at hand and become less clingy in a way that ends up strengthening your relationship.

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