Kyle Benson June 10, 2020February 9, 2021 attachment Theory, Clingy Lover, Trust, Commitment, & connection Security


All superheroes have weaknesses that have the right to cripple them. Like Superman’s kryptonite, my clingy insecurity in my relationship 5 years earlier brought me to my knees.

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When i met Crystal, I dropped head over heels instantly. She provided me just enough to display she was interested. However not enough to show that she was together invested together I remained in our relationship.

The combined signals drove me crazy.

Weeks turned right into months.

I found myself addicted to thoughts of her and also ways to save her interested in me. At work, i struggled come focus. I would freak the end if she didn’t respond to my text messages in ~ a couple of hours. I would look increase what to text her. I’d even buy “How to be Funny and also Keep she Interested” species of books and devour them.

I would certainly hang the end at places I knew she frequented in really hopes of “accidentally” running right into her.



I to be starving for love.

The Kryptonite of protection is Inconsistency

Ken Page, writer of depth Dating,claims, “All of us are attracted to certain varieties that can knock united state off balance: a physical type, an emotionally type, and personality type. These ‘iconic’ attractions can make us weak in the knees, and also they create our insecurities.”

These insecurities deserve to stem native painful experience from childhood caregiving relationships or former adult relationships.

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My prior experiences of unpredictable caregiving and gift cheated top top in prior relationship heightened mine clingy insecurity and also sensitivity to abandonment and rejection. I had actually internalized the feelings of frustrated, and also at times unavailable, parents and also romantic partners. This led me to exhibit a clingy attachments style in mine adult relationships.

This attachments style and also the internal ideas I had about myself together unlovable command me come be attractive to someone who validated that belief system. Becker-Phelps, writer of Insecure in Love, proposes that civilization seek to validate your self-views. Particularly their unworthiness about love.

At the time, ns was unaware that the “magnetic allure” of my partner’s inconsistency. The reinforced my belief of being also needy to it is in loved.1 research has found that clingy lover are an ext likely to day distant lovers, which reinforces this insecurity.2

Since ns felt a drive to prove my worth to Crystal, ns invested more in the relationship than she did. I experienced her emotional unavailability together a problem with me, fairly than our opposing intimacy blocks colliding. For an ext on intimacy blocks and also how us sabotage intimacy, take it a look at this.

Blame your Ancestors for your Clingy Insecurity

Our feelings and behaviors in relationship today room not very different indigenous those the our early ancestors.” – Levine and Heller, writer of Attached.

Our ancestors, cavepeople Cee-Cee and Bam-Bam, survived in the shelter of one another. They dealt with off predators, famine, and natural tragedies together. Remaining close come one another increased chances of survival.

As a result, you and also I inherited an attachment system that is designed to defend each of united state from peril by maintaining proximity come caring and supportive people. For example, parents throughout childhood or a romantic partner as an adult.3 Clingy insecurity create a compelling advice to seek out these important individuals.

Essentially, insecurity is an valuable survival tool.

When you end up being attached come someone, your attachment mechanism constantly monitors their availability and the security of your connection with them. The moment you sense a risk in your personal life or in the relationship, genuine or imagined, your attachment alarm goes off and motivates girlfriend to seek out her romantic partner for safety and also comfort.

When your partner is distant, unavailable, or enemy in an answer to your insecurity, the evolutionary and also neurologically hardwired attachment alarm fills your head, unconsciously, with the are afraid that you will certainly be abandoned unless you reconnect. For our ancestors, abandonment meant death.


When my companion dismissed my insecure feeling or blamed me for having actually them, my attachments alarm got in hyperactive mode and also hijacked mine brain. The filled it v thoughts and also feelings to look for closeness, including:

Obsessively thinking around my partner’s unavailability, make it challenging to focus on other things. When ns was at work or even out with friends, i would check my phone call every 3–5 minutes to view if my partner had actually responded to my messages. Mine mind to be addicted to seeking closeness since I rarely obtained the reassurance ns needed.Highlighting my partner’s good traits and also neglecting to take keep in mind of her negative ones. My friends, that talked v me about my connection problems, frequently responded to my complaints with, “Why room you with her? What she did to be messed up!” I would certainly respond with, “I know however she’s therefore interesting and also attractive.” My set off attachment mechanism prevented me from seeing a realistic photo of my partner. And also my low self-esteem (common in clingy lovers) prevent me native creating and enforcing healthy boundaries to create a relationship that met my needs.

The attachment System

These thoughts and emotions became worse the less responsive my partner was. When the attachment mechanism is design to keep you close to others, it also has a dark side the leads you come beat you yourself up. It cares much more about your short-term survival by preserving closeness to your romantic companion than about your irreversible well-being.

As Levine and also Heller state in Attached, “Even if your rational mind knows you do not do it be v this person, your attachment mechanism doesn’t constantly comply.” 9

Research top top Adult Attachment claims the clingy lovers struggle to regulate their thoughts and also can become tortured by overwhelming thoughts and also feelings the negativity. 10 This contains bringing increase old storage of your companion not being obtainable or responsive and mixing them in with existing problems, therefore compounding distress.

As clingy lovers we reaction with much more intensity to any thoughts of ns and, simultaneously, struggle to calm ourselves. This deserve to lead to reacting to our thoughts and also feelings and also an over-dependence on ours lover for soothing our emotions.

What space Protest Behaviors?

The worse my thoughts became, the crazier ns behaved. Since I couldn’t accomplish my goal of gaining the defense I essential in my relationship, ns resorted come Protest Behavior.11 Protest habits unhealthily protest the relationship’s link in really hopes of gaining your partner’s attention.

Types the Protest Behaviors12


Excessive initiatives to Reconnect. This has calling, texting, emailing, desperately waiting for a phone call call. Or trying come “accidentally” run right into your partner. Ns remember a day as soon as I referred to as my partner 9 times and also texted she 22 times in the expectations of 5 hours throughout a work day. She to be mad. Ns felt ashamed.Pretending to be preoccupied as soon as you’re not. Such actions include saying you have actually plans when you don’t, acting busy or unapproachable also though you want to be approached, or ignoring call calls due to the fact that you want to “get back” at your partner.Keeping a Scorecard. People who store score count the number of minutes the takes for their companion to return a message or speak to back, and also then wait just as long to return the speak to or text. This likewise includes no leaving voice messages, or acting distant and waiting because that your companion to do the first “make-up” move.Threatening to leave. I would threaten to finish my partnership in wishes that my companion would avoid me from leaving and also “prove” just how much i mattered to her. The trouble with this tactic is the other human may want to break up and also so they might just end it.Trying to make a far-ranging Other Jealous. This may encompass talking about someone hitting ~ above you, attending a singles event, or making plans v someone else with the sole intention of making your partner jealous. Because that example, once I purposely missed my partner’s soccer game. Then I made up a story about walking about with a woman i met in a coffee shop. This made my partner sick to her stomach. As soon as I witnessed her reaction, I an initial thought, now you understand what that feels like. And then together she started getting physically sick i felt disgusted through myself.Exaggerating the trouble and her distress, even unconsciously, to gain your partner’s attention.Behaving in Childish and Excessively Needy Ways come emphasize your vulnerabilities, helplessness, and also dependence, in wishes of receiving support and care.

Clingy Insecurity leads to Sacrifice 

Not come mention, our deepest insecurities deserve to motivate united state to keep emotional and/or physical closeness to our companion at every times. Together a result, we frequently sacrifice our autonomy and also can come to be intrusive of our romantic partner’s life, which have the right to lead to much more relationship problems.

While protest actions may gain your partner’s fist from time come time, lock encourage intrusive, coercive, and also aggressive behavior towards a relationship partner. This leads to relationship dysfunction, dissatisfaction, and also eventual refusal or abandonment. In various other words, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I will tell friend from experience, it’s devastating to feel so overwhelmed with the fear of being exit by your companion that you behave in this crazy methods only to have actually your fear end up being true because of just how you behaved.

I felt shame because that behaving in the ways I did in the relationship. The was totally out the character because that me. And also my insecure behavior ended up being a big motivator because that me to enhance my relationships.

You’re just As Insecure together the relationship You’re In

For many of us, myself included, gift unaware of just how our clingy attachment device works avoids us from producing or detect a for sure relationship. My attachment device was constantly caused in my relationship with Crystal due to the fact that of her emotionally unavailability and opposing attachment strategy.

When ns felt insecure i sought to acquire closer to her. As soon as Crystal feel insecure, she distanced herself from me, which result in a roller coaster relationship. By the way, this rollercoaster deserve to be one sign of a toxicity relationship. Click below to learn around others.

The closer ns got, the an ext she distanced. Together a result, we exacerbated ours insecurities which lead to an ext clingy thoughts, feelings, and also protest behavior on my part. This make the relationship worse for both the us.

This is much different than the relationship I’m in now. Mine partner and I cherish every other, assistance each other, and team increase to job-related through our problems. We’re much from perfect, but I know without a doubt the she is there because that me v thick and thin.

The trust and also security we have built makes it easier for me to reach the end for reassurance in a calm means when I’m emotion insecure. Due to the fact that my companion is responsive and caring, my attachment alarm go silent and we reconnect. Mine clingy attachment alarm has actually actually lugged us closer because I am able come express my demands in a productive method that gives my partner clear direction on how to calm me down and make me feel loved.

What I’ve Learned around My Clingy attachment Style

What I’ve involved learn is that my clingy attachments insecurity was a byproduct of two things:

how ns thought and also behaved in a relationship, andhow mine partner decided to respond.

By taking duty for improving on mine end, ns was may be to, through difficulty, walk away from partners that did not value my needs and also find partners who were responsive to my connection needs.

As a result, I had the ability to transform mine insecure thoughts, feelings, and also behaviors into something that could strengthen mine relationships.

7 class to change Clingy Insecurity into a superpower for healthy Relationships

After 4 years of therapy, reading thousands of relationship books, and creating a long-term healthy and balanced romantic relationship, i have concerned view my insecurity together a supermacht designed to combine my relationship.

Here room the 7 lessons i learned on my journey.


Find for sure Sidekicks.

Even superheroes need sidekicks to assistance them during daunting times. On your journey, I would certainly recommend finding a sidekick, if not multiple, that will offer you hopeful experiences to help you with building strong relationships.

As the research study highlights, a secure attachment format is a an outcome of internalizing multiple experience of comforting people who help foster a feeling of security, hopeful self-esteem, and the capability to patience oneself in order come reach out in a healthy and balanced way.13

Lucky for clingy folks like me, our present relationships have the right to support us in earning security and rewiring our mind in such a way that we deserve to regulate our emotions and also be direct about what we have to be happy in a relationship.

Examples of Trusty Sidekicks


Looking back, investing in a therapist has actually been the best decision i’ve made in the past five years. Mine psychoanalyst has aid me build a an ext balanced perspective on my relationships and also insecurity.

With his support, i took risks to assert mine boundaries, left unhealthy romantic partners, and also took property of what I required in a partnership to be happy. Every one of this work-related was extremely difficult, however it’s adjusted my life because that the better.

Secure Romantic Partner

A loving, caring, and also emotionally accessible romantic companion will respond to insecurity through attentiveness and also care. The trust constructed in that partnership will encourage you to be much more direct about your feelings and also needs fairly than making use of protest behavior. If you room dating and also find you yourself attracted come potential partner who are unavailable, review this article.

If you are married and feel insecure on a constant basis, I’d recommend recruiting a couple’s therapist/coach that can guide your relationship to a an ext secure place. Three therapeutic models ns trust include: The Gottman Method, Emotionally concentrated Couples Therapy, and Psychobiological approach to Couples Therapy.

Secure Friend

After I review Attached, I reached out to a friend that I knew was secure and started safety time v her. When I texted, called, or requested something she was responsive, direct, and also clear about what she could and also couldn’t do. I can tell she valued our relationship and also me.

Over time i internalized these experiences and was able to replicate this secure thoughts and also behaviors in various other relationships.

Turn Insecurity right into a Superpower.

Clingy lovers have actually a hypersensitive attachments alarm and also are often conscious of subtle hazards that others space not. The difficulty is this alert can also be a false alarm. It can lead to a human being misjudging a case or a partner which leader to ache feelings and relationship problems.14

The research has uncovered that if the clingy companion waited a little longer to react and also gained more information about the instance or your partner’s intent, they have an advantage. Castle would recognize when other is wrong and could constructively usage that awareness to reconnect in a relationship. 15

Know your Go-To Clingy Thoughts and also Protest Behaviors.

By becoming conscious of your clingy thoughts and also protest behavior, you can pause. Climate ask yourself, “What would certainly be a much better way come respond to this instance to obtain what ns need?”

Ask What would Super certain (Wo)Man Do?

Attachment research highlights that every one of us have actually experiences of civilization who space secure. Whether the is a friend, a far-off relative, etc. Once I’m working with insecure clients, I frequently ask them, “How would your supervisor secure 16 respond come this?”

Doing this flips the inner script on how to think and behave. 17 at any kind of given minute that identify how civilization are most likely to think about relationships or be motivated to act.” Source: Gillath, O., Mikulincer, M., Fitzsimons, G. M., Shaver, P. R., Schachner, D. A., & Bargh, J. A. (2016). Automatically activation the attachment-related goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(10), 1375-1388.>.

The an ext times friend ask this and also act top top it, the much more you strengthen secure thoughts and also behaviors. That contains those related to expressing feelings, questioning for what friend need, and being vulnerable around your fears.

Honor and Express Your Clingy Insecurity in a Positive, plot Way.

Clingy lovers frequently neglect their requirements in relationships due to the fact that they don’t think they worthy to have actually them met. As Brene Brown puts that “if we want to totally experience love and belonging, us must think that we are worthy the love and belonging.”

Learning to accept what ns deserved, placing up boundaries, and also asking because that what I required in my romantic connection was hard initially. However now that feels authentic and has actually boosted my relationships.

The an initial step is to acknowledge your demands as valid. The next is learning just how to change them into a positive, plot tool.

For example, if I are afraid my partner is walk to give up me, I can say “Hey babe, I’m emotion disconnected indigenous you and also would favor to grab part ice cream v you later on tonight and also just talk. Friend in?” See how that’s far better than trying to manipulate her?

I’m make a clear request and also taking property of what I require in the relationship to it is in happy. If friend notice, I’m likewise putting a arrangement in ar so I deserve to make that happen This makes it much easier for my companion to say yes. For a structure on exactly how to perform this in her relationship, review this article.

Enhance her Emotional Intelligence.

As Justin Bariso states, “Emotional knowledge is the capacity to do emotions work-related for you, instead of versus you.”

While clingy lovers have tendency to be conscious of their emotions, they regularly struggle to regulate their emotions in a way that achieves your goal that closeness and emotional connection. Not to mention clingy lover struggling to regulate their connection in a way to acquire the most out of your connection.

Improving the 2 pillars of emotional intelligence, self-management and also relationship-management, can greatly increase the defense in her relationship. If she interested in exploring this further, I’d recommend checking out Emotional Agility, EQ Applied, and also Emotional intelligence 2.0.

Improve Self-Compassion and also Self-Care.

Clingy lovers often tend to internalize criticism native others and talk to themselves in the same way. I provided to beat myself up ruthlessly. However beating yourself up is never ever a same fight. It is why practicing self-compassion will help improve her self-worth. Then, this improves exactly how you express your emotions and also honor her needs. For exercises and lessons on exactly how to increase self-compassion examine out Self-Compassion: The Proven power of Being sort to Yourself.

When I used to it is in clingy, i did no take care of myself well. I hardly ever got enough sleep, ns overworked myself (100-hour occupational weeks), ns drank alcohol nearly every night, and so much more. Together I started to become more secure in an answer to therapy, I developed healthier habits. I began eating healthier, make a constant bedtime for myself, and giving myself healthy quantities of exercise.


Our self-worth is often reflected in exactly how we treatment for ourselves.

By boosting the various methods you care for her body and also mind, you’ll start to feel more loving in the direction of yourself.

As I’ve come to hone my insecurity into a superpower, i have noticed dramatic differences in my relationships and personal life. My current relationship is secure, emotionally connected, and fulfilling, because that both mine partner and me.

From Clingy to Content

Comparing who I was five years back in a connection with decision to that I am currently with my present partner is like comparing Mars come Earth. The wasn’t easy to get here. In fact, I endured a most pain to grow and heal. I had to face myself. To an obstacle myself. Come reach out for support. And also I had to try things the were unfamiliar and also difficult.

See more: All Propaganda Has To Be Popular, Quote By Michael Z

The reason I did the was because I establish I had actually two choices. The selection of experiencing in an insecure relationship or the choice of enduring to improve myself and my relationships. I took the last route and also looking back, i’m glad i did.

With love, Kyle

P.S. Even if it is or not you’re in a existing committed relationship, being able to utilize these points while you’re dating can aid you attract and keep a companion who functions well through you and provides girlfriend a safe and secure space. Check out my famous eBook “Authentic Attraction: 5 keys to detect Love the Lasts.”