have you ever held a new kitten and it’s kind of scared and clings to you with those hypodermic-type claws? it’s snuggly and warm and adorable. for a while. then it gets old and potentially painful when you try to detach it from your person. it becomes a tiny furry buzz-saw that shreds whatever flesh is in reach.
the cling-on is like that.
here’s how to identify her:
1. abject devotion: she will have eyes only for you. which is great, except that with her, the intensity will make you slightly uncomfortable. you being an egocentric dude, will blow off the feelings of awkward and just figure you’re not use to being worshipped and convince yourself you dig it. idiot.
2. diminishing friend count: at first, it will be her friends that start to drop like flies. what you don’t know is that it won’t be their fault. she will begin to cut them out to make more room for you. this will continue until all her time is for you and you alone. and oh yeah, you will be expected to do the same. however, you won’t have to work so hard to ditch your friends, they’ll already be over having to hang with your succubus at every turn and remove themselves.
3. panic attacks: the idea of doing anything without you will cause her to emotionally disintegrate. this girl is so needy, she won’t be able to handle the thought of being without you, let alone actually do it. the moment you say no or start to reinstate some boundaries, the hysterics will start.
4. blowing up your cell phone: it’ll start with calling you the millisecond your lunch break starts. she’ll “just want to hear your voice”. this will quickly escalate to constantly calling when you’re out with your friends or if you don’t call her before you said you were going to. and oh lord, the texts in between…hope you have unlimited minutes and texting.
now, although this sounds horrific, there is hope for this girl. you see, the cling-on is just a more dramatic version of miss insecurity.
you’re going to have to teach her how trust you and be more confident in herself. i can give you some direction about how to help her get better but ultimately, i’ve said it before, if she doesn’t want to change, she’s not going to.
1. don’t let her dump her friends: make sure she makes time for them. insist on it. use whatever arguments are at your disposal. most likely, the most effective weapon in your arsenal is going to be reminding her that she’s hurting their feelings and not being fair to her friends. if she’s decent, this will hit home. it is crucial that you also have something you’re committed to do at the same time so she doesn’t have to worry about where you are or stew on you being alone. the idea of you being contentedly alone will freak her right out.
2. do not answer every text or phone call: if she calls or texts when you are involved in something else, send her a single text that lets her know you can’t talk right now and you will call as soon as you can. then do not respond again. turn your phone off if you have to. responding to every call or text will only solidify her behavior.
3. call when you say you will: this will build security and confidence in her. if you can call earlier, great, she’ll love that. but under no circumstances should you answer your phone before the time you say you will be available. this will complete confuse the issue and cause her doubt about your actions or activities.
4. maintain your guy time: you shouldn’t have to abandon your life to feed her unreasonable need. i know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. what is reasonable is for you to schedule time with your friends. this is a departure from the impromptu “dude, get here now!” you’re use to, but it will help her if she knows what to expect. she needs the boundaries of a schedule to feel secure. that’s all right. you can do that. just make sure at least part of the schedule is your own. do not let her make all the plans.
5. be direct: it is okay to tell her she’s being unreasonable. terrifying? yes. but necessary. you must make it clear that you both need room to be who you are so you can be better together. let her know that by being so desperate to know every detail of your life and control it, she’s not respecting you or giving you the trust you deserve. warning: do this with kid gloves. be kind and never raise your voice. reason will win or at least be more effective.
the cling-on is work, like some of the others. but she could be totally worth it. if you can find a way to help her become more confident, then you’re golden. you have helped both of you. if her insecurity just leads her to anger or to try to guilt trip you when you confront her, you might be fighting a losing battle.
just keep in mind that the way she is really doesn’t have anything to do with you personally. but you just might be the guy that makes a keeper out of her.