**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a former coworker, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
“I got tired of chasing women who didn’t want me, so I decided to focus on the ones who did. And you know what? It’s worked out pretty well for me,” my former coworker confessed.
In the years I’ve known him, he has had a string of unsuccessful relationships where he was left holding the bag by women who said he was “too nice.” Yet, I was still surprised by his admission.
“I’m not saying that every woman I date is clingy, but I prefer it when they are. I know that sounds bad, but hear me out,” he said.
I held my breath, waiting for him to justify his statement. And he did.
“When a woman is clingy, it shows that she’s really into me. She’s not playing games or trying to keep her options open. She’s investing in the relationship and wants it to work. And that makes me feel good.”
“So, if a woman is playing hard to get, you’re just not interested?” I asked.
“Exactly,” he replied. “I don’t have time for games. I’d rather date a woman who is upfront about her feelings and what she wants.”
It’s an interesting perspective and one that I can understand. “What happens if she’s clingy and you’re just not into her?”
“Well, I’ll give her a chance, but I will not force it if it’s not working out. I’d rather end things sooner rather than later.”
“So, you’re looking for a woman who is as into you as you are into her?” I summed up.
“Yeah, I guess you can say that,” he replied.
He isn’t the first man I’ve heard say this, and I’m sure he won’t be the last. In a world where “playing it cool” is often seen as the best strategy, some men are refreshingly honest about their preference for women who wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Women express similar sentiments, but we’re often viewed as “too emotional” or “needy.” But is being honest about how you feel “clingy?” Or is it simply emotional intelligence?
Clingy behavior is born of scarcity.
Sometimes clinginess is rooted in the belief that there’s not enough love to go around, so we must tightly grasp what we have and never let it go. This mindset creates a self-fulfilling prophecy in relationships.
When we believe we need to cling to our partners to keep them, we act in ways that push them away. We lose sight of our worth and give our power away. We become needy, demanding, and possessive.
On the other hand, when we approach relationships from a place of abundance, we behave differently. We don’t need to cling because love is a limitless commodity.
We are confident in ourselves and our worthiness of love. We trust that we can attract and create healthy, loving relationships.
So, if you prefer to date “clingy” people, ask yourself why. Is it because you believe love is scarce? Or is it because you know that being emotionally available and invested creates a deeper, more lasting connection?
Only you can answer that question.
“Different sources of anxiety can be at the root of clingy or needy behavior.” — Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.
When attention-seeking becomes problematic
“Clingy” is subjective, and what one person sees as needy or desperate, another might see as sweet and endearing. It’s all a matter of perspective.
However, there is a fine line between being attentive and suffocating. When attention-seeking behavior becomes obsessive, it’s a warning sign.
If you obsessively check your partner’s phone, follow them around, or monitor their every move, it may be time to get some help. These behaviors are unhealthy and will only lead to further distance in the relationship.
“When you’re in love, especially in those early stages where every call, text, or in-person meeting is enough to leave you buzzing — it can be very easy to slip into a habit where you constantly crave the attention of your partner.” — Elizabeth Plumptre, VeryWellMind
A healthy balance of giving and receiving
My former coworker’s preference for “clingy women” is probably not the healthiest relationship approach. But, I will say this: there is nothing wrong with wanting a partner who is emotionally available and invested in the relationship.
It’s pretty healthy.
We all want to feel loved, supported, and valued by our partners. And when both people are giving and receiving love in nearly equal measure, that’s when relationships thrive.
Clinging to your partner for dear life is not the answer. But feigning disinterest to keep someone on the hook isn’t either. The key is to find a healthy balance of giving and receiving attention. And that starts with being honest about your feelings.
Do you prefer to date “clingy” people? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!