One of the many privileges that some people often enjoy when in a relationship is dictating how a significant other spends his or her time and complaining if it is not within expectations. When people who are not in an exclusive relationship try to do this however, they become a clinger.
For those unfamiliar, a clinger is someone who continues to pursue someone despite several signs that the other person is not really that interested. The object of desire may continue communication with this person for an ego boost, because they ‘kinda’ like them, or simply because they are bored.
If you are wondering whether or not you have hit clinger status, ask yourself these questions: Do I initiate 95 percent of any communication with the person I am pursuing? Does this person say they are not looking for a relationship currently, yet I hope they will change their mind? Do I find something else to do when that person does not want to spend time with me, or do I get a sense of entitlement and harass that person for doing something else?
It is not yet known how to shake off a clinger nicely. The only thing these types of people seem to respond to is completely cutting off contact.
Although you might want to maintain a friendship with a clinger, it will be difficult because of their steadfast determination to date you despite your attempts at letting them know that this is not going to happen.
A good rule of thumb when “talking” to a love interest is taking a step back and realizing that you have no say over how they spend time. As long as you are not in an exclusive relationship, you have no room to dictate their actions or get upset if they do not do what you want them to do.
With relationships that are mainly based around physical attraction, realize that one person usually ends up getting attached. If you want to avoid becoming a clinger or attracting one, make it known from the beginning that you do not want to be in a relationship.
But sometimes this just is not enough. Although you cannot be held responsible for upsetting a clinger as long as you make your intentions known, you may have to use discretion and avoid public displays of affection, daily contact or other actions that the clinger can misconstrue as a relationship.
Until it is established that you are definitely in an exclusive relationship, do not feel entitled to affecting someone else’s decisions – some people just like to casually date for fun.