How to deal with having a clingy boyfriend

While having a boyfriend who loves spending time with you sounds like the ideal, there's a fine line between being cute and being clingy. What happens when your boyfriend's need for affection becomes stifling? There is a point, after all, when enough is enough. Spending time together as a couple is good, but it's also important for a couple to have alone time and pursue their own interests.

If your boyfriend is getting clingy, it's best to nip it in the bud as soon as possible. While a clingy boyfriend might just be insecure and this is something that can be worked on with open communication, in some cases, a clingy boyfriend might actually be dangerously possessive.

Set boundaries with your clingy boyfriend

If your boyfriend is abandoning his friendships, seems lonely without you, and doesn't seem to have any hobbies outside of you, you should encourage him to branch out. Psychologist Nicole Martinez told Bustle that it's important to establish boundaries with your boyfriend, and let them know that you want to balance time together and time apart. This can help set a healthier pattern for your relationship.

If things don't improve, though, don't panic. "If the partner continues to struggle with these issues, and they care about them, they may want to suggest individual therapy as a means of working on where these issues and needs are coming from," suggested Martinez. "Another option is a few couples therapy sessions where they are able to set 'ground rules' and talk about where each of their needs come from. From here they can come to compromises."

Watch out for signs that your clingy boyfriend is controlling

Not all clingy boyfriends are created equal. If your boyfriend's clinginess crosses over into control, that's a red flag. Watch out for someone who is constantly texting you and wants to know where you are at all times. "People who are jealous and insecure will tend to cling to their partner as a means of keeping a closer eye on them," said Martinez.

Also be on the lookout for a boyfriend who is jealous of you getting attention from other men, such as a coworker. Another worrisome thing a clingy and controlling boyfriend might do is refuse to let you go out for the evening without them. These issues should be addressed with your partner and they may be early signs of an abusive relationship. If he is willing to work on his behavior, that's a good sign. Therapy may also be a good option and "help the controlling partner understand the development of the behavior and create tools for dismantling it," therapist Heather Lofton told Women's Health.

If, however, your boyfriend acts defensively and isn't willing to change his behavior, it's time to consider breaking up with your man.