Growing up, I always tried to be independent. I wasn't confident, but I knew what I liked, where I wanted to go and how to get there. I liked hanging out with friends but I was just fine with spending time alone too. I would go out and ride my bike alone, read alone, write alone and just do me.
When I was in freshman in high school, I got into my first serious relationship. It lasted two years and to say it was unhealthy is an understatement, but I learned things about myself. Fast forward a little bit and I am in another serious relationship. The beginning was amazing and are still some of my favorite memory. My boyfriend always made sure I felt like a queen.
I don't know how or when it happened, but I started worrying about him leaving me. Constantly.
I began doing things I wasn't proud of. If he didn't answer for an hour or so, I'd spam his phone. I'd constantly ask if he was ok or upset with me. I wanted his location on so I could always see where he was. But the biggest issue is that I started NEEDING all of the amazing ways he treated me to feel happy and worth something.
As our relationship settled into its groove, I found myself getting more and more upset with the fact that he wasn't calling me beautiful every day and hanging on to every word that came out of my mouth. I wanted the attention, the romance, the feeling of being needed, valued, prioritized...
Three and a half years later, I'm in a rut. I still have my relationship, but I've turned into a huge pessimist that has pushed him away, someone who needs the validation and attention in order to feel my worth. Maybe I'm not a "stage five clinger" in the most serious sense, but somewhere along the line, I stopped being ok with being independent and started needing someone else to hold on to. It's like when a toddler tries to stand up on their own but their legs are still too shaky. They want to run without even knowing how to walk. They need someone to help them stand before they can get to where they want to be.
At the end of the day, needing to lean on someone in order to feel your worth and happiness in life will only lead to pain and disappointment. I love my boyfriend more than anything, but relying on him to make me happy 24/7 and NEEDING all of the validations from someone else is only making me more depressed. Being clingy and needy sucks and it's a hard cycle to break when you've leaned on it for so long.
I know I'm a wonderful person, with or without someone telling me that. I know I can be a strong, independent woman regardless of who is by my side. So, the truth about being too clingy? Don't do it. Value yourself enough to know your worth. Everyone else will see it, and the people who truly matter will value you too.