Stage five clinger

The QU Chronicle

DEAR LOVELY RITA: I’ve been dating this girl for about four months but she’s cool but also really, really clingy. We see each other every day, and even when we’re not together in person she is texting me or posting on my Facebook wall.

The problem is she’s kind of touchy, and I’ve told her before that I need space but she freaked out. How do I get the space I need without hurting her feelings? – Suffocated

DEAR SUFFOCATED: Sounds like you’ve got a stage five clinger on your hands, pal. By four months (which in college, is really like dog years), you should have already established a more or less regular routine of how often you see each other. It could be a daily, weekly, biannual basis, whatever works for your relationship. As usual, it sounds like there has been a serious lack of communication, with a little dose of insecurity on your girlfriend’s part.

Let’s address your girlfriend first. She’s clearly looking for attention that you aren’t giving, so she’s pushing you to spend more time with her until she gets the validation she wants. And it looks like even though you attempted to stand up for yourself, you kind of, well, failed. You told her you needed space, she threw a temper tantrum and you gave in. Having been someone’s girlfriend once or twice myself, I know what she’s learned. She’s learned that if she throws a fit, you’ll give in and she’ll get her way.

It doesn’t sound like you enjoy being stomped on, or suffocated by her clingy behavior either. Have the “I need space” conversation again, only this time arm yourself with an arsenal of knowledge. Know that she needs a self-esteem boost, so do that in whatever way you…do that (think dirty thoughts). Next try to figure out why she’s so clingy in the first place – maybe she wants more affection, or wants to know you’re thinking of her.

Tell her that if you don’t see each other every day the world will not come crashing down, and it doesn’t mean you don’t miss her but that you have to get shit done so you can see her the next day. Maybe throw in the cliche “absence makes the heart grow fonder” as a joke, but only and I mean only if the conversation is already going well.

I forgot to mention. Try as hard as you can to have this conversation in person. That goes for all serious relationship conversations, ever. As a rule. But seriously, talk your clinger down. – Lovely Rita

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DEAR LOVELY RITA: My new boyfriend wants to know how many guys I’ve slept with, but I feel like that would be weird to tell him. Honestly, I don’t really feel comfortable talking about it with anyone, I feel like that’s a super private thing. I don’t really want to talk about it with him. What should I tell him? – Been Around the Block

DEAR BEEN AROUND THE BLOCK: Tell him exactly what you just told me, that you don’t really feel comfortable talking about it with anyone and feel it’s a super private thing. If he still bugs you about it, he’s probably just insecure about how he measures up, so give him some reassurance. – Lovely Rita

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Disclaimer: The Sex on Fire advice column is kept anonymous to avoid violating the privacy of the author.