17 Men Define The Difference Between ‘Caring’ And ‘Clingy’

iStockPhoto.com / Franck Reporter
iStockPhoto.com / Franck Reporter

1. “The difference is whether she does something nice because the opportunity arose and she’s a caring person — or whether she’s trying to ingratiate herself to you so she can shove a relationship down your throat. Does it feel natural? Does she show the same kindness to people she isn’t trying to win over? That’s the difference.” — Mark, 33

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2. “It depends on if she has a life or not. If you know she has a lot of free time and is literally waiting to be in a relationship to start having hobbies — that’s clingy. Caring is when someone has something better to do but takes the time to do something nice for you anyway. Thoughtfulness means more when it’s a scarce resource.” — Kevin, 27

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3. “Caring is a girlfriend who is supportive and does little nice things to make you feel loved. Clingy is a girlfriend who doesn’t trust you and does annoying things like making you check in all the time or driving by your house to see if you’re home.” — Andy, 22

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4. “Who is the person benefiting from the action? If you do something to benefit someone else, that’s caring. If you do it to benefit yourself, that’s clingy.” — Jason, 28

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5.
“To me, caring is a gesture someone makes to make me feel loved. Clingy is what someone does when they are insecure and need you to prove you like them enough or something.” — Nate, 25

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6. “I’m going to be straightforward: the main difference will always be how attracted to you I am. I will put up with a lot of crazy when I’m blinded by lust. I always come to my senses after awhile, but I would never describe a girl as “clingy” if I was really into her to begin with.” — Jim, 32

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7. “Bringing me soup when I’m sick is caring, making me give you my iPhone password is clingy.” — Jonathan, 24

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8. “I had an ex who would constantly show up at places she knew I would be because of Facebook events or just because she knew I liked that restaurant. Once she “bumped into me” when I was having lunch with my mom at the coffee shop on block my apartment is on. It didn’t show me she “cared” it showed me she was manipulative and impatient.” — Morgan, 29

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9. “If I’m into it, it’s caring. If it turns me off, it’s clingy.” — Mike, 24

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10. “Offering me coffee after I spend the night is caring, getting my name tattooed on her body after a few months is clingy. True story.” — Bo, 21

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11. “Caring girls are the sweet ones you want to bring home to mom. Clingy ones are the ones you knew you shouldn’t have fucked and now you’re stuck with a phone full of text messages and ducking when you see her at school.” — Peter, 20

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12. “It’s all affection so to some extent it’s flattering. But clingy is unwanted affection, it’s when its too much. Caring is just ‘oh that’s sweet.’ You want to be cared for. You don’t want to be clung to.” — Justin, 25

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13. “Clingy is when someone is afraid they will lose you so they start acting crazy. It’s not a healthy relationship. Caring is a healthy thing, they do something nice for you because they want to.” — Aaron, 29

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14. “Caring is something you want someone to do for you, clingy is what you hope they won’t do. It can totally just depend on how much you like the person but I do think it’s more than that. Only an asshole would call a girl clingy because she did a simple nice thing for him. But if you don’t read social queues and you keep showing up even when they aren’t really responding to you, that’s when your actions can be construed as clingy. Make sure you aren’t the one always initiating everything — if the person cares about you it goes both ways.” — Ben, 27

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15. “A girl will ask you about your day because she CARES. She’ll ask about a girl who liked your Facebook status because she’s CLINGY.” — Mike, 23

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16. “I think it has to do with confidence. Most of the “clingy” things people do they do because they are insecure. If you’re a sweet person, you’re caring — but if you’re a sweet person AND insecure than you do things because you want to illicit a response. You want attention and validation. That’s probably when you start to get clingy.” — Brody, 26

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17. “In my experience caring people do something nice because they just want to be kind. Clingy people do something to get “power” in the relationship.” — Stephen, 29 TC mark

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Chrissy is the author of What I Didn't Post On Instagram and a poetry book, We Are All Just A Collection of Cords. Follow Chrissy on Instagram or read more articles from Chrissy on Thought Catalog.
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