You’ve met a guy, he’s attractive, smart, funny, he gives you a few butterflies – at first. Soon enough things start to get weird. And the crazy won’t necessarily present itself right away. Sometimes it subtly slithers its way into your “relationship.” Then the texting becomes relentless, as if you have nothing better to do than talk to him all day.
If you don’t respond, his texts may get angry or melancholy. He starts stalking your social media accounts. Your photo is his profile picture. You may notice him showing up at your favorite haunts. He transforms from cutie to creepy almost instantaneously.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve hung out a few hours a couple weeks, or even worse, months. When the stage 5 clinger decides you are his, he will stop at nothing to keep you. Indirectly implying you’re not interested doesn’t work, subtle hints go ignored – so how do you get rid of a stage 5 clinger for good? I’ve been on both sides of this coin, so I know a few ways to rid yourself of your stage 5 clinger. (Note: this applies to male AND female clingers.. for those of you reading who want to get rid of a female clinger).
1. Not looking.
Tell him you’re not looking for anything serious. If he says something like, “Perfect! Me either,” then say very delicately, “Well, honestly I’m not looking for anything right now,” just remember not to add “with you” on the end. That would be mean. He can’t argue with someone who doesn’t want any kind of relationship.
2. I’m busy with ___ (fill in the blank)___.
Explain to him that something in your life is exhausting much of your free time. It could be work, a sick family member, extensive travel, a friend’s wedding, or another time-consuming activity that would keep you from having a social life.
3. Phase yourself out.
Decrease your contact with him a little every day. Text less, don’t respond on social media as much, every time he wants to hang out tell him you’re busy. Lather, rinse, repeat until you completely disappear from his life. Maybe he won’t notice?
4. Be boring.
I know, I know, we’re all so charming, how could we possibly? But if you make yourself sound like a total drag and not very interesting, maybe he’ll stop being so into you and move along.
5. Be ugly.
Again, yes, I know, we don’t like to do this, but what if it’s the only way. He may be a clinger, but he also may be completely superficial about looks. Dress frumpy, don’t brush your hair. Wear crocs or socks with sandals. Don’t wear makeup. Try to look as beastly as possible. Maybe even be gross. Hopefully you will repulse him so much he will be the one to stop calling.
6. Be contrary.
Does he like baseball? Then you hate baseball. Is he a devout Christian? Then you’re an Atheist. Staunch republican? You’re a left wing liberal. I think you get where I’m going with this. If you have absolutely nothing in common, and maybe even you insult his tastes a little, he’ll probably never want to talk to you again. Winning!
7. Cut him off.
He might just need to go cold turkey – against his wishes. Stop responding completely on all platforms and block him from your social media and phone. Yes, it’s harsh but he’ll eventually get it.
8. Friend zone him.
You might really like the guy in some ways and would rather be friends. Tell him how you feel and that it’s either friendship or it’s not anything. Make sure he understands that nothing romantic or physical is going to happen between the two of you.
9. Get back with your ex.
Yes. This one is totally lame, but he can’t really argue with it, can he? You tell him you’re getting back with your ex-boyfriend (whether it’s true or not) and all he can do is go away. He’ll probably know you’re lying, but it will send him packing.
10. Be Firm.
This is by far the hardest. I mean, none of us really want to hurt someone’s feelings though, right? But sometimes they just don’t get the subtle hints. I’ve had to do this before. Sometimes the only way for them to get the picture is to be harsh. You just have to say, “Look, stop texting, stop calling, stop messaging me. This is not a thing and you just need to go away.”
Sometimes there may be some residual follow-up from them. He might launch a cunning plot to run into you a few weeks later, call you a few months down the road, or send you an email a year later asking for another chance (yes, I know this for a fact because it happened to me). Whether you choose to ignore them or respond, make sure you reiterate that you’re not interested so that they understand. And be direct and firm. Any kindness might be interpreted as affection by a clinger.
Be careful out there. You can’t tell a Stage 5 Clinger by sight. However, if you find yourself caught by one, use one of the ten approaches above, or even a combination of them, and I’m sure you’ll be rid of your stage 5 clinger in no time.