Okay so I am almost 18 years old. I have dated about seven guys and all but one act like I don’t exist.  I thrive on security in relationships, which cause me to be clingy. I tell guys about my clinginess up front and I don’t sugar coat it. They say its okay but after a short while they break up with me. Seeing everyone coupled up makes me feel really lonely.  How do I get over the feeling of needed a boyfriend to comfort and hold and protect me?

Six out of seven guys are signaling that you’re too co-dependent to even warrant talking to after you break up. Pay attention to this pattern! It’s great that you recognize your problem, but guess what? Simply warning guys that you’re  co-dependent isn’t going to improve your life or make you feel any better.

Say you broke a heel. You wouldn’t keep that shoe around and choose to wear it again, rendering you a gimp who literally needs to use others as a clutch, right? Hellz , no! You would get the thing fixed so you can walk on your own, or ditch the broken shoe altogether.

So in order to get back on your feet, you’ve got to ditch the crippling problem and get at the root of the issue, which is: you don’t know how to be alone and enjoy yourself.  The only way to beat loneliness and the feeling of needing someone else to feel good is to get to know  how rad *you* are (not look to another guy) by spending some time alone.

Here are some ways to learn how to love being alone:

  • Figure out which hobbies and pastimes interest you most and spend time cultivating them.
  • Learn to comfort yourself. This could be something as simple as taking a nice bath, reading a book in a park, or splurging on some sweet-smelling flowers to breathe in before you go to bed.
  • Indulge in doing things that make you happy, but others might not be into–like blaring top 40 and playing dress-up with your wardrobe–and take the time to do these things on your own.

Dedicate 10 minutes a day doing something just for you. After awhile, that 10 minutes will feel like nowhere near enough time to hang by yourself. Eventually, rolling solo will provide its own comforts to such a degree that you won’t be depending on guys for your happiness. And guess what? That’s when you’ll appear most attractive–when you’re happy just being you.

Erika Stalder is the author of The Date Book: A Girl’s Guide To Going Out With Someone New and creator of the DEAR ERIKA advice column for ABC Family’s Secret Life of The American Teenager.

pst: Do you have a burning question? Handle it! email handlethescandal at

  1. Shirinian says:

    Keep spreading the word Stalder!! Many more females could benefit from this message.
    Thanks for reminding me of how rad I am :) XO heeheehee

Leave A Comment