• Handling Breakups

When a friend is too clingy

Published: July 19, 2014 | Last Updated: July 19, 2014 By | 8 Replies Continue Reading
A teen says her best friend ended their relationship because she is too clingy.



I recently broke up with my best friend (we are both girls). She is three years older than me and about to go to college. I’ve known her for about 6 months and we had a pretty good friendship. We would hang out often, do homework together, and be stupid around one another like any other pair of friends.

I recently went on vacation with my family and she ended our friendship over text. She was ignoring me when I tried contacting her while on vacation but didn’t answer why. She said she would tell me when I got back.

I kept pushing her to the point of her getting mad and she told me in text that she didn’t want to be friends anymore. She said she didn’t want to be friends with someone that’s so much younger, clingy and obsessive.

She broke my heart and made me feel empty inside. She meant so much to me and we even had friendship necklaces. She’s hurt me a few times before but I forgave her because she meant a lot to me.

She unfollowed me on social networks and said she would block me if I texted her again when I tried to work things out for the tenth time.

She said our friendship would be forever, but it only lasted six months. Also, her ex best friend is now her best friend again, even though she doesn’t care about her or is as nice as I was to her.

How do I deal with this or get her back?

Signed, Daniela


Dear Daniela,

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a way to salvage this friendship. I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but the sooner you realize this and let go, the sooner you can heal and learn from the experience. Three years is a big difference in age when someone is about to enter college so I’m not surprised that this friendship didn’t stick. Not all friendships last forever especially during the teen years.

Have you ever heard of the word “boundaries”? Regarding relationships, understanding where you stop, and the others start is part of respecting people and their limits. People are usually uncomfortable or angry when others don’t respect their need for distance and space.

You continue to text her, even though she ended the friendship. That’s not respecting her boundaries. Even though you might not mean your texts this way, disregarding her wishes basically says, “I don’t care what you want. My need to contact you is more important.”

Disregarding boundaries pushes people further away and that’s the exact opposite of what you want. You behavior of continuing to contact her does appear to be an example of what she meant when she called you clingy and obsessive.

You have to accept that this relationship is over, and avoid making similar mistakes with your other friends. One way to be less clingy is to have a number of friends and acquaintances so you can spread your energies and not concentrate all your social and emotional needs on one person.

If you are having trouble tempering your feelings, it might be worthwhile to speak to a counselor at school or another adult you trust.

Signed, *Amy Feld

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

Previously on The Friendship Blog:

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Category: How to get over a breakup

Comments (8)

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  1. kaylee says:

    A few of you have mentioned setting boundaries for friendship. How do you suggest in doing so with someone? I have a friend who wants to be involved in , or know about, everything I do or the relationships I have with others yet doesn’t reciprocate the same. She will be vague or evasive about what plans she has and will make comments when I hang out with our friends without her I’m okay with not knowing, being a part of everything she does or who she has plans with but how do I establish and keep my own relationships/friendships without her trying to be a part of them too? She has even contacted another close friend of mine several times to hang out with..

    • Lorna says:

      I would say to be as vague and evasive as she is with you, when she asks what you’re up to. For example: HER: “Hey, Kaylee, what are you doing tonight?” YOU: “Just getting some quality me-time”. Gradually distance yourself, and spend less time with her. Don’t text or call her as often, and if she asks what’s up, say you’re taking some time to recharge.

      You may have to get over your fear of upsetting her, because she will probably dislike you addressing her the way she addresses you or changing the dynamics of the friendship… but if she is a true friend, she will respect your boundaries. You don’t owe her anything except courtesy and honesty… if she is not happy with your decision to take care of yourself and set boundaries, then she is not a true friend.

  2. Pia says:

    Dear Daniela,

    I have a different view. It seems to me your friend was not such a good friend after all, breaking up by text without an explanation, removing you from her social media network out of the blue, and threatening to block you when you beg for an answer. How are you to learn where the relationship boundaries are when she’s breaking your friendship so harsh and abruptly?

    You say that she has lied before, but you forgave her. You also add that she has now taken back her ex best friend as a best friend. To me it sounds as if she’s quite unstable and somewhat unreliable based on what you say.

    Friendships in the teenage years certainly can change and people mature in different paces, so breaking a friendship is not uncommon, but doing it the way your ex friend has done is not something to strive for. She ought to be mature enough to have a decent closure-talk with you, but she’s apparently not.

    My recommendation is to try to forget her, say to yourself that maybe you’re best off without her since she’s not as nice as you thought. Six months is not a long time in a lifetime, and I’m sure you after some time will realize that we all learn and grow from both positive and negative relationships. Lastly I will add that if she returns to you, abandoning her now best friend, who was her former ex friend etc, I would be skeptical of taking her back, she is likely to dump you again too.

    Good luck with your other friendships and hopefully more reliable friends in the future.

  3. Allie says:

    I absolutely agree with what both Dr.Feld and Melanie had to say about boundaries and forming relationships with peers closer to your own age.

  4. Allie says:


    I know your hurting right now and I am sorry for your situation. The teen years are so difficult when it comes to relationships and peer pressure. I made the same mistake at your age by forming friendships/relationships that became too “clingy” on my part. I didn’t fully understand at the time what “boundaries” were and therefore went too far in trying to salvage a friendship. Hindsight 20/20 I later came to understand that not only were we at different points in our lives but that our friendship wasn’t as close as I thought.It was mostly all one sided.

    Your”friend” certainly could have better handled the breaking up of your friendship,but immaturity on both your parts comes with being so young. By learning what “boundaries” are and learning this now instead of years later will hopefully help you to form better relationships now and in the future. 🙂

  5. Melanie says:


    This is one of those “tough love” lessons that’s really hard to learn. I agree with Amy’s great advice about boundaries, and I hope that you make new friends — closer to your age — over time. Your friend is on her way to college, and her experiences there will be very different from the experiences of your own age group now.

    I like what Amy said about respecting boundaries. And the problem with ignoring or disrespecting boundaries isn’t limited to people your age. In the past, I’ve met adults who wanted to become close friends, but they didn’t respect my boundaries. A few of them tried to rush a close friendship before I felt truly comfortable with them, while others ignored my needs for privacy or expected a lot more from me than I was able to give them at the time. Sadly, I backed away from those friendships too.

    • Amy F says:

      Yes, Melanie, respecting and disrespecting boundaries can happen at any age in any type of relationship from friendships to work colleagues to families to neighbors to acquaintances. Dealing with boundaries is definitely a learning process.

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