You’ve probably crossed paths with or even dated a stage 5 clinger without knowing it.

Remember that guy you hooked up with a month ago who keeps showing up wherever you are? How about that dude you went on one date with who keeps texting?

Often, men talk about women being clingy, but men can be just as clingy and sometimes it can get downright creepy.

A clinger is a man who needs constant reinforcement that he’s needed, liked, or loved. The Urban Dictionary defines a stage 5 clinger as:

A member of the opposite sex who is likely to become overly attached, and overly fast. Virgins, those on the rebound, and the emotionally fragile are more likely to have this term applied to them. Originally from the movie Wedding Crashers.

Signs He’s a Stage 5 Clinger | The Texting Ratio is Out of Balance

He texts you five times to your one or he initiates the conversation and then ends it by asking why you aren’t responding. Men are lousy communicators, remember?

So, the fact that this one can’t stop texting might appear to be a good thing. Maybe you finally found yourself a communicator.

No. He needs to feel wanted and probably wasn’t loved in his past, so texting him back will only make the problem worse.

stage 5 clinger

He Only Wants You to Hang with Him

A Stage 5 Clinger will make you feel guilty if you’re hanging out with your friends instead of him. You need those relationships, regardless of your relationship status, but he’s selfish and he wants you all to himself.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve known him for a week or a year, he shouldn’t be pushing you away from your friends, but he’ll try anyway.

His mantra is, “I’m all you need baby”. He’s the last thing you need! He’s manipulating you and trying to gaslight you as well.

Is He a Stage 5 Clinger? | He is if He Defines You as His Girlfriend When You’re Not

No matter how many times you tell this guy you aren’t his girlfriend, it falls on deaf ears. He wants you to call him your boyfriend from the first date, but this is inappropriate and definitely Stage 5 Clinger behavior.

As time progresses, he’ll insist, regardless of how many times you dispute it, that you’re boyfriend and girlfriend. He can’t see or respect any boundaries you set because they certainly don’t apply to him.

Did He Just Look at My Phone?

If he takes peeks at your phone or demands to see what you’re doing on your phone, you have a Stage 5 Clinger on your hands!

Jealousy and anger toward your male contacts are an issue if he’s a clinger, and it will only get worse from here.

This is a huge invasion of your privacy. Whether you let a guy you’re committed to seeing your phone is your choice, but if someone does it without permission, it’s just wrong.

He’ll gaslight you into believing he should see what’s on your phone, maybe for your safety or something bogus like that.

He’s a Stage 5 Clinger if He’s Always There

No matter where you go, he pops up. It’s almost like…no, it’s exactly like he’s following you, and he probably is. He has no other life besides you.

Whether you told him where you would be or he followed you, unless he was invited, he’s unwelcomed and, let’s be honest, a little creepy.

You might see him in your neighborhood more often. No, he isn’t checking on a friend or just happening by, he’s creeping on you and it’s wrong.

He has no other life. He has no friends, no hobbies, and no ambition to be anything other than your boyfriend.

stage 5 clinger

He Annoys You on Social Media in ALL Kinds of Ways

Social media is a big deal to a Stage 5 Clinger. After one date, he’ll friend you on all your platforms, then any friends he has will, as well as his family members.

No. Just no. One date and you’re all best buds? Forget that.

If you post something on social media, he’s all over it with tons of heart emojis or whatever seems most (in)appropriate.

If you’ve dated him for any amount of time, he might try to approve your posts before you put them up. He doesn’t want you to say something that might make him look bad. It is, after all, all about him.

A Stage 5 Clinger Can’t Trust

You’ve done nothing to warrant his lack of trust, but there it is. The problem isn’t you, even though he’ll tell you it is.

The problem is his overwhelming insecurity. This guy has no confidence in his ability to keep a woman interested in him. History tells him that people leave, whether it’s past girlfriends or a close family member, he’s been burned.

So it isn’t that he doesn’t trust you, even though that’s how he’ll play it, the issue is that he can’t trust anyone.

Many of the behaviors you’re finding here stem from this lack of trust and fear of being abandoned. Honestly, it’s very sad, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it.

How to Deal with the Stage 5 Clinger

You need to get rid of this guy, but that’s easier said than done. A Stage 5 Clinger is named so for a reason. In some instances, you could also label this type of person as a stalker. He’s envisioned that the two of you are in a relationship already, whether you’ve been on zero dates or five.

This isn’t your fault. You didn’t do anything to gain his attention. Even if you dated him a few times, that doesn’t warrant his clingy behavior. It isn’t normal to show up where you are, every single time, nor is it normal to label him as your boyfriend after one date.

So what can you do if you’ve snagged a Stage 5 Clinger?

You Can Try Talking to Him

There’s a reason behind this behavior and you might be able to get it out of him if he even knows.

Explain to him that his behavior is a little over the top, but nicely. Don’t make accusations or call him names, like Stage 5 Clinger or stalker. That will put him on the defensive and you want him to be calm and listen to your words.

Establish and Maintain Boundaries

If talking about it doesn’t make him change, have a discussion with him about boundaries. It isn’t okay for him to follow you around. Nor is it okay for him to sit in your neighborhood and watch you.

It’s also too much to expect to be exclusive or to call yourselves boyfriend and girlfriend for several weeks, if not a few months. Sex is off the table until he proves himself worthy of you, and at this point, he has a long way to go to do that.

Everyone should have boundaries. The challenge you have with a Stage 5 Clinger is that he doesn’t really care and he’s busted your boundaries so far without consequence.

Let him know that if he can’t respect your boundaries, he has no place in your life.

Tell Him You Don’t want ANY Relationship Right Now

It’s hard to form a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to be in one. Just be careful not to add the words with you to that sentence, even if that’s what you mean. There’s no reason to be rude or condescending.

Simply tell him that’s not where you are in your life at this time and suggest he look for someone interested in a relationship.

Be Busy…I Mean REALLY Busy

Tell him that you have a lot going on in your life right now and there’s just no time for a relationship. You’re taking care of a sick parent, working toward a promotion, or something. The problem with this, however, is that he’s likely to want to wait it out.

As soon as he thinks you’re not so busy, he’ll be back. And no, he probably hasn’t found someone else because he’s still fixated on you.

Try to Phase Yourself Out of His Life

He’s texting, calling, and emailing dozens of times a day, but hopefully, you’re not answering them all. Start slowly decreasing the number of times you reply. If you’re currently replying to maybe one in three or four of his messages, stretch that out to one in five or six. As the days pass, respond less frequently until you aren’t replying at all.

If he requests a date, tell him you’re busy, but don’t offer a time to reschedule. Try to avoid responding to him on social media, or, like the texts, respond less frequently.

Your hope here is that he’ll find someone new to bother as you phase yourself out.

Try Turning Him Off

With his insecurity, he needs to have an attractive girlfriend by his side. This increases his self-worth, however falsely.

If you want to ditch him, let him see you at your worst. No makeup, hair a fright, shabby clothes. Whatever it takes.

Part of your appeal to him is what he envisions you bring to his life. Cut access to whatever that is, off. It’s probably your looks, so start there. If you think it’s money, stop buying him coffee or lunch. If it’s status, borrow a friend’s beater car and drive him around in that for an evening.

Oh the Mysterious Ways of Men!

There's no way for a woman to know intuitively what to expect from a man. That's why I'm here! There are many differences between men and women and this article shows you a few. But there are others. Click the button below to read those articles too!

How to Get Rid of a Stage 5 Clinger: Become His Opposite

If he’s a Republican, you’re a left-wing Democrat. If he’s an Atheist, you’re a Christian or at least a believer. If he loves football or baseball, you hate it.

We like to be around people we feel a kinship with, so by becoming his opposite, you’re less attractive to him.

Use Body Language

You can also take this to body movements. Make sure you don’t mirror his body language. Mirroring someone’s body language is a sign of attraction, however subtle, so be sure you don’t do it. If his leg goes up on his knee, your feet are flat on the floor. If he puts his elbow on the table, remove yours at once.

To further the body language, make sure not to square your shoulders toward him. We square our shoulders or point our bodies to the most important person to us in the room. Be sure you aren’t squared off with him.

Avoid eye contact and physical touch as well. Gentle touches are a sign of attraction, so avoid that at all costs.

How to Deal with a Stage 5 Clinger | Try to Friend Zone Him

If you think he’s a nice guy and you want to be friends, you can try this, but he wants more, so there’s no guarantee that he’ll respect that boundary.

If you try this, make sure he understands that no romantic attachment is going to happen between you. Ever. Don’t let him hold out hope for something more.

The Stage 5 Clinger

There’s a part of me who feels sad for the Stage 5 Clinger. He needs a lot of attention, but from professionals, not women.

He’s got a lot of issues with fear of abandonment and attachment. He may have learned these behaviors as a child, but that doesn’t make it right.

If you’re able to friend-zone him and you can have a discussion with him about why he acts the way he does, you might have enough influence to encourage him to seek help.

This guy has the potential to be trouble, but not all Stage 5 Clingers are so hard to get rid of. There’s probably a nice guy in there somewhere, but he’s having trouble getting out due to the fear and insecurity surrounding him.

None of this is your problem to solve. Focus on yourself instead. This guy was attracted to you because your confidence was a bit low, so work on that before you head back out into the dating world.

Those clingers will look right past you and onto someone else.

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