Should I Apologize to My Ex For Being Needy and Clingy?

Question: My ex and I started communicating again steadily and after 2 weeks of texts and emails, I suggested we meet up to talk. To cut the long story short, we ended up holding hands and she even kissed me. That was on Friday.

Saturday and Sunday we talked on phone and she once again thanked me for the Friday dinner and time we shared. Monday, I received no text or email from her all day despite me sending her a “how’s your day? text. It was the first day I hadn’t heard from her at all since we started communicating again. I knew something wasn’t right because she’s honest and up front and not a game player. But I played it cool because in the past I acted overly clingy, needy controlling and too anxious etc.

I also had kinda left it in her court because I was the one who had always made plans and I felt that letting her contact me would show that I was not going to become clingy and needy again.

Tuesday… nothing… Friday still nothing. Saturday, I called her. She was somewhat a little cold and distant. I asked her what was wrong and she said she was feeling a little nervous and worried because during our conversation on Sunday I used the words “couple again.” She said she was sorry if she had given me the wrong impression that we we’re already back together. She just wanted to hang out and see where things go.

She said she is not at a place where she is ready to get back with me. She wanted space and said she’ll get in touch. So my question is: How do I salvage this situation? I regret using the word “dating again” and have apologized. Should I apologize again to reassure her that my intentions are not to rush things but just keep going with the flow and see where things go? I really want to be with her. I know she’s “the one” for me. Help me!

Yangki’s Answer: First things first. You need to calm down and get yourself together. You can’t think straight when your emotions are all over the place. And just because this happened doesn’t always mean it’s the end of the road.

From what you wrote, it sounds like the lines of communication are still open. That is a good thing. But before you even say or do anything, you need to understand and get some thing clear. It’s not just saying the words “couple again” that made her pull back. This is why in my eBook, I caution against just apologizing for the sake of an apology. You may be apologizing for something you even don’t understand and your ex concludes you just don’t get it, will never get – it’s a waste of time to even try!

It’s the whole desperate/needy/clingy vibe that got you in this situation. It’s even all over your email. You need to work on this — serious inner work. Trying to externally manage the clingy/neediness won’t work long term. It takes just something very small to trigger the behaviour and often you’re not even aware when it happens.

She said she’ll get in touch, so give her space to process her emotions (her way). Also there is no need to apologize again. You already apologized once, two times is making the issue bigger than it is. When she gets in touch, listen to what she has to say then tell her you understand why she came to that conclusion. Tell her, it’s for the best because it’s obvious you have some more personal work to do. Then say you want to continue with the way things had started but this time be more sensitive not only to what she feels more comfortable with but also what’s right. This is to reassure her that you’re not only looking for a “feel good” relationship but a “feel right” relationship.

These are just stop measures. The problem here is your overly clingy, needy, controlling and too anxious etc tendencies.

You only started seeing each other and you’re already apologizing for being needy/clingy. That right there is a red flag for her. If you don’t work on why you’re this way, I can guarantee you with 100% certainty, you’ll be back in this very situation again — and very soon. She may let it pass this time, but next time she may decide that you’re never going to change.

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  • I agree with not over-apologizing. She and I had a discussion about beginning a new relationship and I again apologized which made her angry. Then I apologized for making her angry and she became even more angry. At first I did not understand why she was angry but after many conversations she told me she lost love for me because she lost respect for me. She wants a man that stands up for himself and does not apologize all the time. I told her I can be that man, but she said I am too nice and can not change who I am. The sad part is that she’s right in a way, I am too nice.

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  • I have been reading your articles for the last week and half and one thing that has become clear is that at 48, I have very little understanding of relationships. 2 divorces and a 3-year relationship and I am still making so many mistakes. I don’t know how old you are but your knowledge, understanding, compassion and positive attitude has made me want to try to get her back. I don’t know if it’s too late, but if I don’t try, I will never know and will never learn. So my dear, thank you all you are doing, and God bless you.

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    • I hear you, and happy to be of some help. It’s people like you that make it worthwhile.

      I am with you. If she means that much to you I think you should try to get her back. Like you said, regardless, you will have learned and acquired some useful skills.

      Let me know if you need any more help. God Bless you right back!

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