There's a fine line between being protective and being controlling.
We've all been there before. We meet a great guy who's outgoing, chivalrous, and assertive. He makes you feel beautiful, desired, and taken care of. At some point though, you begin to see chinks in the armor of his personality and you wonder, is my guy just uber-protective of me or is he trying to control me?
If you're reading this, you're probably asking yourself that very question. Don't beat yourself up over it; you're just one of countless women who have been caught in the snares of a controlling man.
If you recognize the majority of these signs, chances are you've encountered a man whose tactics are controlling you.
1. He tells you straight up that he's controlling.
Yes, there are some controlling men who will actually tell you they want or need to control the relationship. I had a guy tell me it was "his way or the highway" several times while we were dating. His statement always made me feel that my slightest misstep would put me on the curb. And it did.
There were times I really didn't know what I did that was so offensive to him that he'd shut off like a cold water faucet. Ladies, if your man tells you up front that he needs to have complete control in the relationship, run fast and run far.
2. He acts like a Mr. Know-It-All.
Controlling men know it all and expect for you to accept that. Regardless of your legitimate position on social, political or personal issues, he's bound to convince you how wrong you are and make you feel inferior for having an opinion that differs from his.
God forbid if you should challenge him on a particular topic; you'll just be shredded up and down for voicing your viewpoint. Remember, he wants you to think that he knows best. If you cower to his position on everything, you'll never have a voice of your own in the relationship.
3. He dictates what goes on in the bedroom.
If your guy dictates when, where, and how your lovemaking will take place, he definitely has you under his thumb. At first, this trait might seem very appealing because he wants to own this aspect of the relationship. But trust me, this will get old all too soon.
A friend of mine dated a guy who was very prolific with his lovemaking skills and wanted to make sure she could "learn" from him. While his gestures were attractive at first, she admitted that she eventually began to resent the fact that she allowed him to try his bondage fantasies on her.
Ladies, don't ever compromise in this area for anyone. If you don't want to do something, don't do it.
4. You modify your behavior to meet his needs.
This one is tricky because you may feel the need to please your guy by making small changes that seem insignificant at the time. For example, a guy I dated told me he didn't like what I wore to the gym and that I should wear a t-shirt over my workout attire because I was too exposed. At first I submitted to his request because he seemed more protective than controlling.
Every time I went to the gym (whether he was there or not), I accommodated his request and wore a t-shirt over my workout tank top. One day (when he was there) I took off my outer t-shirt without thinking because I got so hot while working out. When he glanced over and saw me without my t-shirt on, I knew I was in for it.
He refused to speak to me afterward. His tantrum lasted for well over a week. I made up my mind after that incident that I would wear what I wanted to the gym. And you should, too. If your guy isn't secure enough with himself to accept that you can choose your own workout attire, send him packing. Because before you know it, he'll be telling you not to wear your skinny jeans.
5. He had the same patterns with other women.
This one is even trickier, because the last thing you want to do is take advice from a "scorned" woman. But his patterns with other women are extremely important because they're indicators of what you can expect.
If a woman from his past approaches you, don't be too quick to blow her off. Listen to what she has to say and you might save yourself time trying to figure out your guy. Chances are, her experiences with him will be a mirror image of yours.
Bottom line? Remember that controlling men often operate in stealth mode. And once you realize you're in his grasp, it may be too late to hit the reset button. So take heed and save yourself unnecessary frustration and heartache in the long run.