Ask yourself: Are you bored? Boredom is the devil in disguise.
The line between what is sweet and protective and what is possessive is slim at best. But there is a line.
Need an anecdote? Let's talk the Twilight Saga, for example. Almost every woman watched this (your secret is safe with me!), and I think a lot of us probably thought that a brooding vampire who watches you sleep and breaks your car so you don't visit werewolf friends is romantic. But it's not.
These depictions of controlling, unhealthy behavior are nearly everywhere. They're rewarded by movie bigwigs who think this is what women want. So when we end up in a possessive relationship, we think the guy is just being a guy — masculine, protective, doing his most animalistic male job. Not to mention, if a guy is good-looking, rich or socially likeable, we're taught to like them.
But there needs to be something more — kindness, humanity, equality and fun. He may be perfect, but if he bores you that's probably an issue, too. Don't be trapped in a relationship you think you "should" stay in, and don't stick around if your gut is saying something is wrong.
Here are 8 signs you're in the wrong relationship.
1. He wants you around ALL THE TIME, but you don't realize how it's affected you.
Awwww, cute, right? No, actually. Not cute. Sometimes it's easy to lose the forest for the trees. Let's pretend you really want to see friends but your beau says that they don't like that friend or that you haven't spent enough time at home.
You may think that they're being protective or even sweet. But the reality is that they're not letting you be you, and they're keeping you tied to their side, on a figurative leash. Co-dependency is real folks, but it's not sexy.
Sometimes this goes on for months (or years!) without it becoming an issue, especially when you learn to expect being told they want to spend more and more time with you (so you just stop asking). Pretty soon, you realize your whole life is consumed by your relationship. (You know those friends who come begging for forgiveness after not seeing you for 2 years? Yeah, that's gonna be you.)
Look, I've been here. I'd say, "I'm gonna spend Friday with Jen," to which my ex would respond, "Our Friday night together? But I've been so busy all week... can you stay in?" And guess what? I just stopped asking. I'd spend every Friday in. Soon my life was filled with him and only him. And my friendships kind of changed.
Today, I'm in a great relationship. My choices wouldn't be questioned at all if I told my partner I was going out. And because of that, I'm more apt to stick around. I feel grateful, autonomous and respected. He wants me to have a good time — and that's love.
2. You don't actually see him in your future but you think the future is just too far away to predict anyway, so who cares?
Oof. This is a rough one because it's all about denial. Sometimes it feels so good to just stay, but if you don't envision traveling or buying a house or doing whatever crazy thing you want to do, with them, then maybe it's not them.
Tough to rip the band-aid off before it absolutely needs to come off, right? Welcome to this mortal coil, my darling. You have support out there, and power within yourself.
3. You're annoyed by his lifestyle, friends or decisions.
You find yourself scoffing at their ideas or social circle or decisions. Why? Is it because you have your own ideas and you can also respect theirs? Or is it because you straight up don't agree, ever?
Now, there's a difference between them hating House of Cards (because it's so damn good, OK?!) or not liking Hillary (so long as it's not Trump, of course), and them being so fundamentally different that it makes you question your life choices. Good sex or an easy life together can distract you from the fact that the person you're with just sort of sucks sometimes. And if this causes you an issue at all, it's not worth it.
The sea is vast, my love.
4. He doesn't challenge you emotionally or mentally, but you convince yourself otherwise.
This is a no-brainer. If you've got drive and ambition and a bright future, you probably want someone who can help you make that bright future happen or someone who has dreams themselves.
My friend, for example, is a brilliant, wonderful, accomplished woman — while her lover has no real future. He's great to her, and they get along. But years from now — when she realizes she's been tempering her own light to suit his stagnation and complacency — she'll resent it. You need someone on the same wavelength.
5. His wallet is hurting — and it kind of annoys you.
Plenty of books and movies glamorize the poor tortured artist. That guy who doesn't have much but is sweet, romantic and oh-so-devoted to you? That's cute for a few months... until you realize you're caring for them and unable to make real adult plans together.
Of course, there are TONS of circumstances in which you would stay with someone (disability, lack of real opportunity, trauma), but a guy who could, but doesn't, earn money or is content without stability? Super-not worth it. But if you like being a sugar mama, more power to you.
6. He's not good in bed, whether he tries to be or not — but you make excuses for his poor performance.
Don't give me that "But he's so nice... and he'll catch on" crap. Nope. He won't. Body chemistry and fit issues are legitimate things to consider. Look, a lasting relationship is made from the trifecta of good sex, friendship and respect. Without one of these, you've just got lady-blue balls or a ticking time bomb.
If you're not having fun in bed, trust me, you won't have a good time later on. It'll just create mental, emotional and genital cob-webs, a phrase no one should be cool with.
7. He secretly hates women; you spend your time laughing off his sexist comments but you let him do it anyway.
This is a hard one. How do you know? They're nice to you, to their mom, to their sister, to their friends. But what happens when he makes all those snide comments about women being dumb, or not knowing how to drive, or being slutty, or being fat and ugly?
If a man can't respect a woman and can't seperate himself (at least somewhat) from gender expectations, how can you respect him?
8. You're bored, but you're "comfortable."
Boredom is the sign of the devil. Get out of their fast. The only things in life that should be comfortable are your furniture and maybe your job. If it's too comfy, it's not worth it.
Think about it: I'm not talking about chaos here. I'm talking about sh*tting while they brush their teeth. This is principally (and aesthetically!) just not OK. And anyone who says it is will have a hard time in the next few years (don't say I didn't warn you), because they've singularly brutally murdered any semblance of mystery and desire.
Because no matter how we try to slice it, romantic love has a sexual component, and nothing kills that faster than getting a little too comfortable. Love is work. And that's a good thing. It should be worked on.