If Your Boyfriend Does These 9 Things, You're In A Controlling Relationship (Here's What You Can Do)

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Relationship Advice For Women To Help Identify The Red Flags Of A Controlling Boyfriend And What To Do About Them
Love, Self

By Shreyasi Debnath

Dealing with a controlling boyfriend might be downright exasperating.

But here, I will equip you with some of the tricks and tips to reclaim your self-respect. 

RELATED: If He Does These 7 Things, Stop: He's Trying To Control You

Jen was quite sure about Sam. Even though they have currently started dating each other, it seemed like their’s was an eternal connection.

Within days, they could not keep their hands off each other; the fierce fire of lust was burning their body and soul. Their chemistry started gradually building up.

Jen had never felt this way in her entire lifetime. She was on cloud nine. Sam was the perfect one for her. 

Guess what? He was even so protective and possessive about her. How sweet! He couldn’t even bear to have other guys setting their eyes on her! Isn’t that hot? Yes. 

But, for how long? 

When does it start exceeding the limit? 

When two people start dating, in the heat of attraction, they go blind to the flaws of each other and only focus on the positive aspects that might be beneficial for the relationship.

What I am trying to say here is that even if your partner wants to kill you, it sounds sexy when you both are in the honeymoon phase of the relationship. 

When it comes to a romantic relationship, there is a thin line between obsession, possession, infatuation and protection, care and love. 

On a closer look, you will be able to notice if your partner is crossing that thin line and jumping onto the wrong side. 

Possessive behaviour, to a certain limit, is natural and is also desirable. 

But when he starts becoming controlling, he is actually emotionally abusing you, because you will keep swinging between relishing the possessive behaviour and detesting it to the core.

In all of these messes, you will slowly be drained out of your happiness.

If his behaviours are recently making you feel intimidated, anxious, cautious, and manipulated, you must start exploring the root causes.

Remember, a relationship that disturbs your mental health is better abandoned.

How to know if your boyfriend is controlling or not? 

The interesting fact is, your boyfriend will start displaying these over-possessive and controlling behaviours in the initial phase of the relationship itself.

Some controlling behaviours are very subtle, which will narrowly escape your attention and gain gradual shape in the form of persuasive suggestions. 

Just paying keen attention to his behaviour can help you determine if his jealousy is going an extra mile. 

Go through these common behaviors that your controlling boyfriend might be displaying to ascertain if he is going to be a future manipulator.

RELATED: 8 Deep Questions To Ask Yourself If You Keep Falling In Love With Controlling & Manipulative Men

1. Trying to snoop through your cell phone

You are with him and your phone chimes. He goes: “Who is it, baby?”  

Sounds sweet? 

He is, after all, interested to know who else might be competing for your attention!

Initially, this might be flattering, but when this gets to the point of him asking for your phone to swipe through your call and text logs, this won’t be cute anymore. 

You might as well have no reason to hide anything from him, so you comply. 

The warning sign - you are setting standards for how he should treat you later in the relationship – like trash!

So take immediate action. 

What you can do about it: 

The moment he asks to check your phone, tell him you deserve to have your personal space just like he has his. 

Explain to him the importance of respecting each other’s intimate space, which includes things which you can share only with yourself and which others, including him, do not have any rights to intrude upon. 

Make it clear that, you don’t snoop around his phone, he shouldn't either!

It’s necessary for you to take the first step to define what you consider fine to share with him and what you find uncomfortable sharing with him (and that sharing your phone activities is one of them).

2. Becoming a fashion police

You both are getting ready for a party and you dress up in a sexy miniskirt you have always been dreaming to wear. 

You remind yourself, “He would love this.” 

You are super excited, of course, to see the expression on your boyfriend’s face as you reveal yourself. Tadaa!

And there he is, totally blown to find out your audacity!

He calmly tells you to go change the dress and you are astonished at his behaviour. Why would you not be? 

A controlling boyfriend, will ever so sweetly, tell you what to and what not to wear, because there are predators waiting to tear you apart! 

And again, very sadly, you will comply with him, because his behaviour comes in disguise of care.

What you can do about it: 

Never, ever change your dressing style for him. I repeat, never ever.

You are a grown adult and have the maturity to decide which dress looks vulgar, out of the context and odd on you and which doesn’t. 

If a dress makes you comfortable, you should never abstain yourself from wearing it, however ‘revealing’ or ‘exposing’ it is!

3. Trying to gate crash your alone time

Every single person has to give time to himself/herself to reflect his/her entire day and handle their personal issues. 

It’s natural for your partner to want to get most of your attention and time, but it’s not acceptable when he/she doesn’t even give you time for yourself. 

If he fails to respect your personal space and tries to get access to passwords on your phone or other social media accounts you hold, you need to understand that he’ll someday stop respecting you. 

What you can do about it: 

Face him and communicate with him about time management and how you both can maximise the time spent with each other, leaving enough space for your “me time”, which he would not intrude. 

Because when it's “us time” it will be only him and you and when it’s me time, it’s only about you and your extremely personal space. 

Teach him the importance of staying away from each other for a considerable amount of time.

After all “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a saying to swear by.

4. Having a problem with everyone associated with you

This is a tricky sign to identify, especially when you know that he has your best interest at heart. 

Every person you are associated with is a person who is secretly trying to harm you or your relationship. 

He will give you elaborate details as to why it’s safe to avoid that particular guy friend  (who's gay!) who might be flirting with you or the guy in your workplace who seems to give you too much attention or the gym guy hitting on you or the guy who sat beside you in public transport!  

It is of concern if there really are perverted people sneaking around, but every other person you are associated with cannot be a threat to you. 

They are simply a threat to his ego. 

What you can do about it: 

You need to clearly make a point to tell him that you are emotionally mature enough to deal with creeps who might be trying to hit on you. 

It’s necessary that you completely make him aware of the fact that it’s not possible for everyone to have a sexual interest in you.

Even if they do have, make sure he knows that you are equipped with tricks to handle them.

RELATED: 5 Signs He's Seriously Controlling You — And You Don't Even Know It

5. Constantly doubting and questioning you

You tell him over the phone that you are going to your dance class and he calls up around 10 times, every 10 mins later to “check on you if you are fine.”

I tell you, he is not concerned about your safety, he is simply insecure. 

Everything looks fine within limits.

When it exceeds limits, it becomes a red flag, shoved right into your face! 

Initially, 10-20 times calls will look like they are dying without you, missing every molecule of you.

But over time, he will start crossing borders to ask you about the route you took or if someone is accompanying you or even might end up asking you if you lied to him about where you are going or not.

Does this sound hot anymore?

What you can do about it: 

Never entertain questions which feed his insecurities.

Also, do not answer questions which you think might be off the track leading to doubting and blaming you for things you never did. 

Make it clear to him that you are genuinely loyal and you wish to be respected for that. 

The more you answer his questions, the worse his treatment will be, because you are providing him with what he wants – control over you.

6. Stalking you

The worst type of manipulation that your controlling boyfriend can implement on you is stalking you, be it in person or on social media. 

Suppose you informed your boyfriend about a sudden plan that you have made with your girlfriends after your office.

Did he mysteriously drop by your office premises during your end of office hours to give you a surprise visit? Were you secretly upset about his behaviour? 

If you express disappointment for this, he will go a step further and successfully make you feel guilty about your behaviour. 

Does he often drop by randomly to surprise you? You might like it a few times in the beginning, before the ‘surprises’ start becoming an ‘obvious habit.’

He might even end up creating fake id's on social media to find out “what you are up to”.

When your every single move is being tracked, it counts among manipulation and emotional abuse 

What you can do about it:

Let him know that his weird stalking behaviours are not a secret anymore. Don’t play along. 

Tell him straight up how this stalking is turning out to be toxic for the relationship.

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If he cares enough, he will immediately stop.

7. Throwing temper tantrums if you do not reply to him immediately

A controlling boyfriend will always get hostile if any of his phone calls or texts get unanswered. 

It will, more often than not, be absolutely unintentional on your part.

Your phone might be on silent mode or you might be stuck in a situation or you might have lost your phone altogether!

Whatever might be the reason, he will be furious if he does not get his way. 

A controlling boyfriend will never consider anything more important than himself in your life.

What you can do about it:

Again, do not feed his immaturity. 

Explain to him that there will be situations where something else other than him will be a priority.

If he understands you, well and fine. If he doesn’t, he’s not worth your valuable time and efforts.

8. Blowing up when you use your phone around him

You touch your phone to use it, look at his face, and his facial expression changes.

You feel like he has caught you red-handed cheating on him. 

He wants you 100% to himself and not even a second wasted to some nonsense texts.

It might be a text, mail, or call requiring your immediate attention, but who cares?

What else can be more urgent to you other than his attention?

What you can do about it:

This might take you some courage. 

Tell him that he is a very significant part of your life, but certain other things might need your urgent attention and time.

This does not take away his place in your heart.

9. Intimidating you

You boyfriend must be someone who understands you and calms you down, not someone who makes you anxious and nervous.

Dating a controlling boyfriend is like walking on eggshells.

It’s ridiculous how a trivial behaviour on your part can entirely blow him up.

You literally have to think over a million times before you say something or do something, because you are totally clueless of what might push his triggers!

You want to go out for a movie night with girls, you have to ask for his permission, explain to him the route you will take, give him your girls’ names, numbers, addresses and whatnot.

This might sound absurd, but trust me - this is how it is!

Sometimes, you will avoid people altogether, socially isolate yourself, just to entertain his “I only want you to myself” fantasies.

Does his mere presence make you falter, scared, or cautious of your natural behaviour?

Do you have to mold yourself according to his needs at the cost of your authenticity?

If your answer is 'yes' for both the above questions, you are dealing with a manipulator at his best!

What you can do about it:

It is for you to understand that this type of controlling person will slowly strangulate the freedom and independence out of you.

You will gradually start losing your identity and become a mere puppet, controlled by his needs. Stand your ground.

Do not comply with his unrealistic, illogical wishes and wants.

Let him know that you are a self-reliant person and that you want him, not need him in your life.

Summing up…

There might be many more noticeable behaviours in your boyfriend not mentioned in the list, which falls under the category of covert manipulation. 

Most often than not, this need for control comes from the fact that he might be having low self-esteem and an insecure core. 

He is driven by the fear of being “not deserving of you”, “not worthy enough”, and “not up to the mark.” 

Most of the time, these men themselves have had bad experiences in the past of being emotionally abused, victimised, cheated on, and manipulated. 

As a partner, you must create for him a comfortable space in the relationship where he can easily share his insecurities underlying his controlling and manipulating behaviour.

This might let them understand where they are going wrong. 

RELATED: 5 Signs You're In Love With A Serious Control Freak

Shreyasi Debnath is a writer who focuses on relationships, dating, and love. For more of her relationship content, visit her author profile on The Mind's Journal.

This article was originally published at The Mind's Journal. Reprinted with permission from the author.