If You Notice These 5 Early Signs, Leave — He's Too Controlling

Don't mistake controlling behavior for innocent concern.

Last updated on May 06, 2023

controlling boyfriend yelling at girlfriend UfaBizPhoto / Shutterstock

For people who grew up in homes with very controlling or abusive parents, it can be difficult to distinguish between control and concern in dating relationships.

Women and men with a history of love addiction often have the same problem. 

One way to differentiate between controlling behavior and concern is to take a close look at the specific situation. Extreme reactions to innocent mistakes are a sure sign of control.


RELATED: 17 Signs The Man You Love Is A Low-Key Control Freak

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

If you notice these five early signs, leave — he's too controlling:

1. He constantly sends you text messages

Everyone loves to text and stay in touch. When the text messages become intrusive, abusive, and demanding this is not just a concern it is abuse.


2. He insists you do everything together all the time

Controlling people need to manage your life and they don't want you to do anything without their knowledge. The way to control that is to be with you at all times.

3. You can't have friends or family around

Controlling people want to keep you all to themselves. While these may seem romantic and intimate, it is a clear way to isolate you from people that can help and support you in getting out of the relationship.

4. He is easily offended by innocent mistakes

You forget to call and say you are running late or you forget that you promised to go to a movie, and your partner responds with extreme anger, hurt or bitterness. Life happens and people make mistakes and forget. Controlling people see everything as an attempt to hurt them, and they resent even minor slights or mistakes way out of proportion.

5. He disapproves of your clothing

A partner has the right to like or dislike what you wear. Unless it is overly revealing or inappropriate, they should respect your choice even if it is not their favorite. However, if they demand you wear certain clothing or not wear particular appropriate items, you have a controlling partner on your hands.


Watch for these early signs of control in your relationship. Counseling can help to deal with these issues before they become a more significant problem or even rise to the level of abuse.

RELATED: How To Stop Being Controlling (Because It's Not A Good Look)

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach who helps people cope with codependency, love addiction, toxic relationships, and mental health issues. She is also the author of Love Smacked: How to Stop the Cycle of Relationship Addiction and Codependency To Find Everlasting Love.