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Woman Shows List Of Strict Rules Her ‘Controlling’ Ex-Boyfriend Sent Her When She Left For College

Photo: Laura Chouette / Unsplash
young woman on her phone

Before going off to college, a woman on TikTok, who has since made her account private, received a text from her now ex-boyfriend that cited rules for her to follow while she was away.

Carolyn shared her 'controlling' ex's rules on TikTok.

The 11 rules, which she has clarified are "crazy" and "controlling" — and shouldn’t be glamorized — include letting her boyfriend know where she is at all times, a curfew, and "outfit approval." Not to mention, she cannot compare her hand size with other men — every woman’s favorite pastime.

controlling boyfriend rules for girlfriend in collegePhoto: @ccarollynn / TikTok

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“I was not trying to glamorize anything,” she said in a follow-up video, “I know I kind of was joking and laughing, but I just want to say that is considered abuse, emotionally controlling and emotionally abusive.”

She opens the video by laughing at the fact that her ex needed to type “pay attention” in all caps before even starting the list.

The very first rule on the list is “Don’t ignore me after you finish reading this.” Her response is that if he felt the need to write this, he already knew what the outcome would be. From the very beginning, he knew it would be poorly received, but continued to write and send it anyway, trying to control her life.

The second rule tells her to never turn off three different location systems, including her Snapchat location. It could be speculated with this information that they had already been keeping track of each other’s locations since he knows all of the places he can check for it.

Several of the rules had to do with what she could wear, saying that she needed to “approve all outfits past me and my mom,” and that she couldn’t wear other boys’ clothes or any crop tops or tight clothing. She joked that she could no longer wear all of the clothes she had stolen from her brother over the years or sports bras since those were also tight.

He also showed an excessive attempt to control her college experience by telling her that she should be in her dorm room by 9 PM and prove that she was alone by FaceTiming him, as well as saying no drinking and no frat/house/dorm parties.

Not only that, but he said, “Do not come in contact with boys by 25 or more feet,” to which she jokes “I guess I just don’t go to classes with boys or boy professors anymore, sorry, dropping out.”

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Knowing the signs of emotional abuse is crucial to avoiding toxic relationships. 

As ridiculous as some of these rules might be, the reality of abusive relationships is no joke. Carolyn's video highlights the importance of knowing the early signs of emotional abuse or manipulation. She, thankfully, recognized things were going too far. 

“This relationship started out with a little bit of rules,” she said in a response to someone's comment on one of her videos, “and then it did get extensively controlling.”

In the comments of another TikTok she made, she said that out of the nine months that they had been together, it took just three months for the controlling behavior to surface.

“When someone controls another’s actions and behaviour, they treat that person as a piece of property, rather than a valued human being,” says YourTango expert and personal development and leadership coach Christine Hourd. “People control other people out of fear, and when fear is dominating the relationship the level of control increases. This isn’t healthy. Either you feel valued in the relationship, or you get out.”



Which is exactly what Carolyn decided she would do.

“This is a point where I realized I did not want to be in the relationship anymore,” she said.

She told his parents that she did not want to continue the relationship and that it was their responsibility to deal with whatever came next since she proceeded to block him on everything. Carolyn has since turned her TikTok profile into a community of support, linking a support group chat in her bio and continuing to make videos answering questions and calling out the negative comments.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and politics.