When you first enter a relationship, everything seems perfect. Your new guy is smart, sweet, and funny! A few months down the road, however, you may have noticed a few small changes. Instead of wanting to go out with you, he always wants you to hang out at his place or do whatever he wants to do. Instead of being cool with you hanging out with a group of friends (that includes a boy), he gets upset about it. You may be thinking, “Oh, he just wants to spend time with me” or “he just doesn’t know my guy friend so he doesn’t trust him..he trusts me, though!” These may all true, but if you are seeing little things like this, I want to warn you so that you can notice a few bigger issues that may arise in the future.
Being able to differentiate between a protective and a possessive boyfriend is hard. Sometimes there are little shifts that take place during the course of the relationship that hint at possessiveness. In this post, I am going to show you a few ways to tell if your partner is possessive. Because I know far too many amazing women who are being held back by a man who doesn’t know how to love them like they deserve.
1. A possessive partner won’t trust you
One of the biggest signs of a dangerous relationship is if there is no trust between the two of you. If your partner is constantly asking where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing then he may not trust you. If you have done nothing to sway his trust in you, then this may be a sign that he is trying to keep an eye on you and on everything you do.
Many times this comes from him being insecure about your relationship. He may think that you are too good for him and he is scared of losing you. Although this may sound like a good reason to not trust you, it is not. Healthy relationships have to be based on mutual trust and respect in order to succeed. A nonpossessive boyfriend will be confident in your relationship and will trust your word wholeheartedly.
2. A possessive partner doesn’t like when you hang out with others
The second sign of a possessive boyfriend is if he doesn’t like it when you hang out with others (especially other guy friends). In a relationship, it is normal to respect your partner and not spend an excessive amount of time with people of the opposite gender. However, possessive boyfriends have a tendency to take things to the extreme. They interpret a five-minute chat about homework with the guy in your biology class as obvious flirting. Even if this was just another conversation to you, a possessive boyfriend will start a fight over things like this repeatedly. This may eventually cause you to stop talking to guys altogether (except those that he says are okay..a.k.a. his guy friends). You might also find yourself not telling him about when you talk to a guy in order to prevent an argument. This could make you feel deceptive when you’ve done nothing wrong.
A possessive boyfriend will not like you talking to other boys period. This makes him feel threatened. Some possessive boyfriends will take this to the extreme. If he has met one of your friends and doesn’t care for her, he may constantly criticize her and ask you why you are even friends with her. He may even want you to spend all of your extra time hanging out with him instead. After a while, this may sabotage your friendship with even your closest girl friends leaving you alone and with no one to turn to but him. A nonpossessive boyfriend will put in effort to make your friends his friends because he knows that they are important to you.
3. A possessive partner makes you feel like you always have to do what they want
When dating a possessive guy, many girls feel like they always have to do what the guy wants. Whether this is to avoid an argument, to try to make him happy, or make up for something that you did “wrong” it is not healthy whatsoever. Possessive boyfriends always want you to believe their opinions. If you don’t, you guys will more than likely argue about it until one of you gives up. In a possessive relationship, your opinion doesn’t matter and is obviously wrong. After being told that their opinion is wrong so many times, many women began to see themselves as dumb, ditsy, or clueless about everything important. This will eventually change your self-image, your confidence, and the way you act. A nonpossessive partner will listen to your opinions and work to understand them so that you can come to a compromise or simply agree to disagree.
4. A possessive partner doesn’t respect you or your boundaries
Often in a possessive relationship, the guy will push the boundaries that you’ve set. Whether this is pressuring you to do things that you aren’t comfortable with or taking all of your free time, a possessive boyfriend will call this “wanting to spend time with you because he loves you.” He will not understand when you need to study, have some me time, or hang out with your friends. In reality, he has little respect for you, your friends, your school work, or your future. He may even see these things as his enemy because they take your attention away from him.
A possessive boyfriend will want all of your time and attention and will get upset or jealous if you cannot give it to him. A nonpossessive boyfriend will want all of your time and attention as well, but the difference is that he will understand that there are tons of other things you need to do and will give you your space.
5. A possessive partner has a temper
Another sign of a possessive boyfriend is if he is constantly getting upset with you over minor things. This can be anything from not being able to come visit him one day, not texting him back immediately, or even having a conversation with another guy. No matter what the situation, a possessive guy will flip at the drop of a hat before you even have a chance to know what you guys are even arguing about. In a possessive relationship, every argument will be your fault. You obviouslyyyy should drop everything you’re doing to come see him, should reply to all calls and messages in less than five minutes, and should never talk to people of the opposite gender. To him this is a “healthy relationship that shows him that you love him.”
In extreme cases, possessive boyfriends with a temper may get physical. Things like shoving, pushing, pinching, or slapping may arise. However, the most common abuse (and most dangerous to me) is verbal abuse. This will arise in things like yelling, cursing, and cutting remarks. I believe that this is the most dangerous because it is the kind of abuse that women hang around for the longest. We often say things like, “he would never hurt me” simply because he has never gotten physical before. In reality, verbal abuse is so much more dangerous to your self-image and often leads to physical abuse in the future. A nonpossessive partner may have temper flares occasionally, but he will work with you to talk out the situation. He will never cut you down with his words or make you feel like you are in danger.
What to do:
As you can see, being in a relationship with someone who is possessive can be very dangerous. It may threaten your self-worth, self-confidence, and even your behavior. Possessiveness is often a sign of insecurity. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to make your possessive partner more secure in your relationship. His insecurity is NOT your fault. This is something that he will have to do on his that will take a lot of time and growth. Whether you are facing possessive tendencies, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, or even physical abuse, I would suggest that you get out immediately. There are too many people in the world for you to be with someone who does this to you. I know that you may love this person, but trust me when I say that nothing you do can “fix” their possessiveness.
If you do want to try to work things out, I would suggest sitting down and having a talk with them. Keep your emotions in check (no yelling!). Share the issues that you are seeing in their behavior (avoid pointing the finger at the things they are doing wrong and instead make it clear that the problem is with the behavior not them). If necessary, give an ultimatum. If nothing changes in a few weeks, the best thing that you can do for both of you is to end the relationship.
I know that this was a tough topic, but I sincerely hope that you learn something from this post and take a look at your own relationship. If there are signs of possessiveness, I would highly recommend that you talk to someone you trust (a parent, counselor, best friend, etc.). If you feel like you have no one to turn to, you are welcome to email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to help you work through this situation. Best of luck, my friend!
Have you been in a possessive relationship before? If so, share your best tip and encouragement for those who are currently in this situation!
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