No one wants to be the girl with the jealous and controlling partner, and rightfully so. Controlling behavior is tied to abuse and generally will ruin any good relationship right from the start.
Though it’s not always easy to spot at first, you absolutely can figure out whether a potential partner could end up being controlling. Having been in a bad relationship before, I can honestly say controlling behavior is the ultimate sign to run.
Speaking from personal experience, the following red flags will tell you that the person you want to date really is a controller at heart.
1. He clearly gets huffy and pouts if you say no.
This behavior is a controlling person’s way of getting what they want without insisting on it. By pouting and getting icy around you, they are hoping to manipulate you into changing your mind to their liking. The fact that they are doing this suggests they’ll be way more controlling later on.
2. He straight up tells you that your friends are off limits, or says that he doesn’t trust your friends.
This is about as big of a red flag as you can get. It’s a red flag surrounded by red flags. Your entourage is not the only thing he’s going to try to control, so run while you still can.
3. Boundary-pushing is the norm with him.
You tell him no, he asks again. You tell him no again, he does it anyway. Sounds like your partner? Yeah, that’s him taking control by showing you that your needs do not matter to him. By controlling you through ignoring your boundaries, he’s showing his true colors.
4. He gets jealous really easily.
Jealousy, contrary to common belief, is not a sign that he cares about you. It’s a sign that he’s a controlling person who really is insecure about himself. Not cool.
5. It’s starting to seem like there are double standards going on, and you don’t know how to convince him it’s bad.
This is most commonly seen with guys who say stuff like, “You shouldn’t have guy friends,” then talk about their many female friends. Controlling people will give different standards to others than to themselves because it suits them. Trying to convince them that double standards are wrong won’t work, either. They know they’re wrong; they just don’t care.
6. He’s made a point of suggesting what you should wear.
Control and abuse often first starts with clothing. If he controls your appearance, he controls you.
7. It feels like his love and acceptance are conditional based on what you do.
This is about as foul a sign as it gets. When someone does this, they never actually care about you. The only thing that they care about is that they can control you. Everyone knows that this behavior is hurtful, and the fact that your date keeps doing it shows that they care that little about you. Angry? Absolutely, you should be!
8. You feel like you constantly have to check in with your date.
A person who can’t stand giving you space or privacy is a person who has serious control issues. If you notice spying, snooping, or regular badgering about your whereabouts, it’s time to cut things short sooner rather than later.
9. You feel indebted to him, or he’s made you feel like you owe him something.
This is one of the most devious ways to control someone, and it’s the type of controlling behavior that instantly makes you the bad guy if you don’t give in. Make no mistake about it, this is a game you cannot win.
10. He argues with you just so that you’ll relent.
At this point, the behavior you’re seeing is no longer a warning sign of being controlling. It’s a sign of abuse. And that means, it’s time to get out of dodge.