Love and obsession are not the same. When your partner truly loves you, you will feel free and liberated in the relationship, not bound and restricted. What begins with a little bit jealousy can easily turn into over possessiveness and control. And this can lead to emotional and abuse. Possessiveness in a relationship should never be taken lightly.
Signs of a possessive partner
“To be mature is, we’re told, to move beyond possessiveness. Jealousy is for babies. The mature person knows that no one owns anyone.” – Alain De Botton
So how can you tell if your partner is possessive? Where does protectiveness end and possessiveness begin? When does a possessive boyfriend or girlfriend start making the relationship toxic?
Here are certain traits and behaviors of a typical possessive partner that you need to watch out for.
1. They control how you look
Your partner will try to control or at least influence your physical appearance by telling you what kind of clothes you should and shouldn’t wear. They may forbid you from wearing certain types of clothes like tight shirts, short skirts or revealing outfits. They may also ask you to keep your hair a particular length and even tell how they prefer you do your make-up. This certainly goes beyond healthy relationship boundaries as they encroach upon your personal space and affect your self-image.
2. They put restrictions on you
Your partner tries to limit your behavior and actions by setting limits. They tell you when you can go out and how often, who you can meet and talk to, how long you can stay out etc. This is not a part of a healthy relationship and you should never accept such behavior from your partner. Everyone deserves to live freely and choose who they want to talk to and where they want to go.
3. They violate your privacy
Being possessive, your partner is unable to trust you and may think you might be cheating on them. Hence, they feel the need to spy on you and violate your privacy. They may hack your personal devices like smartphones and laptops, they may follow you around, they may ask you to share your location constantly to check up on you. They might do this subtly or they may feel entitled and ask you to share your device passwords with them.
4. They want you to spend all your time with them
Does your partner want to be with you 24/7? This may look sweet and adorable but it is simply a manifestation of your partner’s insecurities. It makes them overly attached to you. They believe that they are not good enough for you and you might cheat on them, so they constantly stay in touch and check up on you to make sure you still love them.
5. They manipulate your decisions
Your views and opinions have no value to them as they take your decisions for you. They will always put their opinions forward whenever you need to decide something. Whatever you have to say doesn’t really matter to them as they don’t believe you can be trusted with important life decisions.
6. They have sudden mood fluctuations
Unstable moods, jealousy, insecurity and anger are an inherent part of abusive relationships. Such negative emotions are the driving factors of mental, verbal and physical abuse in intimate relationships. If your partner suffers from mood instability and quickly shifts from being sweet to angry to anxiety to sadness, then it can be a red flag.
7. They are afraid of losing you
A possessive boyfriend or girlfriend will always have an underlying fear of being abandoned. As they are afraid of losing you, they start making up stories in their minds and become increasingly attached and desperate to keep you. This can also make them angry, aggressive and violent, leading to physical assault as they are unable to cope with their fear of abandonment.