At first, being in a relationship with someone who’s very protective can feel like a pretty sweet deal: they think you’re awesome, they want to be with you all the time and they’re not afraid to show the world how much they love you. But there is a dark side to possessive partners that is important to be aware of to avoid psychological or physical pain. Recognizing these five signs of a possessive partner is key to preserving who you are and living a happy life.
They always have a say in your decisions
Possessive partners always need to give an opinion, even when you don’t ask for one. They will also express anger if you don’t heed their advice. Try talking to your partner about your desire to make your own decisions, and let them know that although you respect their opinions, you must do what you think is best for you.
They don’t want you to do anything without them
You may think this is endearing at first, but a partner who cannot bear the thought of you hanging out with other people is a controlling one. Codependency is not healthy relationship behavior. Call out your partner for trying to control how you spend your time, and let them know that time apart doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be with them. Even the most successful partners aren’t together 24/7.
They guilt you
This type of person will make you feel guilty for normal behavior. They will convince you that you are being a selfish, cruel or [insert any other negative adjective] partner. Again: call them out! This behavior is not cool at all. They are supposed to be a partner, not a parent.
They hate on all your friends
A possessive partner wants to be the only person in your life, and because of that, they will do their best to cut you off from the people you hold most dear. They do this so that you will lose your support system and only come to them when you have problems. In the end, this will make it even harder to leave them because you will have no one left to turn to. Tell them you don’t appreciate them bad-mouthing your friends and that you will not tolerate it.
They gaslight you
This partner makes it seem like everything is your fault. They blame you for their problems, their emotions and their screw-ups. If you are around this energy enough, you will start to believe it’s true, and your self-worth will take a dangerous dive. If you’ve already gotten to this point in the relationship, it’s time to end it. This behavior is manipulative and there are absolutely no good intentions behind it.