7 Signs You're a Controlling Significant Other
Relationships require a lot of give and take.
And while compromise is the name of the game in healthy romances, the best ones find an even balance where neither partner has more power than the other. Unfortunately, that equilibrium is pretty difficult to master.
Wondering if you might be too demanding in your relationship? Keep scrolling for seven signs you're a controlling significant other.
1. You Almost Always Get Your Way
Compromise is about finding a mutual ground where both you and your S.O. feel happy with the solution you've agreed upon. If you've made a habit of stubbornly refusing to bend until your S.O. gives in to your demands, that's not a compromise—it's a manipulation tactic. You shouldn't always get your way in a relationship. Giving in to what your partner wants at times or finding a resolution that works for both of you is part of participating in a healthy romance. If the "compromises" in your relationship usually end with you getting your way, it's a pretty clear sign that you're a fairly controlling partner.
(The Vampire Diaries via The CW)
2. You Obstruct Their Time With Friends
Maintaining a healthy social life is incredibly important to the overall success of your relationship. Not only does it provide you and your S.O. with interests outside of one another, it also eases the pressure on your relationship because you each have more people than just each other to rely on. If you're often obstructing your S.O.'s time with their friends, you've definitely crossed the line into controlling territory. Trying to limit their hangouts or demanding that they stop seeing their friends all together is incredibly problematic behavior, and will only serve to create many more problems for your relationship down the line.
3. You Go Through Their Phone
Being in a relationship doesn't mean that personal privacy goes out the window, and one area that should be the sole property of your significant other is their phone. Going through their phone represents a huge breach of trust, and it's also highly controlling behavior. Needing to know every conversation they have or verifying information they've already told you shows that you have a need to be in constant supervision of them. You don't own your S.O.—they're allowed to have interactions and conversations that don't include you. Going through their phone implies that you feel you have a right to everything they do just because you're dating, which simply isn't true.
(Crazy Ex-Girlfriend via The CW)
4. You Get Upset When They Don't Invite You to Everything
Being in a relationship does not imply that you and your S.O. have to do everything together. Assuming you should get to participate in everything your S.O. does just because you're dating is ridiculous—people need their space. If you often get upset when your S.O. doesn't invite you to things, you're heading towards controlling territory. They're allowed to have some say in the things they want to share with you, and not inviting you to particular events isn't a reflection of their feelings for you.
Getting upset when your S.O. doesn't invite you to something implies that you think you have a right to decide what you should and shouldn't be included in. But you have to realize that there are two people in this relationship and allow your S.O. to live their own life, even when it's not what you ideally wanted.
5. You're Constantly Questioning Their Whereabouts
A constant need to know exactly where your S.O. is and what they're doing is highly controlling behavior. Not only does it imply that you have very little trust for your partner, it's also just not sustainable. You can't possibly know your S.O.'s location every second of the day, and trying to keep track of their whereabouts will only result in both of you becoming overwhelmed and frustrated. They have a life—you have to let them live it. Knowing what they're doing won't make your relationship any stronger or healthier. In fact, it might have the exact opposite effect.
(Gilmore Girls via The CW)
6. You Don't Ask Their Opinion Before Making a Decision
Are you the primary decision-maker in your relationship? If so, you might have a problem. There's nothing wrong with you calling the shots if you're more decisive than your S.O., but making every decision for your relationship becomes problematic if you neglect to even ask your S.O.'s opinion. Setting up weekend plans, coordinating date nights and incorporating family time is always helpful in a relationship, but only if you remember that your partner has to be part of the process. Failing to ask for their input is going to get frustrating for them after a while, and it's also a sign that you don't feel the need to work with them, which isn't the right recipe for a healthy romance.
7. You Criticize Them for Everything
There's a fine line between constructive criticism and outright disapproval. You and your S.O. should be helping each other grow by pointing out flaws and mistakes that you both can adjust to becoming a better version of yourselves. However, that does not mean that you get to criticize every single thing they do. Not only is that incredibly annoying, it's also a sign that you want to fit them into a box that you've created of your ideal S.O., rather than allowing them to be themselves and helping them along. Constant criticism is a sign of control—not love—so keep that in mind next time you want to point out one of your S.O.'s flaws.
Wondering if your control issues have extended to your friendships? Click HERE for five subtle signs you're a controlling friend.