7 Signs of a Possessive Boyfriend (And How to Deal With Him)
Are you in a relationship with a guy who seems to be a possessive boyfriend?
Maybe it feels like he’s controlling you…
…he freaks out when you spend time with other people (especially men)…
…or he starts arguments when things don’t go his way.
And worse, your friends and family are starting to notice. They are begging you to do something about it. This stress is taking a toll on you in other areas of your life. You’re struggling to meet deadlines at work. You’re drinking more than normal. And what’s up with that weird rash?
You need to determine whether the way your man is behaving is within the realm of normal behavior or if it’s going to continue to have a negative impact on your relationship. If his behavior can’t be remedied, you need to get out.
What IS a Possessive Boyfriend?
This article will go into detail about signs of a possessive boyfriend, but let’s first define what one is.
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A possessive boyfriend seeks control. He wants to manipulate you into doing the things he wants. He won’t take your feelings into consideration. This is often because he is insecure and thinks, by controlling you, that he can get what he wants in his relationship with you.
If your boyfriend is possessive, you need to be aware that this behavior is unacceptable. You are not an object to be possessed. You are not a child to be scolded for your behavior. Understand that his insecurities do not reflect on who you are.
If his possessiveness has crossed a line through unnecessary and stressful arguments, stalking, or even, heaven forbid, outright violence, please get out of this relationship as soon as possible. You deserve better.
7 Signs You Have a Possessive Boyfriend
If it’s not immediately evident that you have a possessive boyfriend, take a look at these signs to determine whether you should end this relationship or try to work on things.
1. He Reads Your Texts
You come out of the bathroom to find your boyfriend scrolling through your phone. When you ask him what he’s doing, he looks guilty. He was looking for evidence of you texting another man.
If he can’t trust you (and has no reason not to), then you shouldn’t be with him. Relationships are built on trust.
What to say and do: You absolutely need to have a conversation about this invasion. Tell him you need him to respect your privacy, and if he feels he can’t trust you, then you don’t need to be in a relationship.
2. He Hates You Spending Time With Friends
He constantly bitches about you spending time with friends—even the female ones! He’s jealous of the time you spend away from him, and it’s making you crazy. After all, you’re a confident, independent woman and you need your space.
What to say and do: Tell him if he wants to be with you, he has to allow you to have your own separate life. Encourage him to spend time with his own friends or pursue his own interests. Research shows that 80% of couples credit their happy marriages to having time apart from their partners. Being in love doesn’t have to mean spending every minute together!
3. He Goes Ballistic if You Talk to Another Man
The UPS man. The barista at the coffee shop. Even your 80-year-old neighbor. It doesn’t matter who the man is, your boyfriend flips out if you’re talking to one.
Again, realize this is about his insecurity, not about you doing anything wrong.
What to say and do: BYE! This behavior isn’t going to change, and you don’t need to stick around hoping it will.
4. He “Coincidentally” Shows Up Where You Are. Often.
You leave a restaurant with your co-workers and—whoa—there’s your man. Who just “happened” to be in the neighborhood.
Or when you go to meet an old (male) college buddy, it just so happens that your boyfriend is at the very same sports bar with his friend. Huh.
What to say and do: Again, leave. This isn’t sane behavior, and it borders on stalking.
5. He Wants All of Your Time
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with this man, he always wants more. It’s exhausting you.
What to say and do: You have to realize that he’s probably got the anxious attachment style, and that means he needs constant reassurance of your love. If you can provide this reassurance, all may not be lost, but realize that he’s probably never going to be satisfied until he’s with you 24/7.
6. He Makes Sure Everyone Knows You’re “His”
You’re at a party with your boyfriend, chatting with some (male) friends on your own, when you feel his hand snake around your waist and pull you close. This doesn’t feel like your typical PDA. It feels like he’s marking his territory, just like a dog. You don’t like it.
What to say and do: Express your feelings about this to him. Ask why he does it. It may be that he’s unaware, and once you point it out, he may be able to stop the behavior. If he can’t, you shouldn’t allow it to continue.
7. He Gets Angry When Things Don’t Go His Way
You cancel plans with him and he blows up…
…when you tell him you don’t want to go to the Bahamas this spring, he ghosts you for a week…
…when you start hanging out with a male buddy, he throws a tantrum.
You’ve never been with a man that loses his temper like your possessive boyfriend does, and you’re not quite sure what to do about it.
What to say and do: His anger is another red flag for a toxic relationship, and you should not put up with it. Talking may not work in this situation, so plan to end things, but get your ducks in a row first in case he gets violent or you otherwise feel unsafe.
What to Do with a Possessive Boyfriend
There’s a guy being a little insecure…and there’s full-on crazy possessive. If you think it’s the former, have a conversation to reassure him of your affection. Let him know that it’s important for you to have a life outside of him. Encourage him to do the same.
If it’s the latter, realize you will never change this man. You will spin in circles trying to prove your love for him, and it still won’t be enough. And you have to acknowledge the fact that there is the potential for things to go a little sideways.
He could aggressively stalk a male friend of yours…
…get violent if you go against his will…
…or go all Fatal Attraction on you.
I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. But if it’s even a remote possibility, it’s time to move on.
I know you want love. You absolutely 100% deserve it. But having a possessive boyfriend is not the path to a healthy and loving relationship. You don’t need to be in a situation where you are forced to continually prove your allegiance to a man.
The right man for you will let you earn his trust. He will not feel the need to snoop.
The right man will be secure in knowing you love him, and won’t claim you as a trophy in public.
The right man will be confident enough to be glad you have friends and interests outside of him, not make you feel bad for wanting to have a life of your own.
The right man is out there. You just need to get rid of the wrong one to make room for him in your life.
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