While it’s normal for your partner to want to know about your day-to-day activities, it’s not normal for him to dictate what you wear, who you talk to, or where you go.
Controlling behavior is often overlooked in relationships and interpreted as care, but it can pose a serious threat to your safety and well-being if care is not taken.
The following are some red flags that your boyfriend is controlling:
10 Signs Your Boyfriend Is Controlling
1. He Isolates You from Your Friends and Family
If your boyfriend discourages you from spending time with your friends and family or even goes as far as to prevent you from doing so, this is a red flag of controlling behavior.
It may start with him suggesting that you skip your friend’s birthday party because he’s planned a special date night for the two of you, and before you know it, he’s demanding that you cut ties with everyone who doesn’t fit his criteria of a suitable friend or family member.
2. He Constantly Checks Up on You
Do you feel like you’re constantly being monitored by your boyfriend?
If he calls or texts you multiple times a day and demands to know where you are and who you’re with, this is a sign that he’s trying to control your actions and movement.
Constant checking up is a sign of insecurity and distrust, not love.
I’m not saying it’s wrong for your partner to keep in touch and ask after you, but if he does it excessively or without regard for your feelings, this is a red flag.
3. He Criticizes How You Spend Your Time
It’s normal for couples to have different interests and hobbies; however, it’s not ok when one person tries to control the other’s activities.
If your boyfriend constantly criticizes you for spending time doing things that he doesn’t approve of, or tries to dictate what kind of hobbies or activities you should participate in, this is a sign that he is trying to control you.
4. He Monitors Your Digital Activity
If your boyfriend constantly checks your phone or computer without your permission and demands to know what you’re doing online, this is a sign of controlling behavior.
It’s normal for couples to have conversations about their digital boundaries and agree on what kinds of activities they do and don’t feel comfortable with, but if your boyfriend constantly monitors your online activity without your consent, he’s definitely overstepping his boundaries.
5. He Monitors Your Finances
No one should try to control how you spend your money unless it’s for a mutual financial goal like saving for a house or car.
If your boyfriend insists on being in charge of all the finances and won’t let you spend any money without his permission, if he always questions your purchases, or if he dictates what you should and shouldn’t buy, you’ve got a controlling boyfriend in your life.
6. He Wants You to Dress a Certain Way
No, it’s not sweet or romantic when your partner demands that you wear specific outfits or dress in a certain way.
It’s a controlling behavior that can start to impact your self-esteem and confidence.
Of course, it’s okay for your partner to have an opinion on the way you dress, but it’s not ok if they expect you to completely change your style or dress in a certain way just to please them.
7. He Doesn’t Allow You to Have Different Opinions or Interests
Your boyfriend may start to insist that you share the same opinions and interests as him and may even try to force you to abandon things that you’re passionate about just because he doesn’t approve.
It’s not healthy to have an identical view with your boyfriend in every area of your life. It’s okay to have differences as long as both parties respect and appreciate each other.
As a matter of fact, having different perspectives makes dating fun and helps you to learn from each other.
8. He Tracks Your Vehicle or Follows You
If your boyfriend is constantly tracking your vehicle or following you around, this is a clear sign that he’s trying to control your movement and is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
Whether he does this through GPS tracking or old-fashioned trailing you in his own vehicle, it’s not okay for him to take away your freedom.
You are not a child whose movements need to be monitored; you are an adult with a right to live your life without someone constantly checking up on you.
Fine, you can and should update your partner on where you are and what you’re doing, but tracking or following your movements is not an acceptable way to find out.
9. He Acts Jealous or Possessive
When your boyfriend starts feeling jealous over nothing at all or accuses you of cheating without any evidence, it’s a sign that he’s starting to be controlling.
Jealousy and possessiveness are often signs of insecurity, and someone who is feeling insecure may start to feel the need to control you in order to protect themselves.
It’s normal to have a little bit of jealousy in relationships, but if your boyfriend starts to act jealous or possessive on a regular basis, something is wrong.
10. He Threatens You
If your boyfriend has ever threatened you in any way, that is a major red flag and a sign of controlling behavior.
This could be anything from threatening to break up with you if you don’t do what he wants to making physical threats like pinning you down or pushing you against a wall.
No matter how small or insignificant the threats seem, they are never acceptable, and you should take them seriously.
It’s essential to recognize controlling signs early on in the relationship to prevent things from escalating.
If you’ve noticed similar behaviors in your boyfriend, it’s crucial to communicate with him and let him know how you feel about his actions. Remember, your boyfriend doesn’t own you, and you’re entitled to autonomy in your own life.
If your boyfriend can’t accept that, it might be time to walk away. It is possible to have a healthy relationship without one partner controlling the other.