Top 10 Signs Of A Controlling Boyfriend
Whether this occurs in a relationship that you’re having currently or a past relationship, it’s important to recognize the signs of a controlling boyfriend early on.
This can help you decide how much time you want to invest in the relationship and whether or not you should stick around for it to get worse.
If you do ever recognize these signs in yourself, hopefully, this article will help get your act together and move on from their destructive mindset.
No matter who you are, nobody deserves to be controlled by a partner.
And yet, as women, we often find ourselves in these relationships without even realizing it’s happening.
So I’ve put together a list of early signs of a controlling boyfriend that might help you recognize if your relationship is unhealthy.
Now before you start: no, not all men who do these things are controlling and abusive.
And yes, some women can be abusive and controlling too.
But the patterns and traits I’m going to share are those that have been reported over and again by women who have experienced abuse and control from a male partner.
So with that said, here are the top 10 early signs of a controlling boyfriend:
1. He Wants To Know Your Location At All Times
It’s not uncommon to feel like you want to know your partner’s location and what they’re doing at all times.
After all, you have a huge part of your life invested in them — wouldn’t it be nice to know that they are safe and where they are?
However, there are some big problems with this thought pattern.
For one thing, if someone is tracking you against your will, that could be a sign of emotional abuse or controlling behaviour.
For another thing, someone who is constantly trying to track your location may do something dangerous with that information — whether it’s come to the restaurant where you’re on a date or use GPS-tracking data as evidence for a restraining order.
The bottom line is: You deserve to live your life without being tracked by someone else.
Feeling safe in a relationship means that privacy isn’t an issue; your partner should respect your boundaries and give you the space you need to do things without them around.
If this sounds familiar, it is one of the major Signs Of A Controlling Boyfriend and it might be time for an honest conversation about how much space each of you needs from the other in order to feel fulfilled and loved—and be able to breathe easily away from one another may just be what ends up saving the relationship in the long run!
2. He Is Always Checking On You
He calls you often, even when you’re at home.
There are times when a guy is just being sweet and considerate, but if he always wants to know where you are and what you’re doing, that’s a red flag for control.
Sure, it’s great to have someone who cares about your safety and well-being, but it doesn’t mean that he has the right to constantly check up on you.
If he can’t do anything without asking your permission first or if he insists on knowing where you are every second of the day and night—even when you’re in the shower—that’s a Signs Of A Controlling Boyfriend.
He texts you constantly, even when you’re at work.
The same goes for text messages: it’s one thing to send an occasional good morning and good night message, but if his phone is constantly pinging with a:
“where r u?” or
“who r u with?” text while you’re at work or out with friends (and there’s no reason he should be texting other than jealousy), that’s another sign of a controlling boyfriend.
3. He Has Changed Since The Beginning
One of the signs of a controlling boyfriend that is a constant thing that appears in them in common: they all begin their relationships in the same way.
They are attentive, charming and romantic.
They send you flowers, call you several times a day and take you to dinner on a regular basis.
They make themselves indispensable to you, showering you with so much attention that after a while, you couldn’t imagine life without them.
And then it happens: they change.
Suddenly, the charming phone calls turn into angry accusations and demands for explanations.
You find yourself being hounded about where you were and who you were with every time you leave the house to do something without him.
It’s not enough for you to be talking to another man or running an errand by yourself; he has to know everything that goes on in your life so he can control it.
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to take action.
4. He Doesn’t Like You Hanging Out With Anyone
One of the most common early signs of a controlling boyfriend is that he will try to keep you from spending time with your friends or family.
You might feel bad that he gets so upset whenever you want to spend time with other people, but this could be a sign that your boyfriend is feeling threatened by them.
If your boyfriend consistently pressures you to cancel plans with friends and family members, it’s likely that he’s trying to isolate you from them.
Some guys might just not understand why you want to hang out with other people instead of them, but if someone truly loves and cares about you, they will support those relationships rather than trying to tear them down.
Beware of the boyfriend who tries to cut you off from your friends, especially if he’s trying to do it right at the start of the relationship.
This can be a sign that he wants to isolate you and control you all by himself.
If he has trouble sharing you with other people, this can be a big red flag that he’s going to have trouble sharing you in general.
He may even try to use the argument that since you’re in a relationship now, all your time is his, and there’s no time for friends anymore.
If this is the early stages of your relationship, pay attention — this type of boyfriend can quickly turn into an abusive one.
5. He’s Either Really Jealous Or Doesn’t Care
Jealousy can be a major indicator of an unhealthy relationship.
When it gets to the point where you feel your partner is overstepping his or her boundaries and controlling your choices, then it’s time to head for the hills.
One of the signs of a controlling boyfriend is that he will always have something up his sleeve.
He’ll always use manipulation tactics to get what he wants, as well as make you believe they’re ‘doing it all out of love.’
At first, he might not really show any signs of jealousy.
But once he starts to trust you more, that’s when the real problem begins.
You could be casually chatting with another guy and he’ll immediately introduce himself as your boyfriend (you probably weren’t even flirting).
He may even go off on how you were checking him out, which is obviously not true.
6. He’s Constantly Flirting With Others
Don’t fool yourself.
He’s not treating you as his girlfriend, so why should you treat him like your boyfriend?
This is a major red flag and a sign that he may not respect the relationship.
He doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong.
This is one of the major warning signs of a controlling boyfriend who will only get worse and worse.
His behaviour indicates that he doesn’t have respect for you or the relationship.
He thinks it will make you jealous, but it’s all part of the game he plays to control you and make sure he always has your attention.
The bottom line is that he has no regard for your feelings and no regard for your relationship because this guy is playing games with you!
7. He Thinks You’re Too Good For Him
In a relationship, it’s not uncommon for one person to feel like they are at the bottom of the totem pole.
You might even feel that you’ve lucked out with finding such a wonderful boyfriend.
However, if you suspect that your boyfriend is insecure about the relationship, then there are early signs of a controlling boyfriend you should look out for.
One thing that a controlling person does is make comments about their partner being too good for them.
Even if you don’t think this is true, your partner may feel this way in order to manipulate you into staying with them.
When he says things like “you’re too good for me,” take it as a sign that he may be trying to control the relationship and what happens next in it.
Every woman wants to feel that she’s adored and appreciated.
But if your boyfriend constantly tells you that he feels like he doesn’t deserve you, or that you’re way out of his league, it could be a bad sign.
“If he makes comments about being worthy of you or why you’d choose him, then this is a sign he has low self-esteem,” says Dr Paulette Sherman, psychologist and author of Dating from the Inside Out. “It may also show insecurity or a neediness.”
You might chalk it up to nerves at first, but the more it happens, the more it could indicate that he’s not comfortable in his own skin — and it may stem from deep-rooted issues.
“He might be insecure about what he has to offer as a partner,” Sherman says.
“For example, maybe he has less education than you do, or isn’t as successful in his career.”
Or perhaps he doesn’t feel like he can meet your needs.
Whatever the reason is for this behaviour, remember that feeling good about yourself is a process that comes from within.
No amount of love from someone else can make us feel better about ourselves in the long run — only we can do that for ourselves.
8. He Controls Who You See And When
He Controls Who You See And When.
Controlling guys want to tell their girlfriends who to see and when says professional counsellor Katherine Schafler.
“They will often say things like ‘I don’t want you hanging out with that *b*tch… she’s a bad influence on you” or they’ll ask questions to try and sound less creepy, such as:
‘What’s the deal with you and this guy?’ or
‘Why do you need to spend so much time with your brother?'”
And if you don’t listen, there are consequences. “The controlling boyfriend might tell his girlfriend that she has a choice: either her friends or him,” Schafler explains.
Not only does he want to control who she sees, but he wants to control when she sees them too.
She can’t have plans without clearing it with him first and if any of her plans interfere with his—even if those plans were made before they started dating—she has no choice but to cancel because he’s her priority now.
9. He Wants To Be Involved In Everything You Do Outside Of The Relationship And Sometimes Inside Of It Too
Your boyfriend is beginning to show signs of jealousy and insecurity—and it’s not just because he wonders if you’re happy.
This is one of the Signs Of A Controlling Boyfriend.
He wants to be the one making sure you are and will do whatever it takes to ensure that no one interferes with his role in your life—even you.
It’ll start small at first.
He may ask who you’re texting or why you spent so much time talking on the phone.
Or maybe he’ll grill you about a specific friend’s “intentions” when they come by unexpectedly while he’s hanging out at your place.
But then the questioning will grow more frequent, and more detailed until everything revolving around *your* life becomes something *he* is invested in.
The last thing a controlling guy wants is for his partner to have a life of her own—because if she does, she might not need him as much as he needs her.
10. He Always Has To Be Right
Obviously, this is a trait that you may find in people who are not controlling.
However, if your boyfriend always feels the need to be right and doesn’t like it when he’s wrong or doesn’t like it when you’re right, then he could be controlling.
A lot of the time, he won’t even ask you questions about yourself because he thinks that his perspective is superior to yours and that there will only ever be one way to do something or look at something.
This can come across as being rude or disconnected from you or your feelings and can become infuriating for you.
If your boyfriend isn’t open to talking about serious issues or changing his mind about things based on facts rather than emotions, then there’s a good chance that he is using “my way or the highway” tactics on you in other areas of your relationship.
Once again, this could show controlling behaviour.
Not every relationship starts like this, but most behavioural problems start to show in the beginning. If you see these signs, even if they’re small, pay attention to them and act on them.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to face the music.
If you think your boyfriend is exhibiting at least a few of these signs, heed this warning: he may be more controlling than you realize.
If you aren’t completely sure (or if he doesn’t exhibit all of these signs), there’s no need to worry just yet.
But in general, the more signs he displays, the more control he exerts over you.
Remember that relationships should be equal and give you a sense of freedom and choice.
When they don’t, problems are guaranteed to ensue.