It feels good when your boyfriend acts all protective and clingy, doesn’t it? It’s like you’re the most special girl in the world that he wants to keep all to himself.
And when he shows a bit of jealousy when another guy talks to you? HOT!
In this article, I’ll help you find out whether your boyfriend really thinks he owns you and what to do if he does.
1) He violates your privacy
No matter how he may spin it, your boyfriend is not entitled to what’s just yours. We all have a right to personal privacy and it’s not unloving or selfish if we protect this right.
He might ask to read your texts or log in to your social media accounts.
He’s probably going to say — or has already said — something like “Don’t you trust me?” or “Do this to show me you trust me” or “Be transparent with me” to guilt you into doing what he wants.
He might even bring up a sob story involving a cheating ex-girlfriend to make you feel sorry for him so you’ll give him your info.
Refuse and be firm.
He should trust you and wanting full access to your phone is no way of showing trust.
By having you share with him your own private information — things he is not entitled to — he has not only shown that he does not trust you, but also that he is not worthy of trust in the first place. No, it’s he who needs to earn your trust.
And pay attention to what he’s doing— he might not be nice enough to respect your response, or even ask you for it in the first place!
If you catch him snooping around your phone or logging into your email account, change your password.
Trust me, this is for your own safety.
There have been plenty of people who shared their passwords with their boyfriends because they want to show off their ‘trust’ and guess what?
They ended up regretting it when they found their social media accounts hijacked, their game characters deleted, and their reputations damaged because their boyfriends decided to have a fit.
You don’t want to end up like those people simply because you wanted to show that you “trust” your boyfriend.
2) He keeps messaging you when you’re out
It’s normal for your guy to worry about you when you’re out.
“Are you safe?”
“Are you alright?”
“I miss you.”
All just sweet and loving. It’s cute when he checks up on you every now and then. It’s certainly better than him not showing any concern at all!
I’m sure some of us here would feel quite sad if we’re always away and our bae never bothers to send even a single kiss emoji.
But if he constantly “checks up” on you and gets mad if you fail to respond immediately, then you might want to take a step back and think hard because that is so not cute.
You might be in a relationship with your guy, but that doesn’t mean he’s entitled to constant 24/7 updates on where you are.
Asking for your location and who you’re with over and over is a sign that he doesn’t trust you, and he wants you to keep proving to him that you’re trustworthy.
He probably will never be satisfied even if you send him hourly updates.
Relationships are built on trust. But if he can’t even trust you if you’re out of his sight, then he’s probably not ready for a relationship.
3) For some reason, he’s always right around the corner
You’d get out of work and he’s somehow there in the corner waiting for you.
You’d take a walk in the park to meet up with some old friends and, what a coincidence, your boyfriend happens to be walking his dog there too.
Got a new contact on Twitter?
Suddenly he’s asking you questions about who they are.
New friend on Facebook?
He’s there all of a sudden reacting to their posts.
Sure, he might just be there by coincidence, but if it happens often enough, there’s a very real chance that he is stalking you. If you start getting an uneasy feeling about it, trust your gut and confront him.
You should never feel like you can’t have an inch of your life without him.
Being a couple simply means you’re together. It doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have parts of your life free from the other’s presence.
4) He tries to control how you look
No, I don’t mean him telling you not to wear a bikini to a wedding because that’s reasonable and probably 99.9% him wanting to save you from embarrassment.
I’m talking about him wanting you to stop wearing makeup or him getting angry when you wear something sexy and would want you to dress down.
“You look slutty in that outfit” even if it’s just a sundress.
“You look like a meth head with that lipstick” even if you and everyone else knows you totally look pretty wearing that shade.
When he says things like these, he wants to make sure no other guys notice you.
He can advise you on fashion, sure, but try to think whether his advice is reasonable or not— or if it’s advice in the first place, and not a demand.
You can tell it’s just his controlling behaviour because his MOOD would be affected when you wear something pretty. Pay attention when that happens.
5) He has issues with your friends
Your boyfriend doesn’t have to like all your friends the same way you don’t like some of his friends.
But if your boyfriend seems to have problems with every single one of your friends, or if he sulks or gets angry if you’re out with your friends instead of him, then you have a problem, sister.
You shouldn’t have to choose between your friends and your boyfriend.
Even if he has issues with some or even all of them, he should respect the fact that you —and not him-—get to choose who your friends are.
We will give him a pass if your friends are drug addicts and just pure bad influence, but if they’re just cool people with some flaws, he should just back off.
Be careful if he always has something bad to say about your friends. This may be a sign that he’s trying to cut you off from your social circle so that you’ll have nobody to turn to but him alone.
Pathetic. That’s what it is.
6) He gets incredibly paranoid or angry if he sees you talking with another guy
Doesn’t matter who it is. It could be your classmate from high school, a coworker, the pizza delivery guy, or the old man who lives down the street.
You talk to another guy and he asks why you were talking to them.
Or worse, he might sulk or go ballistic.
Please keep in mind that you’re not doing anything wrong. If he does this, it’s all on him and his insecurities— things that he alone can and should deal with.
It’s natural to feel jealous of any potential romantic rivals in a relationship, and it’s alright to be a bit jealous as long as that jealousy’s being dealt with in a healthy manner.
Your man sulking about it isn’t a healthy way to deal with jealousy and neither is he demanding that you tell him why you’re talking to another guy.
And him going ballistic about it?
He’s basically telling you that he’s immature and he isn’t ready to have a relationship.
Let’s be honest. You can’t live your life having to avoid talking to every single man that isn’t your boyfriend in fear that he’s going to blow up in your face.
This is a skill everyone should possess while in a relationship.
If he’s paranoid because he saw his mother cheat on his father or his ex got together with his best friends, it’s not your problem. He has to go to therapy or else he’s not going to be a good partner to you or to anyone.
7) He wants all your time to himself
We all want to spend some time with people we love. We want to be there with them.
A possessive partner, however, will take this to the extreme. He will want to be with you 24/7 and be upset if you’re too busy to be there with them.
Let’s say you had a weekend dinner planned, but all of a sudden you heard that your friend decided to throw together a beach outing that same weekend.
You don’t have the opportunity to always meet them so you tell him you want to postpone your dinner to another time because, you know, you can always have dinner whenever you want.
He gets sparkling mad!
He’d probably have a few choice words to say about your friend and, if you still insist, he’d probably invite himself.
If your boyfriend does something like this, tell him clearly that this is not the kind of relationship that you want. If he does it five or ten more times, call it quits. It’s not cute, it’s crazy.
8) He always wants to have a say in your decisions
He wants to be involved with every single decision you make. To give his “input” whenever you decide something
And sometimes, he’d intimidate you that nothing you say can change his mind.
That beach trip to Florida?
Oh no, no, no— too many gators.
Your business idea?
Nah, that’ll keep you too busy and stressed!
Your partner should trust you to make important life decisions without him. Sure, his input might be helpful, but it’s not like you can’t live on your own.
Please realize that although there are things that you should decide on together— buying a house, etc— he has no right to demand that you follow whatever he says in every aspect of your life.
9) He doesn’t want to hear no
One of the bigger signs of a dysfunctional relationship is your man being unable to accept hearing NO because how dare you tell him no.
Property doesn’t talk back!
This can be as obvious as him getting angry or upset at you for telling him no— in which case you might want to have somewhere safe to run away to.
It might also be as subtle as him repeatedly trying to make you change your mind and make it painful for you to keep going against his wishes. This is much harder to get away from.
After you say no, he might give you a cold shoulder for days. Or he might go out to “get some air” and come back the next day…you know, classic manipulative behavior like that.
If you’re scared of telling your boyfriend ‘no’ for whatever reason, even if it’s just a gut feeling, then you might want to figure out why.
10) He gets really defensive
He immediately gets defensive every time you try to talk to him about the things he’s doing that is making you uncomfortable.
He’d be unapologetic about it and even offer excuses and justifications for his behavior— maybe even a sob story or two to make you feel bad for even daring to talk to him about it. He’ll recall your shortcomings, he’ll blame it on his depression or awful childhood.
He won’t think he’s wrong at all and might even convince you that this is how relationships work.
At its worst, he might even threaten suicide and say it is all for love.
If he does this, please keep in mind that even if he decides to go through with his threat, it’s not your fault but his and his alone.
Imagine what your life will be like if you have a mortgage and kids. Would you like to be with this manipulative guy? Of course not. So deal with it by nipping it in the bud…or leave.
What to do if your boyfriend thinks he owns you?
If reading through the list above makes you go “Uh yeah, this is my boyfriend to a T”, you better do something about your relationship before it’s too late.
Yes, your relationship can still be saved and yes, you can still save yourself from a controlling boyfriend.
Here are some of the things you should do if you feel that your boyfriend is controlling you:
1) Re-establish your self-confidence and self-respect
Depending on how long you have been together with your boyfriend, it’s possible that he has worn down your self-image and planted doubts in your head about yourself. That’s one of the first things possessive boyfriends do because it makes us dependent on them.
Re-establishing your self-confidence and self-respect is the first step to fixing your relationship. Go to therapy, talk to people who can help you (like your mom), and read self-help books.
Make sure you know that you are a person deserving of trust and respect.
2) Reassess your relationship
For a moment, try to think outside any feelings of love you may have for your boyfriend and focus on the big picture.
Do you feel like you’re in danger?
Is his possessiveness so bad that you’re afraid that he might hurt or even kill you?
Does the relationship leave you genuinely feeling happy, or are you clinging to it simply because you feel like you have no choice?
Do you still want to save the relationship?
You’re a person in your own right and you should not be treated as mere property or be given less than what you deserve.
Don’t put your boyfriend’s feelings above your own— at least, not all the time.
3) Try fixing your relationship
If you don’t feel like you’re in that much danger and you feel like your relationship is still worth it, then make the necessary changes.
Talk over the issues with your partner. Make sure it’s a time when neither of you is busy so that you can talk over it without interruptions.
Be firm, be direct. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Here are some tips on how you should talk to him so you can work on this together.
- Expect retaliation. Even with mild possessiveness, you must expect him to be angry and have all sorts of excuses to throw at you. He’d be upset, angry, and dismissive.
- Stay calm. Make sure you make yourself clear and don’t come off as just whiny. The moment you lose your temper or react with your emotions by, say, crying, shouting, or yelling, the negotiation is lost.
- Be firm. He’ll want to throw you off. He’ll gaslight you until you start doubting your feelings. He will enumerate ways that he’s not possessive and make you think you’re paranoid. Stand your ground.
- Be crystal clear. Make it clear what you want to change in the relationship. If you don’t want them talking ill of your family all the time or stalking you on social media, then say it so in no uncertain terms. Don’t give him room to say “but technically, you said…” Be very crystal clear so that you can point out to him next time he commits the same things.
If he wants to change, help him. Be very patient. Possessiveness and jealousy can’t be cured overnight. Maybe look for a qualified therapist or relationship counselor because some problems are too big for you to handle without professional help.
4) Don’t be afraid to end the relationship
Sure, fixing your relationship sounds good and all, but you know when it’s doing you more harm than good.
Don’t be afraid to end your relationship.
This is especially the case if you feel like you’re in danger. If you feel like your boyfriend might hurt you, grind your self-esteem into dust, or — god forbid— kill you, then you will want to leave as fast as you can.
But even if you don’t feel like he’s dangerous to you, think about whether or not it’s worth it for you to stay.
If he doesn’t change, can you be happy living with him treating you like this? Is he good for your future children? What is your limit?
It’s not your obligation to fix him up, and it’s not fair for you to wreck your mental health simply to make him happy.
And hey, maybe you leaving him will actually help him grow!
As for you, you deserve to be with the right person and your boyfriend right now? Totally not the guy. And unless you let him go you’re not going to find your true love.
5) Tie up loose ends
If you decide to break up with him, be careful.
While not every boyfriend is going to go off the rails if you break up with him, it doesn’t help to be prepared, especially if he’s this kind of guy.
Does he have any intimate recordings of you two? Try to see if there’s something you can do about that. If not, be ready to act if he decides to upload them online.
It might sound bizarre but revenge porn is so common these days.
If he’s been acting violently or has made threats at you or your family, be ready to have 911 and helplines on call in case he decides to take you back in by force or carry through with his threats.
If he turns out to not do any of these, then you’ll have lost nothing.
If he does? You might have no other choice. You have to get out!
Look, your life is your life.
Don’t let your possessive boyfriend slowly turn you into a pet.
Nope, not even if he’s the sweetest guy in the world, not even if he’s rich and famous. Not even if he’s good to you with everything else but this.
Life is short to stay with these troubles, and life is long enough that you can still find a good match.
You deserve a love that’s free.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.