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If he can convince you to feel guilty for your actions (even when you’ve done nothing wrong), then he knows you’ll be more willing to do what he says." Maybe your partner pouts every time you go out with your friends, until you start dodging their dinner invitations just to spare yourself the stress.Maybe your partner makes negative comments about your friends until you start to believe that the criticisms are true.And loving someone does generally include feelings of protectiveness.We typically want to bend over backwards to keep the people we love from suffering in any way.In most cases, it's all about control and taking away your independence." Being controlled or belittled by a partner can do lasting damage to our self-esteem, make us fearful about entering future relationships, and leave us with a wide variety of other emotional wounds that we shouldn't have to deal with.So while you may be more familiar with the most common signs of an abusive relationship, like a partner who forces you to dress in a certain way or forbids you from interacting with family or friends, there are other signs that your relationship is controlling, manipulative, or unhealthily obsessive.But if your partner actively encourages you to break away from your friends, that's unhealthy.
A partner who "protects" you by taking control of your messy finances, chasing away a friend you've been fighting with, or keeping close tabs on where you are and what you're doing at all times isn't looking out for you — they're trying to make you dependent on them.Maybe your social life revolves around a hobby, but your new partner thinks your hobby is "dumb" and makes fun of you for it until you give it up.This behavior can take many different forms, but it always has the same goal: straining or ending your relationships with the other people you're close to, until you feel that your partner is the only person you have in the world.And whether you're talking about your job, your friends, or your wardrobe, the idea that your partner always knows better than you do is dangerous.Their comments are not really about improving your life — they're about undermining your ability to make decisions and take action on your own.