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7 Behaviors Which You Think Of As Sweet But Are Actually Controlling

Updated on September 16, 2016


When it comes to love, our society romanticizes intense, controlling relationships so much so that it can be hard to recognize them for what they actually are. We have a hoard of movies, literature, stories that keep telling us that real relationships are all about obsession, that real love is all-consuming. But while all that obsession may make for an absorbing romance novel plot or an intense movie but in real life, control, manipulation and obsession aren't signs of true love they are signs of unhealthy controlling partnership.

Toxic relationships can sneak up on almost anyone. And controlling behavior on the part of a partner knows no boundaries people of any age, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status can be in controlling relationships, playing either role.

Those who try to control other people are, simply put, neither nice nor respectful ! Controlling people are self-centered and immature. They are likely to put the brakes on your leading a fulfilling, independent life if you're in constant close proximity to them. In order to spare yourself getting too entangled with a controlling personality, or to awaken yourself to the fact that the controlling person is the one with the problem and not you, here are some tried and tested ways to help you recognize a controlling person.


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Surprising With A Life-Changing Development

Life changes are often shared and celebrated in healthy relationships. But if a partner didn't talk about it ahead of time to make sure the other person is on board with it, and check if he/she's is OK or NOT OK with it. This is one example of an action you should consider as controlling. The other persons feelings were not taken into account in a big life event. This can be a sign to taking other person for granted or weak.

Surprises can be appreciated, but something like a home improvement which other person don't know if they really want it, a pet they're not willing to take care of, or a vacation during a time when you don't know they're free could majorly backfire. A subtle cue like this points the partner into controller position. Be aware and do the needful instead of blindly accepting or pleasing that person.

Planning Dates Without Other's Input

If someone prefers not to do the work of planning a date and their partner volunteers to do that, it's nice. If someone wants to be surprised, that can also be fun. But this seemingly sweet gesture can border on controlling when you tell your partner where to be and when without even asking and confirming if they're up for it. There's is a very fine line between helping and controlling.

So watch out for this one, if your partner considers your thoughts and feelings too when making even small decisions like this. If the planning partner didn't got the chance to speak to you about their plan but asked you afterwards that you liked it or wanted it to be different that also is a good sign. Keep looking if there are subtle red flags popping up in their behavior. If they do, then its time to address the issue instead of brushing it off.


A healthy partner knows that they can't "protect" you from the messiness of life they can just support you and stand by your side. A healthy partner will offer every kind of support that they can conceive of, but knows that you have to deal with your own problems in the end. Where as in unhealthy relationship setting they will try to dictate all elements and even put blame on you for things that may be out of your control.

Violence in the name of "protecting" a woman is often romanticized. It is often desirable for a man to "crush the life out of other men that would do any harm to his lady," as if a woman is not capable of standing up for herself. The threat to fight other men who might show interest in a woman is also a display of toxic masculinity and of glorified male violence.

Keeping A Partner All To Yourself

It's cute when people, particularly men, try to prevent their partners from talking to other people or dressing in a sexy manner. In reality, this behavior shows a disrespectful attempt to control a partner and an unwillingness to distrust them. Restricting them from who they are or want to do in their own will.

It may start subtley, but this is often a first step for a controlling person. Maybe they complain about how often you talk to your friends/mother on the phone. Or they try to turn you against anyone that you're used to relying on for support besides them. Their goal is to deprive you of your strength so that you will be less likely or able to stand up against them whenever they want to win. Well this is quite a selfish and self serving behavior, creating a set up where they will always win. Not thinking about how you would feel and is it healthy for you.

Unsolicited Advice

Often people offer advice just because of the simple reason that they think they can help you, and they want to make your life easier. Perhaps there’s something they know of that they think would work perfectly with your situation. Some advice-givers would like to take the role of ‘more knowledgeable person’ in the relationship dynamic, and giving advice puts them in that position. They are bound to give you advice even if it's beneficial to you or not. Sometimes when people have seen something in you that they don’t like, they give unsolicited advice as a way to change it.

This type of advice has more to do with the advice-giver than with you, and it can sometimes feel like a subtle snub or a slap in the face, and leave you with an uneasy feeling, even if you don’t know why. A partner who gives unsolicited advice on another's lifestyle may think they're helping, but they're actually just undermining their partner's ability to make their own decisions.

Forced Physical Affection

Showing love is a natural part of the human experience, however there are some great reasons not to force physical affection !

Even if something seems like a gesture of affection, it's still sexual misconduct if somebody doesn't want it. One of the ways people tend to excuse sexual misconduct is to say that someone couldn't help but touch someone or kiss someone because they just like them so much. If somebody can't control their actions this can be a huge sign that something is wrong with them or they are pretending that they can't control. Dig deeper to find what's going on instead of brushing it aside or ignoring.

One should be able to recognize that they do not have to do what other person is forcing on them, just because he or she acts upset or helpless, or offers some sort of gift.


What is chivalry all about ? Ever thought what the person displaying chivalrous behavior actually intends. Chivalry most of the times is a way of saying, “okay, I have am the stronger maybe I should look out for people who are weak and incapable”. Means chivalry is often mistaken about defending women because women are weak. Which is not at all a good thing for healthy relationships.

While it is sweet for the other person to facilitate women in a particular situation, knowing that women are capable for everything but since they are present at the moment so they will take the hassle. And not that women need to be told or served as they themselves can't.

Chivalry becomes problematic when men believe that because they are such gentlemen, women owe them something, or when they insist on opening women's doors or covering their restaurant bills even when women decline their help. No matter how kind a gesture seems, it's not helpful unless the other person actually wants it.

Chivalrous acts are often gendered i.e., men are supposed to do them for women because women are supposedly incapable or weak. Which is a huge chauvinistic sign and can become suffocating to the other person.

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