Ways to Tell a Man is Too Controlling

September 10, 2011  |  
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Even the most independent and assertive woman occasionally wants to play the damsel in distress to a strong man who wants to sweep her off of her feet and save her day.  Nonetheless, there are times when that protection can turn perilous if you’re dating a man who looks at you less as his partner and more as his property.

The following red flags could mean your man is playing a game of puppet master:

1. Isolates you from family and friends.

The relationship turns serious and the first thing he wants to do is move you miles away from everything you know. If your man seems annoyed that you talk to your mom or best friend once a day, repeatedly insults them or doesn’t relay messages they have for you he could be trying to drive a wedge so that you can devote all of your time to him.  Friends and family are outside of the relationship and armed with the ability to see red flags that aren’t visible through the rose-colored love lenses you’re rocking.  Any good man understands that his woman can balance family ties AND her love life.

2. Routinely checks your phone and your social networks.

I personally think certain things should be left separate in a relationship like Facebook profiles and cell phones; it just leaves too much room for misinterpretation.  A casual glance at an inbox can quickly turn into an obsessive routine search to solidify unreasonable suspicion.   When a man feels the need to keep tabs on everything you do socially, it doesn’t mean he loves you so much he has to know about every detail of your life, it means he doesn’t trust you or himself.

3. Tells you how to dress and chooses your attire.

You may have gotten his attention in the club with your red freakum dress, but now he makes it a point to keep you in jeans and a hoodie.  When a man is secure with himself and his situation, he has no need to feel threatened by his woman’s beauty or by others who compliment it. Not letting his lady leave the house in a satin bonnet is understandable, but he shouldn’t be your personal stylist either.

4. Becomes irate when you forget to “check-in.

“Checking-In” can be a normal part of a relationship just to support each other through the day and let one another know you’re safe, but if he’s blowing up your phone and cussing out your voicemail because you forgot to call at 5:15 on the dot. Low-jacks are for stolen vehicles, not for love.

5. Has uncontrolled fits of rage when things don’t go according to plan.

He’s the guy who goes beyond flipping out on the driver that cut him off; he’s jumping out at red lights with a baseball bat.  Forget that party you’re planning because he doesn’t like surprises; they make him appear as if he doesn’t have complete control.  Lack of anger management skills is not Hot it’s scary, and it could possibly be a matter of time before he stops swinging at Ms. Daisy and starts swinging at you.

6. Calls or texts incessantly.

A healthy relationship is one of balance meaning that both partners have interests outside of the relationship.  As much as you think you may want it to, his whole world shouldn’t revolve around you.
Texting 90 times a day and calling twice as much makes a girl wonder: Where does he find the time? Making your inbox go nuts is not passion; it’s obsession.

7. You have to ask him for “permission”.

The only people you should be asking permission from are your parents and legal authorities.  As an adult you have the right to make your own decisions and conduct your life as you see fit.  Factoring in the concerns of your partner is one thing, but asking to be allowed to have a girls’ night is just something that a woman in a relationship shouldn’t have to do.

8. He doesn’t factor in your opinion.

Taking charge and planning a date can be romantic, but he should also be regularly inviting your opinion on where to go, how to spend money if you have common expenses, and general expectations in the relationship.

9. You’re not only his top priority, but his only priority.

I’ve always felt that men who don’t have a few close friends were a little sketchy.  As I mentioned before, if he doesn’t have any other interests or hobbies outside of the relationship he might be a bit questionable.  Investing all of his energy, time and emotion into you and you alone places an unrealistic level of responsibility on your part and could turn ugly if things ever go sour.

10. He’s unrealistically jealous.

Getting a little jealous when he sees you smile when a Trey Songz video comes on is one thing, but flipping out at the clerk in the convenience store because he compliments you is completely another.  Just because two people are in a relationship, doesn’t mean they don’t have eyes and it’s healthy to be attracted to other people as long as you don’t disrespect your partner in any way.  When two people are secure with them selves and trust one another, they don’t feel the need to run their relationship like a dictatorship.

Toya Sharee is a community health educator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee.


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