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Here’s the thing about controlling men: they unfortunately have some nice qualities too, and those are the qualities you are going to fall for. They are probably the ones that the man will bring out the most while he is still trying to trap you into his…um…I mean, impress you.

By that time, you’re already attached to him. So when he begins telling you that you need to tell all your male friends that you can’t seem them anymore, or that he will suspect you’re cheating unless you give him the password to your email and phone, it’s too hard to walk away. You probably even tell yourself it’s because he cares about me SO much. Reality check: it’s because he is majorly insecure and rather than facing that fact, he turns his insecurities outwards onto you.

He’s not paranoid; you led him to feel like you were cheating, right? And, he isn’t the jealous type; all of your male friends are actually trying to sleep with you and break up your relationship, right? WRONG…

There are a few subtle signs to look out for on the first date that are pretty accurate indicators of whether or not a man will be controlling. If you see them, run.

He insists on picking you up

He tells you you’re on the way anyways. That you will get lost if you try to find the place yourself. He even laughs at you when you say that you have a first-date policy of always meeting the guy there. Controlling men think that they know what’s best for a woman, inferring that they think it’s cute we have these little “policies” but that they’re actually useless.

He scrutinizes the restaurant

The chairs are uncomfortable. The hostess seems ditsy. Did that waiter even wash his hands at the busing station? You’ll see that his eyes move around the restaurant a lot. Controlling men have a keen eye for detail. They will use it later to tell you that you stared at another man for too long or that you flinched when you answered their question.

He gets mad…but not at you

You spill a drink on him, or you were wrong about what time the parking garage closes and now he can’t get his car. He will look at the ground, the wall, the sky—anywhere but at you—while he clenches his jaw and swears. You’ll tell yourself well…he didn’t swear at me…but trust me, a guy like this can only try to control his temper for so long. If you end up dating him, he will have no problem looking you in the eye and saying the same things he said to that wall.

He doesn’t spend much time with friends

And if he doesn’t, he will expect you not to either. Pay attention at dinner to see how many (if any) stories he tells about fun things he has done with his buddies recently. See how many of his stories in general involve friends, and if the friends are consistent (i.e., can he keep friends?) If this guy doesn’t have a social life, he will expect you to be his social life. And he won’t be happy about you having your own.

He orders for you…and you didn’t ask him to

I don’t care how many times he has been to the restaurant and how many items on the menu he has tried. I don’t even care if he went to culinary school. In this generation, men do not order for women anymore. Want to know what generation they did do that in? Pretty much everyone in which women had very little power. Tells you something about your date…

He starts touching you, even though you didn’t give him any signals to

Controlling men don’t read your body language, or even listen to you if you say something like “I don’t like to get physical on the first date…at all.” They want what they want. And, once again, they assume everyone else’s preferences and opinions other than their own are just silly, and that they know what’s best.

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