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Dating someone who's controlling isn't cute or fun. It's often annoying, frustrating, can lead to fights and a lot of tension, and sometimes even put your life in danger. Domestic abuse is all too real, and being fooled/manipulated into an abusive relationship can happen to not only women, but men as well.
Here are a few red flags to watch out for when starting a new relationship:
1) Won't let you go out with family/friends unless they're present.
Finding yourself having to hide plans with family and friends for fear of your partner's reaction? That's a red flag. You need to have a life outside of your relationship. In a healthy relationship, your partner will give you space to spend time with your loved ones, without having to be with you everywhere you go. Yes, it is important to include your partner in your family events so they can get to know your family. However, your controlling partner won't allow you to visit a family member or friend without them present. Especially if they don't like said family member or friend.
2) Often makes decisions for you.
Instead of giving you the option to say "no" or "I don't want that", they coerce you into something that may make you uncomfortable. They're smooth talkers, convincing you that you should listen to their opinion all the time, instead of allowing you to speak up. They do this because they want to control everything you do, and have everything in your life revolve around them.
3) Stalks you.
Forms of stalking include:
- Following you in public.
- Always showing up at your home uninvited, even if they know you have guests over.
- Tracking your social media accounts while trying to message you.
- Tracking your every move so they always seem to know where you are.
- Always messaging you even while you are trying to go about your normal day (work, school, etc).
Somehow, they always find a way to know everything about you, even things you haven't told them. They can do this through looking you up on social media, or even talking to people who know you. They have ways of keeping constant tabs on you.
4) Won't give you time/space to be apart from them.
Spending too much time together in the beginning of a relationship can be smothering. You've just met someone new and seem to get along well, but you find yourself always canceling plans with others to meet with your new partner, or using all your free time for said partner. You would like some time to yourself, while your partner insists you spend all your free time with them. Asking them for space doesn't mean you are thinking of leaving them, but a controlling partner will take this as a negative thing. They may even take it personally. If a partner can't handle being apart from you for a few days, it means they are insecure and don't trust you not to leave them.
5) Wants you to move in with them quickly.
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of moving in with your partner (maybe it's too soon or you're too young), then you probably shouldn't make such a leap. One reason they might want you to move in already is because they want to isolate you from family and friends to have total control over your life. Another reason could be is that they don't trust you, and you have a less likely chance of leaving them if you've made the jump to living together.
6) Doesn't respect you.
You'll be able to tell if your partner doesn't respect you when they never listen to what you want, or don't want. No matter how many times you explain that you either want something or don't want something, they refuse to pay attention to your needs.
The more time you invest in a person like this, the more they realize they can have control over you and your life. They have the power to control your emotions and keep you on a leash. You may not notice the subtle hints, at first, but hopefully this list will help you recognize a few things your partner may be doing.