Good partners check in with each other, show concern, and often spend a lot of time together. This is part of being in a functional, loving relationship. But if your partner is possessive, you might notice that they do these things excessively, sometimes to the point where it starts to feel toxic.
During the initial stages of a relationship, we usually feel good when our partner acts protective and possessive about us. We feel a loving sense of belonging. We feel that our partner belongs to us and we belong to them. When this sense of belonging is balanced with independence and individuality, we are able to build a healthy, lasting relationship. However, when this possessiveness is rooted in fear, insecurity and jealousy it can quickly turn into a toxic relationship where you feel controlled, suffocated and even abused.
Do you only spend time with your partner? Does your lover check your phone daily? Are they jealous of your friends? If yes, then you just might have a possessive boyfriend or girlfriend with some serious boundary issues. Read along to look out for more warning signs of possessiveness.
- They text you nonstop.
If you always have 100 texts and missed calls from your partner, consider it a red flag. If your partner is constantly reaching out while you’re gone, it’s a sign that they can’t trust you. It also demonstrates their need to be the center of attention in your world even when you’re physically apart.
By constantly reaching out, they’re disrupting your ability to fully enjoy other aspects of your life. And that’s not OK.
- They control how you look.
Your partner will try to control or at least influence your physical appearance by telling you what kind of clothes you should and shouldn’t wear. They may forbid you from wearing certain types of clothes like tight shirts, short skirts or revealing outfits. They may also ask you to keep your hair a particular length and even tell how they prefer you do your make-up.
This certainly goes beyond healthy relationship boundaries as they encroach upon your personal space and affect your self-image.
- They get jealous very easily.
While some level of jealousy is bound to occur in a relationship, take note if your S.O. is positively consumed by it. A possessive partner might also get jealous about your past when they hear about who you dated or how many people you’ve hooked up with. This is particularly possessive/controlling because there is nothing you can do about it.
Moreover, if any presence around you from the opposite gender irks your partner, and they instantly pick up a fight, then you either talk it out or reconsider being with them. Typically, this type of jealousy is full-on toxic and might be a sign you should end the relationship.
- They try to protect you from “Bad” people.
A possessive partner who is jealous of friends and relatives may try to convince you that these people are bad news and that you should stay away from them. While it may seem like they are trying to protect you, in reality, they want you to ignore these people and turn all of your attention to themselves.
It may also be a way for them to isolate you from caring friends and family so that they gain full control of the relationship.
- They put restrictions on you.
Your partner tries to limit your behavior and actions by setting limits. They tell you when you can go out and how often, who you can meet and talk to, how long you can stay out etc. This is not a part of a healthy relationship and you should never accept such behavior from your partner.
Everyone deserves to live freely and choose who they want to talk to and where they want to go.
- They stand in the way of your goals.
Your partner is possessive if they try to inject doubt into any plans that don’t involve them or that might open doors, like traveling abroad for work, or starting a new hobby. Healthy partners want us to be our best, fullest selves — not limited versions of who we ‘could’ be.
Partners who are possessive tend to be limiting in their mindsets and behaviors. They often say or do things that give you the feeling that you’re on a short leash. They’re afraid if you grow or change you might want to leave — even if that was never on your mind.
- They violate your privacy.
Being possessive, your partner is unable to trust you and may think you might be cheating on them. Hence, they feel the need to spy on you and violate your privacy.
They may hack your personal devices like smartphones and laptops, they may follow you around, they may ask you to share your location constantly to check up on you. They might do this subtly or they may feel entitled and ask you to share your device passwords with them.