Always around. Like he was in my head. It never felt like I was alone. Always around, always questioning, always needing to know exactly what I was up to, who I was with, what I was doing. At first, it felt kind of nice, the way he needed to know all these minute details of my life. But when the 'wanting to know' turned into an obsession, into something that I 'had' to do and did not 'choose' to do, it didn't seem right anymore. The first sign came when I grimaced as his name flashed across my phone screen. That's not how you're supposed to feel when someone you're romantically involved with calls, you know? Then as the cloud of him being protective lifted to reveal that he was possessive, things had already gotten weird. He never just listened to what I had to say. He went on to tell me what had to be done, how it had to be done and then he demanded to know whether it had been done just as it had been asked to be done. It had started to feel like a life without a boyfriend was way better than a life with a possessive boyfriend.
Been there, done that? Or going through it even as you read this piece? The seeds of doubt have made way, I see. You need to know whether your boyfriend is being overly protective or is he just being plain old possessive? And then if there is the trait of being possessive (that is driving you mad), you'll want to know how to deal with someone like that.
Possessive Boyfriend Signs
A possessive boyfriend will leave several warning signals behind. It then becomes your prerogative to understand these and decide how you choose to deal with the same.
■ Demands to know what you're doing at all times, who you're with and everything about that person.
■ He might want to spend every waking moment with you. And when he's not around, he will want to know what's going on with you and what you're doing.
■ The relationship will move at a lightening speed and it will leave you feeling smothered because of all the demands and rules that are put in order by him.
■ Tries to control every small decision in your life. To the point of the kind of clothes you should wear or what you should opt for as your college major.
■ Gets extremely jealous of any person from the opposite sex with whom you interact with; wanting to know everything about that person and about his relationship status.
■ He tries to discourage you from making your own plans, or having a life of your own. He grudges if you have a social life that does not include him. Even if it is a night out with girlfriends.
■ He questions you about meeting your family and does not like it when you meet them. Which he makes clear by incessantly questioning you about it.
■ He 'punishes' you if you go against his wishes in more ways than one like giving you the silent treatment or throwing temper tantrums.
■ He claims that he has no other friends and that is why he cherishes spending all that time with you.
■ He might try to influence you by constantly reiterating how much he feels for you or loves you. He hopes that the show of emotions will get you to be with him at all times.
■ In its extreme form, the possessiveness will reach such a limit that he might turn into an abusive boyfriend as well, verbally and physically.
■ He will try to strip you of your self-confidence by constantly putting you down and negating everything that you do.
Dealing with a Possessive Boyfriend
It is extremely important to burst the bubble that you've created for yourself, convincing yourself that it is not a controlling boyfriend that you're dealing with, but someone who loves you incessantly and that's the reason why he wants to be with you at all times. It might not be that the boyfriend has started getting physically abusive, has started controlling what you wear, or that he grudges your meeting your parents even, but it will get there in time. Be assured of that. If you're getting signals of all not being right and you feeling smothered and stifled in that relationship and have thus started questioning what is going on, it is time to wake up and smell the coffee.
The deal is that, being possessive does not in any way equate to being in love. A person who loves you, wants what's best for you, he wants you to grow and attain success. He does not put you down and control your life. Controlling someone's life is born out of low self-esteem and insecurity. It means that the person is not secure enough in his own way. He is convinced of the fact that you might abandon him if he does not exert control, that someone will take you away and that he will be left alone. This stems from a deep-rooted need of assurance. While the reasons for why a person can become possessive could be many, the crux is that exhibiting possessiveness is never a healthy trait in a relationship. What needs to be done then and how does one go about dealing with the same.
Here comes the tricky part. Tricky because every relationship will be different, with every possessive person exhibiting different traits. The most logical thing to do in this direction is to talk to them and explain to them what is going on.
One, you need to tell him that you are finding his behavior very smothering and stifling and that you need your space. Two, you have to tell him that just because you have other plans, it does not in any way mean that you do not want to be with him or do not like/love him. Three, check for your behavior and whether it exhibits any signs that are adding to his insecurities. Like you hanging out with a male colleague for long periods of time or mentioning his name in conversation pretty often. If it's something as harmless as that which can be easily avoided, then it might just work out well enough. Four, if he's jealous of a colleague, you could introduce them to clear his doubts of the fact that the colleague is not someone to be threatened of. Five, you can encourage him to make plans with his friends so that he can see how even after spending time with others, your love for each other and the commitment towards each other does not falter.
While all these ways of dealing with a possessive boyfriend might seem easy when you read them, executing them in reality is not easy at all. The 'talking' and 'explaining' might not really suffice to bring about the desired impression and in that way, it might not always be the most feasible solution. If it works though, you'll be a happier person. If not, then it has to be known that what you're dealing with is a chronic case and that the normal methods might not always work. What's more, the constricting ways can turn to abuse with time.
If the talking and explaining does not work and you feel more stifled than free in this relationship, then breaking away from such a guy is the right thing to do. Living under the constant fear and apprehension of having to be answerable and report every single thing that you do or say to someone is in no way how a healthy relationship should etch out. You deserve to be happy in a relationship, not fearful and answerable. Anything but, is just not right.