Love, hate, control. If your partner is controlling, you must have been asking yourself if this is really how love is. Let’s find out!

You can’t go anywhere without their permission. Not only this, but they have full control of your social media, the places you go, who you hang out with, and even your time of eating and sleeping. These are some signs that your partner is controlling you, but there’s more! How do you know that your partner is a control freak?

Isolating– controlling people try to isolate you from the people you love. That’s how they gain full control! Without your friends, family, and a healthy support system, it may be easy to succumb to their control. First, they would tell you to stop hanging out too much with your friends and family. Then it morphs into preventing you from seeing them at all.

Manipulating– when people try to control you, they have this image created in their heads of how you should act, dress, or where you spend your free time. There is no you, there is just this personality they’ve concocted who acts as they please and does what they want. Controlling people would try to manipulate these things and would hinder you from being comfortable with yourself, especially because they always have the “WRONG” card ready to raise whenever you do anything at all. It gets hard and you’ll start to feel like you’re doing nothing right in their eyes. They’ll also manipulate you into behaving in favor of what they see as “correct”, and threaten you if you try to act otherwise.

Guilt-tripping– controlling people would induce guilt and make you feel like you’re always doing something wrong even when you’re not. It can be very easy for them to turn tables in an argument. You may feel like you’re at fault most of the time even though you did not do anything wrong. These people would also use that feeling of guilt to manipulate you into doing things in their favor.

Scorekeeping– controlling people will keep tabs on every single small effort they did for you. Every penny they spent or ever gave to you goes on record, and they’d pull this card whenever there’s an argument. They would help you, but they would mention it endlessly afterward. You’ll start to feel like you’ll forever be indebted to them for those things, and this is exactly what they want. They want you to think that they are doing more for you than you are for them.

Disregarding– controlling people would act and speak with complete disregard of how you would feel. You don’t matter as much as them. And their selves will always have to go first. It’s almost like exhibiting a narcissistic behavior. Self-love is cool (we encourage it) but how about a partner that doesn’t care at all but tries to control your every when and where?

That’s not love.

Right off the bat, we can confidently tell you that if your partner is controlling you, he/she does not love you. Wanna know why? Well, we’ve listed some reasons. We hope this would be enough and that it speaks to you.

You are your partner’s equal.

Sure, your partner may just be a little worried about something bad happening to you. Maybe that’s why he wants to decide for you, right? Wrong! If it’s true love and you’re in a relationship, both of you should see your partner as an equal. Your partner should acknowledge that you have to live your life, and trust you enough to make your own decisions. If your partner constantly controls you, take it as a sign that he/she sees you as someone inferior to him/her. Because if they see you as an equal, the should know that you have the adequacy to decide for yourself. You know what is right and what is wrong. And even if you do make mistakes, it is still your life. Your partner shouldn’t live your life for you.

Partnership vs. Ownership

Poet Rabindranath Tagore once said, “Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.” When you entered the relationship, you signed up for a partnership, not ownership. You’re not just a thing that your partner purchased for an amount to call his/hers, that he/she has complete autonomy on the things you’ll do and how you should turn out. When it comes to a relationship, ownership is not always the right way to go. You have to always remember that you belong to yourself and not any man, and you’re not anyone’s robot. It’s free to say no to things you’re not comfortable with, and it’s certainly okay to assert yourself.

You are your own person.

People in a relationship still exists as two different individuals. This means that if you are in a relationship, you should be able to recognize yourself apart from the relationship. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the waves of love, it’s hard to tell that you’re already drowning, suffocating. Both you and your partner have lives outside of the relationship. And we should all remember that.

So… is that love? The answer is a big, fat NO. If your partner is controlling you, that’s not love. Being the victim of a controlling relationship affects your self-image and confidence in a bad way. It can get to the extent where you can’t distinguish yourself from the person your partner is trying to turn you into. And it shouldn’t be like that, because relationships should always be a two-way street. Controlling relationships defy the very core values of respect and trust. Your partner should respect you enough to recognize that you are a different person and trust you enough to make your own decisions.

Oftentimes, we already see the red flags but we choose to ignore them out of love. “But I love him/her,” is a strong excuse, but it’s also very dangerous. It’s okay to love someone as long as you don’t compromise your own identity, your dreams, and your safety by being with them. Trust me, you can find better partners, but what’s hard to find is yourself when you’ve lost it. So stop defending your partner’s actions if you already know they’re controlling. Stop justifying them. It will only pull you in deeper until you find yourself in a place where you can’t get out. Not a threat, just a warning.

Have you had an experience with being controlled in a relationship? Or have you once been a controlling person yourself? Share us your thoughts on the comments down below! Or hit us up on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh.