The 11 Early Signs of a Controlling Man: How to Spot Him Before It’s Too Late

a controlling man

You’re in a relationship with a man, and things are going great. He’s attentive and loving, and you can’t imagine your life without him. But then, little by little, you notice some red flags. He becomes possessive of your time, critical of your friends, and wants to know where you are. You may brush these off as harmless quirks or simply the result of him being protective of you. But the truth is, these early signs he wants to own you could indicate a much more severe issue: control.

Do you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells around your partner? Do you feel like you can’t do anything right in their eyes? If so, you may be dating a controlling man. Controlling men is dangerous because it slowly erodes your self-esteem and makes you believe that you can’t live without them. In this article, we will discuss the early signs of a controlling man so that you can spot him before it’s too late.

The 11 Early Signs of a Controlling Man

There are several indicative early signs of a possessive man. For example, suppose you’re in a relationship with a man and notice any of the following red flags. In that case, it’s essential to take them seriously and address them immediately.

The Guy Defines Your Social Circle

Probably you have close people in your life, like friends or family, that you trust and confide in. But if the man you’re dating is always trying to come between you and them, it’s a red flag. A controlling man will want you all to himself. He will try to isolate you from anyone else who might have a positive influence on your life.

If he doesn’t want you to spend time with your friends or family, it’s one of the signs he thinks he owns you. More warning situations come when he meets your friends and starts putting them down or is rude to them. That’s a definite sign that he’s trying to control you by turning your own people against you.

Read Also: 5 Signs He Doesn’t Want a Relationship With You – and Probable Reasons Why

You Spend Your Free Time Exceptionally With Him

woman spend her free time with her man

If you don’t want to spend every waking moment with your partner, something is wrong. A controlling man will want to know where you are at all times and who you are with. If you’re not available when he wants to see you, he’ll get upset. When a guy says you belong to him, he may even accuse you of cheating or being unfaithful. Your time is no longer your own once you’re in a relationship with a control freak.

Habitual lateness is another sign that your partner is trying to control the situation. He’s testing to see how much leeway he has in the relationship. If he’s consistently late for dates or other plans, it’s because he doesn’t respect your time or schedule. A controlling man will also try to micromanage your time together. He’ll want to know what you’re doing every minute of the day.

He Makes You Feel Unconfident

You can indeed say: ”My boyfriend is possessive” if he tries to do everything to make you feel unconfident. He undermines your intelligence, belittles your achievements, and puts you down in front of others. This is done to control how others see you and how you see yourself.

He will also try to control what you wear, how much make-up you wear, or whether or not you wear any at all. He will want you to believe that you are not good enough and that you need him to be happy.

If you deal with controlling behaviour in relationships, it is time to take a stand. You deserve to be with someone who makes you feel good about yourself, not someone who is constantly trying to control you. If he can’t accept you for who you are, he is not worth your time.

You Can’t Trust Him And Hide Personal Insecurities

If you find yourself constantly questioning his trustworthiness, that’s definitely one of the early signs of a controlling man. He will try to make you feel like you’re always doing something wrong or that he knows better than you. As a result, you might start to doubt your own instincts and second-guess yourself.

A controlling man will also often try to hide any personal insecurities he has by putting you down or making you feel like you’re not good enough. This is just another way for him to control the situation and make himself feel better. However, suppose you’re always walking on eggshells around him or feeling like you have to tiptoe around his ego. In that case, it’s time to take a step back and reassess your relationship.

You Have To Deserve His Appreciation

How to know if your boyfriend is controlling? If you want your man to show you appreciation, you must work for it. First, you have to prove that you deserve it. He will find ways to test you, and if you don’t pass his tests, he will withdraw his appreciation. Your partner loves you unconditionally in a healthy relationship, and your worth is not based on how well you perform.

If you find yourself constantly walking on eggshells around your partner, afraid of setting him off, this is one of the signs of a possessive man. A healthy relationship is built on trust and mutual respect, not fear. You should never have to tiptoe around your partner or worry about what might set him off.

He Determines Your Life Goals

A relationship is a partnership between two people working towards common goals. If your partner is constantly pushing you to achieve your dreams and not allowing you space to focus on what you want, this is a sign that they are controlling.

My boyfriend is possessive. How to deal with him? To save your independency, you should:

  • Set your own goals and achieve them with or without your partner’s support
  • Don’t give up on activities you love because your partner disapproves
  • Make time for yourself to do things that make you happy outside of the relationship.

He Is Always Right

In a relationship, it’s essential to have healthy debates and disagreements. If your partner shuts down any opposing viewpoint, it’s a clear indicator of controlling behaviour in relationships. A mature person understands that there is no absolute right or wrong answer. This type of thinking allows for growth and compromise in a relationship.

To save your relationship, you should discover the root cause of this problem and try to address it together. His need for control may also stem from deep insecurity. He may feel like he needs to control every aspect of his life to feel safe and secure. Why does he want to control me? This kind of thinking is usually rooted in early childhood experiences or traumas that have not been adequately dealt with. If this is the case, your partner will need professional help to change these thoughts and behavior patterns.

He Has A Bad Temper And Is Often Verbally Abusive

A bad temper

In the early stages of a relationship, a controlling man will try to put you down with hurtful words. He’ll call you names, criticize you and make snide remarks. This is his way of putting you in your place so that he can feel more powerful.

What are the signs of a possessive man? For example, he might say things like: “You’re too sensitive,” “You’re overreacting,” and “No one else would put up with you.” It’s called gaslighting, a common tactic used by abusers.

It’s important to remember that his words are not valid. He’s trying to control you with them. If you find yourself constantly apologizing to your partner or walking on eggshells around him, it’s time to reassess the situation. No one deserves to be treated like this.

He’s Always Accusing You Of Cheating Or Being Unfaithful

Suppose your partner is constantly accusing you of cheating or being unfaithful. In that case, it’s one of the warning signs your boyfriend is manipulative. Of course, it’s one thing to be jealous of from time to time. Still, suppose your partner constantly accuses you of something you haven’t even done. In that case, it’s a sign that he doesn’t trust you and is trying to control your behavior.

Our consultant says that this behavior is often rooted in the man’s own insecurity and lack of self-esteem. “A man who feels insecure will try to control his partner to feel more secure,” she explains. “He does this by keeping tabs on her, monitoring her activities, and questioning her whereabouts.” So if your partner always keeps his eye on you and won’t let you out of his sight, it’s a red flag that he’s a control freak and shows signs of a possessive man.

He Monitors Your Phone And Computer Use

man looking at phone

It’s ok when you exchange passwords early on in a relationship. In fact, it can be a sign of trust. But if he frequently checks up on you and demands to know why you’re not replying to his messages immediately, that’s not good news. A controlling man will want to keep tabs on who you’re talking to and what you’re saying. He might even go through your phone when you’re not around or demand access to your social media accounts.

Hint: If he’s trying to control how you use your phone, that’s definitely one of the early signs of a controlling man! If he’s always asking about your whereabouts and who you’re with, it might be time to talk about boundaries. Sure, it’s great that he’s interested in your life, but there’s a line between being interested and controlling.

He Insists On Helping You Too Often

One of the clear signs he wants to own you of a controlling man is if he’s always trying to do things for you or “help” you. This might seem sweet and like he’s just trying to be helpful on the surface. But often, it’s actually a way for him to control you. If he’s always offering to do things for you or taking care of everything, it can make it harder for you to stand up for yourself or express what you really want.

Of course, every relationship is different, and these early signs might not necessarily mean that your guy is controlling. But if you’re starting to feel like you’re not able to be yourself around him or that he’s always trying to control what you do, it’s important to discover: “Why does he want to control me?” Trust your gut, and don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. If you’re unsure how to start the conversation, try saying something like, “I feel like I can’t be myself around you,” or “I’m starting to feel like you’re trying to control me.” If he gets defensive or tries to gaslight you.

Read Also: My Boyfriend Doesn’t Do Anything Special For Me: A Relationship Survival Guide


Being in a relationship with a controlling man can be extremely difficult and often feels like walking on eggshells. However, suppose you’re in a relationship with a man who displays any of the early signs of a controlling man. In that case, it’s essential to have an honest conversation about your concerns. Remember, a healthy relationship is one in which both partners feel like they have an equal say.

If you’re worried that your partner may be under control, there are some things you can do to help support yourself and your relationship:

  • Talk to someone you trust about what you’re going through. It can be constructive to talk to someone who will understand and can offer impartial advice.
  • Read up on healthy relationships to better understand what a healthy relationship looks like.
  • When a guy says you belong to him, set up your boundaries and stick to them. However, if your partner starts to cross a border, don’t be afraid to speak up and tell them how you feel.
  • Seek professional help. If you’re feeling unsafe or in an abusive relationship, please reach out for help from a professional.

Remember, a healthy relationship is one in which both partners feel like they have an equal say. We hope our article has provided you with some helpful information. If you’re ever feeling unsafe in your relationship, please reach out for help.

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