Ask A Guy: Is It Normal For Your Boyfriend To Be Controlling?

Dear Joel,

Why do guys feel the need to be controlling in a relationship? My boyfriend and I don’t see each other all the time, but he feels the need to be in my life 24/7, needing to know everything. I can’t be friends with certain people because he doesn’t want me to be close with them. I’m just really confused, and I need to know if this is a guy thing or just my boyfriend thing.

First off, not all guys are controlling. In fact, it’s a fading expectation, and any healthy relationship will be based on an equal footing and respect.

However, in most cases, anyone who is overly controlling does so from a place of personal insecurity. When it happens in a relationship, it can make even the simplest things extremely difficult, and it sounds like you’ve got a pretty big problem on your hands.

Know this: there is not calling, and then there is NOT calling. If you’re out with your friends having fun and don’t check in every 30 minutes, that’s a far different story from not even bothering to send a text or give a ring when you’re home at the end of the night. If he’s freaking out over the first of those situations, it does not bode well for your future together. You are entitled to have a life and have fun outside of your relationship.

The fact that he has gone so far as to tell you who you can and can’t be friends with is a major red flag, as your partner should be accepting of whomever you wish to hang out with, provided they aren’t bad people. If he is worried about you getting close to other people, this speaks directly to his own insecurity in your relationship, and points to major trust issues on his side of things.

When someone is this controlling, they basically want you to spend time and communicate with only them, and not only does this get boring quickly, but it will alienate you amongst your friends. In its most extreme form, this can end up making him the only person to communicate with, and then it makes it even more difficult to end things. You’ll eventually find yourself boxed in, and in the worst case scenarios, overly controlling people can become abusive.

I rarely say this, but I think you need to end things and end them fast. Controlling relationships are some of the most unhealthy out there, and if he’s already trying to restrict your circle of friends, chances are he’s not going to change. It sounds like you’re just not the right match for one another, and I’d part ways with him unless he can magically become a different person that doesn’t need to run every element of your life.

Best of luck!

Joel Freimark has done a lot in life and seen even more. From last minute international travel to bizarre places to writing award winning books, he’s here to bring his wisdom to all your problems. He hosts a weekly advice series on Youtube and a music series also on YouTube.. No question is too outrageous or personal, so go ahead and fire away! Follow him on Twitter.


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Posted in: Ask A Guy, Love Advice
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