If you’ve ever used Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, then you’ve surely stumbled across #RelationshipGoals at some point – and probably threw up a tiny bit in your mouth. Some are cheesy as hell, some make no sense, and some are so bad that they’re actually a little good... but the ones I hate the most are the ones that totally fetishize and praise controlling behavior. There are a lot of controlling things a significant other can do that you think are cute, even though they’re actually low key abusive. Photoshopping the action over a black and white photo of a couple holding hands doesn’t make it okay.
Relationship goals photos sometimes make it seem like male partners have to be protective and possessive in order to show their loyalty, and it’s not a good look. Lest we forget, controlling partners are just as bad as disinterested f*ckboys. Don’t assume that “crazy” behavior is cute and means he likes you a lot – it means he sees you as a piece of property, and nothing about that is okay. I scanned social media for hours to find the most troubling behavior disguised as *goals* and came up with this list. Here are some controlling things bae does you think are cute for some reason. I mean, like what you like, but this is ridiculous.
1) They get very very serious, very quickly.
All of these relationship goals talking about being married, having a family, and staying together until you die feel a little intense, don’t you think? Of course those can be end goals when you’re like… a grown up. But everybody can just relaaaaax a little. Chill out. Jumping the gun like this is emotionally controlling and a little manipulative tbh.
2) Handling your relationship like you prequalify to be his wife.
“I SEE POTENTIAL IN YOU”???? Gag. No one in a relationship wants to feel like they’re auditioning for the part of Future Spouse. Passing it off as being romantic excuses this weird controlling behavior as someone just being soooo into you. Pass.
3) Implicating God in your destiny to be together.
Yes, if you are a person of faith, it’s awesome when you find someone who shares those beliefs. That being said, if you are a person of faith, implying that God brought you together brings a third party into your relationship that is also totally omnipresent and powerful beyond measure. Cool, right? God sanctioned you two together, so if you break up, you’re going against god. Just a heads up.
4) Pressuring and physically intimidating you to talk about your feelings.
No, she looks scared. Someone free her. Closing in space and overwhelming her with your body looks cute because it looks like cuddling or whatever, but cornering you and pressuring you into anything is a bad look. I don’t care if your intention is to help, let her dictate how you help her because SHE’S THE ONE THAT NEEDS HELP.
5) Assuming you need fixing.
Enoooough with this broken woman who needs bae to fix her narrative. Controlling behavior is so closely linked to the imperative to fix someone. Don’t believe me? Has anyone you dated ever tried to stop you from going out or partying because you need to chill out and just spend time with them because they should be your priority and screw hanging out with your friends? If that didn’t just describe you, you probably know someone in a similar situation.
6) Assuming your girlfriend needs you to breathe.
People who stay in relationships because they love the control they have over the person they’re dating are toxic garbage humans who need to take a time out. Everybody has their own set of lungs that can breathe independently, unless you’re a human inhaler and bae has asthma, you can relax. Talking about her like she needs you this deeply puts you in control of her thoughts, feelings, and quality of life, which is not okay.
7) Saying they can’t control themselves around you.
Rape culture much? Blaming you for what he’s feeling is not okay. Treating you like you only exist in direct measure to his satisfaction or disinterest is controlling.
8) Believing that they’re literally the only one who could ever love you.
Nothing says “healthy set of expectations” quite like letting a girl know that no one in the world will ever love her like you do. Way to be emotionally manipulative.
9) Believing they’re the only guy who could literally look at you in a certain way.
Stop fetishizing overly protective bae’s. They do not have monopoly on people’s eyeballs being directed in your general direction. Stop it. They are not the only people in the world who can find you attractive and they have no control over it. Let it go, already!
10) Being so unbelievably extra.
Literally doing the most can also be just as emotionally manipulative, if I’m being honest.
11) Very literally claiming ownership of you.
If someone actually has the nerve you that you’re theirs, run in the other direction.
12) Acting out of control when you don’t text back in five seconds.
Being emotionally needy isn’t cute. Putting you in the position to be at their every beck and call isn’t cute either. Actually, it’s controlling as hell.
13) Totally invalidating your feelings.
Or maybe she’s fine! Or maybe she doesn’t want to talk about it. Nobody owes you an answer on demand, even when you’re in a relationship. That’s not in your job description, buddy, so maybe back off on the “it’s my job” part. Or again, because it bears repeating, maybe she’s fine and you should just respect that.
14) Laying down an lmfao in the middle of your fight and proposing that you forget anything ever happened.
Way to handle an argument, champ. Sounds totally healthy. By all means, ignore what’s going on by telling her that you don’t fight and then proposing that you literally forget all about whatever just happened. When you do this, you hold all the cards, which is an unfair position to put your partner in. These making up after a fight relationships goals can be adorable and the “when bae is mad” memes are funny, but in this case? No. Just no. Don’t get cutesy in the face of actual problems, it makes you look immature af
15) Intentionally making you uncomfortable for his personal gain.
Yes, this looks cute because cuddling is cute, but making your partner intentionally uncomfortable so they have to seek you out is a way of being controlling, even if you think you’re being adorable. It’s not.
Does your S.O. do any of these things? Do you actually like it or would you like it to stop? What would you do if your bf/gf did this to you? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.