Yesterday, I saw a video make the rounds on my Twitter timeline. It was a clip from the Steve Harvey Show in which a woman wanted advice on how to deal with her smothering husband (who was standing right next to her, by the way). She detailed the fact that he showers her with kisses whenever she gets home after a long day at work, and that he doesn’t give her a lot of space. The reaction (from Steve, the audience, and the internet) was that this woman was an ingrate who should be thankful that their husband loves them enough to blabber sweet nothings whenever she’s around. Hey, I get it; a lot of couples experience a big decline in the intimacy department after a while, so a partner that is still enthusiastic seems so novel that it can come across as ridiculous to find anything wrong with that. But here’s the thing: We all need some space, and that woman wasn’t wrong for wanting that, even if her husband meant well.
There’s this perception regarding relationships that pretty much goes like this: If a man’s heart is in the right place, a woman should always be thankful. Uh, can we just acknowledge right here and right now that that’s BS? This is just as bad as when people think women should be grateful when a stranger is persistently hitting them up for their number or telling them how sexy they are. Yes, it’s the heart that counts, but how can someone’s relationship be successful if it consists of one person doing whatever they want as long as they’re being sincere, while the other person just has to deal with it? This is a problem for any couple, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, but I think this is especially common (and problematic) in relationships between men and women (thanks, gender norms!). But please, don’t assume that you have no place to call out your boyfriend if he does something that irritates you, even if he doesn’t mean any harm by it. Here are eight annoying boyfriend behaviors you shouldn’t ignore, period.
He Doesn't Have Any Concept Of Personal SpaceLook, we all like affection, but that doesn't mean we all want to be smothered by it. So as much as you're conditioned to think it's sweet for a guy to constantly caress, hug, touch, and just generally engage with you because he loves you so much...yo, you're human, and you need your space. It's awkward, but if feel overwhelmed by your boyfriend's affection, you need to be frank. Reassure him that you aren't opposed to some cuddling, but you aren't in the mood all the time, and it's not personal. Freaks And Geeks
He Talks About How Jealous He Is Of Other Guys Around YouAnd he goes on and on about it as if it's sweet and caring. In reality, this annoying behavior is weirdly emotionally manipulative, meant to make you hesitate from even interacting with another dude out of fear of how your BF will feel about it if he finds out. Everything ends up being about him and his feelings, not yours. This...isn't cute. He might not mean any harm, but it's not cute. Heathers
He Never Knows When You're DownA good boyfriend can detect when you, his girlfriend, isn't quite yourself. Unless you're an expert at hiding your feelings, he should know it, and be willing to cheer you up. Your BF isn't a mindreader, so he won't always be aware of your crap moods. But when your BF is never aware that you're feeling some kind of way? Woof. This can start to feel like he's clueless to your emotions. Twin Peaks
He Can Be ControllingI'm not saying he's necessarily abusive, but there are certain behaviors that are controlling as hell that you need to be aware of. Be wary of your BF telling you what to do for "your own good." Like, him suggesting you change out of your outfit because guys might oogle you. He claims he's doing it for your own good, but where does this end? Before you know it you can't do anything you want because your BF will come up with some justification for you not to. Yikes. Clueless
He's CondescendingWe can all be condescending a-holes sometimes, but it's good not to make a habit out of it. But if your BF is like this often, that's a red flag that you can't ignore. It's a sign of disrespect and underestimating your intelligence. He might not know that his tone or actions can be perceived this way, so don't hesitate to call him out. If he truly cares about you, he'll be more cognizant of that and change his tune. If not, he straight up isn't giving your feelings the respect they deserve. Submarine
He Does Things That He Doesn't Approve Of You DoingYou have to reply to his texts every hour when you're at a party, but he gets annoyed if you spam him with texts when he's out with his friends. You shouldn't follow your ex on social, but he can follow his ex and a few dozen Instagram babe accounts as well. This double standard BS isn't just annoying, it's disrespectful and is a sign that he's cool with you lacking agency. Nip it in the bud, dude. Some Girls
He Takes His Bad Moods Out On YouWe're all guilty of doing this sometimes...okay, maybe often. And when you're mature, you realize when you do it and you apologize for it. But maybe that doesn't describe your boyfriend. Maybe he takes his anger out on you all the time in aggressive or even passive aggressive ways. Maybe it's a silent treatment, or snapping at you for asking a simple question, or picking a fight with you to let off some steam. Girl, if this is a regular occurrence, call his butt out. Hopefully he's embarrassed enough to stop. Skins
He Uses His Niceness To Pressure You To Do Things You Don't Want To DoYour boyfriend could be an absolute sweetheart, but that doesn't mean he can use his sweetness to take advantage of you. Your boyfriend being nice isn't an excuse for him to pressure you into doing things you're not comfortable with, period. Your boyfriend being nice should be the damn standard, not some extraordinary quality. Your man doesn't get a pass to do whatever he wants for the bare effing minimum, sis. But I'm A Cheerleader
Have you had a partner who did any of these things? How did you handle it Tell us in the comments!