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Do you restrict where your partner goes or who they meet? Or make them feel guilty about spending time away from you?
Do you obsessively scroll through and comment on their social media?
Do you pick fights with your partner to assert yourself over them or bend them to your will?
These are all signs that you could be possessive in your relationship.
You may not realize that you’re being possessive of them. You could be acting unconsciously. But if the above sounds familiar, you need to make changes to your behavior. Otherwise you risk driving your partner away for good.
Being overbearing and possessive in a relationship could have long lasting, damaging effects on you both.
If you want your relationship to last, you need to learn how to stop being possessive. The following advice will help you with that.
1. Tap into your feelings.
If you’re worried or stressed about something, it can show in a variety of ways. One way to cope with internal turmoil is to project your feelings outwards onto those closest to you. This can show as possessive behavior.
If your relationship has become strained, take some time to get in touch with how you’re feeling.
By identifying and working on the root causes of your difficult emotions, you should see things improve in your relationship. You will stop feeling the need to control them to make yourself feel better.
2. See independence as a good thing.
Time spent together is about quality, not quantity. Being possessive of your partner’s time and attention won’t make them love you more; it will become overbearing and end up pushing them away.
Independence in a relationship makes that relationship stronger. Spending time apart does not mean you don’t love each other.
You’ll begin to resent each other and stop appreciating the time you spend together if you do not give each other the freedom to do your own thing.
To be at your best as a couple, you need to be at your best as individuals. Allow each other the time and space to do what makes you both happy so you can bring that joy back into your relationship.
3. Get to know your partner’s friend.
The idea that your partner wants to spend time with their friends rather than with you could make you feel vulnerable and insecure. These feelings then manifest as possessiveness.
Getting to know your partner’s friendship groups is an easy way to combat your fears and help you stop being so possessive of your partner’s time.
By getting to know the people your partner surrounds themselves with, you’ll be less likely to create scenarios in your head that cause you anxiety. Integrating into your partner’s social group is an important step to feeling accepted and secure in your relationship together.
It doesn’t mean you should always go along whenever your partner sees their friends. You need to respect that they need time with their friends alone and allow them that space.
But there is no reason to view your partner’s friends as your competition. If you start making your partner choose between their friends and you, you’ll push them away.
Embrace getting to know these new people in your life and you’ll see your relationship grow stronger for it.
4. Communicate with each other.
If we feel in the dark about our partner’s activities, it’s a prime opportunity for our worst fears to start playing out in our head.
By communicating with each other, you prevent this and begin building trust. You avoid the problem of miscommunication and the potential to overthink a situation.
Having trust in each other and being able to share how you’re feeling is important in a relationship. You’ll feel able to tell your partner if and when a situation makes you uncomfortable. You won’t feel so possessive because you will address things before they get out of hand.
By learning to communicate more effectively, you’ll be able to find compromises that suit both of you without getting to the point where one of you feels hurt.
5. Don’t spy on their tech.
Trying to control your partner’s social content or messages is possessive. It is also a form of bullying.
There has to be boundaries in a relationship and each of you are entitled to a certain level of privacy.
You might convince yourself you’ve got the best intentions, but constantly checking up on their social posts or logging into their phone or emails is a breach of trust.
Trusting your partner is a sign of respect. By stalking their social media and tech, your actions suggest there’s neither trust nor respect there.
Each of you deserves to be in a relationship where you have the freedom to express yourselves and communicate with others without the pressure of censorship from a partner.
6. Work on your self-confidence.
If you’ve become more possessive recently, think about how you view yourself. Whether it’s body image, work stress, or financial worry, you might just need some extra ‘me time’ to get back in the right headspace.
When we are feeling paranoid about our own relationship, it’s often a sign that we’re not comfortable with ourselves.
If you have lost your self-confidence, you could be subconsciously worried that your partner will leave you. This fear might make you more possessive of them.
The happier we are in ourselves, the happier we are in a relationship. A relationship isn’t about finding someone to complete you, it’s about finding someone who compliments you and brings out the best version of yourself.
7. Be more affectionate.
As your relationship moves out of the honeymoon phase, you might worry that the feelings between you are cooling off because you’re no longer so physical all the time.
If you become anxious over what this means for your future, you might overcompensate by becoming possessive of your partner to keep the relationship together.
Rather than keep it together, becoming possessive is more likely to drive you apart.
Instead, start reintroducing affection back into your relationship. Simple gestures like a hug, a kiss, or even a compliment can make all the difference. It will encourage your partner to start doing the same back.
You’ll soon start feeling more secure in your relationship and realize there’s no need to force your partner to stay. They are already choosing to.
Being affectionate with each other nurtures your relationship and is something you’ll have to keep working at as time goes on.
8. Share your insecurities.
Vocalizing your insecurities with your partner could stop you reaching the point of becoming possessive. If they don’t know how you feel, you aren’t giving them the opportunity to comfort you and find a solution together.
As close as you might be with your partner, they can’t see into your head. You can’t expect them to know everything you’re thinking and feeling if you don’t tell them.
If you’re worried about them going somewhere without you, tell them before they go so they know to make more of an effort to check in with you while they’re away. They might not be able to drop everything to stay with you, but you can find a compromise that works for you both.
Sharing your feelings not only gets your fears out in the open, but it also helps rationalize them by speaking them aloud. It’s an opportunity to trust your partner to be there for you and to listen. It will strengthen your bond together for the future.
9. Don’t let the past hold you back.
If you’ve had cause to doubt a previous partner, there will always be that voice in the back of your head telling you it could happen again. You might be possessive of your current partner in order to prevent yourself from reliving that pain.
By controlling your partner, you believe you eliminate any opportunities for things to go wrong.
If this is you, remind yourself that this is a new relationship. This relationship is a chance for a fresh start at happiness. Don’t ruin it by thinking the worst before it’s happened. And don’t label your partner with the mistakes of your ex.
10. Find a way to feel calm.
When you feel stressed about a situation, it can feel like you’re losing control over that aspect of your life. This loss of control could make you hold on too tight to others things. This might mean being jealous or possessive of your partner.
By adopting some techniques to manage your stress, you can prevent this from happening.
There are a number of coping techniques to try such as meditation, reading, or exercise. You just have to find the right technique for you.
Learn to recognize the signs that you’re becoming stressed or anxious and combat it with a coping mechanism. It could stop you feeling overwhelmed and prevent a toxic situation from forming in your relationship.
11. Own up to your actions.
Owning up to your actions and addressing your possessive behavior is part of the process of minimizing the impact it has on your relationship.
It’s about recognizing that there is a problem with the way you behave. Until you admit there is a problem, you won’t be able to fix it.
You must acknowledge the negative impact your actions are having on those you love. Admitting that your behavior is wrong and apologizing for it shows your partner respect. It also helps you understand the pattern and frequency of your actions.
Listen to how you have made your partner feel, acknowledge the hurt you’ve caused, and work toward building trust between you again.
12. Stick to reality.
Worry and stress can cause us to lose all sense of rationality. You might feel jealous that your partner is going somewhere without you. This jealously can result in worst-case scenarios playing through your head. The more worry you feel, the more possessive you’ll become as you start to believe your paranoia is justified.
To get out of this cycle, you need to rationalize your thoughts and get back to reality.
If your partner hasn’t done anything to suggest they’re in the wrong, there’s no reason to believe that they are.
By getting too caught up in your own imagination, you can end up driving your partner away. Try to separate fact from fiction before you cause lasting damage to your relationship.
Still not sure how to overcome your possessiveness? Changing your behavior is much easier with expert guidance and help when you hit roadblocks. So why not chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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