Top 8 Signs of Dating a Controlling and Insecure Boyfriend

What are the signs of an insecure boyfriend and his ways

By Sylvia Epie
Top 8 Signs of Dating a Controlling and Insecure Boyfriend

Signs of an insecure and controlling boyfriend

Humans, in general, have insecurities, a little insecurity about certain aspects of our lives is normal. We also all want to have some degree of control over our environment. However, insecurities and the desire for control have levels, when a person cannot do without exhibiting these traits it becomes a problem. High levels of insecurity and control will turn any fairy tale romance into a horror story. In your relationship, you should be able to distinguish between normal insecurities and the abusive behavior of a control freak. We’ve come up with a couple of red flags you should never ignore and how best to deal with them.

1. He Wants Constant Disclosure

A controlling boyfriend wants to know every single detail of your daily life, they feel they have the right to know where you are and what you’re doing at all times. With them there are no boundaries or privacy, they demand full disclosure. He’ll want to know all of your passwords, he’ll check your phone, read your messages, track your internet history, listen to your conversations, and even stalk you. Snooping, spying and keeping tabs on you will be his way of showing you that he loves you.

2. He Isolates You From Family And Friends

In a healthy relationship, there has to be a balance between time spent with your partner and time with family and friends. But when you’re with an insecure and controlling boyfriend, he’ll isolate you from your friends and family so that he can control you better.

He starts by saying they have a negative influence on you, he chooses your friends and asks you to stop hanging out with this or that friend or relative and before you know it you’ve lost touch with everyone. The goal here is to strip you of your support network so that you will be vulnerable and less likely to resist when they try to control you.

3. He Thinks He's Always Right

A smart, confident and persuasive boyfriend is attractive but when he thinks he’s always right and everyone else is wrong it’s not cute anymore. Not only can living with such a person be a pain, but you could also lose your confidence and convictions in the process.

A controlling partner never wants you to question his convictions or decisions but he’ll always dismiss yours as insignificant. He’s so smooth and confident in the way he asserts himself that you give in without even knowing. Before long you have no values of your own, you doubt your beliefs and take his word as the gospel.

4. He Criticizes You All The Time

It often starts small, your partner criticizes some of the things you do, you take it lightly believing it’s constructive criticism. As time goes by it becomes less subtle and more frequent, he criticizes the food you cook, the way you dress, look, speak, eat, and everything else about you. Nothing you do seems to be right, you no longer feel accepted, validated or even loved. Every little thing you do is under scrutiny, even the way you smile and sleep. This is the exact moment when your fairy tale love story transforms into a horror movie.

5. He Uses Guilt As A Tool

In order to keep their hold on you, controlling people tend to use guilt to manipulate you into doing what they want. Guilt-tripping you into things you don't normally do is a great tool most insecure people use. They’ll bring up all the things you’ve done in the past, the times you let them down or did not meet their expectation and try to get you to ‘’ make up’’ for the hurt you caused. The moment you feel guilty for doing or not doing something you play right into their controlling hands.

6. His Love Is Conditional

When your partner starts putting a condition to his feelings for you, know there’s a problem. A loving partner will choose to love you for no reason and expect nothing in return but a controlling boyfriend will use his love for you as a weapon to blackmail you every chance he gets. Signs of this kind of behavior are always very subtle, they start small and then grow over time, before you know it, you are way too deep. So beware if anyone makes you feel you’re not worthy of their love and you have to do something to earn it.

7. He Makes You Feel Like You Owe Him

A controlling partner will do their best to be the perfect boyfriend right from the beginning of your relationship. From the onset, they’ll be romantic, sensitive to your every need, shower you with gifts, be available and commit to your relationship from day one.  

He will create an ideal environment for you to feel indebted to him, he’s ready to assist you financially, emotionally, be at your service 24/7, let you use his car or home if you want to. By the time he starts making demands, you’ll feel he’s been too good to you and you can’t say no. He will shower you with expensive gifts, expensive vacations, etc. and ask for favors in return. He'll get mad when you say no and will remind you of all what he has done for you.

8.  He Belittles You


For a controlling partner, your relationship is not a two-way street, his views and ways are right and yours are wrong. Instead of having a challenging discussion with you like an equal where he tries to argue in favor of his views, he’ll belittle your views. Be it an idea, politics, your faith or values, they’re just not good enough for him. He’s never open to try things your way or consider them from your perspective.

He puts down everything you do and makes it look like you can’t do anything without his help. That’s a true sign of a dictator right there, in the long run, he will eventually make you lose confidence in yourself and wait for his approval and help each time you try something new.

How to deal with an insecure and controlling boyfriend

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A controlling boyfriend will not just affect your behavior, they will change your perception, your beliefs, your thinking,  your values, and your personality. They’ll do everything in their power to become the center of your life, your attention, and your energy. They can even become violent if the subtle manipulations and mind games don’t work. This can be frustrating at best and the way to handle it is to build yourself up with the following steps:

1. Reconnect With Your Friends And Family

When you find yourself in such a situation, you need a strong support system, people you can count on to help you navigate the challenges in your life. Reach out and reconnect with your family and friends and confide in them, these are the people who know you best and will tell you when you’re not yourself of something is off. Your close friends and family will give you the strength and support you need to stand up to your partner and he’s less likely to become abusive when he knows you’re not isolated.

2. Confront Him

two person sitting on wood slab

Grabbing the bull by the horns is sometimes the best policy, the entire strategy of a controlling boyfriend rests on his ability to manipulate you in a passive aggressive way. He makes you believe he’s trying to help you become a better person, that he’s the better partner and all he does is out of love. One way out of this is to crack everything open, confront him, sit him down for a talk and say what’s on your mind without sugar coating it. Take a stand no matter how hard it is to tell him how his behavior is affecting your relationship and that it needs to stop or you’re walking away.

3. Seek Professional Help

Unfortunately, a common trait of controlling people is to be poor listeners and to always shift the blame. If confronting him and trying to reason with him fails and you are still bent on salvaging your relationship, consider professional help. With therapy and the right help some controlling people can change, their behavior could be the result of past trauma in their life and a professional might be able to help them get past what they’re struggling with.

4. Leave And Explain Why

If all the above has failed, well walking out might be your best shot, it’s probably best at this point to leave. There’s no chance of redeeming a partner who’s not willing to listen, to improve or even acknowledge their flaws. Such a relationship can only end badly if you stay. Let him know why you’re leaving, make your concerns clear and walk away cutting all ties. You deserve better.

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How not to be an insecure and controlling boyfriend

1. Respect Her Personal Space

A healthy relationship requires both partners to have some space and time for themselves, a little independence will go a long way to strengthen the bond between you two. If you don’t want to be a controlling boyfriend, give your girl some space, make her understand it’s okay to have her own friends, hobbies, activities, and aspirations that do not have anything to do with you or your relationship. Build trust and confidence so there’s no need to snoop, spy or be suspicious of one another. This is a sure recipe for a long-lasting and successful relationship.

2. Be Supportive

Let your criticism be constructive, don’t downgrade, belittle or criticize her unnecessarily. Be it her appearance, clothes, weight, cooking, opinions, beliefs and dreams, give her all the support she needs, build her confidence and be her number one fan. Compliment and appreciate her when something is good, that way when you criticize she’ll take it into consideration.

3. Let Your Love Be Unconditional

Offering gifts and favors in return for sex is never healthy, the things you do for her should be out of love and sacrifice without any expectations. In a relationship no one should be indebted to their partner, everything should be done out of free will, anything short of this is blackmail. A good partner is someone who makes an effort to compromise and leaves room for their partner to express themselves freely without fear of judgment.

4. Practice Constructive Criticism

A partner should build your confidence, encourage you and push you to believe in yourself and be the best possible version of yourself. Always criticizing your partner, being negative and dismissing your partner's goals makes you insecure and probably a controlling boyfriend. So stay clear of these type of behavior if you want to build a healthy  relationship.

Quotes on insecure and controlling boyfriends

1. “There are few things that weigh on a person’s ability to grow and thrive more than insecurity. One critique, one insult, one harsh act could cripple a person who is not confident enough in their own skin to ignore the comments.” 
― Carlos Wallace

2. ''Guys have a level of insecurity and vulnerability that’s exponentially bigger than you think. With the primal urge to be alpha comes extreme heartbreak. The harder we fight, the harder we fall.''
- John Krasinski

3. ''A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.''
- Dalai Lama

4. '' It has always seemed that a fear of judgment is the mark of guilt and the burden of insecurity.''
– Criss Jami

5. ''Sometimes our thoughts are backed by so much insecurity they create lies we believe.''

6. ''Never speak from a place of hate, jealousy, anger, and insecurity. Evaluate your words before you let them leave your lips. Sometimes it’s best to be quiet.''
- Tony A. Gaskins Jr


As scary as these signs are, a single one of them doesn’t necessarily make your boyfriend a psycho. Single-handed, it could just be his weakness, there’s no need to be alarmed or put an end to your relationship especially if it happens just once in a while. It becomes a problem when he demonstrates more than one of these traits over and over again. When they add up, it becomes a pattern and you have to take action before it becomes abusive.

Staying in such a relationship could result in you developing a condition psychologists call pseudo-personality. This is a kind of brainwashed state that was first seen in prisoners of war in the 1950s. Edgar Schein a psychologist described this as a state where a person's original personality has been broken down.  This change is so deeply ingrained that taking the prisoner away from the enemy is not enough to erase the pseudo-personality. The strongly influenced behavior, ideas, and beliefs persisted long after their captivity was over. This is reason enough to watch out for signs of an insecure and controlling boyfriend and to do what you have to, to keep your relationship healthy.

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