Dating a person who is overly possessive can be unhealthy for you. Here are some signs of a possessive partner.

If you are in a healthy relationship, your partner will be concerned about you and spend a lot of time with you. But a possessive person will do these things excessively, making the relationship a borderline toxic one. Being in a relationship with someone who is highly possessive might have a negative impact on your mental health. The continual surveillance, lack of personal space, and emotional manipulation can create a stressful and anxious situation. Want to know if you have a possessive partner? Read on!

Why are some people too possessive in a relationship?

Possessiveness can emerge as an intricate relationship component stemming from various emotional reasons, says psychotherapist, life and business coach Dr Chandni Tugnait.

• People may become too possessive in relationships as a result of underlying insecurities, fear of desertion or past emotional trauma.
• Possessiveness is generally motivated by a strong need for control, approval or fear of losing the partner.
• Insecurity about their own value or questions about the stability of the partnership can also contribute to this conduct.
• Past betrayal or abandonment experiences may increase the desire for reassurance, resulting in possessive tendencies.

Couple in love
Possessive partners always want to be in control. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the signs of a possessive partner?

It might seem like the concern and attention you get from your partner all the time is because they deeply care for you. So, it can be difficult to tell if you are dating someone who is very possessive. Here are some signs to help you:

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1. Constant desire for control

A possessive partner desires to control all your behaviour, decisions, and interactions, notes the expert. This leaves little room for individuality and autonomy.

2. Extreme jealousy

Unjustified jealousy concerning friendships or daily activities is a warning indicator. Possessive partners may interpret seemingly harmless interactions as threats to the relationship.

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3. Attempts at isolation

Isolating you from your friends and family is a red flag that you shouldn’t ignore. Possessive people may hinder socialisation to maintain control and reliance.

4. Communication monitoring

Constantly monitoring your text messages, phone calls or social media shows a need for more trust. Under the appearance of care, possessive partners may intrude on your privacy.

5. Unreasonable expectations

Excessive demands on your time, attention or activities indicate possessiveness. Partners who don’t value boundaries may insist on constant availability.

6. Inadequate personal space

A possessive partner may disrespect your need for personal space. They will physically or emotionally invade boundaries and cause feelings of suffocation.

7. Over-protectiveness

While it is normal to seek protection, an overly possessive partner may feel compelled to defend you from every imagined threat. This will limit your sense of independence, shares Dr Tugnait.

A couple contemplating sex.
Possessive partners will constantly accuse you. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

8. Emotional extortion

Possessiveness is characterised by manipulative tactics such as guilt-tripping or emotional blackmail. These practices compel obedience and encourage dependency.

9. Constant accusations

Unsubstantiated claims of infidelity or wrong doings are prevalent in such relationships. Insecurities may be projected upon the partnership by the possessive person.

10. Shifting mood

Possessiveness is coupled with extreme mood swings. These are often prompted by perceived dangers to the relationship.

11. Emotional outbursts

Possessive people fear losing control. This causes them to react irrationally when their dominance in the relationship is threatened.

12. Lack of faith

A lack of trust is fundamental to possessiveness. A possessive partner may struggle to trust you even without solid grounds.

How does dating a possessive person affect mental health?

Being in a relationship with a possessive person may not be always good for your mental health.

• You may feel suffocated, resulting in feelings of isolation and low self-esteem.
• The emotional price of walking on eggshells to avoid triggering possessiveness can lead to persistent stress, which negatively influences general well-being.
• Trust and autonomy degradation may contribute to feelings of entrapment and emotional tiredness. They encourage adverse effects on mental health, including increased levels of anxiety and despair.

How to deal with a possessive partner?

Everybody wants to give a second chance to their relationship. So, if you want to continue dating a possessive person, check out these helpful tips:

• Encourage open communication.
• Consciously nurture intimacy and trust by sharing vulnerabilities, validating each other often, and respecting agreed upon needs for personal space or time with friends.
• Find activities that reinforce interdependence over codependence.
• Encourage your partner to confront their anxieties.
• Establish clear boundaries.

You can also seek external counsel to help to develop a healthier and more balanced relationship.

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