I will be the first to admit it: I am a control freak. I obsessively make lists, write notes on my hand, and plan just about every minute of my day. The worst part is, I can be set off into a fit of stress and anxiety in seconds if things don't go according to my plan. That being said, my controlling tendencies have a time and a place, and that place is completely outside of my relationships.
It's taken me a while to learn that you can control the things you do, and you can even try and control circumstances, but you definitely can't control other people. Yes, it's hard to fight that urge, especially when you feel like you know what's best for someone else, but a lot of your compulsions to control someone else, especially your significant other, come from a seat of insecurity. And once you start micro-managing your partner, there may be no coming back. He/she will start to feel stifled, and even worse, trapped. No one wants their partner to feel like that. So if you are a control freak like yours truly, here are a few mistakes you can avoid making in a relationship.
1. Planning Every Date
We control freaks are definitely planners. We will construct every moment to our liking to ensure that nothing ever strays from our grasp. And while a romantic getaway with your partner to an unexplored city takes some planning, not everything does. In fact, most people out their actually enjoy some spontaneity in their relationship; after all, the feeling of being able to do something spur of the moment is kind of sexy. So try and relinquish some of that control when it comes to your date nights. Not only will it prevent you from feeling stressed when things don't go to plan (because we're going with the flow this time!), you may actually have more fun than you thought.
2. Dictating Who Your S.O. Can and Can't See
This is a HUGE mistake that we controllers will make if we are feeling jealous. It's easy to think that your S.O. won't stray if they never see that person you deem to be a threat. But, if you actually tell them they can't see them, guess what they're going to want to do more than anything? See that person. Not only have you just turned someone who may have just been a friend into forbidden fruit, you are restricting the people that can be in your partner's life. And they could definitely grow to resent you for it.
3. Obsessing Over Appearances
You may want to share the perfection of your relationship with the world on every social media platform imaginable, but you should probably consider scaling back. Being in a relationship is not all about how you two look together to the outside world. Don't always strive to be “the couple that knows everything about love,” constantly posting instas of themselves gazing adoringly into each other's eyes on the Brooklyn bridge. If your relationship is important to you, that's all that matters. It's not a big deal what everyone else in your network thinks.
4. Telling Your Partner How To Behave In A Fight
We hate the occasional lover's quarrel because we run the risk of breaking our composure and letting emotions get the best of us. Needless to say, these things happen, and when they do, the last thing you should be doing is telling your partner what he/she should be thinking. If you are invalidating your partner's emotions by telling them they are being silly, or that their feelings are unwarranted given the situation, you are immediately isolating them. Yes, they may not be reacting the way you want them to given the circumstances, but their reaction is still theirs.
5. Bailing As Soon As Things Don't Go According To Their Plan
I've been there: I'm involved with someone I really like, but then I start worrying that they don't feel the same way I do, or that I can't fully trust them. So I end things completely. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable in a relationship is insanely scary, and usually means relinquishing some of your control, but emotions aren't meant to be controlled to begin with. Just because things escape your grasp doesn't mean you should bail altogether. And you're doing yourself a major disservice by not allowing yourself to experience a potentially amazing relationship.
6. Dating Someone Completely Passive
It's so tempting when you're out there in the dating world to settle down with someone who lets you take the lead on just about everything. If you're finding that your go-to characteristic in prospective significant other's is 'completely passive,' there's something wrong, because you're valuing your ability to control that person rather than who that person is, or what that relationship could mean. It's true that two people work well when they are compliments of each other, but that doesn't mean you should go for someone who will always hand you the reins. You may even find that someone who will tell you its time to sit back and let them lead for a while is exactly what you need.
7. Turning Everything Into A Power Struggle
Sex, money, love all have one thing in common: They can be turned into a power struggle. When you're in a relationship, there is no reason to view every moment as a means to gain the upper-hand, even if it does make you feel in control of things. While many say that love is a game, and that the way to win is to play it properly, the foundations of solid relationships are not made on your ability to go days without texting him, so he misses you and comes crawling back. If you find yourself turning everything into a game of “who will be the most vulnerable,” reevaluate the way you're approaching your relationship; yes, it's nice to know that someone cares, but that affection shouldn't be won as a power play.
8. Always Being The One Who Calls The Shots In The Bedroom
Don't get me wrong, a little dom-sub action in the bedroom is always fun. But if you find yourself always playing the dom, and calling the shots, it can get boring for the other person. Sex may possibly be one of our most vulnerable moments in a relationship, but compensating by being the one constantly in control won't always help that. Sit back and let your partner take the lead for a second. Allowing them to tend to your needs, and tell you what to do for once may be much better than you thought. In fact, it's pretty damn hot.
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