In the beginning, you thought he was the perfect prince charming. He made you feel special, he was incredibly smart, he made you laugh and was kind, but as time went on, things began to change. You didn't see the signs at first because you considered him a decisive man who knew what he wanted and had no problem speaking his mind. He was confident and all those subtle suggestions he gave about your hair, outfit, friends and they way you cooked were just helpful.

Unfortunately, your prince charming has changed into a complete and total control freak. He manipulates you, criticizes you, and makes demands. His behavior is weighing on you and you only wish you noticed the signs of a controlling boyfriend sooner. Once you break free of this relationship, you want to know how to avoid another like it in the future. We've created a list that will help you do just that.

Signs of Controlling Boyfriends You Need to Know


He tries to keep you from your friends.

It isn't uncommon for many people to neglect their friends when they get into a relationship, but your controlling boyfriend will try to choose who you can and who you cannot hang out with. He will start by saying he thinks they are a bad influence, then move on to keeping you from staying in contact with them.


He'll put you down.

He points out your flaws in how you look, act and how you do things. He will begin to tear you down and make you feel like you are not competent enough to do anything right or on your own. As the relationship continues, he will make you feel like you are unable to do anything without him and you will begin to lose any self-confidence you had.


He needs to know where you are.

This isn't just when you go to work or class, he wants to know everything little thing you do. If you go out for some coffee in the middle of your work day, you better let him know or there will be consequences later.


You aren't allowed to have fun.

If he isn't there, he will make you feel guilty about having any fun. He'll sulk around for days and be in a really bad mood. When he finally tells you what has been bothering him, he will make it your fault by either saying you ignore him or don't make enough time for him.


He loves proving his point.

One of the signs of a controlling boyfriend is you hear “I told you so” often. If he doesn't like someone you hang out with or something you do, he will wait for the perfect time to rub his point of view in your face, no matter how inappropriate the timing is.


He doesn't celebrate your accomplishments.

Unless he was the reason for you accomplishing something important, he will act like it is meaningless. If you get a promotion, receive an award or pass a class you struggled in, you won't hear a congratulations from him.


Nothing is ever his fault.

He will never admit to being wrong and no matter what, he blames everything that happens on someone or something else, most often to you. His mistakes? He will shrug off because they aren't ever his fault. But your mistakes? He will remind you of constantly.


He makes the rules.

The rules he sets in the relationship apply differently to you and him. While you aren't allowed to hang out with friends he doesn't like, he can hang out with his friends that you don't like. When you make the same suggestion he makes on your life, he'll make you seem like you are being selfish or misunderstanding.


He makes all the decisions.

At first, this can seem like a chivalrous act. He helps you out, gives you suggestions, and makes all the plans. Over time you will begin to slowly realize you aren't allowed to have an opinion or decide things for yourself unless you want to be criticized for the decision you do make.


He'll have an emotional breakdown.

This is one of the signs of a controlling boyfriend that shows up any time you hold your ground in an argument. Anytime you refuse to listen to his point of view or give into his demands, he will have a breakdown. There will be tears and he will say how you don't care about him like you used to. What this ends up doing is making you feel guilty and will result in you always giving in to make him happy.


He threatens you.

Threats do not have to be physical to have an impact. His threat can range from harming himself to taking away privileges. He will also threaten to leave you. Depending on how long you have been in the relationship, this can make you fearful since you already feel you can't do anything without him.


The affection he gives is conditional.

He'd be more affectionate towards you if you worked out more. He loves you more when you are doing well at your job. He will make it seem like you have to constantly earn his love and that you are never good enough for him to just be able to love.


He keeps score.

While healthy relationships have an unspoken give and take, when you are in a controlling relationship, he will keep track of every little thing he does for you. He will use this in the future to demand favors and hold grudges because he will also keep careful track of how many favors you do for others.


They make you feel in debt to them. ​

This is one of the signs of a controlling boyfriend that can be hard to detect. He will shower you with gifts, let you borrow the car, give you full access to his house, even when he is away for long periods of time. However, with all these things he lets you do, he will use against you to make you feel like you are in debt to him. He will remind you constant of all the things he has given you.


He'll make you doubt yourself.

On top of downplaying all your accomplishment and making you feel like you are unable to do anything on your own, he will make you give up on the things you are passionate about. Since nothing you do is ever good enough, why bother trying to go after the things you really want. This is their way of taking complete control over your life and making you really need to depend and rely on them for everything.


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