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Always being controlled

I’m always the one who changes for my partner. How can I get a better understanding of relationships? Our elder advises clarity, caution, and watching out for those red flags.

 

Dear EWC

To the person who reads this I have a simple question to ask. Or maybe I’m not too sure whether it’s a simple question. The thing is when I don’t understand what kind of relationship I want. Like for me I’d like to date someone who likes to talk to me and wants to think of a future with me, but I always end up in a relationship where I’m the one who is being controlled and I have to keep adjusting my interests according to my partner. Could you please help me out by giving me advice on how I can change my way of thinking or not become someone who has to change themselves for the partner even though the partner doesn’t change for you a bit…

 

Grandpa-Matt replies

I think there is a need to look at what we call a “relationship”. I believe that we have several classifications of relationships, each with its boundaries. These relationships are platonic, casual, intense, loving, deep, romantic, intimate, passionate, or friendly. There seem to be some easily recognized boundaries of behavior in each classification. I don’t think that you both have explored the issue enough to come to any fundamental understanding.

The freedom to explore what makes you both happy in a relationship while defining what you are willing to accept should offer some behavioral limitations to consider. See http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/personalboundaries.html

You might fit into one or more relationships but not meet the image of a person that would be acceptable in a different kind of hookup. They might think of you in the same way that one would consider an article of clothing, and it might be good enough for one occasion, but not for others.

Some dream relationships include thoughts of being passionate, lustful, fascinating, charming, exciting, affectionate, sexual, idyllic, intimate, erotic, and romantic. In thinking about it, one might fear that some of these emotions are not available in what seems to be lacking in your responses to him. You might worry that some of these emotions are not appropriate to be demonstrated by you at this point. 

It appears that you two need to have a conversation and come to an agreement where you are as a couple after deciding what type of togetherness you both will accept. The fact that you both might have feelings for each other like a couple gives you the basis for an understanding. Your job is to take action to get clarity and go on from there. 

One considerable caution for you is to be aware that some people try to control their partner by manipulating them using blaming, criticizing, and threatening some behavioral consequences if they don’t comply with the friend’s wishes. The “silent treatment” is also a method of control and some passive-aggressive behavior.

Change is also a universal reality. To prepare for change is always your Plan B. We all have had to change to Plan B as we all have experiences where Plan A did not work for us. It is always our choice when, where, how, and why to implement a change. We are not open to being dominated in a relationship.

Just be on the watch for that controlling behavior which would raise a red flag regarding the viability of a long-term relationship.

Article #: 482952

Category: Dating/Relationship

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