Love makes us all just a little bit blind. Even if we do see certain bad behaviors in our partner, we tend to brush them aside, saying that no one is perfect.
Of course, relationships are a lot of work and there will be bad days once in a while.
The problem starts when we are not able to see subtle signs of manipulation.
What you might think to be love can be very scary manipulation methods that you are not even aware of.
Don’t beat yourself up about it right away, because manipulators are very good at hiding their true intentions; just make sure to look out for these subtle signs of manipulation that are disguised as love.
1. He says, “You’re not like other girls”
There is no doubt that this can sound like a compliment, but that’s why we’re here. It’s all about the subtle signs.
If he starts sentences with, “Women are so…” and then says something derogatory, but adds that you are not like that, that is NOT a compliment.
He’s subtly telling you what he doesn’t like in women to hint to you what he doesn’t want you to be like.
He might even be subtly pointing out your own flaws and behavior. Not OK.
2. His jokes are hurtful
Jokes should be funny to both parties involved, right? So why does he continue to ‘jokingly’ degrade you?
This is especially a problem if you’ve called him out on it but he says that it’s his humor and that you have to accept it if you love him.
You don’t have to put up with hurtful jokes.
He might even go as far as to tell you that he says all of those things out of love because he knows that you’ll understand.
You do not understand and you have the full right to get angry at that.
3. He buys you things you don’t need
Gifts are so sweet and a sign that someone thought of you when you weren’t around.
When does it cross the line of manipulation? When he starts giving you gifts to replace perfectly fine items in your life, like clothes and perfume.
I understand that he might not like that red dress you love so much, but for him to go out of his way to replace it just so you wouldn’t wear it anymore is a whole other thing.
4. He wants you to lose weight because he’s ‘concerned’
Making you insecure about your body is not your boyfriend’s job, as society does it too well already.
Your boyfriend should be the one to love you unconditionally and love every part of your body because he made a conscious choice to be with you.
He starts telling you that he wants you to lose weight for the improvement of your own health, even though he knows that you are perfectly happy with yourself.
This can also occur if you are already skinny to begin with and he tells you to lose more weight or to gain more, so you would look a certain way that pleases him.
5. He has to know what you’re doing at all times
He says that it’s because he cares about you, but it doesn’t seem like that.
If you’re out with your friends, having a great time and he keeps on calling you and texting you, not letting you enjoy yourself, then you have a manipulator on your hands.
You should be able to trust your partner enough to let them enjoy their time with their friends and not be a possessive boyfriend.
Asking if you’re doing OK and offering to pick you up are true signs of love.
Controlling behavior that makes you wonder if you’re still a child in his eyes is not.
6. He can’t take, “No,” for an answer
Whether it is you canceling a date because of something that needs your attention right away or saying no to anything that doesn’t appeal to you, he gets mad.
He can’t take, “No,” for an answer and disguises it by saying that he loves you so much that he has to see you.
This might even be used in the bedroom when you tell him your boundaries and he still doesn’t care enough to listen.
Boundaries are important, and if he chooses to ignore them, it’s not OK.
7. He says he can’t live without you
This isn’t romantic, it’s scary. Telling someone that you can’t live without them, that you would die without them, is extremely manipulative.
This puts a lot of pressure on you as his partner because this means that if you ever tried to break up with him, he could just as easily threaten to kill himself.
You will feel obligated to always stay by his side even if you want to leave.
8. He pressures you into things
Yes, sometimes we need an extra push, but being pressured into things like marriage and kids really isn’t cute.
He might want to start a family just to keep you close, to keep you tied to him.
This goes as far as to want you to settle down so you will always be at home, not wanting you to live a life outside of your relationship.
9. He makes decisions without you
We don’t have to be involved in every single decision our partner makes, of course, but what happens is that he ends up making extremely important decisions without you.
These decisions can include where you two should live, what to eat, and where to go.
From minuscule things to important decisions, he never asks for your opinion and all of this under the excuse of not wanting to worry, “That pretty little head of yours.”
10. You don’t recognize him after arguments
You’re mad. You’re fuming.
He did something so bad to the point where you had to stop playing nice and show him that you have a mind of your own as well.
Here he is, crying and telling you that loves you so much and that he meant no harm. He apologized and said he wouldn’t do it again.
Who is this man? He is usually so sweet and protective, telling you that you are always right and that he loves you so much.
Did he acknowledge the problem?
Did he discuss the issue with you?
Did he even listen to what you had to say or did he just jump straight into the pity party? Did he solve the disagreement?
Sometimes fighting is a good thing in a relationship, but don’t let him sweet-talk you into forgiving him.
11. You’re becoming isolated from your friends
Making a conscious decision to not want to hang out with someone and being manipulated into doing so are two completely different things.
You’re becoming increasingly isolated from your friends because he doesn’t like them or he thinks that they are a bad influence on you.
When you look back on that friendship, you have stayed by their side for years without thinking that they were not good for you, so why is it so different now?
If you have plans with your friends, he might even try to plan something last minute just for the two of you, so you won’t have to go.
Love can be very deceiving at times, but don’t let yourself fall for these traps. You are better than that.
Whenever you see him doing these things again, you are free to call him out on them.