A successful relationship takes time, effort, and understanding.
You search for a partner who will not just fulfill your needs and satisfy your emotions, but one who is willing to go the extra mile.
Such a partner will know the difference between being caring and being controlling.
The difference between the two is very slim. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between them and the line can get crossed.
I know you know that very well. However, a partner who understands your need to know how to approach love from a caring perspective knows how to not be too pushy or controlling.
If he displays manipulative behavior, it’s usually covering up some secret agenda of his.
If you notice such behavior, it usually brings bad news along with it and you should probably get out of such a relationship while you still can.
A successful relationship is more about caring for the person you love.
You care about their feelings, whether they are happy and whether their needs are being met. You want them to be safe and healthy at any cost.
I would say that is what constitutes a normal relationship.
You expect him to behave in a normal manner, to show up if you made any plans, and for him to respect your choices.
Nevertheless, the line between caring and controlling can be blurred.
Caring is more about worrying about your partner and not forcing them to do anything they would not usually do.
You invest your time and effort in your partner that it eventually becomes natural.
When your partner is sad, you cheer him up and lift up his mood.
You prepare him dinner when he gets home from a hard day at work, and you try to ease his mind if he’s worried about something.
When you care about someone, your actions reflect your feelings in a positive way. If you are happy and cheerful, your actions will reflect such feelings.
However, when you are in a relationship with a partner who uses the word ‘caring’ as an excuse for his controlling behavior, you are in trouble.
Those types of partners have the need to control things. And I’m not just talking about controlling things in your relationship.
Those kinds of partners mostly have trust issues or they lack confidence in themselves.
Their sense of caring transcends normal behavior to the point where nothing is left to chance.
Controlling can be when your partner requires you that you come straight home from work without stopping anywhere.
Or maybe he restricts you from seeing your friends because he feels threatened by your relationships with them.
If he calls you every time you are not with him, that is another sign of a controlling partner.
Controlling may come from the feeling of caring about someone, but it is a distorted and flawed form of it.
You should realize that controlling and caring can be misinterpreted but they are not intertwined.
The goal of a successful relationship is to add to each other’s lives without the fear of being constantly controlled, by being respectful and supporting each other’s wishes and needs.
So, you might ask what the difference is between them and what are some of the things that happen in a relationship that we may conceive as controlling, but are actually caring and vice-versa?
Well, for one, the most basic difference can be seen when you leave your clothes scattered all around the house.
Some partners might see it as a sign of disrespect and not caring about the other person, while others might see it as a sign of control.
Another thing that might be misinterpreted as caring is alone time.
Everyone enjoys having some alone time in a relationship and that should be a normal thing.
However, if you have a caring boyfriend, going out with your friends would not be a problem to him.
His behavior would not change and he would not constantly nag you with text messages or calls, because he trusts you.
He trusts you that you will have fun and be careful not to let other men hit on you.
On the other hand, a manipulative boyfriend would tell you to come home early or even tell you that he wants to go with you.
He might use a sentence like, “I worry about you and your safety,” as an excuse to go with you.
Caring would be a great reason for him to stalk you. Let me tell you, that is not caring.
That is called controlling. Demanding your own free time and alone time is a must in every successful relationship.
Jealousy is another thing that might be conceived as caring and not controlling.
While it actually might be true that jealousy is a control issue, sometimes jealousy is good.
It is nice to admit to your partner that you are a bit jealous of someone and it can be a healthy thing.
It doesn’t mean that you are afraid of losing your partner, but rather that you seek his attention.
While on the other hand, controlling jealousy means that he forbids you to see your friend or someone whom you work with.
It crosses the line between being caring and being controlling.
Let’s face it, everyone is a little bit jealous. It is in our human nature to protect what we have.
Being controlling or caring doesn’t just refer to actions. Words sometimes hit harder than them.
When your boyfriend says, for example, that you look great in a particular jacket, that is called caring.
You look lovely and sweet and he wants to show you that he cares about you and your appearance.
However, the problem occurs when he starts to tease you (in a negative way).
He might compliment you on your cooking and say, “Lunch is actually good,” but this is his way of knocking down your self-esteem.
He might even focus on your flaws and talk all about them in front of your friends. Diminishing your worth is something a controlling partner would do.
Trust could also be interpreted in both ways. It is the most delicate part of any relationship.
Without trust, there is no happiness and cheerfulness. It takes time to build up trust, but only one action or word to break it down.
When you trust your partner, whom you lean on, he makes you feel secure.
You rely on him and on the fact that he cares about you. However, if a partner starts to abuse your trust and controls you, the trust is shattered and broken.
When he says, “I’m doing this because of our future and because I’m right,” it’s an expression of manipulation which might seem caring, but it’s not.
Your partner is degrading and controlling you if he uses trust as a tool against you.
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