Does seeing your girlfriend talking to other men put you on edge? Are constantly worried that she will find someone better than you and trade you in?
Do you always want to know where she is and who she is with? If you don't know does it make you anxious?
Being possessive will kill any relationship, no matter how good it is otherwise. The overbearing nature of a possessive lover is so oppressive that it is only a matter of time before the relationship suffocates.
Your only option is to figure out how to stop being a possessive boyfriend. Otherwise be prepared for her to leave.
12 Ways To Stop Being Possessive
1. Live A Badass Life
One common reason that men are possessive is that their girlfriend is the only positive thing in their life. Everything thing else is either broken or falling apart. Does this sound like you?
When everything else is failing and she is your only bright spot it makes you afraid to lose her. So you end up holding on tighter, becoming more possessive of the one thing you think you can't afford to give up.
The way out of this is to starting setting goals and making progress in other areas of your life. Get fit, succeed in your career and nurture your relationships with friends and family. Find happiness in other pursuits so you don't depend entirely on your girlfriend for your well being.
When the rest of your life is awesome it will still hurt if your girlfriend ends it with you. It just won't be as soul destroying as it would be if you had nothing else going for you. You don't need to be so afraid of it happening so you won't need to cling to her as tight.
2. Become More Confident
Possessiveness stems from a lack of confidence and a lack of self esteem. You don't think you are worthy of your girlfriend. You don't think she should have chosen you and you are afraid that she is going to realize this at any moment and flee. So you manipulate and control her in order to keep her with you.
In order to stop being possessive you need to increase your self worth. If you are awesome and you know you are awesome then she isn't going to leave you for someone else.
3. Accept That You Can't Control Her Actions
The underlying idea behind controlling and possessive behavior is that you can prevent an unwanted outcome (cheating or a break up) if only you try hard enough.
To stop being possessive you need to accept that this in fact is impossible. You cannot stop your girlfriend cheating if she really wanted to do it. She would find a way.
So instead you just accept that her behavior is not something you can influence. It might be uncomfortable but this is what trust is all about.
4. Make The Relationship Good
If you take positive action to make the relationship enjoyable and fulfilling to her then you have no need to worry or be possessive. You are creating an incentive for her to be faithul.
On the other hand if you fill the relationship with your negativity, fear and possessive behavior then she is probably going to bail on you at some point.
It's quite hard to eradicate negative thoughts and behaviors. What is easier is to work on actively cultivating positive thoughts and behaviors. By injecting some life into the relationship the negative impact of possessive behavior will be diminished.
5. Address The Underlying Insecurity
Possessive behavior doesn't just come out of nowhere. It is triggered by some deeper underlying insecurity. This may be a hurt from a past relationship, or feelings of abandonment you experienced as a child.
Sometimes it is necessary to uncover these old wounds in order to process them, heal and be ready to love.
I had to do this after my second serious relationship ended. It brought up all sorts of insecurities, which I spent about a year addressing. It turns out I had suppressed some painful childhood memories and these were affecting my wellbeing. After discovering them, processing them and discussing the issues with my parents I was able to move on. I was a stronger person and ready for a new relationship. I just needed to shine a light on a splinter I didn't know I had.
6. Don't Be Needy
Everyone needs space at times. Time to be alone or time to hang out with other people. Don't demand all of your girlfriend's time. When she needs space it isn't a reflection on you or a sign she is unhappy with you. It's just what normal people need from time to time.
So instead of letting that get to you, you should encourage it. A happier individual makes for a happier relationship.
7. Don't Be Jealous
Insecurity is an internal state of mind where you have low confidence and low self worth. Jealousy is where you desire something that someone else has. Possessiveness is when you refuse to let something that you have go.
In a relationship jealousy and possessiveness are similar but there is a key difference. Imagine you are at a party and you see another guy hit on your girl. It makes you sick to the stomach. That is jealousy, because in your mind your girl has already decided to leave you and hook up with him. You perceive her as being not with you, but with him and so you want something that he has.
It is this fear that causes you to be possessive. You are so afraid of her leaving that when she is innocently talking to another guy this makes you assume she has decided to ditch you for him. Your irrational logic makes you hold on tight and control her behavior because you hope to avoid a situation (her talking to other men) that might give rise to jealous feelings.
The answer to this is to learn to overcome the jealous feelings. Allow your girl to lead her own life freely, including being out in the big wide world outside your influence and control. Don't see this as a challenge, a threat or a loss. If you can get comfortable with not knowing where she is or who she is with and actually trust her, it will remove the need to be possessive.
Instead of feeling like she is always looking for any excuse to ditch you, you will know that you can let her go and she will come back.
8. Learn How To Trust
Think of trust as a muscle. It will be weak if you don't exercise it and it will become stronger if you do.
You can't learn how to trust unless you actually do it. Experience the feeling of letting go and of nothing bad happening.
Not being in control will perhaps be uncomfortable. But that's the point. Trust puts you in a vulnerable position where you don't know what is going on. The aim isn't to remove the uncertainty. Rather it is to learn to live with it.
9. Stop Spying Or Checking Up On Her
It is tempting to try and reduce your anxiety by checking her phone, email or social media. The theory being that if you don't find anything untoward then you can relax.
But it never makes you relax does it? It gives a temporary hit of relief before the anxious waves start flooding back again.
Spying is like a drug and you are an addict. If you do this you need to quit and go cold turkey. You can't truly trust someone if you have to check up on them.
In the Cold War, President Reagan used to say "trust but verify." He was talking about verifying his enemy's behavior. You girlfriend is not your enemy so you need to learn to trust without verification. Get over that addiction.
10. Have An Open Conversation About Your Possessive Behavior
No doubt if you have been possessive and controlling your girlfriend has felt it and thought about it. She has probably talked about it to her friends, or her mother or someone else because she feels she can't talk to you.
If you are truly committed to getting this under control then you should have a good long conversation about it with her.
This isn't so you can tell her how her legitimate behavior makes you feel possessive and jealous and ask her to stop. It's not for you to justify yourself.
It's so she can tell you how your behavior makes her feel and so you can figure a way to work through it together. If she is willing to support you it will be good for you to have her as an accountability buddy.
11. Don't Fight The Possessive Thoughts
Try not to think about a palm tree. Try really really hard to push that palm tree out of your mind.
It doesn't work does it.
For whatever reason you have been conditioned to think possessive thoughts and that isn't going to stop overnight.
Don't beat yourself up about it or try and stop thinking about it. The harder you try to banish the thoughts the more they stick. Just accept them when they come, acknowledge the feeling and tell yourself that they are irrational and let them go.
Don't try to fight it, don't try to use logic to justify it. Just say to yourself, "I'm feeling possessive but it's an irrational thought. I'm going to behave in a trusting manner." This way the thoughts can come but you don't act on them.
12. Get Help
If your possessive nature is mild then an attitude adjustment and a bit of willpower can help you overcome it.
However if that doesn't work then you may be wise to consider seeking therapy or counselling to get to the root of the problem.
Alternatively you can consider a self hypnosis program that you can do at home in your own time, such as "10 Steps To Overcome Insecurity In Relationships."
I'm writing this article on a Saturday afternoon. My girlfriend has gone away for the weekend with friends. She is 4 hours away and could be doing anything. Am I worried? Not at all and here is why:
- I'm awesome
- Our relationship is rock solid
- She is an honorable and trustworthy person
- If she made a mistake she would tell me
- I'm not the type of person to worry about the worst case scenario
- I've got better things to do with my weekend than sit on the couch stressing about her
Being possessive will eventually destroy your relationship if you let it. Do everything you can to make changes in your life that allow you to overcome this harmful feeling.