I Attract Controlling Women- Help!

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Shannon1981, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Shannon1981

    Shannon1981 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am admittedly passive in relationships. I really am a people pleaser at heart, and that spills over into romances. For instance, the woman I just broke up with was controlling with an anger problem. The best example I can give is that when I moved into a new apartment, she came over right away, brought a bunch of shit over (a fan, some of her clothes,etc) that SHE wanted, without asking me, before I ever even had a chance to do anything to the place myself. She also took my bed off its beautiful mahogany frame, and said that if she was going to being staying over that is where it would stay. Keep in mind, we had only dated for a couple months. Certainly nowhere near thinking of cohabitating.

    She also admitted to having an anger issue, but instead of viewing it as the issue that it is, she essentially believed that the people around her should just put up with whatever verbal abuse comes spewing out of her mouth, saying that it is just a part of who she is and if you deal with her you deal with that. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

    The really bad part of this seems to be that this is a bit of a pattern. This last one was by far the worst, but other women have been control freaks as well. I've made a list of red flags, but I am not sure that that is enough to be able to recognize these women for what they are before I get involved.

    So, to that end, that brings me to the reason for this post. What do you ladies think is a good way to make sure I am not hooking up with yet another controlling, angry woman?
     
    #1
  2. Eva Mac

    Eva Mac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4,680
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hmmmm...it's difficult, if you are still quite young (early to mid twenties or younger) you are still in the process of learning about yourself and your likes and dislikes. You need to start valuing yourself more.

    There's only one you on the earth, so you're pretty special, you deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect that everyone does. First things first, you need to learn to stand up for yourself, the more you run around responding and pandering to the controlling aspect of these women, the more you will feed that aspect of their characters. Even if you don't stand up for yourself in the heat of the moment, you can always return to the issue by saying "I've had a chance to think about it, and I really don't like the way you treated me/spoke to me".

    It's very important to lay some boundaries, even the nicest person in the world can show an ugly nasty side eventually if you never say "no, or I don't like that" or disagree with them from time to time. It's too cozy for a persons ego never to be challenged.

    Now, how to spot a controlling type quickly. One way is, do you feel comfortable around them? Do you feel like you can be yourself with them, or are you feeling as though you have to pretend to be something you're not for them? Everybody when they're first attracted to someone will try to show a side of themselves that they think is what the other person wants to see, to some extent, but do you feel they're are trying to manipulate you into that, or is it just straightforwardly that you in yourself want to impress them. If you think they're trying to control or manipulate your behaviour rather than accepting you as you are, then you have a control freak. It's not going to get better until they work on themselves as a person, so just steer clear, romantically at least.

    A good uncontrolling person will be quite laid back, cheerful, won't react dramatically if you try to express a different opinion to theirs or if you won't do things their way. They won't be majorly moody or sulky over little things. They will quite simply put, accept you as you are and make you feel good about yourself, everything won't always be about them, it will be a reciprocal relationship.

    The controlling person has low self esteem and insecurity issues (not everyone with low self esteem and insecrity problems is a control freak though) but that's for them to sort out, not you. You will never change them, they are the only ones who can work on themselves to improve themselves.

    You will become better at spotting them the more you exercise your control freak spotting skills. Also, you need to work on your own self esteem, because clearly a part of you doesn't feel worthy of love and respect (which ironically is their problem too, just different responses depending on whether you are a dominant person or a submissive one by nature).

    Here's an interesting article: http://www.wikihow.com/Recognize-a-Controlling-Person

    Edited just to say: Btw, a person doesn't have to be either dominant or submissive, you can work towards being a balanced happy individual who doesn't have to be either, because you're happy in yourself.
     
    #2
  3. Shannon1981

    Shannon1981 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks, Eva Mac, for your kind and thoughtful response! I actually am 32, which is a big reason this is so concerning to me. I do have boundaries/dealbreakers/red flags, but it seems that I have a hard time identifying them in women I am getting to know until it is too late. If I look back at my life, even some friendships are like that. Thanks for the article, and again, for being so thoughtful! I'll definitely read up and apply what you've said to my dating quests.
     
    #3
  4. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    596
    so... we need a puppy test.

    Hear me out. When you adopt a dog, or pick a puppy, there's this list of things you're supposed to do to evaluate the puppy's temperament. Flip it over its back gently, to see if it's cool not being the alpha; stuff like that. With a few simple experiments, you can figure out if the dog is likely to be friendly, trainable, whatever. You don't have to bring it home and wait until it starts biting ankles to know if it's a good companion. (ALSO: I love dogs. I am not trying to be bitchy (ooh, pun intended) by comparing ladies with puppies; most of us would be lucky to be loved half so well by a partner.)

    SO. I don't have an equivalent test for control freaks... but there's got to be a pretty low-inference way to spot them, maybe taking that red-flag list a little further. Are there non-confrontational ways to put someone in a red-flag situation, to see how they handle it? Not that you want to put your dates through an obstacle course, but there must be situations and/or conversations that tend to bring controlling tendencies to light.

    One of the things I do, for instance, is to go dancing (like, social/folk dancing) with dates, to see if they mind how outgoing I like to be; jealousy does not work for me, since I value having a larger community and friends with shared interests. It also gives me a chance to see how people deal with a new environment and/or skill; I'm a learner and like to be with the same. If my date sits there looking cranky the whole time, instead of grinning and trying and earning an early departure for ice cream and skinnydipping, I know that we're probably not well-suited - not because I engineered an awful situation and they failed, but because I was on the lookout for the things that matter in a situation that highlighted them. (Also, THEY can see that we're not a good match, so we just end up being incompatible, rather than me being some crazy lady with impossible standards.)

    Just a thought - but I bet we could think up something that would help you actively screen for this kind of woman.
     
    #4
  5. Shannon1981

    Shannon1981 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    2
    lorienczhiu, this is actually the sort of thing I was thinking of. Is there a way to test her? I mean, usually my dates consist of dinner and conversation, coffee and conversation, drinks and conversation- you get the picture LOL. Is there a way to highlight those characteristics- anger and control? I mean, I know what I want as far as superficial characteristics go.
    Closets- I'm out, she better be too, religion- nothing organized or fundamentalist, no holy rollers, don't want kids, don't date right wingers. I used to think that was all it took to find a mate, to come armed with those 4 requirements. That way, I have standards, but I am not too picky. I realize, now, though, that I have been doing it all wrong. Sure, those surface things are important, but control freaks FLOCK to people like me, people who are easy going, easy to please for the most part, and are essentially yes-women. So, now, the new challenge is putting that to the test. So, now, I just have to find out how to bring out the controlling side before I get heavily involved.
     
    #5
  6. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    596
    Shannon, maybe it's simplistic, but I think the easiest way to raise the red flag early would be through conversation. What does a controlling person do when you disagree, say no, or try to assert your reality? If you don't like a preferred food or activity? If the woman you're dating tries to convince you that she's right or is easily frustrated by your opinion, that's a pretty strong sign. That does mean that you need to be deliberately less easy going - a food preference, maybe. I've even seen controlling behavior come out during a conversation about TV shows - you can tell what someone is like with conflict and control when they are challenged over the most trivial things.

    Another possibility is to see what she does when outside her comfort zone; people who need to be control tend to be very bad at trying new things or letting their partner be the expert. Are there any other activities you like that would be appropriate for a third-ish date (picnic-in-the-park league)? Maybe you want to teach her how to make bagels, or play bocci, or whatever - and the added bonus is that you get to share something you're care about, and if she's down to take a risk it could be a really great experience for both of you. Or even just bring a game along to coffee, and get a look at how she deals with competition.

    It really is like rolling the puppy over; you need to make her a hair uncomfortable, to see how she deals with uncertainty. If anger and control are her issues, being off kilter are going to bring out that response. If she has a handle on her emotions, she'll respond positively (and perhaps adorably) to your support and enthusiasm.
     
    #6
  7. Shannon1981

    Shannon1981 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    2
    Great idea, lorienczhiu! A good one in that league for me would be taking her to an event at the LGBTQ Center I am heavily involved at, or taking her to the Unitarian Universalist place I sometimes attend. I know many people and am really in my element in both environments, and it would be interesting to see how she reacts. I don't have anyone waiting in the wings right now, but this gives me a chance to kind of figure out activities that might fall into the category of how someone will react in situations that might not be a million percent her thing. Thanks again!
     
    #7
  8. Eva Mac

    Eva Mac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4,680
    Likes Received:
    8
    I'm glad if I could help at all. Realising you have a problem with this issue and wanting to change it is the first big step, so you're already on your way ;) .
     
    #8
  9. Moses

    Moses Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    938
    Likes Received:
    188
    Eva Mc in da house. Nice response!
    Lorienczhiu, it occurred to me that an introvert would have a pretty hard time with your dancing activities etc.

    Also, unless and element of care and gentleness is applied, bringing along your date to a new environment (for them) where you are very comfortable would be difficult for anybody to lesser or greater extents, in my opinion anyway.
     
    #9
  10. Shannon1981

    Shannon1981 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    2
    Moses,

    I'd definitely be gentle/caring, but those are two things that are really very important in my life, and, therefore, it would come up at some point or other anyway. Why not use it as a way to see how she reacts? If anything brings out controlling responses, it would be that.
     
    #10
  11. Moses

    Moses Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    938
    Likes Received:
    188
    well, she could also react badly if she is shy...or uncomfortable...doesn't necessarily mean she is controlling.

    Also, in my experience, the controlling usually begins privately or in an environment where the 'victim' feels isolated or disadvantaged. Have you noticed that or do you find that it's the opposite?
     
    #11
  12. Moses

    Moses Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    938
    Likes Received:
    188
    i suppose i might be thinking more of very controlling behavior which becomes abusive in some way(mentally or physically), rather than someone reacting negatively when feeling insecure.

    I guess if it was someone that attempts control their partner when the partner puts them into an environment where they feel insecure, I guess then, yea it would show up in the context of your setting.

    I'm just saying i wouldn't use it as a test as lots of other types of people might respond poorly in such a situation, introverts for example, or someone generally shy or a poor 'mixer'.
     
    #12
  13. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    596
    Moses, there are definitely caveats, and I wouldn't just want to plunge someone into a crowd where they were not comfortable, and sharing a dance form and social scene I love is not a trap to make people feel crappy. It IS an opportunity for me to observe some more subtle things about potential partners than how many left feet they have, and before getting serious with someone, I make a lot of different kinds of observations. And I always ask whether that's something they feel comfortable trying (and conduct a mini-lesson in the kitchen beforehand); if they don't like to be touched, or don't like crowds, we do something else for sure. What's more, I intensely value and respect the ability to honestly express emotional needs. It's not a standardized thing or anything, but trying new things with potential partners lets me learn about them in more complex ways - and them about me.

    And honestly? the communities I'm part of - mostly, dancing and social singing - are HUGE parts of my life. Relationships with people who can't participate in one of the two even occasionally do not work out (and I have tried); the time commitment for me, and the emotional/social importance, are too big. This means that relationships don't work out with all kinds of people - it's not a trap or In the first 1-3 months of dating, figuring out whether the possibility for understanding and sharing are there is crucial, and I'm 100% game to explore a new flame's interests as well.
     
    #13
  14. Moses

    Moses Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    938
    Likes Received:
    188
    yea. lorienchziu, i'm witcha. Was not expecting you would do anything unkind to someone, far from it. I'm sorry if it came across that way. I expected that you would have considered the introvert question etc...my question was more so that it would be clear on this thread for others reading it. :)
     
    #14
  15. Shannon1981

    Shannon1981 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am kind of like lorienczhiu is with her dancing type activities with my Unitarian stuff and my stuff at the LGBTQ center. I don't expect this person to be all into social justice like I am, but, she needs to at least be able to hang out in these environments say, once a month or so.

    I wouldn't say I am some crazy activist person or anything, but I would say that these activities are huge in my life. Also, I wouldn't throw someone into these things if she absolutely hated the idea, either....but it would be an opportunity to observe, before I get myself into a situation such as the one I described in the OP of this thread.
     
    #15
  16. Eva Mac

    Eva Mac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4,680
    Likes Received:
    8
    Thanks Moses, ditto ;)
     
    #16
  17. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    1,058
    I hate these new forums. I really do. But I'm compelled to respond to your original post.

    Maybe the problem isn't the women you attract but the image of yourself that you put out there. It's difficult to be introspective, but frankly, you reap what you sow. Maybe what you put out there to others -- consciously or not -- is somehow saying to these "controlling" women that it's ok to treat you the way you're allowing yourself to be treated. Maybe it's not about "testing" the people you date at all..maybe it's about testing yourself first. And maybe, just maybe, you're choosing these women for a reason -- reasons unbeknownst to you. Your pattern of choosing this type of women suggests to me that there's more to the story than your dumb luck in meeting the wrong kind of woman.

    This isn't a personal attack by any means -- but it's maybe my fortune cookie way of saying that being happy in a relationship won't ever happen unless you're first happy with yourself. If you're confident with yourself...if you're self-assured...and if you're unequivocal about what you will and won't tolerate in a dating relationship, then you might just find the right woman.
     
    #17
  18. Shannon1981

    Shannon1981 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    2
    Spygirl, there is some truth to what you are saying. I've spent a couple days since the original post examining the pattern rather than the parade of failed romances. I think you hit the nail on the head, or, at least, in how things were playing out in recent times.

    In Sept 2012, I moved from South Carolina to New York. It took everything I had to do it, but for a lot of reasons it was the right thing to do. I landed in two really shitty living situations before finally getting my own apartment. During those times there was a lot of drama in my life, and I guess I had the " I am lucky anyone will give me a chance at all" sort of mentality. However, after settling in and getting rid of the drama, things have changed. I now have a flexible work schedule, a lot of time and energy to offer a mate, my own place, very little drama...so, in other words, I am a pretty good catch these days. I think it has just taken me a while to realize that.
     
    #18
  19. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    1,058
    Then walk around with the "I am a damned good catch" and "anyone would be lucky to date me" attitude...rather than the I just hope I meet someone attitude :)
     
    #19

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice