How To Stop Being Possessive In A Relationship?

Your significant other is on the phone with his/her family, and you feel a rush of rage burning through your veins, ‘why is he/she so cheerfully speaking with someone other than me’?

The thought of your partner being busy with his/her work or hobby infuriates you because you feel his/her unavailability at times.

You feel pangs of jealousy every hour and cannot stop yourself from snooping in his/her phone, emails, social media accounts, location etc. You keep track of all activities and interrogate if he/she makes a change in the usual schedule.

Soon, you start deciding on what he/she should wear, who should be in his/her friends’ circle, how long he/she can stay out and even how many drinks he/she can have at the bar with your approval!

And when your significant other finally protests against your unjustified behaviour, you

  • Throw a tantrum.
  • Refuse to own up to your irrational conduct.
  • Try to guilt-trip him/her.
  • Threaten to terminate the relationship.
  • Block your significant other for days even when he/she tries desperately to reach out to you.
  • Engage in some form of self-harm to ‘teach him/her a lesson’ and,
  • Never apologize when (if) things eventually settle down.

If you have felt or displayed any or all of these symptoms lately, it is time to consciously calm down and shake hands with the fact that you are dangerously possessive in your relationship, and this needs to stop!

Why Are Partners Possessive In A Relationship?

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

All romantic relationships are blessed with a bit of ‘Be-Mine’ enchantment. This is a beautiful feeling that comforts, strengthens, nourishes and spices up ‘togetherness’, a bond that is intended to last till eternity.

Though we cannot deny that ‘People are Products of Their Experiences’ and these experiences get drawn into just about any relationship that the individual enters next in their life. For example, 

  • If a person was cheated on by their ex, he or she would naturally develop trust issues with their new partner.
  • If a person was abused or neglected in their previous relationship, he/she would try to suffocate their new partners with claustrophobic love.
  • If a person has latent insecurities about losing, he or she will try to control their partners aggressively.

So on and so forth.

Why and How You Need to Stop Being Possessive in a Relationship?

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

No matter how experientially backed your possessiveness may be, it spells untimely and unfortunate death to an otherwise healthy relationship.

Understand that there is only a limit to which any human would tolerate despotic control over their lives, and that too for no good reason.

If you love your partner and want your relationship to flourish. If you wish to experience the joys and contentment of a romantic relationship and create a healthy forever bond, you have to stop being possessive and here’s how you can start this positive behavioural twist from today.

Let Past be Past, Never Drag it to the Present

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

When you choose to stay chained to your past, you can never experience the joys of the ‘present’. Remember, your present partner is not the same as your ex.

She/he is an entirely different human with different character, perspectives and behavioural traits. On many occasions, it has been seen that new partners have helped their significant others’ overcome past trauma with love, trust and mutual respect.

Therefore, how you treat her/him now based on your past experiences will reflect on his/her behaviour towards you later. Be aware and take accountability when there’s still time.

Inner Reflection is the Key to Comprehend Negativity in Relationship 

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

THINK! Why does possessiveness consume you? Does your partner really deserve such toxic attitude?

Are you blatantly overlooking their efforts to make you happy and feel loved? Is she/he really behaving suspiciously, or is it your overthinking that is creating fictional screenplays?

Does he/she deliberately neglect you, or are you deliberately overlooking his/her urgencies?

Deep introspection is the key to counter toxic possessiveness and prevent your beautiful bond from suffering untimely and unnecessary demise. 

Create Your Space and Fill it up with Things You Like

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

This goes out to those who try brutally hard to stop theirs significant other from engaging in social activities or hobbies that do not include them.

DON’T! Having one’s own space is a healthy way to live one’s life, and you must allow your significant other the same as well. This applies to every kind of relationship.

If your world has been revolving around your partner, what he/she does, where he/she goes, who he/she meets etc., and then getting anxious about unfounded thoughts like he/she cheating on you, not caring for you, demeaning / neglecting you etc. It may be a reflection of something that is lacking in your life.

So, this may be the time you focus on creating ‘Your Own Space’ with hobbies and activities you like engaging in. It is a proven fact that spending at least an hour in creative activities of your interest can help overcome negative thinking literally therapeutically.

You are a ‘PART’ of his/her World 

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

You might be the most important part of his/her world. But you must think logically and understand that there are other people and things that surround his/her existence and call for his/her time and attention regularly. It can be family, friends, job, pets, hobbies and more.

Therefore, when your significant other attends to these essentials, it does not mean he/she does not love you or respect you or is neglecting you.

Your partner is only attending to the fundamentals of his/her life of which you are an essential ‘part’ but certainly not the ‘whole’. Respect boundaries and watch the magic that eventually unfolds in your relationship. 

Stop Overthinking

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

Overthinking is seldom factual. It is basically a train of imaginary situations and consequences that are born out of past insecurities and fear of the future course of events over which we have no control.

Therefore, when you see yourself creating stories in your head about the intentions of your significant other, stop right there and reflect on the basis of your doubts.

If your fears are unfounded, focus your thoughts on random productive diversions like deciding what to cook for dinner, grocery list, completing that painting, cleaning your cupboard etc. 

Speak Openly with Your Partner

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

If nothing is soothing your negative chain of thoughts, it is best to speak openly with your partner instead of passing judgments, throwing tantrums, blaming, guilt-tripping etc. Speak about your past trauma and request assurance.

Disclosing your softer side and insecurities with the person you love the most and choose to spend the rest of your life with is ‘Not Weakness’.

In fact, it is the first step towards healing. If your partner has put up with your otherwise toxic possessiveness for so long, he/she will understand you and help you heal with selfless love and support.

Never Ever Engage in Toxic Passive Punishments

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

So he/she did not have enough time for you on a certain day. It does not matter that he/ she was attending to an important deadline at work and had guests over for dinner later in the evening, but you are angry and hurt. Now you want to teach your significant other a lesson.

So, you block him/her out, stop picking his/her calls, guilt trip him/her by saying he/she never has time for you, name him/her as the cause behind your pain, cancel dates and plans you made with him/her and question his/her commitment towards the relationship.

But deep down inside, you know that your only aim is to ‘force your partner to miss you like you miss him/her’. STOP! Don’t do this.

Unnecessary toxic punishments like this result in enormous emotional agony and can eventually drive an otherwise loving and caring partner to shut you from his/her life forever. 

Know and Understand Your Partner’s World

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

Instead of getting jealous, anxious and paranoid, try to understand your partner’s world.

Get to know his/her friends’ circle; understand his/her profession and commitments; understand his/her family and responsibilities towards them. Respect the space he/she requires to take care of the world outside you.

The more you understand, the less possessive you are bound to be.

Exercise and Meditate to Calm Your Anxiety

how to stop being possessive in a relationship

Toxic possessiveness can reach an epic high if your mind is a victim of anxiety. Calming your anxiety is the first step towards taming your aggressively possessive behaviour.

Regular exercising and mindful meditation are two tried and tested ways to overcome negative emotions and give you clarity in thoughts and actions.

40 minutes of dedicated schedule at least 5 days a week can improve your mood, perspectives and happiness quotient, thereby helping your relationship blossom and stand the test of time.

The Bottom Line

Relationships are built on the foundations of Mutual Love, Respect, Trust, and Freedom. When you hover over your partner’s life like it’s yours to shape and control, you end up breaching these four foundations, which quite inevitably mars the relationship.

If you love your partner but have been excessively possessive, it is never too late to mend your ways to experience a healthy beginning once again. 

Also read: How To Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control

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