Overprotective Boyfriends (39 Warning Signs Your Partner Is One Of Them)

by April Maccario

According to Women’s Health, many signs of a controlling and overprotective boyfriend are “romanticized” when starting in a new relationship. The way he acts may seem “sweet” because he’s paying more attention to you and showing you a lot of affection. 

What girl doesn’t love to have that in her life? I confess I am guilty of that, too!

If your boyfriend exhibits those “romanticized” actions in your relationship, it may seem like chivalry isn’t dead after all. However, it’s still vital that you keep your radar up so you don’t fall victim to the actions of a controlling, overprotective boyfriend, which could lead to abuse.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at what makes up controlling and overprotective boyfriends so that you know what characteristics to look for in your boyfriend.

What Is An Overprotective Boyfriend?

If you find your boyfriend is too concerned with your life and perhaps bossy, he may be overprotective. There is a difference between being protective and overprotective. A protective boyfriend will let you have your independence and protect you when it concerns your safety; an overprotective boyfriend will be too clingy and needy.

The Urban Dictionary explains that an overprotective boyfriend is a jerk who won’t give you a chance to talk to his girlfriend because he is too jealous; he may even go so far as to threaten to beat you to a pulp. Of course, not all overprotective boyfriends are jealous; some are controlling or manipulative. 

So, what IS a controlling boyfriend like? Usually, a controlling partner tries to dominate and intimidate their partner. He feels very insecure about himself and needs validation and comfort. 

Traits Of An Overprotective Boyfriend

1. Overbearing

Does he come off too strong, overwhelming you? Make sure you don’t feel suffocated in a relationship. A healthy bond will happen when he learns about boundaries. 

2. Criticizing

criticizing

Have you caught him judging everything that you do? This can get old fast! Don’t allow another individual a chance to tear you down. Be optimistic and trust your gut instincts.

3. Needy

Have you found that he needs you to take care of him more often than not? Does he require all of your attention? Establish healthy boundaries with him. If he cannot respect that, consider ending the relationship.

4. Invasive

Does he check your phone to see who you’ve been talking to? Have you caught him spying on you, invading your privacy? If he goes through your texts, calls, emails, laptop, or purse, consider this guy to be a bad apple. Throw him back and find a better one.

5. Manipulative

Has he made you feel guilty when you did no wrong? Think back; has he tricked you into doing something you didn’t want to do? Don’t let him toy with your emotions. Take control of your life by fighting back or leaving.

6. Insecure

Most men who threaten or manipulate feel very uncertain about who they are and what they want. Watch closely for the signs that he may be insecure.

7. Pushy

Do you have your own opinion but it seems like it doesn’t matter? Don’t let another individual push you around. You should be the only one dictating your actions!

8. Selfish

Does he get upset if you don’t do what he wants you to? Does he always need to have his way? Try to stand your ground by looking out for yourself rather than always doing what he wants.

9. Unpopular

There’s a good chance that he feels like since he doesn’t have many friends that you shouldn’t either. Stand up for yourself and your friendships. 

10. Jealous

Does he keep you away from your guy friends? Does he have uncontrolled rage? If his jealousy is overwhelming or becomes violent, get out immediately. 

11. Overwhelming

Does he tell you what to wear, who to be around, and what to do? Do you feel exhausted, just being in a relationship? Determine if the efforts you are putting into the relationship are worth the benefits you receive.

12. Dominating

He may just feel like he has to be in control of decisions. This can be kind of cute, but over time, you may feel cheated that you never got your way.

13. Possessive

Does he put restrictions on what you can wear, what you eat, how you spend your time, or even who you hang out with? While the attention is flattering, it’s not healthy. Don’t allow someone to control your actions.

14. Intrusive

Have you caught him going through your stuff? That’s just not acceptable. Set boundaries today; map them out on paper and talk sweetly to him about how you feel.

15. Argumentative

argumentative

It’s always better to have an agreeable partner rather than an individual who always wants to fight. Don’t waste your time fighting over the little stuff.

16. Judgmental

Have his cruel comments led you to believe you aren’t even worthy of love anymore? If so, it’s time to move on and find a partner who will be respectful.

17. Threatening

Does he tell you if you don’t do something, he will leave you? My ex did that - constantly threatening to leave if he didn’t get his way. If he threatens violence, be sure to leave right away. You are worthy of someone better.

18. Paranoid

If he always swears that something is going on behind his back when nothing is, he’s probably paranoid and insecure. 

19. Anxious

He may feel as though everything is wrong all the time. Don’t be with a partner who is emotionally unhealthy.

20. Accusatory

Is he always accusing you of something? He probably has trust issues; find some means to work through them or say, “Next!”

21. Mistrusting

Has his constant mistrust in you put you in a place where you can’t even trust yourself? If there’s no trust, you may need to reevaluate your relationship with him.

22. Belittling

Don’t let anyone tear you down and make you feel insecure with their words. 

23. Passive-aggressive

If he can’t tell you his true feelings when he feels them, you may probably have communication problems that the two of you need to work through.

24. Demanding

Be careful of the man who demands you do or say what he wants. This can quickly turn into anger or even abuse.

25. Suspicious

Does he always think you’re up to something? He’s probably very self-conscious. Keep your distance until you feel like he’s gotten a hold of his insecurities.

26. Confusing

Does he say one thing and then does something different? Wishy-washy behavior can get old fast; be open with him about how you would like him to share his feelings.

27. Intimidating

Don’t allow your boyfriend the chance to make you feel scared of making mistakes - no matter what.

28. Abusive

abusive

If he’s mentally or emotionally abusive, it’s best to part ways, but couples’ counseling could work in your favor. If you experience physical abuse, leave immediately, and seek help. Don’t stay in an abusive relationship.

29. Lacking boundaries

Check out the book, Boundaries, to better understand where you should set your boundaries and how your partner should respect them.

30. Unrealistic expectations

Does he expect you to do the impossible, setting standards that even he can’t meet? This is unreasonable.

31. Blaming

Make sure you aren’t with a partner who can never take responsibility for his own actions. Not everything is your fault.

32. Sensitive

Generally, when a guy has traits like those listed here, he feels negative about who he is. Decide if he’s worth the trouble by weighing the pros and cons.

33. Snappy

An overprotective and controlling man may have quite a temper that he has difficulty controlling. 

34. Perfectionist

Don’t try to fit into some model that your boyfriend wants you to. Be yourself, and tell him he can love you for who you are!

35. Critical

Criticizing behavior can get old very fast. Plus, it can tear your soul down. 

36. Stalking

Does he use a phone app to track your location without your permission or invade your privacy another way?

37. Authoritative

Has his bossy nature made you feel like you are his child rather than his girlfriend?

38. Obsessive

Does he monitor you and pay attention to everything you do? Be careful this doesn’t turn into obsessive stalking.

39. Playing mind games

Watch out for anyone who plays mind games. Don’t fall into their many traps.

What To Do With An Overprotective Boyfriend

what to do with an overprotective boyfriend

1. Share your feelings with your boyfriend

Be open and honest about the way you feel. Make sure he understands and listens to your feelings and point of view. You may want to write down what you plan to say to him ahead of time.

2. Reach out to friends and family members

Turn to your support group. They may be able to help in ways that you can’t on your own. Trust that they have your best interest in mind and will help you.

3. Seek professional help from a relationship expert

If you want to stay with him, you may feel better talking to a professional, who can advise you, expertly. Even better, invite your boyfriend to go with you!

4. End the relationship

This is a good, safe option to conclude the situation you’re in. Let’s look at exactly when and how to end things. 

When You Should Leave A Relationship

If your boyfriend refuses to listen to your feelings, share you with other people, or won’t go to counseling with you, it’s time to let this fish go back in the sea. 

If he doesn’t do any of those things, break up with him. He’s not worth the trouble. Think about what kind of husband he would be. Do you want that forever?

People don’t change because you want them to. You can’t convince him to be the man that you’ve dreamed of your whole life. Instead, let him go and start a quest for a healthy person, someone who will bless your life with respect, love, and care. Those are the qualities you should look for in the man you want to spend the rest of your life with.

You may be thinking that he will change, convincing yourself that things can work out. After all, where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? Of course, if you feel like your life is in danger or are going through abuse, you should immediately contact The National Domestic Abuse Hotline.

Should You Breakup with Him?

First, think about all the reasons you need to end the relationship. How do you feel about your life? Do you feel lost, lonely, and trapped? Think about the signs that show he’s controlling by watching the way he treats you. Does he know what love is? How does he show you respect?

Second, contemplate the many possessive signs you’ve seen in his behavior. How often do you see other people? Does he get jealous easily? Is he okay with you having guy friends? It’s improbable that his jealous behavior will change, so decide if you want to continue down this path when you see the warning signs.

Finally, decide if he’s worth it. No one enjoys feeling stuck with no safe way out. Do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages? What is the future if you currently see signs of a toxic relationship? Can things improve over time? It’s probably best to move on; find someone better.

How To Breakup With An Overprotective Boyfriend

how to breakup with an overprotective boyfriend

You now see the signs that he’s not the right person for you. It’s time to end things. Determine what you are going to say. Get a family member or knowledgeable guy friend on the phone and ask for their advice. Others may have a point of view you don’t. They may know how you could best end the relationship. 

Finally, it’s time to break the news to your boyfriend. Write down what you plan to say so you don’t miss anything. Explain your feelings using “When you…” and “I feel” statements. His behavior may be irrational or even abusive. 

If you experience abuse, get on the phone with the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 immediately. They have over 4,000 safe houses in the United States.

FAQs

What does it mean when your boyfriend is protective over you?

A protective person looks out for your well-being. Someone who is overprotective tends to take it one step further. He may snoop through your phone or try to control you by telling you what to wear.

Is it good to have an overprotective boyfriend?

It isn’t healthy because often, an overprotective boyfriend tries to control your actions. He may get upset and jealous if you have guy friends or spend too much time with others. This behavior won’t stop either. The sooner you end things, the better it will be.

How can you tell if someone is overprotective?

Overprotective people usually are insecure and have trust issues. They may also be perfectionists, thinking control is their only safe course of action. 

How can I stop being overprotective with my boyfriend?

You need to learn to trust and believe in him. Know that he’s not going to hurt you intentionally. Let him hang out with his guy friends and trust that he’ll be good and faithful.

How do you tell if he is fighting his feelings?

He may love you and be scared to show it. Often, people hide their feelings because they don’t want to be rejected or get hurt. Not showing true feelings is usually a defense mechanism.

To Sum Things Up...

Do you think your boyfriend is controlling or overprotective? Have you seen one or more of the above signs and are ready to break up with him? If the signs are there, it’s probably not true love.

I’d love to hear all about your experience! Please comment and share this post!

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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