10 Subtle Signs of a Controlling Boyfriend Most Girls Don’t Notice

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Relationships are meant to be a source of love, support, and mutual growth. 

Sometimes, most ladies are in relationships with a man who is controlling every aspect of their lives but they have no idea he is doing that.

This is because he is so subtle in his approach that the control looks like love.

From this instance, it begins to turn from the worst when they realise it.

If you are reading this post and want to know the signs of a controlling boyfriend, stay glued as we dive in.


10 Subtle Signs of a Controlling Boyfriend Most Girls Don’t Notice

1. Constant Criticism: 

Signs of a Controlling Boyfriend

A controlling boyfriend will often criticise you for no reason, even about things that are outside of her control. 

He may make negative comments about your appearance, behaviour, or even your friends and family. 

He may start doing this in a way that looks like he is correcting you out of love.

However, when you check the pattern, you’d notice it is constant and always in a negative light.

This constant criticism can erode your self-esteem and make you feel like you are never good enough.


2. Isolation: 

A controlling boyfriend may try to isolate you from your friends and family. 

He may prevent you from spending time with them or make you feel guilty for doing so. 

He will elaborate on the fact that they are making progress with their lives while you are just spending time with them doing nothing.

You will buy into the idea thinking that they’re wasting your time and you begin to withdraw from them.

You may not realise that he is trying to isolate you from people around you so that he can have full control and group over your life.

When he has successfully done this you will find it difficult to maintain relationships outside of your relationship with him.

You will end up feeling lonely and isolated which was the goal from the start.


3. Monitoring:

Signs of a Controlling Boyfriend

A controlling boyfriend will monitor his girlfriend’s phone, social media account and even her location.

He wants to know her whereabouts all the time and may even become angry when she is not immediately available.

This may parade as him being caring but in the real sense of it, he is simply monitoring every one of your moves so that he can assert his position over your life.

He doesn’t want you to be out of his grip or out of his reach at any point.

He wants your life to revolve around him at all points in time.

This has nothing to do with care, it is just him being a controlling boyfriend.


4. Jealousy: 

A controlling boyfriend will become jealous of your relationship with others even when they are purely platonic.

He will make it seem like he is just being head over heels in love with you but that is not the case.

Most times, this starts on a playful note and then it becomes a norm.

Even when you find it offensive, you don’t talk about it because you feel his jealousy is an overt act of the depth of his love for you.

However, it will degenerate to a point where he would start accusing you of cheating on him even when you have not given him room to doubt your loyalty to him.


5. Possessiveness: 

Possessiveness often stems from jealousy.

One of the signs of a controlling boyfriend is that he treats you as his property rather than a partner.

He believes that you are for his pleasure and happiness only.

That is why he seems to get angry when you spend time doing other things you enjoy without him.

To you, this may appear to be love but deep down you know that you are in a cage where you cannot break free from easily.


6. Gaslighting: 

One major sign of a controlling boyfriend is the fact that he is always gaslighting you.

They will twist your perceptions and reality so much that you begin to doubt your own convention.

He’s gaslighting tactics that make you make a mess of what should have been your perfect life in the first place.

It takes one who is very sound to be able to see through this gaslighting.

You might be surprised that you would even start to apologise for being so logical in most situations.

His ultimate goal is to unsettle you and just be in control of your life.


7. Interrupting: 

Signs of a Controlling Boyfriend

This might not easily come up to you as controlling you but interrupting when you are speaking is a way of asserting dominance to control the conversation.

When he sees you’re making sense or drawing attention to yourself he turns to cut you midway.

Also, it can be a way to prevent you from expressing yourself fully in such a way that might expose his closet act.

Also, he doesn’t want you to have your own opinion or ideas rather he wants everything you say to be a spinoff of what he believes in.


8. Refusal to Compromise:

A controlling boyfriend will refuse to compromise with you on small matters.

He would insist on having things done in his own way alone.

It is immaterial if it is even obvious to the blind that you have a better option to what he proffered. 

His assertion on his point of view is to show his control over your life at every point and he doesn’t care about the consequences. 


9. Mood Swings: 

A controlling boyfriend has very unpredictable mood swings that make it difficult for you to anticipate his reactions or behaviour. 

He becomes angry and violent or upset over little things that could have passed without breaking a sweat.

He would often transfer aggressions from other situations to you without caring about how it affects you in any way.

He premises this habit on the fact that you’re his girlfriend and by default, you should tolerate him and his excesses.


10. Threats:

Signs of a Controlling Boyfriend

One sign of a controlling boyfriend is that he will often threaten you. 

You may not see it as a threat at the onset as he couches them in subtle ways.

He can be so subtle about it that you’d still think you’re in love or being a lovely girlfriend. 

He could go as far as threatening to leave you if you do not do something he wants. 

All these are controlling and intimidation tactics in order to make you comply with his wishes.

A man that does all of this only wants to take the power from you and wield it as he wishes.




It can be difficult to recognize the signs of a controlling boyfriend, especially if the behaviour is subtle or gradual. 

However, it’s important to pay attention to your gut instincts and to seek help if you feel like something is not right in your relationship. 

Some additional signs that may indicate a controlling relationship outside the ones stated above include:


– Feeling like you are walking on eggshells around your partner

– Feeling like you are always wrong or at fault

– Feeling like you have to justify your actions or decisions to your partner

– Feeling like you cannot be yourself around your partner

– Feeling like your partner is always watching or monitoring you

– Feeling like your partner is always criticizing or belittling you

– Feeling like your partner is always trying to change you or mould you into someone else


If you recognize any of these signs in your relationship, it’s important to seek help and support. 

You can reach out to a trusted friend or family member, a therapist, or a domestic violence hotline for help and guidance.

 You deserve to be treated with respect and love, and a healthy relationship should never make you feel afraid or unsafe.




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