Control freak. Two little words with ugly implications. If anyone’s ever labeled you a control freak, you know just how uncomfortable the label feels. The truth is, when it comes to your love life, being a control freak can be a huge handicap. It can even sabotage your chances of relationship success.
In order to improve your odds of happily ever after, you may first need to let go of your controlling ways. The following are four signs that you might be a control freak. If you recognize yourself in any of the signs, follow the advice below to break free of your controlling nature.
Sign #1: It’s Your Way or the Highway
You might be a control freak if being right is more important to you than being fair. This is especially true in relationships. Take a look at past romantic partnerships and ask yourself how you handled misunderstandings, arguments, and other confrontational communication. Did you insist on being right? Was being right more important than seeing the other person’s side of the story? If so, you just might have control issues. Left unchecked, these issues can lead to being labeled a control freak. If this scenario sounds familiar, you owe it to yourself and your future relationship partner to let go of your incessant need to be right and instead focus on being fair. The next time the urge to be right rears its ugly head, take a deep breath, remind yourself that being right is not more important than having a healthy relationship, and acknowledge the other person’s point of view.
Sign #2: You Insist on a Rigid Schedule
In life and on dates, do you prefer to stick to events you can schedule on your calendar? If it’s not something you can squeeze in between work, Pilates class, and picking up your dry cleaning, then you just don’t have time for it. Sound familiar? This is another sign that you may be a control freak. The truth is, falling in love cannot be scheduled. You never know when or where you’ll meet someone special, how they’ll rock your world, and/or what it is about them that makes your heart race. That’s the beauty of falling in love. It’s unpredictable, unplanned, and impossible to schedule. In order to be open to real and lasting love, you first need to close your calendar, open your mind, and welcome the unexpected.
Sign #3: You Believe Spontaneity Is a Four-Letter Word
Just as you may have a tendency to over-schedule your life, you may also consider spontaneity a bad thing. However, the art of surprise adds spice to your life, especially your love life. That’s what makes love so exciting! If in past relationships you have insisted on always having a plan, now’s the time to let go of your controlling ways and embrace spontaneity. On dates, go with the flow. Let the other person plan some of your activities. Be willing to try new things, even if you’re not good at them. Give yourself permission to make a fool of yourself. You might actually have fun letting your hair down. Plus, by being spontaneous, you let your date see the real you, not a buttoned-up, controlled version of yourself.
Sign #4: You Frequently Judge Other People’s Behavior
If you frequently judge other people’s behavior in relationships, you may have control issues. The danger of judging what potential partners do and say based on your own unrealistic expectations is that you will most likely find yourself in unsatisfying relationships. As a result, you buy into the belief that nobody’s good enough for you. In actuality, your controlling nature is sabotaging your chances of relationship success. If this scenario sounds familiar, you owe it to yourself to turn down that judgmental voice in your head, get to know your date(s) for who they really are, and understand that nobody—including yourself—is perfect. Plus, when you let go of your need to judge others, you in turn stop judging yourself. The result? A more fulfilling dating future. Love that!
If any of the above signs made you stop and think that you just might have control issues, don’t despair. Now that you’ve acknowledged your control freak tendencies, you are free to let go. By loosening your grip on your own relationship expectations you in turn become more open to real and lasting love. When in doubt, remember this: love is not something you can schedule, predict, or plan for. That’s what makes it so incredibly special and exciting. When you embrace the unknown, you welcome the possibility of your very own happily ever after, and that’s worth losing a little control over.