Is Your Date too Controlling?

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Katy Perry recently revealed to Vogue that her break-up with Russell Brand happened via a text message - one that he sent to announce he was filing for divorce. And while she admitted she made mistakes that contributed to its demise, she also realized in retrospect that Brand was very controlling.

"At first when I met him he wanted an equal, and I think a lot of times strong men do want an equal, but then they get that equal and they're like, I can't handle the equalness. He didn't like the atmosphere of me being the boss on tour. So that was really hurtful, and it was very controlling, which was upsetting," she explained to Vogue.

Katy Perry's experience sheds light on something that many people don't consider when entering into a romantic relationship - that one partner may be too controlling, which leads to conflict, self doubt, and a lot of frustration. But it isn't always obvious when you're in love. You may tend to make excuses for your partner or ignore the warning signs.

So how can you be sure you're not dating someone who's too controlling? Here are a few red flags to consider:

He's inflexible. Does he normally get his way when you are making plans, or is it a joint effort? If he's really considering your opinion and feelings, he will listen and try to come up with a solution that makes both of you happy. If he makes you feel guilty and claims you're being unreasonable most of the time, this is a red flag. Don't ignore it. Speak up and let him know your opinion matters.

He has poor communication skills. Some men aren't very emotionally open, and as a result they feel powerless when they are in love. In order to take back some control, they assert themselves when they should be partnering. If your man doesn't want to discuss issues you face, and directs you instead, it's time to address your concerns.

He's possessive. Does he sulk when you go out with your girlfriends instead of him? Does he get angry when you make a decision without his consent, even if it doesn't involve him? If he makes you feel bad for making choices independent of him, then consider it a problem.

He has no accountability. He places blame on other people, including you, because he isn't willing to look at himself. This is common - we tend to blame other people, circumstances, etc. instead of seeing how we contributed to the problem, and what we can do to change things. If he's not willing to look at himself, then maybe it's time to move on.