If you can answer yes to more than half of these questions, you’re dating a control freak. These are people who have a driving need to control everything around them, primarily because they are so out of control of themselves.
1. Were you immediately charmed by this person?
2. Did you feel, even after meeting them only once, that you’d “known” this person for a long time?
3. When you were with this person, did he (I’m speaking from a female perspective) lean back in his chair, put his arms behind his head, and have his legs stretched out or spread?
4. Was he looking at you, but his feet were pointing away from you?
5. Was he early and standing or sitting there looking at his watch, or pulling his cell phone out of his pocket just as you walked up?
6. Did he “humorously” chide you for being “late” even though you were spot on time?
7. Did he make a statement (smiling, of course) that you’d kept him “waiting” an entire minute (or however long he’d been there?)
8. Does he make passive-aggressive comments cloaked in humor?
9. When you are eating at his house does he put the food on your plate for you without asking what size portion you’d like?
10. When you are eating at your home, does he insist on “helping” in the kitchen by hovering and asking questions like: “why are you chopping that onion like that?” (translation: you’re doing it wrong,)
11. When you are out to eat, how does he treat the wait staff? Is he demanding? Does he cloak his demands in a wheedling tone, even though the wait person is clearly uncomfortable giving in to his requests? Does the wait staff finally give in?
12. Does he tell you how nice you look and then follow it with “but?”
13. Does he shower you with attention and then inexplicably withdraw when you reciprocate?
14. Does he tell you he wants to explore a long-term relationship with you after the first date?
15. Does he make statements like: “call me any time you want, and I mean ANY time” and then never answer his phone?
16. Does he hurt your feelings and when called on it, apologize and then shift blame to you?
17. Does he seem to hold everyone but himself accountable for his actions?
18. Is he always too busy when you ask to see him but sound hurt when you won’t turn on a dime when he decides he wants to see you?
19. Does he “correct” you – usually cloaking it with a laugh – for slight mistakes that anyone would make?
20. Does he accuse you of doing things you know you’ve never done?
21. Do you find his communication confusing? (i.e. – says one thing and does another?)
22. Do he seem to get happier after “humorously” criticizing you?
23. Does he play “good cop/bad cop?” By this I mean, is he nice one day and withdrawn and sullen or totally unavailable the next day?
24. Does he seem to forget things you’ve talked about and then tell you that you never mentioned those things?
25. Does he always seem to have to have the last word?
26. If you even slightly criticize him, with a gentle spirit, does he blow it out of proportion and withdraw from you?
27. Does he play “punishment/reward” games with you? (i.e. – cold shoulder until you start “behaving” as he thinks you should?)
28. Do you find yourself censoring not only your words but your thoughts when you are with him?
29. Have you begun to change your own behavior when around him for fear of his reactions?
30. Does he make up rules that you find out later only apply to you?
31. Do you find out, after doing something completely normal that is part of your daily routine, that he suddenly has a “rule” about that and he berates you for doing that thing?
32. Do you find yourself saying to friends: “but when he’s nice, it’s sooooo good!” ????
33. Do you find yourself making excuses for his behavior when he acts like an ass in front of your friends?
34. Does he attempt to keep you from seeing your friends?
35. Does he start out praising your accomplishments, but as time progresses, he begins to criticize those accomplishments, to the point of negating them?
36. Does he email you constantly, but not respond when you reply to his emails?
37. Does he consistently say he’ll call you, and then doesn’t call you?
38. Does he make vague plans with you and not nail them down until the last minute?
39. Does he get peeved that you won’t change your plans so that you can be with him for his last minute plans?
40. Does he throw you “carrots?” (i.e. – he tells you he’s told his friends about you but somehow those friends never materialize and you never get to meet them?
41. Over time does it seem that nothing you do is good enough?
42. Do you feel your self-confidence eroding when you are with him?
43. Do your friends tell you to dump the damned loser?
44. Do you tell your friends they’re all wrong about him and if they’d only meet him, they’d understand why you want to be with him?
45. Does he tell you stories about his past where he is always the hero?
46. Does he trash his ex, even though he spent years with her, and become offended when you ask him why he stuck around if she was so bad?
47. Is he always calm? Does he make a show of being “balanced” when you can see he’s obviously internalizing anger?
48. Is his logic faulty, and your intuition tells you it’s faulty but you can’t quite describe how it’s faulty?
49. Does he cut you off mid-sentence when you’re talking about something important to you, only to inject something anecdotal about himself?
50. Does he seem to be searching for the next thing he’s going to say rather than truly listening to what you have to say?
51. Is his home chronically neat and tidy? Does everything have it’s place and do you feel as though there is no place for you in his home?
52. When you look around his tastefully appointed home do you suddenly realize that it’s been quite studiously put together, that there is no dust anywhere even though he’s got tons of collectibles, and that he puts everything back in it’s “place” immediately after using it?
53. Does he make all the plans, always shooting your plans down in favor of his?
54. Does he unaccountably blow up at you when you suggest doing something different from the norm, and then tell you that you’re being selfish and maybe HE wants to do something else, thus accusing you of daring to attempt to control your interaction with him?
55. Does he send you mixed signals? Is he physically affectionate, without making sexual overtures, thus driving you to the brink of crazy because you’re not sure WHAT he wants and then when you attempt to talk to him about it he tells you that you want more than he can give?
The list actually goes on ad infinitum, but I think these 55 are a good start. If you can answer yes to most of these questions – even to half of them, you’re involved with a control freak, and possibly a Narcissistic Personality.
These are general characteristics. You’ll have to interpret them according to your own situation. But if most of them fit, I have one piece of advice for you, and it will save your sanity.