This isn’t a ‘how to’ guide on controlling men, it’s a post on men who like to control. This is probably the most important of the four part series dealing with B*. Honestly readers, if you have skipped the rest of the series so far, read this one. The thing that worries me the most about the examples below is the fact that only one friend in my life picked up on these as signs of a controlling, potentially abusive arsehat. It’s one thing to see these examples as behaviour you don’t want in a boyfriend, it’s another to accurately identify it like that. And I want everyone to be able to accurately identify the warning signals as early on as possible, to minimise the risk to themselves when dating. My friends who didn’t pick up on this shit? I will be demanding full disclosure from them about all dates they go on in future. You cannot miss these signs before it’s too late.
There were so many things, I’m finding it hard to start this post. I guess one of the biggest signs that he’s a control freak, and one that ran through all three dates was his notions of who should initiate what. Now I know women can ask guys out, and they can initiate the first kiss and they can do whatever they want. I get it. But I’m not like that. At this point in my life, I’m not so interested in the relationship thing that I’ll make the first move on anything. If you want to go out with me, you need to ask me out. If you want to see me again, you need to do the follow up after the date. Simple. Except, not so much with B. He was constantly frustrated that I was not ‘chasing’ him and that he had to do the work. He contacted me after each date, he had to initiate the kissing cause I wasn’t going to do it. His constant forcing of the issue, the attempts to make me chase him and seem ‘keen’ as he put it, was just his attempt at controlling me. If I’m the keen one, he has the power. If I initiate the kissing, if I’m the one to ask him out, if I’m the one to contact him after a date, then clearly I’m more into him than he is me, and therefore he wins.
Perverted and screwed up and a very good reason to never date again. But it goes on.
When we sat down to dinner on Saturday night, we ended up at opposite ends of his three seater lounge. I didn’t do it on purpose**, but it turned out that his lounge had two recliners on the edge seats, and the middle one didn’t have one. B made a big deal about the fact that I hadn’t sat next to him and kept making a big deal about it and telling me I should move closer to him. I wanted the recliner, and I have an ingrained inability to do whatever it is I’m being told to do, so I ignored him. There was nothing to stop him from moving over on the lounge, but he wanted the recliner as well and had decided that I should do what I’m told and just move. At one point, he left the room and I took his seat as a joke, but the look of irritation on his face when he got back was intense enough for me to just give his seat back.
And, look, writing it all out makes it seem minor and trivial and stupid. It’s not. It’s a massive warning sign and when you combine it with all the other things across the three (soon to be four) posts, it means “GET OUT NOW!” So keep that in mind.
On Saturday night I was absolutely not going to sleep over, despite his invite to do so. At that point he said it was up to me to decide what time I wanted to go home as he would definitely not be telling me. He also mentioned that it was an important decision to make because if I left too early, he’d think I wasn’t keen, but if I stayed too late he’d get bored and then he wouldn’t be keen. He finished this explanation with a “so don’t screw it up”. Charming dude right? You can all see why I was stupid enough to see him again on the Sunday night. He also pointed out that I shouldn’t take him kissing me as a sign that he wasn’t bored or didn’t want me to go home, because he figures that if I’m there, he may as well kiss me. Such a romantic.
Ok, this post is becoming too long and it’s getting harder to stop beating myself up with each sentence that I write, so I’m going into summary mode. He mentioned several times that he would never date someone smarter than him – meaning he’s smarter than me, he wants someone he can control and ‘teach’ etc – BAD SIGN. He made me turn my phone off when we went to sleep on Sunday night — my phone is constantly on, constantly with me, and a very important part of my life. He knew this and took great joy in the look of horror on my face as it was turned off. When we went to bed, I wasn’t “allowed” to wear jeans to bed because they’re uncomfortable – right from the start he’s trying to tell me what I’m going to find comfortable or otherwise and dictate my choices based on that. He also mentioned that next time he wouldn’t “let me” wear pants in his bed, so I should take advantage of it this time (I had pyjamas with me).
And, as a final note, he commented on every single little thing I said or did over the time I was talking to him. I’ve never met anyone as judgemental as this^, and it made me self conscious of every little thing I did. Not a good way to be. I hate myself like this, and I should have known better because I have dated guys like this when I was younger. Anyone who goes so far out of their way to make you feel like you’re in the wrong with everything you do, is trying to make you off balance so they have the upper hand. It’s a warning sign people. It’s also just a dickhead thing to do and you shouldn’t put up with it either way. Even though I did put up with it.
Next and final post in this series with B – Misogyny, and a wrap up of the whole experience. Let’s hope it’s a wrap anyway.
*Or plateboy as my friends now call him.
** Although I really friggin hate having to decide this crap. Are you meant to sit close to them or give them space, or what? Stupid stupid games. I hate dating.
^ I hope that I’m not that judgemental. I don’t comment on everything someone says or does, but I do tend to turn things into blog fodder. I’m hoping there’s a distinct difference, but maybe not? Maybe all personal conversations should be left out of blog posts?