Controlling Girlfriend: Why Women Get Bossy, 38 Signs & Ways to Deal with Her

Controlling women can make your life a misery. Your relationship will be extremely one-sided, but early detection can help you turn things around. 

controlling women girlfriend

Everyone likes different things in a partner. Some people like quieter significant others who just like to relax and others like loud, outgoing people to keep things fun. But what about controlling women? Is there a place for them in the world of relationships?

If you started seeing a woman known as being rather controlling or even have noticed those traits in her yourself, you might be rethinking your interest in her. The thing is, you have to know more about what controlling women have to offer before making a final decision. [Read: Toxic relationship – What it is, 107 signs, causes, and types of love that hurt you]

What does it mean to be controlling?

You might be wondering what we’re actually talking about here. Someone controlling their partner will push their will onto the other person, or it could be that they’re just too rigid with them. 

For instance, their partner might say that they’re going out with their friends for the night, and rather than saying “great, go enjoy yourself”, the controlling one is calling them every half an hour and checking their social media for updates. 

There are countless other signs of controlling women, which is why it’s important to be aware of them. When you notice these signs on a regular basis, you have to sit up and take notice. An intervention is required for the sake of your relationship. 

When your partner is controlling, your relationship cannot flow and develop naturally. That’s not good news for your future together. [Read: Controlling relationship – 42 signs and ways to love without bullying]

What a controlling girlfriend or wife may try to control

Someone with control issues will control others as if it’s just second nature. But there are some common areas of your life they may try to impose their own will onto.

1. Your time

A controlling girlfriend may want you all to herself and will push you to spend as much time with her as possible.

Sure, it’s easy to mistake this for wanting to be with you, but a controlling woman goes a little over the line.

2. Your space

As with time, controlling women don’t give you space. You can’t go out and see your friends on your own without a million phone calls and an argument when you return home. [Read: 15 ways to give space in a relationship and feel closer than ever before]

3. Your activity

All controlling women will still want to know what you’re doing at all times and if you’re doing something she doesn’t like, she will make it very clearly known.

4. Your contact with other people

We’ve mentioned controlling women not enjoying you going to see your friends alone but it could be that there are other people the specifically don’t want you spending time around. They will make this very clear. [Read: Trust issues in a relationship – 22 why’s and ways to get over it together]

What causes control issues?

There are a million things that can cause a person to become controlling, but it’s mostly down to either low self-confidence or trust issues.

It’s possible that this person had a bad experience in a past relationship and it’s caused them to cling to their next partner so tightly that they can hardly breathe.

However, some people are controlling by nature, and those are the ones that find it hard to change.

Regardless of what caused the control issues, it’s vital that you ensure you have space and time for yourself outside of the relationship. Controlling women don’t tend to give you that. [Read: You-complete-me-relationships – why you need your space]

Being controlling is one thing. Trying to control someone constantly is another. No matter what is said here, you should never be with someone who wants to control all of you all the time.

It’s not right and it’s not fair. You’re not a child and she’s not your mother. There’s a limit to this behavior that should be tolerated and you have to know that before continuing with someone you think could be controlling. [Read: 15 worst types of bad girlfriends who will make your life a living hell]

Signs of a controlling girlfriend to watch out for

To help you figure out which side of the line your girlfriend is on, first check your own behavior and work out whether everything is good on your side. You might be making her act in a certain way without realizing it! 

Use these 30 signs of an insecure girlfriend and things you can do to help her to fix it. Sometimes, you may be accidentally making your girlfriend feel insecure. And if that’s the case, it’s partly your fault and you need to fix it before labeling her a controlling girlfriend!

However, for the most part, if your girlfriend is controlling, it’s an issue she needs to face, with your help and reassurance, of course. 

Take a look and see how many of these signs of controlling women you’re able to agree on. [Read: Controlling people – 32 common traits, signs, and ways to deal with them]

1. Whenever you argue, you’re always the one who gets the blame

If you argue, which everyone does occasionally, do you always end up being the one who has the blame firmly at their feet, even though it’s not always your fault? 

Does she always deflect her blame onto you and make herself look like a relationship angel?

This is certainly one sign of a controlling girlfriend, as well as an increase in arguments. Simply because she is trying to pull down your self-esteem by placing more blame at your feet. [Read: Selfless love – 18 traits that sets it apart from selfish love]

2. She is quickly angered when she doesn’t get her own way

Controlling women can easily become angry when they don’t get their own way. So, if your girlfriend can fly off the handle pretty quickly, that’s a surefire sign to be aware of. 

She’s likely to use threats as a manipulation tactic too, trying to get you to do what she wants in a more effective way.

3. When she does something well, you have to know about it

A controlling person loves praise, so when she does something well, e.g. she cooks a meal, she’s likely to want a lot of praise for it. 

This exaggeration is one of the clearest signs of a controlling girlfriend. She is also likely to want everyone around you, e.g. mutual friends, to know how wonderful a girlfriend she is. [Read: 23 signs she’s using you, walking all over you, and playing you for fun]

4. Nothing you do is ever good enough

No matter what you do, she is never satisfied and always wants you to do more. By doing this, she’s making you feel like what you do isn’t good enough for her, when in reality it’s simply unrealistic demands. 

Over time, you will believe all of this and think that perhaps you’re not good enough after all. Of course, the truth is that you are.

5. She questions everything you do 

The bottom line? A controlling girlfriend has low self-confidence, resulting in her constantly questioning what you’re doing.

Her lack of trust isn’t because of anything you’ve done, it’s because she doesn’t have confidence in herself. [Read: Overly jealous girlfriend – 18 reasons, signs, and best ways to calm her fears]

6. She puts you down

A controlling girlfriend often pulls you down and makes you feel humiliated. She might have a slightly underhanded nickname for you or question the things you do, with a look on her face that says what you’re doing is clearly stupid. This can drag your self-confidence down to the same level as hers.

7. She uses sex as a tool for manipulation

Girls know how important sex is to a guy. As a result, controlling women are likely to use that against you as a control technique. 

This may not be the same issue in same-sex relationships, women aren’t quite so “out there” about their need for sex.

However, it does vary from person to person. If she withholds sex or manipulates you with sex, it’s a sign of a controlling girlfriend. [Read: 18 signs of a manipulative woman that can leave you lost and confused]

8. She often threatens to leave you

It’s clear manipulation when a girl is always threatening to leave her partner without an intention to do so. As a result, you’ll do whatever she wants to stop her from doing it. In reality, she was never going to go through with her threat.

9. She is extremely jealous

Everyone is jealous occasionally. If you can’t do anything without her showing signs of the green-eyed monster, question why that is. 

If you’re not doing anything wrong, the problem sits at her own feet. Remember that we all become a little jealous sometimes. It’s not a clear sign if it’s only the odd time. [Read: Jealous type – how to reassure and win over a super jealous lover]

10. She often speaks for you

This can be small things such as ordering for you at a restaurant, or chipping in when someone asks your opinion and giving hers instead. 

She doesn’t want you to have a say because she’s worried that you will shine and then someone will steal you from her. It’s crazy, for sure, but insecurity is at the heart of control and that’s exactly what’s driving her actions with this sign. 

11. She doesn’t let you have time alone or with friends

Is she always there? That could be in person or on the phone, but she’s always checking in with you ‘just because’ or suffocating your alone time.

If you’re going out with your friends, she might call you regularly, or message you constantly and expect you to always reply quickly. 

Again, she’s worried about what you’re getting up to because she’s jealous you’re spending time with other people, and not her. [Read: Time apart in a relationship – 21 signs, reasons, and how to do it right]

12. She often doubts you and your actions

She can’t take anything at face value. If you say you were with your brother at a game, she will ask you countless questions, almost as if she’s trying to catch you out. You might wonder whether she trusts you, but it’s more her issue than yours.

This can often make you feel like you’re not able to do anything without her and it’s extremely suffocating. 

13. She wants to know all the details, and we mean, all of them

Does she ask for your social media passwords? If so, you need to question why. It’s a form of control and it shows what little trust she has in the relationship. 

You’ve probably done nothing to make her feel that way, but it’s one of the signs of a controlling girlfriend.

At first, you probably think it’s sweet that she wants to know so much about your life, but in the end, it will be just too much. [Read: Crazy girlfriend – what makes one, 53 psycho signs, and ways to deal with her]

14. She always wants to know where you are

You can’t go out for a spontaneous beer with the guys from work without telling her. Similarly, forget crashing on your brother’s sofa after a night of playing games and talking. This will simply lead to more questions and demanding to know where you are. 

She wants to know where you are and she won’t let it drop until you tell her. Again, at first, the questions might seem cute, but over time it’s going to make you feel like you’re constantly being watched. 

15. She can’t stand it if you enjoy yourself and she’s not there

Let’s say you go to watch a band with some friends and you rave about how much fun it was on your social media pages, or to her directly. She will not like it. 

The reason is because she wasn’t there and she feels like she’s missing out on something. She wants to be involved in every single event in your life, including the random nights out that lead to a lot of fun. [Read: How to help a possessive girlfriend from clingy to amazing!]

16. She loves to say “I told you so”

Is this something she says regularly? If so, it’s one of the signs of a controlling girlfriend, because she always wants to be right. 

It can be anything, even something that she never told you about before, but she will take the opportunity to gloat anyways. It gives her the upper hand, and controlling people love to have the upper hand. 

17. There is one rule for you and another for her

She hates it when you go out with friends after work or if you stay out late. However, she does those two things herself and doesn’t raise an eyebrow or even wonder if she’s doing anything wrong. 

If you call her out on it, she’ll come up with a very creative excuse to cover her back. There is one rule for you and a totally different one for her. [Read: Relationship power plays – what men need to know]

18. She uses gaslighting 

Gaslighting is the manipulative tactic of making someone doubt their memory, their mind, and themselves in a bid to make them feel uncertain of themselves and reliant on their manipulator.

If this happens to you a lot, it’s one of the signs of a controlling girlfriend once more. She will say one thing and do another, or she will do something and then make out that you’re lying or losing your mind when you call her out on it. 

She’s basically manipulating you by making you doubt your own mind. If this is a sign you can nod along to regularly, you need to address it immediately.

19. She makes decisions on your behalf

Not only does she often speak for you but she might also make decisions for you too. Sometimes without even consulting you. 

This can be something small, like where to go for dinner, or it can be something big, such as where to book your annual vacation to, or which house you’re going to buy together. These are decisions that either need to be made by you, because they’re about you, or made together. 

20. She’s nosey about everything 

Does she listen to your phone conversations and ask who it was and what they said? Does she have to know about every single detail in your life? 

It’s classic controlling behavior! There’s a difference between a question in passing because she’s genuinely interested, and wanting to know all the details because she just has to know everything. [Read: Quick and easy ways to deal with nosey co-workers]

21. She loves throwing the guilt trip your way

Again, this is manipulation. When you don’t agree to do something for her, or you can’t go somewhere because you have other plans, does she put on the sad face and make you feel bad? 

If she’s great at making you feel guilty so you’ll change your mind and do something, she’s subtly controlling you. You might not even realize it! [Read: Guilt-tripping in a relationship – What it is and how to respond to it]

22. She often accuses you of being a bad partner, even though you’re not 

She might say that you don’t treat her well, or that you’re neglecting her in some way. Maybe she will tell you that you’re never around for her. If these things are true, you need to make some changes. 

However, if you’re pretty sure that they’re not true at all, question whether she’s manipulating you. Manipulation is often very under the radar, and by making you feel like the bad partner, you’re more likely to do things her way. Can you see what she’s doing?

24. You often question your relationship 

If you’re noticing a few of these signs of a controlling girlfriend, you’ve probably started questioning the relationship. It might be that you’re not too sure if she’s controlling you or not, but you know something isn’t quite right. When someone is controlling, you can’t be comfortable. 

So, if you’re regularly questioning whether the relationship is making you happy anymore, you have to ask yourself why. [Read: New relationship doubts – 22 toxic and normal signs to read what you feel]

What you need to remember when it comes to dating controlling women

Could you really be happy with this type of girl? Short answer: absolutely. Long answer: you really have to know more about her first. There are a lot of great things about being with a woman like this but there are also some not so great things.

The good

These are some of the great things about dating a woman who’s on the controlling side. You might really love being with someone like this.

1. She won’t take your crap

Most girls who are pretty controlling tend to be very stern and upfront. That means they won’t take any of your crap and won’t let you treat them like crap.

And while that might sound like a bad thing, it’s actually amazing. If you’re the type who tends to push women around and end up single, this could solve that.

You might just need this type of woman to put you in your place so you can have a happy relationship together. [Read: Wife material – 38 signs she’s a catch and way more than just dating material]

2. She knows what she wants

This is the best type of woman to date because she knows what she wants. She’s very blunt about how she expects you to behave and won’t try to play games.

That means you won’t end up having to guess what she wants all the time. She’s the type of girl who actually gives you a direct answer when you ask her where she wants to go to dinner or which movie she wants to see.

3. Communication is usually more direct

This is the most important part of a relationship. You have to be able to talk to one another about anything. When you’re with a controlling girl, she’ll be very direct.

She’ll tell you when something’s wrong and she’ll tell you how to fix it. She’ll also be very open about asking how you’re feeling and that means you won’t have to tiptoe around her, despite her controlling nature. [Read: 42 secrets to communicate better in a relationship and ways to fix a lack of it]

4. She won’t hide her feelings

Once again, there aren’t very many guessing games with this type of girl. Sure, she may be controlling but you won’t have to wonder how she feels about you.

She’ll be much more upfront about the state of your relationship, too. And while that may mean you’ll have more discussions about how things are going, you’ll never be left in the dark. You’ll be able to make things work a lot easier with this type of girl.

5. Her boundaries are very clear

When she doesn’t want you to do something, you’ll know it. That means there are less opportunities for you to mess up and that means you’ll have fewer fights.

You’ll both know where she draws the line and what’ll happen if you venture past it. The less you argue because of this, the better your relationship will be. [Read: Boundaries in a relationship – 43 healthy dating rules you must set early on]

The bad

These are some of the not-so-great things you might have to deal with if you choose to pursue a woman who tends to be a bit more controlling. Just be aware of these going forward.

1. She could be insecure

As we’ve already explored, some controlling women aren’t like that by nature but rather as a result of insecurity. They feel the need to control your actions so you won’t do anything to hurt their already fragile egos.

This is a problem if you tend to be the type to have other female friends and a friendly disposition. She could see that as something other than friendliness and end up getting upset because of it.

Jealousy may also play a role if insecurity is the cause of her controlling behavior. [Read: Do you have an insecure girlfriend? 30 signs and ways to help her]

2. You might fight more often

When you two don’t agree on the same things, you could end up in more fights than you want. It really all depends on how you both see certain situations.

3. Your friends might give you a hard time

This is just the way some guys are. Society has us brainwashed into believing the men should be “in charge” and so when your girl is, your friends might pick on you.

This isn’t so much a bad thing because it depends on how you take it. You can either get upset about it or tell your friends to shut it. It’s really up to you to make this a good or a bad thing. [Read: 18 honest reasons why you don’t have friends that care about you]

4. You may have less freedom

Because your girl is controlling, you might have less freedom than you desire. She might not want you doing stuff you’ve already been doing for a while.

This has everything to do with the boundaries the two of you set. Normally, even controlling women have realistic standards. [Read: How to know when to give someone space – 19 signs they’re sick of you]

5. You won’t be able to get away with much

If you’re a guy who lies and tries to sneak around your girl’s back, that won’t fly if she’s the controlling type. These girls are usually far smarter than you think and will find out everything.

That means you won’t be able to get away with stuff. You won’t be able to lie and think all is well. She’ll call you out for it and you’ll be worse off than if you just told the truth from the start.

Basically, you won’t be able to be a crappy partner if you date a controlling woman. [Read: How to face relationship challenges and overcome them as a couple]

How to deal with a controlling girlfriend

First of all, set clear boundaries about what you will and won’t tolerate in the relationship. Then, give it a little time. See if your boundaries are respected. If they are, perhaps your girlfriend simply wasn’t aware of her behavior. Problem solved! 

However, if those boundaries are breached time and time again, seriously question whether the relationship is doomed to fail.

Control isn’t a healthy feature of any type of relationship. A healthy relationship doesn’t need someone to manipulate or control the other one. There should be a free, trusting exchange between both partners. [Read: 21 secret signs of a bad relationship that signal a bad future ahead]

If you’re struggling because your girlfriend shows many signs of a controlling woman and you’re sure that the problem can’t be rectified, do you want to continue in this relationship?

The victims of controlling relationships are usually so under the spell of the controlling partner they don’t realize what is going on at first. It takes a breakthrough moment and a lot of deep thinking to finally understand the truth.

How to tell if you’re dating a controlling woman or if she’s just looking out for you

Of course, it may be that your girlfriend isn’t actually controlling at all, she’s just a little overly caring. In some ways, that’s not a bad thing. But how can you tell the difference?

A controlling woman tends to be quite annoyed whenever you do something she doesn’t want you to do. On the other hand, a partner who is just looking out for you will explain that to you. You’ll generally see the difference in their attitude.

If you’re unsure, talk to your partner and explore which side of the line they fall onto. Explain how their behavior is making you feel and that you need a little more space to breathe!

[Read: 16 secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]

As much as controlling women get a bad reputation, you can still have an amazing and perfectly happy relationship with one. As long as you’re aware of the pros and cons, the choice is yours.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life. And while you’re at it, check out MIRL, a cool new social networking app that connects experts and seekers!

Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...