1. He has some sort of problem every time you want to hang out with a male friend. It doesn’t matter what you say, it doesn’t matter if you’re just going to an innocent gathering with a family friend that just happens to be male, it’s always going to be a fight and cause more drama than it’s worth.
2. He’ll occasionally take a very slight shot at the way you dress. It won’t be “negative” per se, it’ll be disguised as a compliment. He’ll tell you how gorgeous you look and then say something that proves how much of a problem he has with someone else making even a glance in your direction.
3. He’s wildly uncomfortable even hearing about your exes, let alone hearing that you might be meeting them for coffee when they come into town. He’ll try to pass it off as concern, he’ll say he “doesn’t think it would be good for you to see them”, but the whole maneuver has the undertone of him trying to guilt you into cutting off your exes completely.
4. He’ll give you an ultimatum: If you want it to work with him, you can’t speak to anyone you’ve previously dated.
5. He’s hesitant about you having a girls night out because he’ll just miss you too much. But it’s fine if he goes out with his friends, as long as you’re staying home on the couch.
6. In public, he’s always touching you if there are other men around, but wouldn’t ordinarily be that overbearing or PDA-prone.
7. He appeals to your people pleasing side to get his way because he knows that you want them to be happy and will give him whatever he asks for, even if it’s an irrational demand.
8. He intentionally humiliates you but makes it seem accidental. This typically involves him appearing to compliment you in front of people, but in a backhanded way. If his humiliation tactics are successful, you end up feeling put down in front of the people you care about.
9. He will guilt you when you have plans, or are working a lot by claiming if you ~loved him more~ you’d spend more time with him. He’s childish about getting blown off and uses that to make you feel bad.
10. He’s always reminding you of your mistakes as if to caution you against making them again. In reality, he’s just making you relive your missteps.
11. If you guys hit a small snag, or disagreement, it’s never just something that you can work through because he blows it out of proportion claiming you have to work on it to work on the relationship, and further the relationship. Under the guise of strengthening and protecting the relationship he’s manipulating you into disagreeing with him less often.
12. If you tell him to help you watch what you eat this week, he will take it way too far and end up shaming you for reaching for a fourth potato chip. If order a burger instead of a salad, he’ll call you out on it because he wants to “help you.”
13. If you struggle with mental illness of any kind (even when it’s completely under control) he’ll make reference to your “crazy side,” which is never an acceptable or appropriate joke to make.
14. He will sometimes make you feel like your asks are over the top just to lower your expectations of his behavior.
15. He demonstrates his ~protective side~ with loaded hypothetical scenarios. He cares for you so much that he “wouldn’t let another man so much as touch you,” and uses other almost fanatical statements.He can never just show he cares in a real, grounded way.
16. He will gently tell you if he doesn’t like one of your friends by saying he doesn’t think you should be seeing them anymore because they aren’t looking out for you. He’ll make sure that the people still in your life are only the people that he approves of, and will do it without you even noticing this shift.
17. He gets high and mighty about the fact that he’s your protector because he needs to remind you that you need the protection. He wants you to feel like you need his help.