There is a fine line between a relationship based on love and one based on possession, but it can be hard to see the difference when the relationship is your own.
Possession involves deep passion, which you may mistake for love. When someone wants to know where you are every minute of the day, it can feel as though they want to protect or take care of you. It actually reflects a desire to possess you, to determine how you spend your time and become the central focus of your life.
Love has been defined by so many people and in so many ways. The dictionary defines it as an intense feeling of deep affection. People have used love to solve problems, to justify problems, and to fix problems. The truth is love is our emotional reaction to someone or something.
Possession has been defined by people as owning and controlling someone or something. The dictionary defines it as the state of having, owning, or controlling something. The truth is we, as people, could be confusing love with possession. We hear people say, ‘I take pride in my family. This means they feel love from having a family that displays what they want to show the world. But is this love for the family or pride in the possession?
Is your relationship possessive or caring? Figuring out the difference between possession and love can save you heartache and pain.
How to Tell the Difference Between Love and Possession
Love is a reaction to feeling trust in somebody or something. Trust is built through actions and open communication. Having open communication of our feelings keeps us from going down the slippery rabbit trails of our minds. The rabbit trails of jealousy, insecurity, and doubt, the pillars of possession. Communicating when we feel insecure in our relationship keeps the rabbit trails at bay. Without communication, there is no trust and no trust turns love into possession.
Possessing our partner or things can make us think we feel trusted and loved without us actually doing the work. Possessing can lead us to holding tightly to someone or something that is failing. Thus clouding our judgment and starting the slippery rabbit trails of jealousy, neediness, and low self-esteem. Leading to a possible path of infidelity and an unfulfilled relationship.
What is a possessive relationship?
We take the meaning to be when a partner cares more about you making them happy than offering no-strings-attached love and affection. Possession means controlling or owning something. You can’t really own a person, of course, but someone can try.
Love means caring for someone and wanting the best for them. Love can be passionate, but it should also be kind and nurturing.
Love without possession means wanting your partner to be happy even if you aren’t the one making them happy. A relationship can’t be a person’s only source of joy. You need more layers and nuances in your life. Your personal goals, hobbies and other relationships can wither when you focus all your attention on one person.
Possession can feel a lot like addiction. You might come to feel like you rely on the other person for your self-worth, looking to them for validation because you have no one else in your life. In reality, having many supportive people involved in your life is much healthier.
Signs Your Partner Is Possessive
If you still aren’t sure what possession entails, then seeing some examples may help. Consider these red flags that your partner is more interested in control than love.
1. They Put Restrictions on Your Actions
If your partner says they don’t like it when you hang out with certain friends or forbids you from going somewhere you like to spend time, it’s a sign of possession. Your partner is trying to control your movements and keep you dependent on them.
2. They Want to Spend All Their Time With You
Another sign is that your partner tries to convince you to spend all your free time with them. At first, you may want to spend all your time together, but couples need to spend time apart after the initial infatuation period. A romantic relationship is just one aspect of your life. It shouldn’t have all of your attention.
3. They Try to Manipulate You
Does your partner pout or get mad at you when you don’t do what they want? Possessive people try to get others to bend to their will, which is a sign of ownership.
Foster Healthy Relationships With Counseling
Sometimes an outside perspective can help you decide the next step in your relationship, whether you suspect it’s a possessive one or you have some other concerns. Book an appointment with Taylor Counseling Group today to discuss your options.
Do not mistake love for possession. Do the work of waking up each morning, choosing your partner, choosing to show love through actions of trust, and choosing to walk the path you would be proud of. Relationships can be work but if you love who you are with then it is work, that’s well worth it.