Manipulation is not love. Jealousy is not love. Control is not love.
If your partner loved you, they would value your judgment. They would trust you to make the right decision without feeling the need to interfere. They wouldn’t trick you into doing what’s best for you because they don’t know what’s best for you. Only you can decide that for yourself.
Your partner might know you better than anyone else in your world, but they don’t know you better than you know yourself. They can’t tell you what you want, what you should wear, who you should text, and what you should do with your career. You have your own mind, and it’s a beautiful one. Don’t let them tell you otherwise. And certainly don’t let them frame their manipulation like it’s a gift. Like they’re helping you out because they’re so much wiser and well-rounded than you.
If they wanted to help you, they would share their opinion but let you come to your own decision in the end. If they wanted to help you, they would support you, no matter what choice you made. If they wanted to help you, they would let you choose the best path forward for yourself.
No matter what they say to you, their manipulation and jealousy aren’t proof of how much they care. In healthy relationships, couples show they care with hugs and kisses, with chocolate surprises and weekend getaways. They show they care by uplifting their partner, by acting as their teammate and cheerleader. They show they care in healthy ways that make their partner feel good, not miserable or tricked or trapped.
Don’t let your partner twist a toxic situation in order to make themselves look like the good guy. Jealous is natural in any relationship – but the way a person handles that jealousy is the important part. Your partner should sit you down and talk through their feelings, so you can come to compromises together. They shouldn’t track you without permission or demand you spend every second alongside them so they know you aren’t with anyone else.
Your partner should trust you to do the right thing. If they believe you’re a good person, and believe that you mean it when you say you love them, then why would they need to control you against your will? Do they think you’re incapable of taking care of yourself? Are they lying when they call you strong and independent? You lived without them before they came along. You can do it again. You could do it now.
Remember, your partner should encourage decisions that you make. They should push you to do what you want to do. They shouldn’t be giving you a list of demands they want you to accomplish if you’re going to remain a couple. Extending their advice is fine when you’re asking for help, but trying to control your decisions when you aren’t even asking for their opinion isn’t sweet. It’s controlling. It’s manipulative. It isn’t love. At least, it isn’t the type of love you deserve.