Ever dated a controlling partner? They try to take over who you see, what you wear, what you eat, how you spend your time, how you act and it's quite frankly- exhausting. They like to think they're right and are no stranger to pointing out what they deem to be your 'mistakes'. But that's just their opinion.

Relationships on Female First

Relationships on Female First

If you're dating such a person, here are eHarmony's tips for escaping their grasp to mark National I Am In Control Day.

You can't change them- As cliché as it might sound- the only person you have any control over is yourself. Trying to change your partner is always going to end in disappointment. So stop trying.

It's only short term- If you decide to go along with what they want for a little while; it won't get them off your back permanently.

Think about yourself- Make decisions that you think are right and maintain your dignity.

You have rights- You have the right to be treated well, to personal choice and to speak up for yourself. Don't forget it.

Personal space- Ensure there is space between you both so you can have both physical and emotional distance, this can often help ease the situation.

Have individual expectations- You make your own guidelines not anyone else, if they try to control you in a particular area of your life consider your standards over theirs first.

Don't be silent- If you avoid it, bottle it up and hide your frustration- it's never going to mend your relationship. Speak up so they know where you and they stand.

Speak directly- Avoid the drama and talk plainly- what is getting to you and why?

Find a good listener- A friend, family member or counsellor to hear your side of things and help you find your way out. Often someone who has no involvement in your relationship can offer the best plan of action.

You will never have respect of your partner- Being controlled is not respect, they may like you or respond positively if you do what they want but it's far removed from respect.

Protect your strength- Make sure that you find other ways to boost your self-worth to counteract their constant put downs.

What are you scarifying?- If they control you- they crave power and bullying rights- by letting them do this, you are giving up independence, self-worth and emotional stability- do you really want to offer this up to them?

Change your reaction- You can't change their behaviour but you can alter how you respond to it. You can avoid being drawn into the drama and see it for what it is rather than what it could be.

Know your limits- Know when enough is enough- it's one thing to understand what they are but another to use that as an excuse to be pushed around. Know when to say- 'I can't take any more of this- you need to stop now.'

Turn away- And walk in the other direction. If you can't change them- don't join them- just leave.

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