12 Ways To Stop Being Possessive

Jealous and insecurity can hurt your relationship; so learn how to make it strong.

Reviewed by Joseph Moore, Certified Relationship And Life Coach Joseph Moore Joseph MooreCertified Relationship And Life Coach
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA Sangita Goel MA linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
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Being possessive can ruin a romantic relationship. If you think you are suffocating your partner, it is time to learn how to stop being over possessive before it is too late. Feeling jealous can be due to many factors – past trauma, insecurities, and getting hurt in a romantic relationship. It could also be due to childhood trauma or parental neglect. But being possessive will only hurt your relationship and your partner. Jealous behavior, constantly checking on their whereabouts, endless questioning, and doubting their loyalty can weaken the relationship. It wears out trust, respect, and love. Read on to learn how to stop being possessive and save your relationship. Scroll down!

What Is Possessiveness?

What is possessiveness
Image: Shutterstock

Having a controlling or possessive partner may feel very different from a regular partner. Many couples discover that there is a difference between a sweet and possessive lover and a partner who wants to own them. When it comes to insecurity or jealousy, couples can often cross the line from love to extreme possessiveness. They tend to disrespect each other’s inherent independence and intrude on each other’s boundaries. The secret searches through phones, the guilt games when one of the partners goes out with their friends, the angry outbursts when reassurance isn’t received, or the constant interrogation over conversations with anyone else – all of these things can be extremely difficult to deal with.

These are some early signs of possessiveness you should watch out for.

Early Signs Of Possessiveness

Early signs of possessiveness
Image: Shutterstock
  1. You may find that you are communicating with family, friends, and loved ones lesser and lesser because your partner wants all of your time. Isolating a person is a sign of emotional abuse and possessiveness.
  2. Although many couples in relationships delegate the responsibility of managing finances to one individual, if your partner starts to control single every penny you spend, it could be a warning sign.
  3. When a person starts to consider their partner as a possession, a pattern of dominating behavior ensues. Possessive and emotionally abusive people have an innate need to always feel in charge.
  4. If your partner has hidden insecurities, they may often have jealous outbursts. In fact, to make themselves feel better, they may expect you to give up your friends and freedom. This is a clear sign of possessiveness.
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Take time to evaluate yourself and analyze your behavior. This may help you understand your patterns and possessive behavioral traits so that you can work on them.

So, how can you control this type of behavior? How do you stop yourself from feeling insanely jealous when you get into a relationship? Here are a few tips that will help you.

12 Ways To Stop Being Possessive

1. Stop Making A Big Deal About The Past

Stop being possessive by refraining from making a big deal out of the past
Image: Shutterstock

It may have been that you were cheated on or lied to before – but this is a brand new relationship. Don’t ever let the past ruin what you have now. Your partner is not the same person as your ex, and you both deserve a fresh start. Trust us, you will feel loads better if you let the past go. You absolutely can’t change anything that has already happened, so release whatever past hurt you are holding on to and focus on the beautiful relationship you are in now.

2. Live Your Own Life

If you have your own hobbies, your own job, and your own social life, you will be a far more interesting person to your bae. It is important to spend time together, of course, but it is also a good thing to spend some time apart and have different things to talk about and share when you are together.

3. Don’t Be Overbearing

The more you obsess that your partner isn’t being honest with you or doesn’t love you, the more you will scare them away. No one wants to be bound to a needy person, so don’t push all the worries and fears stemming from your own issues on your partner. Believe that they love you because they chose to get into a relationship with you. If you make your boo feel like they have done something evil even when they haven’t, they might start wondering if the relationship is worth it.

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You must find ways to trust your partner. Identify the root of your controlling and clingy behavior (like past experiences or jealousy) and work on overcoming the issues.

4. Don’t Let Your Jealousy Eat You Alive

Stop being possessive by not letting your jealousy eat your alive
Image: Shutterstock

Jealousy not only kills a relationship but also makes you feel hateful and bitter in your daily life. The green-eyed monster in you will make you feel worthless and cut you down. Turn that negative attitude into a positive feeling by acknowledging that your partner chooses to be with you because you are a good person on your own. You don’t need to be jealous of anyone else your partner may be spending time with. Know your own self-worth and believe that your significant other is lucky to be with you.

5. Find Ways To Calm Your Anxiety

There are many ways to calm your anxiety. Practice mindfulness and breathing exercises. These things allow us to sit comfortably with our feelings and thoughts without allowing them to control our behavior or get overpowered them. It is important to recognize new self-improvement ways, prioritize self-care, and seek therapy or even engage in introspection to help you in the process of overcoming possessiveness.

SJ McEnroe, a blogger, shared their own struggle with possessiveness, and how they let it and the inability to control it destroy their relationship: “Despite knowing that the person whom I love values me a lot above others, this wild emotion brought the disaster in my relationship. My inability and immaturity to understand it smashes everything and kept a full stop for everything.” They go on to advise that one of the best things to do in such situations is to accept the situation, “Acceptance is the first step in solving these kinds of problems. Accept that something uncomfortable to you has happened. Comfort yourself nothing wrong has happened. You are giving your partner their required space and be proud of that (i).”

6. Get To Know Each Other’s Friends

A great way to stop feeling unnecessarily jealous is to get familiar with each other’s friends and social circles. If you are aware of who your partner is spending time with, you will know for sure that there is no reason to worry. In fact, you may even like their friends and want to hang out with them as well!

7. Try To Find The Root Of The Problem

Why do you feel so insanely possessive in your relationship? Whether it is a because of an experience from a past relationship or something that may have happened in your childhood, you need to figure out what is making you feel and act in this embarrassing way. It will definitely help you come to terms with your insecurity issues and conquer them, which, in turn, will make you feel more confident and help you build better relationships in the future.

8. Don’t Try To Change Your Partner

Stop being possessive by not trying to change your partner
Image: Shutterstock

You knew what you were getting into and who your partner was before you decided to get involved in the relationship. So, why do you feel the need to change them now? Convincing yourself that your partner needs to change could just be an easy and unfair answer to the issues you may be having in this relationship.

9. Trust Your Partner And Yourself

Trust is the key to a healthy, secured, happy, and successful relationship (1). But people often feel very insecure about their partners because they project their own issues onto them. When you start feeling jealous and insecure, you need to do some self-reflection to figure out if the problem is really something they did or if the problem is you.

10. Don’t Get Paranoid

There are many people who get completely paranoid when they are not aware of what their partner is doing at all times. They may worry that their significant other is flirting with someone else while at work, or they are hanging out with the wrong kind of people. This kind of paranoia can be extremely dangerous. It not only makes you doubt your partner but also affects your peace of mind and well-being. Rather, just let your partner be. Learn to trust that they will value you above everyone else.

11. Don’t Spy On Your Partner

Stop being possessive by not spying on your partner
Image: Shutterstock

Admit it — everyone has done it at least once! Going through emails of an account that has been left open, taking a peek at the browser history, scrolling through text messages… It may seem harmless and normal to you, but it is creating cracks in your relationship. You may think there is something to find, and that thought hurts the trust you both have – or, rather, should have. Also, it will get really awkward if they catch you doing it! Learn to keep yourself busy with healthy thoughts and acts.

12. Be Open About Your Issues

Tell your bae how you feel without making it a blame game. Tell them about your issues from the past relationship that makes it hard for you to trust anyone else. Talk to them about how you feel when they act a certain way. Make sure you are presenting things not as a fight, but as an open dialog. If you are honest and open about things that worry you, your significant other is more likely to hear your side of it. If you both are on the same page, it will definitely help you stop being insanely possessive. Once everything gets out in the open, you both can start to work through it —together as a team!

Jealousy Vs. Possessiveness

Jealousy is a common human character as lots of people find it difficult to bear the sight of someone else being better than you at something. Jealousy in a relationship can be rational and irrational. Sometimes, there is an innate feeling that something is wrong with the relationship, like when your partner is having an affair. In such a case, jealousy can be a warning sign. It turns into an irrational emotion when it is caused by insecurity and emotional neediness.

Possessiveness in a limited amount increases love in a relationship as the couple holds on to a sense of belonging. But it becomes toxic when one begins suffocating the other by controlling and owning him/her. The emotion is an outcome of the human tendency to rule over and feel proud of things they own. Possessiveness may lead to irrational jealousy and suspicion.

Infographic: Cheat Sheet To Help You Get Over Your Possessiveness

It can be hard to see how one’s possessiveness hurts the relationship. However, it is necessary to take a step back and self-reflect. Trying to repress feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and self-doubt doesn’t work and eventually destroys the relationship — like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Practicing acceptance, detachment, and building self-esteem can help individuals to let go of possessiveness and cultivate healthier relationships. Check out the infographic below for a cheat sheet you can apply to let go of possessiveness.

cheat sheet to help you get over your possessiveness (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

There is no denying that possessiveness can bring toxicity to your happy relationship and make your bond with your better half fragile eventually. Since you know all the signs of possessiveness and the ways to stop being over possessive, you do not have to worry. Possessiveness often comes from insecurities, and you can overcome that with trust-building. So, learn from this article and protect your relationship from the harmful effects of possessiveness. Build a strong foundation of trust with your partner and nurture it to keep it intact forever.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is more possessive: male or female?

There is not enough scientific research to specify which gender tends to be more possessive. However, a research study demonstrated that women experience jealousy in a more physical, emotional, and cognitive way than men (2).

What zodiac signs are possessive?

Scorpio, Leo, and Cancer are believed to be among the most possessive Zodiac signs.

Key Takeaways

  • Past trauma, parental neglect, and insecurities can lead to possessiveness in a relationship.
  • Jealousy and paranoia can make you doubt your partner and affect your peace of mind and well-being.
  • A great way to stop feeling unnecessarily jealous and possessive is to get familiar with each other’s friends and social circles.
Ways to stop being possessive

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Having trouble keeping your possessiveness over your partner under control? Then watch this video to learn how you can overcome this toxic trait and have a happy and healthy relationship.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The Price of Distrust: Trust
    Anxious Attachment
  2. Jealousy in close relationships: personal, relational and situational variables
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Joseph Moore
Joseph MooreCertified Relationship And Life Coach
Joseph Moore is an ace relationship coach and public speaker who started coaching in 2015. Although Joseph is a trained electrical engineer from the University of Chester, he found passion in helping people get it right with their love life.

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Sneha Tete
Sneha TeteBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Sneha has a master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, a professional Relationship Coach diploma, and over four years of experience in writing. She writes about relationships and lifestyle.Sneha began her career as an instructional designer, shifted to freelance technical and research writing, and self-published a novella on the theme of adolescent mental health.

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Subhrojyoti Mukherjee
Subhrojyoti MukherjeeAssociate Editor
Subhrojyoti is an associate editor at StyleCraze with four years of experience. He has a master’s degree in English from Presidency University, Kolkata, and has also done a post-graduate certificate course in Editing and Publishing from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

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Sangita Goel
Sangita GoelBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Sangita is a content writer with a passion for exploring diverse genres. She has written 100+ blogs on an array of topics, including relationships, travel, beauty, and fashion. Armed with a master’s degree in history from Indira Gandhi National Open University, she has leveraged her curiosity to write captivating, engaging, and informative articles.

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