This is a tough one. How do we differentiate from what is controlling and what is a protective nature. Being protective, after all, is love right? We all have boundaries that we put up for ourselves and our loved ones that help us insure the safety of our relationship. We feel an innate calling to clarify things like who our significant other can talk to, eg. an ex. Or to set guidelines for how certain situations should be handled, eg. someone comes onto our loved one. But when do these preemptive stratagems go from a healthy prevention into an unhealthy controlling nature. The line can be very much ambiguous. Here are some important things to remember when approaching a certain ideation of how your relational boundaries should be handled.

1. Remember why you are with the person. What were the qualities that attracted you to the person? Once you have identified them, ask yourself, do I want to alter those personality traits?

2. Your significant other is your equal. The one you are with is on your level. Ask yourself, are the boundaries I am setting up meant for someone of equal status or are those boundaries better suited for a different relational status, eg. parent to child.

3. Give your significant other credit. Understand that you are with someone who is capable of making good, rational decisions without you imposing bylaws.

4. Let go of fear. This one is introspective. Fear is healthy to an extent, but too much can cause problems. Let go of your fear and accept that whatever will happen, will happen. No amount of guideline imposition will, in the long run, prevent a person from doing what he or she wants to do.

5. Trust. This one encapsulates all the other tips. You have to have trust, both in yourself and in your significant other. Understand that you practice good judgment. There is a reason why you let this person in your life.

6. You don’t want a robot. You are with the person because of their individualism. They are not a carbon copy of the idealistic person you have set in your mind. You will find that the idealism is not that great and furthermore it is not what you truly want.

7. Accept your significant other. You have to be willing to accept that they are who they are. Their quirkiness is why you fell for them in the first place.

8. Don’t set out to change. This goes hand-in-hand with number 7. After you accept the person, you should embrace their quirks. After all it is those very nuances and idiosyncrasies that drew you to that person to begin with.

9. Let go. Let go of all your worries, doubts, fears, hesitations and insecurities. This is probably the hardest one, but it is undoubtedly the most important. You cannot be in a healthy relationship when your mind is fogged up. If you can let it all go, you will see the relationship in a much clearer light.

10. Embrace. After you have let go than just embrace, embrace everything. Embrace all the aforementioned. When you start to embrace all the things mentioned above you will gain a much greater appreciation for your relationship and the person you are with.

Now I understand that these things are not easy, but they are do-able. With practice you will be able abdicate from all the controlling habits and truly start to experience a true and healthy relationship.

Love Does Not Equal Control