Have you ever heard of the boiling frog analogy? It describes how, if you were to put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it would immediately jump out. However, if you put it in cold water and slowly raise it to boiling, it won’t recognize the danger until it's too late. It's very gross and upsetting, but it's actually an apt comparison to how controlling relationships can often begin. They start with subtle signs your partner is controlling that can easily be dismissed. But then, without you even realizing it, the controlling behavior escalates and becomes toxic and unbearable.
But what exactly is a controlling partner, and why are they so dangerous? Laura Holtz, writer and advocate for domestic violence awareness, tells Elite Daily that a partner who's controlling is someone "who actively seeks dominion over his or her mate through the use of tactics such as criticism, withdrawal, shame, isolation and threats." Relationship expert and author Alexis Nicole White warns Elite Daily that “controlling partners often try to dominate what you do and how you do it. Individuals who are controlling often try to dictate your relationships with friends, family, finances and even career." This is why it’s so essential to know the behaviors to look out for early on in a relationship that are actually red flags the person you're dating is trying to control you. Here's what the experts say should be on your radar.