When Women Try To Control Men Out of Fear

Manipulating arm on a black and white background


As a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women, I am well aware of the myriad problems you have with men.

How they sleep with you without commitment.

How they seem like they’re into you but they’re not.

How they communicate by only text.

How they are always attracted to other women and often cheat.

How they can be critical, abusive, and selfish.

How they can date you forever without wanting to get married.

No one is arguing this. But the only advice for handling one these guys is to leave and find a guy who treats you better. Really. There’s nothing else to say.

But because of the existence of men like this, women often feel like they have to be on high alert.  To scrutinize his behavior. To protect your heart. To guard yourself from wasting time.

That’s where you end up with articles like this.

It’s a  completely cringeworthy list of 22 rules some young woman set for her boyfriend, including:

You are not to look at a single girl.

You are not allowed to drink unless I am with you.

You are never to take longer than 10 minutes to text me back.

Good grief.

The only thing surprising to me is the title,  “Controlling Girl Set 22 Rules For Her Boyfriend, So The Internet Gave Him Some Surprising Advice.”

It’s surprising that the internet told a man to dump a woman who treats him like a prisoner? Really? Is that how far we’ve come in our gender wars?

It’s surprising that the internet told a man to dump a woman who treats him like a prisoner? Really? Is that how far we’ve come in our gender wars?

Women who support women like this are like those who support our president knowing all of this – willing to throw all reason aside to stay loyal to their side.

The justification? The other side is WORSE so let’s ignore morality.

Sorry, y’all, but it’s not.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

Join our conversation (14 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    At the risk of sounding cynical,   this reads like a plea for commitment.

    “I want a husband.   Step it up or get out!”


  2. 2
    Mrs Happy

    This reads like severe anxiety to me. And most domestic violence and control is based on anxiety (that the other will leave).
    I have little respect for people who try to control others.
    Privacy is really a foreign concept to some, hey? Find someone’s private letter, and your first act is to post it to a public forum – when did bad manners become so normal?

  3. 3

    Controlling behavior like that is classic narcissism and emotional abuse. The shoe fits both ways unfortunately. So why would it be acceptable for a woman when it’s not okay for a man? #MeToo

  4. 4

    Hmm you have to bring politics into this?! Pretty ridiculous to me. How about sticking to what you know, ok?

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I don’t claim any expertise in politics. But if you’re willing to ignore the 6000+ lies told by our president because of your political leanings, it would seem to me that you’re the ridiculous one. That’s not partisan. There are tons of great Republicans with good conservative values. Our president is just not one of them – quite objectively.

      1. 4.1.1

        Very well said.

    2. 4.2

      I LOVE that Evan included that link about 45!!! Very good analogy.

  5. 5

    The list was created by a girl with deep anxiety and insecurity and given 1 in 3 people have a mental health problem in this country, it makes sense.   Agree with other posts there might have been some trauma or other reasons driving the neurotic behavior.   Or maybe the 22 reasons was written by a 22 year old.   It sounds like something a young, insecure girl would write, not a confident emotionally mature woman.   But dumping her and chalking it up to her just trying to “control” her man is scratching the surface.   This is not typical of most women and the girl who wrote it has deeper issues than just “shes controlling.”   Dumping her would make sense for any emotionally healthy male and that is the right thing to do, but maybe taking it a step further and recommending counseling or tell her how it affected him might be a better plan.   She may not listen but it’s a worth it so she has awareness and possibly changes her path.   Otherwise, she will attract men as screwed up as she is, and nobody is happen then.

    My experience with controlling people is there is always underlying trauma or mental or emotional wounds that have not healed.   It’s not your job to fix them but understanding where it comes from and suggesting they get help is doing the right thing.   Then walk if they don’t.

  6. 6

    I had an extremely controlling ex-boyfriend whose list of “don’ts” for me was not unlike this girl’s list.

    – No nights out with the girls (or nights in, for that matter)

    – No guy friends

    – No pubs

    – No going for walks out in our neighbourhood without him

    You get the idea.

    What was so fascinating (well, not so much fascinating as  infuriating) to me was that these rules evidently did not apply to him. I discovered that he had several online flirtations with women behind my back while were together. Anywho.

    The other thing about being in a relationship with someone like this was that I noticed a white hot rage developing in me (a normally extremely cool, calm person) which used to bubble up at the strangest times. Having to walk on eggshells around someone like that causes such resentment and frustration and eventually you just blow up out of sheer exhaustion. Just awful. It’s no way to live.

  7. 7
    Christen Turner

    I love your take,  Evan. To me,   it sounds as if you’re describing a myriad of anxiety and attachment issues more than typical “control” issues. If she’s this demanding, she honestly needs to talk to someone and figure out exactly what’s at the root of why she’s trying to control the men around the way you described.

  8. 8

    I was married when I first starting going to court for my clients. The building had a cell phone blocker. After I exited the building and saw 15 – 25 missed calls from my husband, I realized how bad a controller he is.   I called him back and he screamed bloody murder at me, calling me a whore. He put a hole in the sheetrock of our bedroom wall, broke things that were important to me, broke every door in the house.   I don’t have to explain to Evan that the problem is gender-neutral, and I have heard some really bad stories about it resulting in behavior such as name-calling, scratching, breaking things from women.   Either way, it is coming from someone who does not need to be in a relationship with anyone. I have seen many men marry women who treat them like this, and it makes the most explosive divorces.

  9. 9

    Personally I’ve found that women with mental or emotional issues don’t try to control men. They would control themselves with ocd and anorexic behaviours or by controlling their children to the point of abuse. Yes, I was an abused child of such a demented woman.

  10. 10

    The woman has issues but she flunked “Control Freak 101”. When you write a list of demands(especially ridiculous demands), you are handing control to the other person.   What you say can be used against you. It’s a written confession.   You are showing your cards(your true feelings, wishes and insecurities) and you don’t have plausible deniability. You are telling your partner that their actions are producing negative emotions and you care.   When you demand or ask for something, control turns into negotiation.   A really good( aka horrible) control freak can have a list but if the other knows about it, it will be more difficult to manipulate and to get them to walk on eggshells.   A true control freak withholds feelings and tries to keep the other person guessing.

  11. 11

    Learning about attachment theory changed everything for me in how I relate to men.   Once I could understand how my anxious attachment style manifested itself in my behavior and relationships I was better able to understand that what before I would sometimes perceive as issues with my partner were really my own failings to regulate my emotions and respond appropriately.

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