11 Signs You’re Giving Away Your Power In Love & Need To Reclaim It

Your power is the most important thing you own. Without it, you allow people to crush your self-worth and cross over your boundaries like they don’t even exist. Here are 11 warning signs that you’re giving your power away to the people you’re dating—and why you need to stop.

  1. They determine what you do. When was the last time that date night with your partner meant that you did something you wanted to do? It might not seem like a biggie, but if they’re always deciding what you do, where you go, and how much fun you have, you’re allowing them to decide on huge chunks of your life. The same goes if they determine who you can and can’t hang out with.
  2. You stress out about them liking you. It’s normal to worry that the person you’ve just started dating doesn’t like you enough, but if you’re turning this worry into serious anxiety, it’s messing with your head and taking up way too much space in your life to be a good thing. It also has some negative consequences, one of which is making you try too hard to be liked.
  3. You can’t handle when they don’t reply. Ever heard the saying, “When you allow someone to make you angry, you give them your power?” It’s true. If your partner doesn’t reply to your text (yet again) and you lose your marbles, you’re basically telling them much more than that their behavior is upsetting you. You’re telling them they can push your buttons pretty easily. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up when they upset you, it just means that flying off the handle is a sign that you’ve lost your control. Behind that anger, there’s sadness and fear.
  4. They control your moods. Your partner upset you so the rest of your day goes to hell. You’re upset with other people, transferring that black cloud in your relationships to the rest of your life. If this happens all too regularly, it’s a bad sign that you’re giving the person you’re dating so much power over your sense of peace, happiness, and life in general.
  5. You burn your schedule. It’s not cool to be available to the person you’re dating all the time. It tells them in no uncertain terms that they can control your life. You can’t hold onto your sense of power in such a situation because you’re sacrificing yourself, your energy, and your wellbeing to be at their beck and call.
  6. Your self-worth depends on what they say. You might feel great about yourself until your partner makes a negative comment about your clothing or your dreams. Then you feel like you’re the worst person in the world. This is one of the worst ways in which to hand your power over to someone else because you’re basically saying you’re not valuable in your own eyes unless you’re valuable in your partner’s.
  7. You’re a yo-yo to their guilt trips. If your partner is manipulative, he or she might make you feel guilty. You give your power away to them if you allow yourself to feel guilty, even though you know on a deeper level that you haven’t done anything wrong. It’s basically a sign that you’re letting what they think trump what you think. You’re censoring yourself. It’s never worth it.
  8. You say yes when you mean no. Your partner wants to come over even though it’s after 10 pm and you have a busy day tomorrow. Still, you bite your tongue and say OK. Doing these kinds of things regularly might not seem huge, but they’re really a way for your partner to step over your boundaries. You’re allowing them to, perhaps because you don’t want to seem like you’re not fun. But what’s the point of being fun if you’re not being real?
  9. You let your relationship hold you back. This can happen in a huge way, like if you’re turning down career offers because they require you to move to another state and you don’t want to leave your partner behind. However, you can also be held back in smaller ways, like if you’re letting your partner tell you what to do or you’re compromising much more than they are in order to have a future with them.
  10. You put up with their bad behavior. If you keep turning a blind eye to how your partner hurts you, you’re essentially teaching them to treat you badly because you’ll accept it. This is toxic and drains you of your happiness. You’re not in a good place if you can’t even be happy and feel good in your relationship. Why stay there?
  11. You’re settling. The above point is also linked to settling in your relationship. You know you deserve better but you cut down those needs and desires so that you can “make do” with your current relationship. It’s sad because it’s like clipping your own wings! You might as well be in a cage because you’re making yourself a victim to a bad relationship, instead of cutting your ties to it and flying free so you can thrive elsewhere.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.