I'm afraid to to fly because I am giving up the control of my fate to a pilot and a gigantic piece of machinery that I can't believe can rise 35,000 feet into the air.
I'm the same way in love (opens in new tab). It's not that I'm a controlling psycho (opens in new tab) who wants to possess another person. It's more about being in control of the situation and fear of leaving things up to fate (opens in new tab). I drive myself crazy with anxiety waiting for a callback (opens in new tab) or wondering what a girl is thinking.
Control comes in many forms, and shifts back and forth depending on actions and timing. At any point in the relationship, you might ask yourself: "who is in control here?" Here are a few types of control within relationships:
I Am Woman Hear Me Roar
It's tough out there for guys because we have to woo, court and convince women to go out with us. Most of the time, they are the ones making the ultimate choice of whether we will date. Guys are just salesmen hoping the woman will buy their product (opens in new tab). Sometimes the roles are reversed, but overall women are the ones who have the final say.
I Give Up and Admit I Like You
During the "dance" it takes a while for one participant to admit they like the other. It's part of a game where neither person wants to show their cards (opens in new tab). And the first person who shows their cards is vulnerable, at the mercy of the other who still hasn't admitted anything. You never want to give up control by admitting you like someone too soon (opens in new tab). It's a helpless feeling when you do.
Basically, the most comfortable feeling in any courtship is when the ball is in your court. You savor that feeling, and then you get all anxious when you give the ball back and wait for them to return it. You know when you're emailing or texting someone and you get something from the person that feels like it's the end of the conversation? Then you sit there wondering if you should send one last message just to say "bye" or whatever.
The last person who left a message is vulnerable and the ball is in the other person's court. And you know how terrible you feel after you make that last contact when you once had the ball in your court.
Many times I let a girl make the final contact and I don't answer back so I can go out on top, and remain in control. When I call or text then I have to sit there and anxiously wonder if I said anything stupid (opens in new tab), if she even wants to get back to me, or I go over the many things she could be busy with that are preventing her from getting back to me.
I Could Break Your Heart at Any Moment
When someone's whole life and mood is dependent on their significant other, they've lost their independence (opens in new tab), they are no longer attractive, and they've lost all control. This puts the other person in control, but it's too much control.
When someone's mood hinges on your every word, it's overwhelming. Strangely, (this is my masochist side) it's intriguing not knowing that someone is that into me. When I know she's totally into me, it gets a little boring (opens in new tab). Well, maybe that's my immature side (opens in new tab).
Taking Advantage of Your Past
When someone knows you've been hurt a lot in the past (opens in new tab), they might take advantage of the "low bar" your past lovers have set. They gain an upper hand in the relationship by preying on your fears of being hurt again, or whatever part of your past they can take advantage of. They'll cater their behavior based on your past to gain control (opens in new tab).
I'm a Nice Guy...Really
You can see this type of control demonstrated in most Lifetime movies (opens in new tab). I often wonder if I'm
doing nice things because I'm a nice guy (opens in new tab), because I want people to like me, or because I'm trying to manipulate someone. Plenty of guys play the nice guy role by showering you with gifts (opens in new tab) or doing nice things as a means to an end. And sometimes it takes a while to realize that's what's going on because who would ever scrutinize a nice guy's behavior?
How do you see control affecting relationships? Is it OK if one person has more control at different points, or does there need to be perfect balance? What are your thoughts on my examples, and what would you add to the list?
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