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Three common reasons explain how you can fall for a control freak, but first, here are five signs you are dating a one:

  1. They don’t only want to dominate the conversation. They want to dominate your mind.
  2. They don’t only want to share their opinion. They want you to share their opinion.
  3. They don’t only want to influence you. They want to manipulate you.
  4. They don’t only want to check in on you. They want to supervise you.
  5. They don’t only want your time together to revolve around them. They want your whole life to revolve around them.

Sounds like a relationship of perpetual delight, right?

Or maybe terror.

Learn from Samson. He fell for a manipulative maiden named Delilah. She sapped every ounce of will from him, and in the end, she was more or less the death of him. You can check out the whole sordid tale in Judges 16.

Falling for a Control Freak

Why wouldn’t a healthy person avoid a control freak like the plague? Or zombies? Or a barren wasteland? Or a barren wasteland filled with zombies carrying the plague?

First, the positive qualities of the control freak (their good looks, charm, and talents) can overshadow their controlling ways early on.

Secondly, their controlling ways might not even be employed at first. Not because they’re trying to hide them, but because they don’t need them at first. When you’re falling in love, most just want to enjoy the ride, including the controller.

However, when the love chemistry begins to subside or you note red flags you missed before and the control freak senses they might be losing you, their manipulative, desperate ways will be revealed. This is why Dating Commandment #8 is thus:

Thou shalt not treat red flags like they are part of a carnival.


A third reason you may not feel controlled at first? For a control freak to know how to control you well, they first have to know you well. They have to get to know your family, friends, work hours, workout routines, church commitments, and hobbies.

In that season when the control freak is getting to know you, it doesn’t feel like control. It feels like attention. Indeed, you really don’t know attention until you’ve had the attention of a control freak. It can make you feel pretty special, at first. But once the whole motive behind all that attention is exposed, it can feel constricting—even suffocating—real fast.

The control freak might even move from manipulation to threatening to hurt you or harm themselves if you leave the relationship. If so, get a responsible third party involved immediately! You may want to pacify them, but their goal is to control you, so appeasement requires giving them nothing less than control.

If you would like an entire book filled with the kind of practical, Biblical wisdom on sex, dating, and relationships you just finished reading, you can get it NOW! The above post is an excerpt from Date Like You Know What You’re Doing: Your DatePrep Guide. Here are other excerpts from the same book.

A dating life that leads to a life-giving, lifelong marriage doesn’t happen by accident. You need to know what you’re doing.

That’s why I wrote Date Like You Know What You’re Doing to empower you to:

  • Discern God’s will for your dating life.
  • Avoid heartbreak, rejection, and regret.
  • Date with confidence and clarity.
  • Win the war over sexual temptation.
  • Let your marriage hopes inspire, instead of impede your dating life.

Learn more here!

Want to Succeed in Dating?

Learn more about dating in video form! This video featured our FMUniversity YouTube channel introduces several different LoveEd series on dating.