At first I thought it was sweet.
I’d driven to a friend’s house and my X called moments after I arrived. He was checking that I got there safely. Then he wanted to know when I would be back. He missed me. He didn’t like sharing me with others. I thought this was love. It felt like love. Even my friend thought it was romantic.
We were invited to a community potluck. My X showed me off. I felt proud to be with him. I sat down on a picnic blanket by myself, and a man sat down next to me to chat. A minute into the conversation, my X showed up and pushed his way between us. He scowled at the other man until he slunk off, then proceeded to tell me how much of a scumbag the guy was. I felt protected.
We went to a birthday party and there was a dance floor. My X didn’t like dancing, so I went to dance by myself. I moved around the floor smiling at different people and dancing with different groups. My X came out onto the dance floor to be near me, when he saw men trying to dance with me. He wore jealousy across his face. He made himself big and puffed up. He stayed extremely close. I felt adored.
He wanted to spend all of his time alone with me. He didn’t want to go out anymore. He cancelled plans, and invitations, and celebrations without asking me. It was out of the question that I go alone. Something started to feel off. I was becoming lonely.
He brought up old partners or people I dated with suspicion. He questioned me about where they lived and when I had last contacted them. He was distrustful of these people, some of whom I hadn’t spoken to in years. I was becoming isolated.
Remember, love is not co-dependency. Love is not possession. Love is not jealousy. Love is not control.
Love yourself. You get to decide who you love, who’s in your life, who you want to dance with, travel with, create with, play with, make love to, be friends with, be close to. If someone thinks they are going to control you, leave. You are in control of your own life.
This is your life to live.