Dating older controlling man
Whether they keep their snooping secret or openly demand that you must share everything with them, it is a violation of boundaries from the get-go. A partner's jealousy can be flattering in the beginning; it can arguably be viewed as endearing, or a sign of how much they care or how attached they are.
Perhaps he or she checks your phone, logs into your email, or constantly tracks your Internet history, and then justifies this by saying they've been burned before, have trust issues, or the old standard: "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you shouldn't mind showing me." It's a violation of your privacy, hand-in-hand with the unsettling message that they have no interest in trusting you and instead want to take on a police-like presence within your relationship. When it becomes more intense, however, it can be scary and possessive.
While some controlling people like to exert their influence under the radar, many others are openly and chronically argumentative and embrace conflict when they can get it. It's great when our partners can challenge us in interesting discussions and give us new ways of looking at the world.
This can be especially true when their partner is more passive and the controlling person is likely to triumph in every disagreement that comes up, just because the partner being controlled is more conflict-avoidant in nature or simply exhausted from the fighting that they've done. It is not great when they make you feel small, silly, or stupid, or they consistently try to change your mind about something important to you that you believe in.
If your partner always keeps tally of every last interaction within your relationship—whether to hold a grudge, demand a favor in return, or be patted on the back—it could very well be their way of having the upper hand. Often this means relenting and giving up power and their own dissenting opinion within the relationship, which plays right into the controlling person's hands. But upon closer inspection, many of those gestures—extravagant gifts, expectations of serious commitment early on, taking you for luxurious meals or on adventurous outings, letting you have full use of their car or home when they're not there—can be used to control you.
In fact, some controlling partners are acting out of a sense of emotional fragility and heightened vulnerability, and may perhaps show traits of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria.
Controlling people use a whole arsenal of tools in order to dominate their partners—whether they or their partners realize what's happening or not.
In healthy relationships, communication about those needs leads to a workable compromise. Of course you will trust someone you've dated for five years more than you trust the person you've been seeing for a month.
In controlling ones, the person needing the alone time is made out to be a villain or denied the time altogether, taking away yet another way they can strengthen themselves. But some amount of trust should be assumed or inherent within the relationship.