Love Or Possessiveness?


“My boyfriend and I share all our social media passwords. Sometimes it’s annoying, but I think that’s what you need to do when in a relationship, right?”

“Maybe that’s how relationships work” – a phrase that we often use to justify things that we are not really comfortable with, but use this as an attempt to make ourselves believe that it is how it’s supposed to be. Sometimes it becomes difficult to understand what is love, and what is mere possessiveness. The line becomes blurry, and so does our response to it.

Let’s first try to understand what possessiveness actually is. Following are certain instances that may be there in a relationship where either one of the partners or both of them exhibit these behaviors:

  • Being too much involved in each others’ social and personal lives. Question may arise, why not? We are partners, we should know about each other’s lives.
  • Having this belief that your partner ‘should’ do things the way you like, because they are your partner, and they owe you this. But why not? Shouldn’t they care for my happiness?
  • They want to have the control over things that you do, the decisions that you make, the people you meet, and so on. But what’s wrong with me giving suggestions to my partner?

Did these questions come to your mind as well? When do you identify someone as being possessive or just doing things out of love, care and affection for you?

“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up, it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.” — Osho

It sure seems like a grey area, but if you look closely, you may find your catch. Let’s discuss the above scenarios again:

  • As partners, being involved in each other’s lives is inevitable but to a certain extent. Here, Possessiveness will tell you to intrude in your partner’s life because you feel the need to know everything about your partner, however, love will tell you to give them their space and respect their personal boundaries as well. It’s also important to take into consideration how your partner feels about your involvement in their personal life? Other than being partners, they’re individuals too.
  • In a relationship, we do have a common belief that the partners should take care of each others’ happiness, and that seems fair too, doesn’t it? Possessiveness may tell you that they should do everything only if it involves my happiness too, else they shouldn’t do it. However, love will tell you that you two can have different preferences, and they can choose to do certain things just for themselves as well, that doesn’t mean they don’t care for your happiness, but sometimes we all need that space to do things that make us happy.
  • It’s good to have someone in life on whom we can rely for suggestions for important decisions in life, even the smallest ones. But when does this codependency become a nightmare? When you start losing the autonomy of actually making the final call. Possessiveness may tell you to have that control in the other person’s life because you know what’s good for them, but Love will tell you that you are there to support them, advise them but the final decision needs to be made by them only.

Try holding water in both your palms like a bowl carefully, it won’t go anywhere. But the moment you put in more energy by closing your palms trying to save that water, it rushes down. Love is all about knowing when to stop, keeping people together with care and affection and not by possessing over them.

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