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An ideal relationship is one in which everything is balanced. If at least one person is indifferent or overprotective to another, then love can meet significant obstacles on its way. Being smothered is when one of the lovers always blows away dust particles from the other half, behaves like a parent, and overprotects another. Sometimes this is good for the development of relationships, but at times it only makes matters worse. How to stop treating your partner like a child or tell your significant other that they are overprotecting you?

being smothered

What does smothering mean in romantic relationships? 

Initially, you need to figure out when the usual care develops into a parental instinct. Suppose you are married, and now your main goal is to create comfort and keep your home's pleasant atmosphere. You try to please your partner in everything, rush home after work to feed them on time, take care of them like a small child, and completely forget about yourself. This is the overprotection of the spouse or the parental instinct. Maybe you miss your past relationships where your partner was emotionally immature and required such behavior from you.

Very often, showing excessive concern for a partner, people forget that their other halves are entirely independent people. Due to overprotection, they become helpless, like small children. You cannot translate the same behavior patterns on any person you meet on a single women site. As soon as one of the couple feels that their private space borders are violated, when they are feeling smothered, the other partner should stop putting pressure.

feeling smothered

Examples of smothering relationships

Each person determines their personal space's borders, which includes their desires, hobbies, habits, and feelings — all conditions that make our life comfortable. The task of their partner is to treat this space with respect and understanding. Here are five examples of being smothered in a relationship that you shouldn't tolerate:

Violating physical borders

When people live together, everyone has their own space — a place (or places) where they keep personal belongings, books, clothes, etc. Only this person must have access to their space so that no one infringes on them without demand and need. Reading your beloved planner, cleaning their desk without permission, or rearranging clothes in their wardrobe are examples of smothering.

Pastime and interests

It so happens that one partner does not like what the other is doing, for example, their hobbies and preferences. They also make up a personal space that you should respect and never make fun of them. It can be uncomfortable for a person to refuse their partner's pressure. The desire of one person to control another is always perceived negatively, with hostility. For instance, if only one of the couple always chooses what film they will watch without considering the opinions of both, this is unhealthy behavior.

Sharing friends and activities

It is excellent when partners have common interests and friends. They can spend leisure time together and enjoy life. However, your friends shouldn't necessarily be your partner's friends. If the other half goes to every party with you, they do not leave your space to back up. Another smothered meaning in a relationship is when you say that you want to spend some time with friends, and your partner asks: "Great! Where will we go?"

Rest and holidays

Each person has their understanding of how to rest. Some people like to be alone and reflect. Others want to watch a movie or take a ride in a car. Others like to spend time in a noisy company or at a disco. You need to adhere to the same ideas as in the previous paragraphs: it is essential to understand your partner and not interfere with their favorite rest. Prohibitions and accusations from one of the partners are smothering in a relationship.

Reproaches and inappropriate jokes

Did you notice your partner joking about the way you look, dress, or talk? Do they treat you like a child and are sure that you are unable to make crucial decisions? Those are signs of being smothered in a relationship. Such everyday little things are clear examples of overprotection and hierarchy in which your partner believes to be higher than you. Do not put up with this. 

How to understand you or your partner smother each other

Some may do this unconsciously. Others fight their insecurities in this way. However, violating the personal space of your beloved, overprotection, and imposing your point of view are clear things of being smothered in a relationship. How to spot other signs of this phenomenon?

Always together, always near

If one partner does not know what to do in the absence of the other, does not have different interests, this is a restriction of freedom. A smotherer cannot go to the store after work or linger to chat with a friend or wander the boulevards, peck at the autumn leaves to digest the events of the past day. They need a constant companion and use their partner for this.

Attempt to educate

It also happens that a partner begins to take care of a loved one completely, like that child who is unable to do anything and is not aware of the dangers of the real world. Of course, this is due to tenderness and care, but untimely remarks and constant criticism will not make your partner love you more.

Secrecy of correspondence

We all know that reading other people's letters and messages is terrible. And not only because there is a risk of finding out what you would not want to know. It's just that each of us needs some personal corner. If partners do not share their email passwords, this does not mean that they are hiding something. This means that they have their personal space.

Lack of trust

No matter how much you convince your partner of the sincerity of your feelings, succumbing to manipulations like "I worry about you, love and care about you," it is still impossible to completely calm down their jealousy, anxiety, and fears. You need to understand that when a person is trying to control, violate personal boundaries, and ignore repeated requests, this is not called care and love but psychological violence.


A parasite is a person who consumes and either gives nothing in return or gives much less than they took. Why is this happening? A person parasitizes when they feel that they can use others' resources to fill in the lacking spheres of their life. Based on the law of balance, if someone clung to us and parasitizes, this most likely means that we are parasitizing on someone. Therefore, it is essential to track: with whom and how we communicate, for what purpose.

Unhealthy patterns

Thoughts such as "I must ...": I must be kind, I must help people, I must be nice, and so on. The inability to say "no" is a clear manifestation of the failure to keep personal boundaries. Thinking about who owes you and what you owe to others is a sign of low self-esteem that stops you from loving unconditionally.

Stop giving to those who do not provide you. Gratitude or an offer of reciprocal service will already restore the balance.


People struggling with a parental complex often do not know when they need to or do not know how to stop in time in their manifestations of constant care and attention to their beloved partner. They are piously convinced that the more they show some initiative or continuously prove their love, the more a person will appreciate it and idolize them. But it's not always the case.

How to deal with smothering in a relationship? 

Now you know what different smothering meaning examples are and why it is vital to stay away from them. What should you do with all this knowledge now? Going from words to deeds, even in this matter, will not be difficult. You need to approach your relationship and revise your internal attitudes more consciously. To make it easier to do, we will give several recommendations.

signs of being smothered in a relationship

Review your behavior

Analyze your behavior with your partner: are you overly intruding on their personal space? Even if they do not say anything, that doesn't mean everything is okay. Sometimes people can put up with the current state of affairs for a very long time, but there is a limit to any patience, and a person can "boil" at the most unexpected moment.

Find yourself something to do

Get excited about something new and strive for healthy self-sufficiency. An unusual activity will significantly save you in the situation of feeling smothered in a new relationship. You must have interests that have nothing to do with your other half. Schedule a meeting, spend time with your friends, dedicate your time to the tasks you have been putting away, or focus on your inner balance.

Leave control

Stop controlling every step of your partner. For some reason, many people consider it their duty, but who said that we have the right to such control? A partner does not belong to us. They are not our property. If you continuously check your significant other's phone, read text messages and watch calls, secretly visit a page on social networks, or do something similar, stop this smothering relationship immediately.

Accept the difference of interests

It's essential to accept the fact that your partner's interests may be very different from yours. You like Chopin, and they love hockey. Does this need to be fixed? Should this be a stumbling block for you? It would help if you did not put any ultimatums, drag your beloved into the concert hall by force to listen to the piano, or reluctantly trudge into the ice arena.

Realize the natural need for personal space

You can do better for yourself and your partner in a straightforward way: realizing that the time spent apart is an entirely natural and usual course of events. We repeat once again: each of us has our desires, aspirations, and needs, and they may well not be associated with our other half.

Know when to stop

Care, love, custody — all this is wonderful. However, do not forget that a cake with too much sugar will not be that tasty anymore. Draw an analogy with relationships. You do not need to think that taking care of your chosen one 24 hours 7 days a week will make them fall in love with you more.

Of course, your beloved will appreciate the love and care they receive from it. However, your actions may lead to your partner feeling smothered in a relationship when it crosses the healthy borders. If taking care of someone is your obsession, you should work on it with a specialist. Nobody forbids you to express love, respect, and gentleness. Know a balance in all things and never violate the personal boundaries of the person you love.

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