Is it okay to be possessive in a relationship?

Possessive love

Possessive love is a love that wants the beloved all to herself. Possessive love leaves the partner no space and can therefore be perceived as constricting. Possessive love is usually jealous love as well. Possessive love is one of the six love styles according to John Alan Lee and is called mania there.

Possessive love as one of the six love styles

The Canadian sociologist and social psychologist John Alan Lee has postulated six love styles, which could also be found in empirical studies. There is even a standardized questionnaire, the Marburg attitude inventory of love styles (MEIL), with which the six love styles can be measured. The six love styles are:

  • Eros - the romantic love, which is characterized by affection, infatuation and passion and great feelings
  • Storge - the friendly love, the cooperative love
  • Agape, unselfish love, self-sacrificing love
  • Mania, mad love, jealous love, possessive love
  • Ludus, playful love, free love that longs for pleasure; the non-binding love
  • Pragma, the pragmatic love

So, possessive love is one of the translations of mania. Possessive love is based on strong emotionality. The partner is everything. All life revolves around the partner. Therefore, the partner must be captured. The result is jealousy, fear of losing the partner. So great love, security alternate with fear, fear of loss, jealousy. The possessive love is an intense love relationship. If both partners can live with it, it can lead to a very deep partnership. However, possessive love is addictive and is often perceived by the partner as a dependency. Possessive love can also result from a lack of self-confidence: life without a partner is worthless. Possessive love can also lead to stalking and other criminal acts if not reciprocated. In a relationship, it can lead to excessive control behavior.

Dealing with possessive love in a partnership

Own possessive love

If you yourself have a propensity for possessive love and your relationship is deep and joyful, then all is well. Enjoy your deep relationship.

But if you notice that your partner feels restricted and your jealousy leads to conflicts over and over again, then you should change something - because otherwise your fear of loss motivated jealousy can lead to exactly what you want to avoid - namely the loss of the partner . At least possessive love can cause a lot of suffering. Here are a few tips:

  • Realize that your love for your partner is an expression of your love for the divine. Your partner is a manifestation of the divine. But ultimately, it is the divine that you love
  • Give the partner their space
  • If you are jealous, practice self-control: it is not always good to act immediately on impulses
  • Explain to your partner that you love them more often. Compliment him, encourage him in what he's doing. Instead of expressing reproaches and suspicions, relationship-promoting, appreciative communication and tenderness are much more effective in deepening the relationship
  • Ask the partner what he / she needs, wants from you
  • Also, express your needs so that your partner has the opportunity to express their love
  • Realize that you are a separate personality. Develop confidence. You can also live alone if you need to
  • Practice yoga and meditation. This is how you develop calmness, a feeling for yourself, self-confidence
  • Practice trust in God, feel secure in God

Partner with possessive love

If your partner is "gifting" you with possessive love, there are two options:

  • If you are happy to have such a loving partner, then everything is fine
  • If you feel constrained and find yourself confronted with reproaches, demands and scenes of jealousy, then you have to do something and / or learn to deal with it.

Here are a few tips for dealing with possessive, jealous love:

  • Consider yourself lucky that you have someone who loves you so much.
  • Know that the other person's jealousy is an expression of their love.
  • Respond to the jealousy of the other: Report more often by email, SMS, phone call, chat, if you are spatially separated; explain what you are doing; report on what you did.
  • Tell the other what you would like to have - give the other the chance to express their love the way you like.
  • Explain to the other person that you love them more often.
  • Express your love again and again in small gestures: frequent caresses, small gifts (often small gifts are better than rare large gifts), looking in the eyes, compliments.
  • Make arrangements where you need your space; then keep referring to the agreements.
  • Talk about how the other person's jealousy affects you.
  • Regularly talk about your relationship and what you need, want, and hope for from the other.

Mania, or possessive love, is one of the more stable love styles. Therefore, see it more positively if your partner has this love style.

Advancement of possessive love

From a spiritual point of view, however, it is desirable when the possessive love develops into unselfish love, and when the partner love develops into an all-encompassing love, to love for God, to love one's neighbor and to love all beings. The love affair with your partner is always something very special. But this deep love can become a basis for love for all beings.


Possessive love - What is it? How do I handle this? possessive love is love that seeks to possess another. Possessing love does not leave the other the space he needs, does not allow the other to develop. Unconditional love can also demand loyalty without becoming possessive.

See also


  • Stephan Hachtmann, Touched by the Sound of Love: Paths to Prayer of the Heart (2012)
  • Thich Nhat Hanh, Jesus and Buddha - A Dialogue of Love (2010)
  • John XXIII, The Heart Must Be Full of Love (2013)
  • Ayya ​​Khema, The greatest is love: The Sermon on the Mount and the Song of Songs from a Buddhist Perspective (2009)
  • Christopher West et al., Love that Fills: Thoughts on Eros & Agape - Pope Benedict XVI. and human love (2011)
  • Kordula Witjes et al., To choose love: Brother Roger, Taizé 1915-2005 (2013)

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