The last thing you want is to end up in a relationship with a guy who is controlling, coercive, or abusive.
The reason why so many women (and guys) end up in this situation is that they end up too deep in the relationship before realizing their partner is controlling.
But, there will always be signs and red flags that a guy is controlling, even on the first date!
Here are 15 first-date signs he is controlling and why you should avoid getting involved with him!
15 First Date Signs He Is Controlling
1. He Was Texting a Lot Leading up To the Date Making Sure You’d Be There
Controlling behaviors will often show themselves even before you go on a first date with a guy as he’s anxious about the date itself.
Being able to control the date itself will be important to him and also a major sign that he is controlling.
He’ll want to make sure everything goes according to his plan and will get agitated if anything changes at the last minute.
If he’s been texting you loads leading up to the date, especially to the point where it’s annoying you, this is a huge red flag!
2. He Made Suggestions About What You Should Wear
This is a very serious sign that a guy is controlling and should be enough to make alarm bells go off.
If he’s telling you what to wear on a first date, imagine how he’ll be if you’re in a relationship.
It’s a sign that he’s insecure about himself and wants to shape you into looking how he wants.
If I were you I’d run a mile if a guy tries to dictate what you can or can’t wear, even if it comes off as a ‘suggestion’.
3. He Was Adamant About the Time and Place to Meet
It’s nice for a guy to take the lead and suggest where and when to meet for your date.
But there is a difference between being assertive and being controlling.
If a guy is adamant about the time and place and not willing to change, it’s a sign that he’s trying to control the situation and create an environment where he feels most comfortable.
4. He Dominated the Flow of The Conversation
A guy who is controlling will want to dominate the conversation on a first date to put a firm stamp on things.
He’ll want to talk about himself and won’t be interested in hearing about you.
He might interrupt you or talk over you to make sure he’s the one in control as well.
If he’s doing all of these things don’t just chalk it up to nerves, it might be a red flag you shouldn’t ignore.
5. He Tried to Tell You What to Eat or Drink
If a guy is trying to tell you what to order on a first date, it crosses a line and is a very clear sign that he is controlling.
He might try to do it in a subtle way by recommending something or might be more overt about it.
Either way, it’s not acceptable behavior and you should definitely be worried about his intentions.
6. He Didn’t Like You Questioning Him
Controlling guys don’t like to be questioned and this is a good way you can gauge his intentions.
If you asked him a question and he got defensive or acted like you were prying, it’s a sign that he doesn’t want to share anything about himself.
He might be hiding something or he might just not be comfortable with you getting to know him.
It’s not a good sign for a first date and doesn’t bode well for the future if there were to be one for the two of you.
7. He Talked a Lot More than He Listened
This ties in with trying to control or dominate the conversation; if a guy talks a lot more than he listens on a first date it’s a strong indication that he likes to get his own way.
Of course, it may just be first-date nerves but if it’s a constant throughout the date then it might be something more alarming.
8. He Turned Your Conversations Around to Be About Him
If you were talking about something that happened to you and he somehow managed to turn it into a story about himself, beware!
It’s not only rude but it’s a sign that he is controlling.
For one, it’s a dating faux pas, and at worst it’s a sign that he wants to be the center of attention and it’s interested in you as a person.
Related – 15 signs a guy is a player on the first date.
9. He Didn’t Acknowledge Your Accomplishments
I know you’re not looking for a pat on the back, but it never feels good if a guy doesn’t even acknowledge some of the awesome things you’ve done.
Going on a first date is all about exploring each other and finding out cool things.
If your date doesn’t seem interested in your hobbies or accomplishments, it’s a sign that he’s so insecure that he doesn’t want to praise you above where he feels he is.
10. He Came Into the Date with Expectations
I think we all go on a date with certain expectations and hopes, but not to the point of what the other person is going to do.
If he makes it clear he wants certain things or acts sulky and disappointed if you make clear that is not going to happen, that’s another red flag.
Controlling guys like to get their own way and want to be able to make things happen, when they can’t they usually default to being offended.
11. He Doesn’t Seem to Have Many Friends
It’s always a red flag when a guy doesn’t have many friends.
This isn’t a surefire sign that he’s controlling, but it can be an indicator.
If you notice that he doesn’t really talk about his friends or seems to be distant from them, it might be a sign that he’s not used to being in relationships where he isn’t the one in control.
Of course, it may just mean he’s been busy working and distanced himself from people, it’s something to look into.
12. He Comments on How You Interact with Other Guys While You’re Out
If he’s not comfortable with you talking to other guys or even just interacting with them, it’s a sign that he might be controlling.
Now, I’m not saying you should go out of your way to talk to other guys while on a date to see (that would be pretty rude), but if he’s not okay with small interactions then it might be a sign of trouble.
13. He Makes Assumptions that You’ll Go on Future Dates
If he starts making plans for future dates or even just assumes that you’ll go on more dates after the first one, it’s a sign that he’s pretty confident.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be if he starts making plans without consulting you first or tries to control where you go or what you do.
Even if a date is going well, it’s unusual to set a second date before it’s even over!
14. He Acts ‘Off’ when He Does Get His Own Way with Little Things
If you find that he gets angry or acts ‘off’ when he doesn’t get his way with little things, it’s a sign that he needs to be in control.
This could be any number of things, such as not being at a table he’s happy with, not being served quickly enough, things you say or do, and so on.
It’s definitely something to take notice of and you shouldn’t let him brush these things off like it’s nothing.
15. You Just Get a Bad Feeling About Him
Sometimes you can’t put your finger on it or point at any one thing but you just get a bad feeling about a guy you’re on a date with.
He might be good at hiding the fact that he’s controlling and on his best behavior, but if your gut feeling is that he is controlling or something else is off, listen to your gut.
I’m not suggesting you write him off, but you should certainly take the time to get to know him better and not rush into anything until you get a much better feeling about him.
Maybe there is nothing to your gut feeling or intuition, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and not let emotions and romantic feelings develop while you figure it out!
Related – Here is what the ‘third date rule’ means to a guy!
Why Getting Involved with Controlling Guys Is so Bad!
As you can see, there are quite a few red flags that might indicate a guy is controlling on a first date.
It’s definitely not something to take lightly as getting involved with a controlling guy is almost certainly going to be bad for you in the long run.
Controlling guys are often insecure and need to control their partner to feel better about themselves.
This usually manifests itself in controlling and sometimes even abusive behavior.
Even if it’s not outright abuse, it’s still not a healthy relationship and you’re likely to be unhappy.
If you find yourself in a relationship with a controlling guy, the best thing to do is talk to him about it and see if he’s willing to change.
If not, then it’s time to ignore his excuses and promises to change and move on because it’s not going to get any better.
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-couple-in-love-in-restaurant
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.