The Barrier: Your motto is My way or the highway and no one can do things as impeccably as you can. Feeling an uncontrollable compulsion to control, you micromanage everything from a first date to your new love interest’s career. When a guy excitedly tells you about the date he’s planned, you can’t help but offer (forceful) suggestions to tweak it—it would be better to meet earlier, see a different movie, go to another restaurant. At his apartment you tell him he should keep his dishes in that cabinet and organize his sock drawer this way, and you take it as a personal affront when at your place he doesn’t abide by your systems. It’s one thing to express your preferences, and it might even be more fun or efficient your way, but if you are constantly controlling every aspect of a relationship from the get-go, the other person is going to get sick of being bossed around and call it quits.
Relationship Rx: Pick your battles and let go of the rest. If you have a massive aversion to horror movies, say so, and that you’d prefer to see a rom-com or animated feature. If you have a sensitive digestive system and can’t stomach Thai food, let him know. But if you don’t have a strong opinion on something, just let it slide. Give another person the opportunity to have his own ideas and opinions. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy giving up the burden of being in charge all the time and letting someone else take the lead once in a while. And if he offers to wash the dishes after dinner and puts them away in the wrong cabinet, try to appreciate his efforts instead of criticizing his methods. It’s a relationship, not a dictatorship, so it requires the ability to compromise and relinquish some control. But in doing so, you’ll gain far more than you give up.