The Major Signs You are Dating a Manipulative Girlfriend and What To Do About It

Some women can be manipulative to get what they want in their relationship. That’s not how a relationship should work.

You might have seen it happen to you or your friends when they get in relationships with controlling girlfriends. These relationships can quickly turn toxic.

Once a guy is whipped by an attractive woman, he will do anything she says. The scary truth is that you might not see the signs when it happens.

When you’re into a woman, and she’s giving you what you need, chances are, you will miss the warning signs. These red flags can be subtle.

She might throw a strop when she doesn’t get her way. She might give you the good old silent treatment. You might be inclined to ignore this bad behavior because you love her — or, at least, love sleeping with her.

Identifying that there is a problem in your relationship is the first step in solving it. I want to reveal some of the major tells that you are dating a manipulative girlfriend within this article.

Read on to learn about the tactics she is using and what you can do to pull yourself out of that hole.

Ask Yourself: Is She Using Manipulation Tactics to Get Her Way?

“When we allow another to alter our thinking, it can take a long time to return to our previous reality. That’s the awesome power of manipulation.” – Ryan James

You might be in quicksand, sinking faster than you realize. Ignore the signs for too long, and she’ll manipulate you at every turn.

Research from the University of Michigan looked into people’s main manipulation tactics in relationships. You might recognize some of these typical approaches that many women use.

1. Coercion: She demands and criticizes you for getting her way

First up, it’s a common tactic that most men will have experienced. Demanding and manipulative girlfriends will often use coercion to get you to do what they want. It’s the most direct form of manipulation and the one that’s easiest to detect.

In my relationship coaching program for men, I’ve worked with countless folks who are coerced into doing things they never even wanted to.

Does she straight-up tell you what to do? When she uses this approach, she will demand that you do as she says.

For example, if you’re planning to meet some friends in a bar, she will say that you can’t. Even though she does not — and will never — have control over you, she will act as though she does. Don’t ignore this red flag.

It doesn’t end there. If you resist her demands, she may take things one step further.

Often enough, women turn to criticism to get what they want. She will say that you don’t care about her, don’t love her, or are selfish for doing what you want. She may also start moaning and claiming that you have hurt her feelings somehow.

Believe it or not, this is a trap. She is trying to change your mind and using emotional blackmail to turn the tides.

2. Responsibility invocation: She makes you promise to do something

We’ve all experienced this one. Women will often use the responsibility invocation tactic when trying to get their way. This approach is tricky.

Without you realizing it, she will have locked you into a promise that you’d better not break. She may also give you a deadline and say that she will leave you if you don’t meet it. Here are some examples of things she might ask you to do ahead of time (and how):

  • “Promise me you won’t drink too much tonight.”
  • “I want to be married by this time next year. Do you think you will propose soon?”
  • “I want a dog. Can you promise to get us one for my birthday?”
  • “Please don’t leave me alone with your mom. I’ll come to dinner if you don’t.”
  • “You’re always out with your friends. Do you swear to take me out this week?”
  • “Can you guarantee that you won’t be home late from work?”

At first glance, these questions and statements appear innocuous.

There’s just one major problem: You have trapped yourself in a promise that you cannot break when you agree. If you screw up and can’t stick to your word, you are the bad guy.

Don’t fall for this blatant manipulation — it’s a game, and you don’t have to play along with it.

3. Regression: She sulks if she doesn’t get her way

What happens if your girlfriend doesn’t get her way?

Does she pout and sulk? Does she fold her arms and look away in anger?

Women often get away with this behavior and blame it on their hormones. However, if you look closely at what’s happening here, regression is a severe sign of manipulation or abuse.

Mature adults can accept it when they don’t get their way. If your girlfriend has difficulty hearing the word ‘no,’ you need to question why that is.

Does she pout until you change your mind? Does she make you feel as though you are the worst person in the world? Does she look as though she’s going to cry?

Those crocodile tears can go back to where they came from because all of the above signifies that she doesn’t respect you.

3. Reciprocity-Reward: She tries to bargain with you

You give and take in a relationship. But that doesn’t mean she can haggle with you to get what she wants.

If she’s saying that she will do something in return for your cooperation, that is a form of severe manipulation. For example, she might say that she will cook you dinner if you don’t go out with your friends.

She may suggest that you get lucky tonight if you turn off a film she doesn’t like. Whatever bargaining chips she’s using, you need to be wise to her ways. She is trying to control you by offering you something you want.

Worse still, her words could be empty.

She might imply that she will give you a massage after giving her one but never make good on that promise. If you call her on it, she will tell you she’s tired and provides you with a massage next time. You know deep down that will never happen. Countless men fall for this hook, line, and sinker.

For some men, this is a question of self-esteem.

In my exclusive online coaching program, I work closely with high-achieving men to help them become the best version of themselves. That means unpicking the negative lessons that society has taught you and replacing them. Our clients cut through the harmful messaging about men today and regain their confidence.

4. Debasement: She starts playing the victim

Picture the scene: She’s asked you to do something, but you’re in no mood to say ‘yes.’ Instead of accepting that she can’t have what she wants, she starts to look sad or even say that she feels ill.

She may lower herself and start saying that she never gets what she wants. Debasement is a classic manipulation technique, so you need to know about it.

You might fall for this trick once or twice. You might think that giving her what she wants is the best way to go. It’s not.

The more it happens, the more likely you are to start resenting her. If you give in every time she plays the victim, you will always do what she wants. Once she knows how to push your buttons, she will never leave them alone.

5. Hardball: She uses force, aggression, or even violence

Is she forceful when you say ‘no’? Does she become angry or violent with you?

Believe it or not, the moment that she is physically aggressive could be abuse. You shouldn’t take this lightly.

Many men are under the misguided impression that women cannot abuse them. That is not the case, so you need to know the signs.

If your girlfriend hits you, slaps you, or does anything violent toward you, you have to get some help or support.

Ignoring this behavior in the first instance is a mistake. No matter how much she apologizes and says it will never happen again, you can’t be sure.

6. Charm: She tries to get on your good side

Charm is the oldest trick in the book. Does your girlfriend become the sweetest version of herself when she wants something? Does she shower you with compliments when she’s asking for a favor?

Most men think that this type of behavior is expected. They expect their girlfriend to use these tactics to get what she wants. That doesn’t mean it’s fair.

Sure, we all like to have our egos stroked now and then. However, if she uses charm and flattery to get her way 99.99% of the time, you need to call her on it.

This style of manipulation might seem fine on the surface level. Dig a little deeper, and you will find a darker side to her sugar-coated words and over-the-top gestures.

7. Silent treatment: She puts up a figurative wall around herself

You can hear a pin drop. You’ve just told your girlfriend that she can’t have her way. You’ve used the big ‘no’ word.

As you might have predicted, she’s sitting in the corner, looking wholly and away blanking you. You try to speak to her, but there’s no way that she will respond to you. You’ve earned yourself an hour of the silent treatment.

Dealing with this frankly childish behavior can be challenging. The fact is that there’s nothing you can do or say here.

The only way to get her to come around is to do what she wants — and she knows it. Some women are masters of ignoring their partners to get what they want. When that wall has come up around her, you have no chance.

8. Social comparison: She compares you to other (better) men

Here’s the manipulative tactic that hurts the most: social comparison.

When she’s not getting what she wants, your girlfriend may turn to this sneaky approach. You might not even realize that it’s happening as it unfolds. Here’s how it goes down:

She says: “Can you pick me up from the airport at 3 AM?”

You say: “I’m sorry, I have work the next day, and I can’t drive in the middle of the night.”

She says: “Oh. Monica’s boyfriend has said he will pick her up, and he’s a doctor!”

Do you see what happened there? Instead of talking you around, she used social comparison to make you feel bad. In one sentence, she’s telling you that Monica’s boyfriend is better than you in many ways. Not only has he promised to pick his girlfriend up, but he also has a more demanding job than you do. Touché.

The manipulation runs deep here. But there are a couple of things you need to remember. First up, if Monica’s boyfriend wants to pick Monica up from the airport and lose sleep, that’s his call. Secondly, you have no evidence that he is doing that. Your girlfriend may have made up an entirely fictitious scenario to make you feel awful.

How to Deal with Manipulative Girlfriend and Regain the Power Over Your Everyday Life

Is your girlfriend guilty of any of the above? If she’s ticking every box, you need to take action. The first thing you should do here is question whether the relationship is worth saving. It might not be.

Some women are manipulative because of their past, and you might never change their behavior.

She may never change if she has acted this way since the start of your relationship. You might be better off walking away from her.

Still want to give it a go? You can’t ignore her constant manipulations. Please do something about it before it’s too late. Not every relationship can be saved, but you can try the following:

1. Start setting some reasonable boundaries

If she’s manipulating you and getting away with it, she will continue to do so. Why would she stop? With that in mind, you need to set some reasonable boundaries.

That means talking to her directly and explaining that you won’t stand for this behavior.

Be specific about what you mean and give her examples when possible.

You might say, “I find it manipulative when you flatter me to get what you want. I would rather you asked for things clearly and accepted my answer.” Alternatively, you could say, “When you give me the silent treatment, it makes me feel distant from you. I’d prefer for you to speak to me when you have a problem so we can solve it together.”

Setting out how things should be going down is a positive and mature move. You are allowing her to change her ways and, in turn, save the relationship.

2. Get yourself some support from therapists or experts

Relationships don’t always pan out how you imagine. If it’s worth saving and you think that you can change her, you might need an expert’s help.

Enlisting the support of a couples’ therapist may be your first port of call. These professionals can work alongside you to help you overcome the challenges that have cropped up since you first hooked up.

Working alongside an expert coach — such as myself — is another approach you can use. Much of the time, men struggle to get out of manipulative relationships because they don’t believe they can.

Regaining your masculine power and becoming a true alpha will change the narrative. The sooner you do that, the better.

The Takeaway

Manipulation runs deep in some women. She may have seen her mother, aunts, and grandmothers act a certain way toward men. It’s a pattern of behavior.

She watches, she learns, and, in later life, she copies them. However, you can change her and save the relationship in some cases.  If she’s worth your time and energy, you can nip her toxic behavior and start over. It won’t be easy, but you can make it work.

Creating the epic life and relationship you deserve doesn’t have to be complicated. I work alongside men who are ready to take the next step in personal growth.

By working on yourself first, you can establish romantic relationships that serve you and give you what you need. Backed by a team of expert coaches and like-minded men, you will have all the support to reach your goals and become the highest version of yourself.

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