Two people who are in a relationship may act territorial around each other, especially if they feel like their relationship is threatened in some way.
Territorial behaviors can include possessiveness, jealousy, and controlling behavior. When someone feels territorial, they may try to control their partner’s movements or activities, or they may try to limit their partner’s contact with other people. Territorial behavior can be a sign of insecurity in a relationship, and it can also be a form of emotional abuse.
If you or your partner find yourselves being newly territorial in your relationship then here are a few steps you can follow to sort things out.
Steps to follow when being territorial in a relationship:
1- Communicate with your partner:
Communication is key to a healthy relationship. When communication breaks down, it can lead to misunderstandings and resentment. One way that people try to assert their own needs in a relationship is by becoming territorial. This often occurs when one person feels like they are not being heard or valued. In order to feel more in control, they may start to claim ownership over things or try to control the behavior of their partner.
While this may temporarily make one person feel better, it ultimately does more harm than good. Territorial behavior creates an atmosphere of distrust and resentment, which can quickly destroy a relationship.
If you’re concerned about your own or your partner’s territorial behavior, it’s important to talk about it openly and honestly. Only by communicating about these issues can you begin to address them. People who are truly devoted to their partner may want to keep them all to themselves. Whatever the reason, territorial behavior is often seen as a negative trait.
It can make people feel suffocated and trapped, and it can damage the trust and communication in a relationship. If you find yourself becoming territorial, it might be worth trying to explore the reason behind it, which brings us to the next step:
2- Find the trigger for this behavior:
Becoming territorial in a relationship can be a normal thing. Just like with any animal, humans have the instinct to protect what they see as their own. When it comes to relationships, this can manifest as jealousy, possessiveness, or slang over things like time, attention, and affection. While it’s normal to feel these things from time to time, if you find yourself constantly feeling territorial, it might be worth taking a step back to find the reason why.
If being territorial is a new thing that has been going on in your relationship, then find the no-return point that changed you or your significant other into a more territorial partner. It could be a person that you have met and felt threatened by or an event or argument that occurred recently. It could even be new suspicions of betrayal or cheating.
Is there something else going on in your life that is causing you to feel insecure? Are you worried about your partner straying? If so, it might be helpful to talk about these fears openly and honestly with your partner, once you find the reason behind it. Then you should both come to an agreement about eliminating this trigger from your life, when possible. Only by communicating openly can you hope to build a healthy and lasting relationship.
Again, once you find the culprit, try to understand why this was an issue or trigger for you or your partner. Then the wise thing to do after that is to eliminate it from your life and relationship once and for all, if possible.
3- A little bit of reassurance can do no harm:
If you or your partner has been worried about the possibility of a break-up recently, that could be the reason why one of you is being tense and acting territorial. People who are afraid of losing their partner may try to control their behavior or limit their interactions with other people. In other cases, someone may become territorial out of a desire to protect their relationship.
If they feel like their partner is being threatened by someone else, they may try to keep them away. Territorial behavior can also be a sign of love and commitment when its within rational limits. Sometimes, all it takes to calm things down a bit and bring peace, love, and happiness back to the relationship is a bit of reassurance.
Obviously, a well-balanced dose of reassurance is always needed in a relationship. It’s true that being too needy of reassurance all the time can turn toxic and suffocate your partner, read more about it here later. However, a good amount of reassurance is always welcome and healthy in any relationship.
So in this case, the territorial partner just needs a bit more love and reassurance until they can chase away their new doubts, fears, and suspicions.
4- Understand your partner’s needs and compromise mutually:
One of the most important things to remember in a relationship is that you are not the only one involved. Just as you have your own needs and wishes, so does your partner. It’s important to respect each other’s space and to give each other room to grow. Trying to control or dominate your partner will only lead to resentment and conflict.
Instead, focus on communication and compromise. If you feel yourself getting territorial, take a step back and ask yourself what is really important to you in the relationship. Is it more important to have your own way, or is it more important to have a happy, healthy relationship? Chances are, you’ll find that the latter is more important. So let go of your need to control, and work on building a strong, loving bond with your partner.
Instead of trying to control everything, you need to find a middle ground that works for both of you. This can be tricky, but it’s important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner. Once you’ve found a compromise that you’re both happy with, stick to it.
Trying to control everything will only lead to resentment and conflict, which will, in turn, lead to losing everything instead. Instead, focus on building trust and cooperation. With a little effort, you can stop being territorial in your relationship and create a more nurturing and supportive environment for both of you.