When your partner is proud to be with you, there’s no better feeling in the world.
But when they begin to overtly treat you like a prized possession, this is where things can get tricky.
You see, the term “prized possession” can have both positive and negative connotations.
It can mean you’re highly valued and cherished.
But, on the other hand, it can also signify ownership rather than genuine romance.
So where do you fall in the spectrum?
In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the signs that your partner might consider you a prized possession.
Let’s kick things off with the positive signs!
1) They’re proud of your accomplishments
Does your partner celebrate your wins with you? If they seem genuinely happy when you open a business or reach a fitness goal, you’re in a good place.
They might even post and lightly brag to friends about your latest achievement.
And if that vigor is consistent with the praise they shower you with in person, you’re with a keeper.
Unlike many insecure partners, they don’t feel envious or dismissive either, instead acting constantly supportive and proud to be associated with you.
2) They introduce you to loved ones
You know your partner genuinely values you when they display a keenness to introduce you to their friends and family.
They can’t wait for their loved ones to witness firsthand how charming, good-looking, and well-rounded you are.
I have a close friend who has always been both a commitment phobe and a bit of a romantic. Yes, the combination very much exists.
He’s quite a catch: handsome, funny, has a successful career, the works.
But for most of his life, he’s evaded bringing his dates to meet his family and friends–as the latter, in his mind, would terrifyingly represent the next level of commitment.
So for the majority of his adult life, his love life often meant going on a few dates, sleeping around, and gradually ghosting them.
His reasoning? “She isn’t the one.”
As fate would have it, he ended up falling hard for someone last year.
She ticked all his boxes. Their chemistry was certainly palpable.
She might be the first girl he’s brought home to meet his parents.
And though it sounds routine, for him to make that leap was a massive deal.
To make a long story short, if your partner is enthusiastic about you meeting the family and friend group, that’s an excellent prelude of what’s to come.
3) They want to create memories
Here’s the thing: when your partner values you as a person, they make your time together count, regardless of how long you two have been together.
Instead of passively loitering around the house, they might go out of their way to plan unique dates or outings, perhaps taking many photos along the way.
They rarely get too comfortable, as they don’t want to risk taking you for granted.
4) They talk about the future
Whether it’s for next month or the next decade, if they constantly talk about shared future plans, goals, and dreams, this is effectively them saying that they want to be with you for the long haul, without stating it explicitly.
They don’t see you as some passing fling. They’re excited by the prospect of being with you and pursuing the adventures of life together.
5) They take care of you
If they see you as an object, then chances are, they will mostly be indifferent to your well-being.
Sure, they might feign concern every now and then when you say you feel under the weather.
But somehow, your gut will tell you that you aren’t that priority.
But if you feel consistently looked after, then you’re probably dating the right kind of partner.
Maybe you’ve had a rough week so they make the effort to cook your favorite food or plan for your best buds to come over to help cheer you up.
As corny as it sounds, in any functioning relationship, the little things really do count.
6) They value your opinion
In addition to valuing your well-being, a quality partner will value your opinions too.
If you’re just a prized possession in the literal sense of the term, you’ll eventually feel unimportant or excluded from important matters.
If they truly love you though, they’ll often consult with you before making significant decisions, always valuing your perspective–making you feel heard and important in the process.
4 negative aspects of being a prized possession
When your partner considers you more of an object (or a prized possession in the verbatim sense) than anything, their behavior can commonly manifest in these types of behaviors:
1) They are overprotective
As outlined above, if you are in love with someone you consider a ‘prized possession’ you also tend to respect them as a living, breathing autonomous human being.
So, if your partner becomes overly concerned about your whereabouts and who you’re with at all times, to the point of infringing on your boundaries, this can be a red flag.
In order words, they almost consider you their property.
Approach the situation with caution. They might eventually try to control many aspects of your life, such as what you wear, who you hang out with, or where you go. Yikes.
2) They isolate you
You can be someone’s “prized possession” so to speak but still maintain your independence.
When your partner discourages you from seeing your friends and family, however, this is troubling.
In essence, they seek to strip away your individuality and make you fully dependent on them, and therefore easier to control.
Nip this type of behavior in the bud. You deserve better.
3) They’re dependent on you
If you become an emotional crutch and they’re overly dependent on you for contentment, this isn’t fair to you.
This means they have deep-seated issues that need to be addressed–and you are in no way obliged to stick around to deal with that baggage. ‘
If this is the case, either they start becoming more self-sufficient or consider walking away.
Looking back at my first relationship, I realize now that I didn’t fully love my ex.
But I felt I needed her around because she helped me fill so many emotional voids.
So in hindsight, I was selfish. I used her to provide me with the feeling of being loved, cared for, assured, and validated, among other things.
I loved the concept of her more than anything, which we both soon found out wasn’t a sustainable way of going about things.
Though I periodically still feel guilt over my treatment of her, I’ve since moved on.
But in life, we have to accept our inevitable shortcomings and use them to keep learning and improving.
4) They use possessive language
Playfully considering a partner a prized possession is one thing but when they cross the line, it can become concerning.
Be wary of phrases like “you’re all mine” or “I can’t live without you” especially when expressed in a fairly serious manner.
This type of language coupled with a few other controlling behaviors can be problematic.
Run while you still can.
Deciding who to be with is one of the most important decisions one can make, if not the most important.
So, if you feel your partner considers you a prized possession, it’s worth looking into the motivation behind that sentiment.
As established, being a prized possession can be both a good and bad thing.
If you find your partner respects you and your individuality as a person, all the while still admiring you as a catch, then you need not worry.
You’re in good hands.