Warning signs in dating
It’s easy to see the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, if you know what to look for.First, anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or fearful is a clear red flag.Any type of imbalance of power or controlling behavior in a relationship is unhealthy.Any time one person views the other as unequal or inferior, there is an imbalance of power.They may go so far as to secretly check your text messages, phone calls, and email to monitor your activity.It just recognizes that dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time.Because relationships exist on a spectrum, it can be hard to tell when a behavior crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy or even abusive.Cruel behavior toward other people or animals is a sign of aggressiveness, as are displays of anger that involve hitting, kicking, or throwing objects.
It’s a given that if someone is abusing alcohol or drugs the relationship will be unhealthy, but there are many other warning signs that you should be aware of. Any behavior that is aggressive is unhealthy, but actual physical abuse is just one type of aggressive behavior.Any type of physical force is unhealthy—not only hitting or slapping, but pushing, and grabbing as well.Often in a controlling relationship, the other person expects you to conform to their expectations of how you should look and behave.They may justify their behavior by claiming they are only trying to help you make good decisions or that they know what’s best for you, but’s it’s really not about what’s best for you—it’s about their need for control.
Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner.While we define dating violence as a pattern, that doesn’t mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence.