Romantic relationships can be exciting, they can be scary, and they can be exhilarating. Sometimes, when you’re caught up in love, it can be hard to recognize red flags that might be a warning sign of dating abuse. Here are some things to look out for in your relationships:
- Feeling afraid of your partner – Your partner should be someone that you can feel safe and comfortable around. While it is normal to have disagreements or even arguments, feeling afraid of your partner could signify that there is a potential for abusive behavior.
- Feeling controlled by your partner or not being able to make decisions for yourself – It’s normal for important people in your life (like your partner, friends, or parents) to share their thoughts and feelings about things that you’re doing. This can be a sign that they care and are looking out for you! But if you are feeling like your partner is trying to control what you do, where you go, or who you hang out with, that is a red flag.
- Feeling like your partner gets too personal or touches you in an unwanted way – Physical affection can be part of a healthy romantic relationship, but it’s not mandatory. People in relationships are always allowed to say no to any kind of physical contact (this includes hugs, kisses, hand holding, intercourse, etc.). You do not owe the person you’re dating any physical contact.
- Feeling embarrassed, ashamed, or put down by the person you’re dating – No one should ever make you feel ashamed or put down, especially if they’re a person you have a close relationship with. Feeling upset or frustrated with someone you’re dating can be normal, but putting them down or humiliating them is not ever acceptable. This could be a warning sign of dating abuse.
This is not a complete list of red flags for dating abuse. For more info: