What are warning signs that someone may be abusive?

Did you know that violence in teen dating affects 1 in 3 adolescents in the U.S.? This is NOT okay. It's important to be aware of these 8 signs of an unhealthy relationship?

Dating Violence - 8 things that are NOT okay in Dating Relationships

I ask myself – how can this be that one in three teens is being violated physically, sexually or emotionally in a dating relationship?

I think there are a number of reasons why.  Often the abuser in the relationship starts off being very smooth and charming and the other person is taken in by this.  

I describe this behavior in my call with Nicole. Take a listen:

Other times the abused partner suffers from low self-esteem and convinces themselves that they are in love.

However, I wonder if most of the time teens and young adults simply don’t know how to recognize abuse. Perhaps some are willing to accept behaviors from their boyfriend/girlfriend that are NOT acceptable simply because they don’t know things can be different.

Maybe you have been there. It’s your first dating relationship. You’ve never really been “in love” before, so you think your bf/gf's behavior is normal. Or you’re willing to make excuses for them because you like being “in love.” Or you think you can change them. I understand how this can happen, so I want to help you recognize abuse before it's too late.

The truth of the matter is that people with abusive tendencies don't change too quickly, and you deserve SO much better and better is available.

I have talked to many teens who regret things they’ve done in relationships simply because they didn’t know any better.

Here are 8 behaviors that are NOT acceptable in a relationship.

  1. Insulting you, putting you down, or hurting your feelings with their words.
  2. Disrespecting your opinions or thoughts, making you feel dumb or worthless
  3. Isolating you from friends and family by controlling whom you are “allowed” to talk to and convincing you that your family and friends aren’t good for you.
  4. Controlling you…telling you where you can go, whom you can see, and how you can spend your money, etc.
  5. Blaming you for their abusive actions…making you feel like it is your fault they say mean things or are physically rough with you.
  6. Physically rough. While you may know that hitting is not appropriate, neither is pushing, grabbing, pinching, hair pulling or any other physical touch that makes you feel uncomfortable or scared.
  7. Forcing sexual activity of any sort. If you are not consenting to the sexual activity, it is abuse.
  8. Overly jealous. Spying on you or checking in on you too much. Reading your texts or stalking your social media. Accusing you of cheating or flirting with others when you are not doing anything wrong.

Listen to this call from Jared whose girlfriend helped him realize his overly jealous actions were abusive.

Relationship Spectrum

dating violence stop

For a complete relationship spectrum from healthy to unhealthy to abusive relationships check out this Relationships Spectrum from our friends at TheHotLine.org.

If you feel you might be in a dating relationship that is abusive, but you just aren’t sure, feel free to leave a comment below or chat with one of our HopeCoaches on TheHopeLine.

And remember there is always HOPE. You are not alone. You can escape abusive relationships and heal from them.

There are people who will help you and God is on your side.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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13 comments on “What are warning signs that someone may be abusive?”

  1. Have been dating for four months already,,,but guy has changed alot we don't talk as normal he usually said he is busy at work,,,and sometimes when I go online I found him chatting with the other chics,,,,which makes me feel bad,,,,am confused on what to do because I love the guy

  2. I been in a relationship for 6 yrs I mean I love this girl wit a passion before I got wit her I knew it's was going to be hard but I still went through bwit it. Before we started she told me how dudes use her how dudes abused her and she had a addition drinking and popping pills I help her wit that to become a better woman yes the first 2 yrs was hard but I help her wit it I kept my word it's was times I was saying to myself why did I get myself into this but I wanted to make it work now that she doing way better than before she now playing mind games which is messed up she texting other dudes and the other day she tells me I love u with all my heart but I can't be ya girl no more that really hurts kuz she wit a rebound it's messed up but I put my all in this woman to get played like this but it's ok karma will get u trust and believe

  3. A guy I've dated for 4 months told me we should be just friends, I told him I couldn't do that coz it's gonna hurt so much and I run away from him. I do miss him a lot and can't stop checking up on him. He never saw things from my perspective and feels he is always right. He stopped doing all the nice things for me and would respond to my many many text with just two words. I got fed up and replied to one of his text like this, "bull crap? ! Is that all you gonna say? He felt insulted and disrespected and asked that we stay as friends coz he can't think of marrrying me.
    The most painful thing is, he passed his board exams I contributed to but didn't invite to his induction ceremony . Had to see pictures of it on social media, I congratulated him though but he's still indifferent. I made him the center of my already crushing world and Im suffering now. Help??

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