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.

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13 comments on “What are warning signs that someone may be abusive?”

  1. I had a best friend and one day we had a fallen out. We we were so close we told each other everything and talked on the phone daily. I felt blessed to have her as a friend. She blocked me and that hurt me deeply. I wrote her a letter trying to restore our friendship but that did not happen. I will never expose my life like that again. Am I wrong feeling that way? I am seeking counseling because I still hurt losing her as a friend. Trying to move on. I do not want my name posted.

  2. have been in a relationship for 19 years and last year I got sick . so he went on a date app . I find out and ask he want he was doing he said he did know what he was doing. than this year I find out he was cheating on me. he said he was sorry and he love me. know I have that some feel he doing something and don't know what to do. he also been look at old photo of him and his ex-friend can some help

  3. i have been in a relationship for 19 years and got sick last year . so he went on date web sit and then this year I find out he was cheat on me and keeps look at old photo of him and ex-girlfriend I don't know what to do

  4. I've been in a relationship for 8 years and bf tends to cheat every time he gets a chance with fb girls and Instagram and when approchedd to talk about the situation he gets angry and he tells me leave him alone and shut up and says I'm gonna do what I want to do I'm at the point were I want to just leave I'm sick of this my heart is broken

  5. I HV been seeing my bf for 7 months shortly after we started seeing each other I find he is a black out drunk he drinks till he passes out everyday which leaves me sitting there by myself till the next day which I am not happy with then he tells me that him and his ex still love each other but there's nothing going on there just friends but they're in constant contact every day they talk on the phone they text they went away together for a business trip for two weeks she was broken up with her boyfriend and I broke up with him because I already knew he made the decision he was going so then he decides two weeks later to come back to be with me that he loves me and he wants to show me that my feelings matter but when he gets back while he's drunk he starts telling stories about how her and her boyfriend wa about how her and her boyfriend was broke up when he told me they wasn't how baby sitting on the couch and she turn around and have her back and how it was so different because I'm small and she's a big girl but if they feel that comfortable rubbing each other's back and being together the sounds to me like they're still having sex he swears to me he's not but I feel like he is she's a constant presence in our relationship she's always buying him stuff he can't make a decision without her he came back from Georgia to be with me I was there one day heard all the crap that he said happen while he was gone he passed out drunk that night the first time I seen him in 2 weeks so when you passed out I left the next day I blocked him I don't want to have to explain to him because it's like you tries to persuade me that everything is okay and he's not doing anything wrong and he doesn't understand why I'm jealous of his ex I'm not jealous of his ex I don't trust him I feel like if you loved me he would make Moun I feel like if you loved me he would make boundaries and stick to them and he hasn't now he's acting like he's madly in love with me bought me flowers and all this stuff and then he passes out at the kitchen table at 9 at night and I'm there with his friend by myself so I left I blocked him did I do the right thing am I passive aggressive by not explaining to him again why we're not together again I think I'm in love with the I do of him being a good man for me but when I'm around him I'm looking for excuses to get away because I don't want to be around all these drunk people all the time because I don't drink so there's any advice out there tell me if I do the right thing if I'm being passive aggressive would appreciate some feedback

    1. It sounds like you did the right thing and you have been clear about your reasons why. You deserve to have a boyfriend who is only committed to you and no one else. He sounds like a very lost and confused and addicted person. The drinking until he blacks out and passes out are signs of alcohol addiction. He can't commit to a relationship until he is ready to give up his relationship with alcohol and with his ex.

    2. If you are uncomfortable and unhappy, get out. It's not worth it. Please believe me I know from direct experience.

    3. Wow i am totally seeing that me and you have the exact same situation but my situation worse which in a way better to see how you really need to be dealing with it . First off no don't be judge yourself about being passive aggressive you only need to be there if he is being real but sounds like a triangle n fact really he is literally a pathetic hypnotized fool and triangle mean the bad guy, victim, and a hero so since your ascribing to the uncertainty your getting put through you naturally doubting yourself but your unaware that now you're getting blind and the game of love triangle begins and you are being summoned to bad guy. All the upset you feel can't really make you be the best version of you so you eventually are going to be controlled and destroyed if you don't block.

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