A good relationship truly is one of the greatest joys in life, an abusive dating relationship can be one of the worst. It’s very important to keep an eye out for signs that may indicate the person you are hoping to spend your life with might make your life a living hell. The sooner you see the signs and get out, the less anguish you’ll have to suffer at their hands.
There are other forms of abuse besides physical and sexual. When a partner is continually undermining the self esteem of their partner by making fun of them, calling them names, flirting with others, or smothering them, all of these things are abuse and can often escalate into physical or sexual abuse.
Abuse is all about control and power. The people who seem to ‘need’ to have this power over others are often just sorry losers who feel so bad about the person they are that they need to step on someone else to make themselves feel better. It’s pathetic and sad, but it can also be extremely dangerous. More than one person has died at the hands of one of these abusers. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you by being willing to keep your eyes wide open and take off the blinders.
When it comes to relationships we are all guilty, to some degree or another, of seeing only what we want to see. If we want to only see the good in the man we are dating because we don’t want to have to start over or be alone, than that’s all we’ll see. The problem is that more often than not, it will become impossible to ignore the warning signs because the abuse will most likely just get worse over time.
Here are a few things you should watch out for when you first start dating someone. They aren’t all signs of abuse necessarily but they are warning signs of someone who has some pretty significant feelings of insecurity which often leads to abuse:
1. Watch for signs that your date likes to be in control. A little bit of control is no problem but if you’re out with a man who has to order for you, or otherwise take away your voice, you should be concerned.
2. How does your date treat people around them? A nice person will be nice to everyone, even the waiter who screwed up their order. If your date flies off the handle over little things you should probably take a step back.
3. Does your date make eye contact with you or are they always looking around the room? Not being able to look you in the eye is not a great sign. It could mean that they are shy, but it could also mean (if coupled with other things) that they are bored, insensitive, or scoping out other people, none of which is a good sign if you are on a first or second date.
4. If your date can’t laugh at themselves, it’s yet another sign of someone who is insecure. Look, no one likes to look foolish or be laughed at. It takes a person who is very comfortable in their own skin to accept this type of situation gracefully, but if your date just seems to go over the top then they may have not only self esteem issues but anger management issues as well… that’s a bad combination.
In order to avoid getting into an abusive dating situation just avoid the temptation of putting your date on a pedestal. Try to see them for who they really are, flaws and all. That way you’ll be less likely to be taken off guard and if the two of you do hit it off you’ll know that you love who they really are and not just who you want them to be.