Romance may be in the air, but for at least a third of you, it’s caused some level of pain. One in three people have suffered some form of abuse by a dating partner by age 20. Males and females, everything from plain evil manipulation to physical violence. Not exactly romantic, is it?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tell ahead of time whether somebody might have the potential to be abusive? Here you go! It’s part two of the red flag checklist series.
Part Two: Attitudes and Intimacy. In this episode, Person X has found “A Date” and is starting to show his/her true colors. In the Part One Checklist, we could allow some room for exceptions, but this list is less forgiving. Any of these is a warning sign.
- Does X expect Date to spend all Date’s free time together? Does X expect Date to drop other commitments? The key word is “expect.” A decent person would want to spend lots of time together, but understands that everyone has a life.
- Does X move fast and assume Date is wildly in love and there’s no reason not to call or text at all hours? In fairness, boundaries get relaxed when people really are in love, but X will disrespect personal boundaries, and even privacy. Does X push for sex too soon?
- Does X disapprove when Date is unavailable, especially if Date is with other people? Is X showing signs of jealousy, even if Date is with family? A normal person would be interested because if they’re important to Date, they’re important, but won’t be jealous of the time with them.
- Does X expect Date to take all advice? This is a control issue, plain and simple.
- Does X accuse Date of flirting? Is flirting only acceptable for X? Does X think Date is cheating? Paranoia isn’t a common characteristic of normal people.
- How do X’s friends view women? Yes, this is one-sided, but both abusive men and women tend to objectify women more than the norm. Do those friends use derogatory words or talk about violence against women?
- Does X have a history of short, unstable and intense relationships? Is there a history of perceiving a relationship where there was none? Or is there a blank slate? Any of those is, let’s face it, abnormal.
- If X hurts Date’s feelings, are there signs of remorse or an understanding of cause and effect? A lack of empathy or understanding responsibility can be signs of ASD (formerly known as sociopathy).
- Is X overly curious about Date’s tolerances to drugs or alcohol? This is rarely a normal conversational topic and you know why X might be so interested.
As always, if you are a victim, please understand you don’t have to be. It happens. It happens a lot, as our 1-in-3 statistic tells you. It happens to people regardless of social status, wealth, intelligence, and gender. But if it’s happened to you, change your status from victim to survivor. Emerge stronger…and wiser.
You know one in three, whether you know who they are or not. Just because you’re in a stable and healthy relationship doesn’t mean your kids or nieces or nephews or the adolescents next door are immune. Please share this post and maybe we can prevent someone else from becoming a statistic.