If you were to define your relationship how would you define it? Is it wonderful, romantic, fun, or fulfilling? Or is it stressful, painful, or intense? Do you desire things to be different? Do you think that if you just looked better, acted differently or did things better your relationship would be better? Have you taken the time to evaluate your relationship?
The questions above are worth taking the time to consider!
Are there any red flags or is there a knot growing in the pit of your stomach? If you are still unsure, use this relationship 101 checklist to confirm if your relationship is unhealthy and/or abusive.
- I had more friends and my grades were better before I began dating my partner.
- I am careful to control or hide any actions so my partner doesn’t get angry.
- Before we started dating, I was more outgoing and involved with my family, sports, hobbies, and/or religious activities.
- When I am alone, I get a lot of texts and calls from my partner checking up on me and my whereabouts. If I don’t respond, my partner gets angry.
- My boyfriend/girlfriend said “I love you” very early in the relationship.
- My partner is aggressive in other areas of life: throws or breaks things when angry, bangs fist for expression, and/or smashes walls or windshields.
- I feel wrong, stupid, crazy, or inadequate. I apologize a lot. I’m never good enough.
- I have been pushed against a wall, kicked, pulled, or hit.
- My boyfriend/girlfriend has threatened to kill or hurt himself/herself if I break up with him/her.
- I have bruises and I feel nervous about explaining them.
- My partner has a bad home life: sexual abuse or physical abuse, abandonment, neglect, verbal put downs, and/or parents who abuse substances.
- My partner drinks or uses drugs.
- Since we started dating, I have a lot of secrets I don’t share with friends or family.
- My face or chest has been grabbed by my partner.
- I receive a lot of advice from my partner about my friends, hairstyle, or clothes.
- I have been pressured to have sexual activity with my partner.
- I have been touched sexually without my permission.
- My partner calls me unkind names and/or criticizes me in front of others.
If you said yes to any of these you may be caught in a “Un-Love Triangle” which is abusive.
Unhealthy/Abusive relationships DO NOT get better over time.
Sexual Activity DOES NOT make abuse go away.
Getting Married DOES NOT make abuse go away.
You CAN’T FIX the other person; however, you are 100% responsible for YOUR actions, feelings, and thoughts.
If you think you are in an unhealthy relationship talk to someone, your parents, a friend, a teacher or pastor. Don’t wait, do it quickly. Unhealthy relationships are becoming more of a problem in our society with girls as well as guys. Please keep yourself safe and have a great school year.
(Adapted from “Is It Love” liveonpoint.org, 2009)