Love Can Turn Abusive: Know the Signs


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Tayla Salazar, Staff Writer

With the Valentine’s season fast approaching, it is easy to get caught up in the romantic razzle dazzle. DoSomething.Org voices that one in three young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. Relationships rarely start off abusive or unhealthy, behavior escalates and boundaries are pushed. Knowing the warning signs of a toxic relationship reduces the probability of being in one. 

Things are Moving too Fast

A warning sign that is recognizable rather soon into the relationship would be the pace that intimate milestones are being reached. Every relationship is different and there could very well be exceptions to this societal standard. Healthline states that 3 months is the most golden time to say “I love you.” If declarations of love and devotion are happening a few days or even a week into the relationship, there may be room for concern. 

The real issue begins if there starts to be feelings of pressure to be ready for the rapid advancements being made. Take the time to reevaluate the relationship and voice your concerns. These small red flags could lead to much bigger issues, staying disciplined with boundaries is a good way to prevent that type of behavior from continuing. 

Choking on Their Presence 

Most of these ‘red flags’ that are key indicators of potentially unhealthy relationships escalate slowly, making the moment when the relationship turns toxic hard to pinpoint. Another warning sign that could turn into something worse later on would be If you begin to notice feeling suffocated. Conflicts arise when you make plans with friends and family. Asking for alone time leading into an argument, being monitored, and questions asked about where you are and who you’re with are all behaviors leading up to the feeling of being suffocated.

Monitor how their presence makes you feel and talk to them about your observations. Again, reestablishing boundaries and having an open and honest conversation can ensure that this type of behavior won’t escalate. Something small like feeling smothered can lead to things like overstepping physical and emotional boundaries, attempts to distance you from family and friends, and even controlling behavior. 

Feeling Silenced

If you cannot openly express your thoughts and feelings within this relationship, it might be time to reevaluate the situation. Feeling like your input doesn’t matter and won’t be taken seriously, feeling defeated because voicing your opinion will cause more trouble than it’s worth, even feeling scared of how your partner will react all point to the relationship turning sour. 

Talking it out can only go so far once relationships get to this point. Feeling like you have no voice or say in the little things of a relationship is one of the biggest warning signs there could be. BeYouCounseling added to the matter, saying “If your voice isn’t being heard in a relationship, it’s not only harmful to the relationship itself, but it can be harmful to your own self-esteem and emotional well-being.” Take these signs seriously.

People in love say that they prioritize their lover’s happiness over their own any day. Love is unconditional. It knows no bounds. According to the CDC, One in 12 high school students in America experience dating violence. Don’t be blinded by the appearance of love. The line between toxic and abusive is thin: don’t let it get to that point. Stay firm with your boundaries and know when it’s time to let go. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship here are some resources:

National Domestic Violence Hotline –

   Call (800)799-7233

   Text START to 88788

   Visit National Domestic Violence Hotline