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Too Good To Be True!

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. It is important that you share the warning signs of a potential abuser with your teens.

During our teens and twenties, it is important to have a partner to fit in with our peer groups, to post on social media and to begin exploring relationship experiences. But the pressure to be with someone can be overwhelming. We should connect with intimate partners because we want to, not because we feel we “have to”. This kind of pressure can cause us to miss the signs of impending trouble or, if we do see them, to overlook them for the sake of staying in a relationship.

If your new partner seems too good to be true, he/she probably is. All of us want to put our best foot forward in a new relationship but this can make us believe that is the real person when it is not. Abusers do not always abuse right away. Watch for these red flags:

  • He/she insists on being with you all the time and says it’s because they love you. Love can happen without controlling your every minute.

  • He/she texts or calls you more that four times a day and gets upset if you don’t respond right away.

  • He/she pulls you towards his/her friends but resents when you want to spend time with your friends.

  • Criticizes your family and attempts to isolate you from them or influence how you feel about them.

  • Pressures you to drop out of sports, choir, or other extra-curricular activities.

  • Pressures you to have sex when you don’t feel you’re ready or don’t want to.

  • Shows signs of anger over trivial things, for example, if you are late to meet.

  • He/she is vague and gives confusing answers when you ask about his/her past or family and friends.

  • Tries to make you feel guilty by saying that you don’t really love him/her or else you would (have sex, stop seeing your friend, drop out of soccer…)

  • Comments on and/or tries to tell you what to wear.

You have instincts. If you feel something isn’t right trust them. Talk to your parents, teachers or other adult and get their opinion. Trust in the people you know and who you know love you.

If he/she says he/she is not good enough for you, believe him. He/she is probably right.

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