Is Your Relationship Headed for Trouble? – Recognizing Red and Yellow Flags
A new relationship can bring intense feelings of romance, excitement, and hope for the future. Signs that your partner is potentially abusive can be undetectable in these early stages. Abuse may appear weeks or months later. Understanding boundaries is important in having a healthy relationship. It is also important to ask yourself if the attention you are receiving from your partner is overwhelming or making you uncomfortable.
Abuse may be physical or non-physical, and it is not always obvious. Abuse is typically repetitive and follows a pattern of calm periods which lead up to tense periods. The abuser will often blame their partner for the abuse (“look what you made me do”) and not take responsibility for themselves.
In a healthy relationship, your partner respects your emotions and does not tell you how to feel. Your partner will respect that you have your own life, privacy, goals, friendships, and feelings outside of your relationship with them. They are supportive and encourage you. Most importantly, both partners will feel that they are equal, can remain calm and rational during conflict, and both respect that your body is your own, and are both free to express what does and doesn’t make each other uncomfortable. If you and your partner are noticing these behaviors in each other, these are great signs the relationship is on the healthy spectrum.A healthy relationship isn’t always perfect, but abuse is never part of a healthy relationship.
Remember: Relationships exist on a spectrum, rarely are they all “good” or “bad” andno one deserves to experience abuse of any kind—for any reason, and every type of abuse is serious!
We are committed to providing free, safe and confidential services to victims of dating violence. If you are experiencing dating violence, please call our HELPLine 24/7 at 512-396-4357.HCWC’s Counseling & Resource Center has a counselor specifically focused on Dating Violence and our Prevention Educators are available to presentations and education about dating violence.
Gemma is a Squishmallow enthusiast who loves listening to podcasts in her spare time. Gemma works as a prevention educator at HCWC where she helps provide resources, advocacy, and awareness on healthy relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault to adolescents and the community. Gemma is a proud alum of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where she received her bachelor’s in Rehabilitation services. She is passionate about advocating for people with disabilities, equality, and social change.