Crossing the Line

I was surprised when my oldest daughter, college age at the time, said to me “Mom, this is the first boyfriend I’ve had that doesn’t ask to look through my phone.” I felt both dumbfounded – and ticked at myself – how did she not know this was not the norm in a healthy relationship? I also felt sad for her, that her past relationships had been ones in which she was dealing with behaviours that cross the line into destructive and potentially abusive dating patterns.

Here are some warning signs:

  • checking your cell phone or email without your permission
  • mood swings
  • telling you what to do
  • being possessive of you
  • constantly putting you down, criticism
  • extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • explosive temper
  • falsely accusing you of things
  • physically hurting you in any way (this includes being pushy, and “playing” rough)
  • isolating you from family and friends
  • behaviour that is manipulative in nature

Print out this list and give it to your teenager. Tape it on the fridge if you are single and actively dating. Know the warning signs and don’t tell yourself that with time things will change. Don’t excuse the behaviour (he had a terrible childhood) or think that you are going to make a difference (if I just love him enough…..). People show you who they are early on. Believe them. 

Information for this post and a wonderful resource:

If you need help to escape an abusive relationship, here is the international directory of domestic violence agencies:

Photo credit: http://Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “Crossing the Line”

  1. My boys are a little young for this list just yet (they are just 9 and 11), but it is definitely something I will keep in mind for them. Thank you!


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