Red Flags: Early Signs You Could Be Dating an Abuser

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It may seem counterintuitive, but many abusive relationships start out looking to victims like fairy tales. Abusers may be romantic and charming even as they begin to subtly build power and control over their victims. They will test boundaries gradually to see what they can get away with over time. Still, there are early warning signs to watch out for. You may be becoming or already are a victim of abuse if you see any of the following red flags in your new relationship.

They want you to be all-in right away.

This might look like:

  • wanting you to move in before you’re ready
  • talking about getting married or having children early on

They don’t respect your boundaries, opinions, needs, or decisions.

This might look like:

  • touching you without your consent
  • making fun of your ideas
  • minimizing your needs
  • insisting on having things their way

They are overly jealous.

This might look like:

  • glaring at others who look at you in public
  • calling or texting several times a day to check in
  • accusing you of flirting or cheating

They don’t respect women.

This might look like:

  • posting demeaning pictures, jokes, or language about women
  • using misogynistic language when talking about their exes (bitch, crazy, etc.)

They’re overly concerned with what you do and where you go.

This might look like:

  • insisting that you share your phone’s location with them
  • checking your browser history or call log
  • questioning you when you return late