Dating can be an enjoyable time to learn about others and ourselves, but in some relationships it can also bring about emotional or physical harm. While it may not be obvious that a partner is crossing the line in the beginning of a relationship, troubles may grow more pronounced over time. There are several things to look out for when evaluating whether or not your relationship is a healthy one.
Controlling and Obsessive Behavior
A partner may cross the line if they feel a frequent desire to be in contact with you, leaving you feeling smothered, suggests the HealthyChildren.org article "Expect Respect: Healthy Relationships." He may also want to monitor your whereabouts throughout the day, know who you talked to and what conversations you had, or try to pressure you into dropping certain activities or relationships for him. In these situations, your boyfriend might try to justify his behavior by saying, "I feel scared when I don't know where you are," or "I don't want you to get hurt, so I want you to give up sports."
Crossing the line may be more common when couples face disagreements. Name-calling, yelling and temper tantrums have no place in a healthy disagreement, says Columbia Health's Go Ask Alice article "Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships." A partner who has a difficult time handling disagreements may also obviously ignore you when you are speaking, refuse to accept any responsibility for the problem, or blame you and only you on a consistent basis. Your partner may also put you down or put down your family members and friends.
In a relationship that crosses the line, you may find that your relationship with your girlfriend affects relationships with your family and friends, or keeps you from doing your best at work and school, suggests the article "Expect Respect: Healthy Relationships." Your girlfriend may also flirt with others to make you jealous, which in turn can inflate her self-esteem. Manipulation may also surface in such relationships, with your girlfriend threatening to do something drastic in order to get her way, like threatening to hurt herself.
Verbally abusive behavior may be hard to detect for some people. Your boyfriend may put you or your other loved ones down, criticize your appearance or tell you that no one else would date you if he broke up with you, according to the TeensHealth article, "Am I in a Healthy Relationship?" He may also shove, hit or kick you. A boyfriend crossing the line sexually may try to intimidate or pressure you into having sex with him, and may get angry if you do not comply.
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