I find it ironic that at the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, that National Boyfriend Day falls on October 3rd.  But I’m going to take advantage of it right now and share some signs that will tell you that you’re dating an abuser. Most abusers don’t start off a new relationship by calling you stupid or hitting you.  Instead, they are on their best behavior as they try to get your attention and get you involved. But there are warning signs that you can look for before you get too heavily involved with your latest boyfriend.  (**I say boyfriend because it is National Boyfriend Day but these statements are true for women who are abusers and they are also true for same-sex relationships.**)

They play the blame game.  Their ex-girlfriend (aka the Bitch) treated them wrong.  This might cause you to want to take care of him and show him how he can be treated “right.” But don’t fall for this game.  Remember, blame eventually turns to the person that is closest to them.

He will “over” romance you.  Dinner and flowers and gifts.  The goal is to distract you and make you feel like you’re being swept off your feet by a “prince charming.”  Don’t believe it.  He might also try to move the relationship faster than you’re ready for.  Moving in together or even marriage are quickly proposed because he “can’t imagine living without you.” This type of behavior is used to cover up some of the other concerning behaviors.

He will “worry” about you if you don’t respond to texts right away or don’t return calls immediately.  He will “worry” when you don’t get home from work on time. He’ll start questioning who you were out with and why you didn’t respond on time. He may even start checking your calls and text messages.

He will start to isolate you from your friends and family.  Instead of meeting up with friends or family, he would rather just spend time “alone” with you.  If they question why you’re not coming around anymore he will accuse them of trying to sabotage your relationship.  He will try to twist your thinking into an “it’s us against the world” feeling.

His insecurity in himself will cause him to start belittling you so make himself feel better.  Each time he tells you that you don’t have a head for math or you’re too silly to handle technology, etc. are attempts to tear you down.  Most likely, these will happen in front of other people so it will humiliate you even more and make him feel better about himself.

He might force you to have sex when you don’t want it or put you down for not having it.  He is only concerned with his needs, not yours.

Any of the above should be a warning sign that something is not right.  If two or more of these are present, especially at the beginning of a relationship then you should end the relationship.  You do NOT need to be treated with any kind of disrespect.  Do not accept abuse or mistreatment from anyone.  Least of all someone who is supposed to be your romantic partner.