Pay Attention to the Red Light on the Dashboard

You’re driving along and suddenly you notice a light on the dashboard. Your check engine light! You’re going to have to take it in and see what’s wrong. Immediately you make an appointment with your mechanic. After all, you can’t be driving around not knowing what the problem is. Any number of things could be wrong. Let’s take at a look at the same scenario, but now it’s not your car; it’s someone you’re dating.

You’re in a new relationship. All seems good. You’re as happy as a clam. But you’ve noticed some troubling things. Because they might not be as blatant as a bright orange or red light staring at you, you ignore it.

Let’s take a look, though, at some relationship “red lights” that ought to send you running in the opposite direction.

  • The relationship moves at the speed of lightening. It’s unusually fast. There’s a lot of talk of “Love at First Sight.” Within a few months of meeting, you’re moving in together, and the pressure is on to commit!
  • You receive unbelievable compliments. Yeah, you’re great, but come on, no one’s a superhero. Also, you might often hear, “You’re all I need in this life.” Since you’re considered a superhero, you’re expected to be “perfect.” As if that were truly possible.
  • You start noticing some controlling-type behaviors, such as being told how to dress, what to wear to certain functions. He/she becomes excessively worried if you’re late; they act like you can’t make basic decisions. You’re put through the 3rd degree, asked question after question about where you were and what you did; demands that you continuously check in. Starts checking your email and/or texts.
  • Extreme jealousy. Doesn’t want to leave your side. And when you’re away, you might get accused of cheating. Calls you or texts you multiple times throughout the day. Checking in is okay, but really, how many times does one really have to check in?
  • Starts isolating you. Doesn’t like you hanging out with family or friends, only with him/her. He/she feels they’re all you need.
  • Blaming behavior. You are responsible for making him/her angry. If you don’t do what they say, you’re “hurting” them.
  • Severe mood swings. One minute they’re happy, the next, they’re throwing a fit of rage.

These are only some of the possible red lights in an abusive relationship. Don’t ignore any of these. Your life can literally depend on it.

When you’re falling in love, it’s easy to see beyond these types of clues. For example, you might excuse his/her jealousy as endearing because it means he/she loves you. You’d be wrong!

Take your relationship as seriously as you take that red light on the dashboard.