Don’t Ignore The Warning Signs in Relationships

Gwen McNulty, Lion's Roar Staff

     With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many see romance floating through the air. Couples are hugging each other in the hallways, friends are swinging hands, and carnations are being given all around the school.

     But while love is painted as being all sunshine and rainbows, it can easily go the other way, especially with problematic people like J.D. from Heathers and Joe Goldberg from You being romanticized. While consuming this sort of media is entertaining, and should be normalized, some people are not quite mature enough to understand the difference between right and wrong in these scenarios, and even wish it upon themselves.

     So, this Valentines day, watch out for red flags in your loved one, even something that could be seen as “romantic,” or “endearing.” According to the University of Florida’s research, these are the things you should watch out for:


     The most obvious red flag in relationships is physical abuse. If your partner grabs you, hits you, kicks you, throws stuff at you, etc. this is very much a red flag. Even if they threaten you with physical abuse, or something even worse, you should go to a trusted adult right away. 

     Do not feel pressured to stay with this person, and understand that you can–and should–press charges against them. If you or a loved one are experiencing this, please call the hotline: +1(800) 799-SAFE.


     Another serious red flag would be verbal abuse. If your partner is demeaning you, or attempting to wear you down into submission, this is verbal abuse. If your partner is making comments about your physical appearance, gaslighting or manipulating you through their words, or threatening you, this is most definitely verbal abuse. These are not the only examples of verbal abuse.

     If you feel badly about yourself when you are with your partner, then you should not be with your partner. Instead, tell a trusted adult, and take the best course of action afterward.


     In the media especially, stalking is romanticized, being seen as cute, and protective, something swoon-worthy. In real life, it’s not so fun. If your partner is following you, or appearing out of thin air, this is a huge red flag. Especially when they are making you feel unsafe with their actions.


     Another serious red flag would be controlling behavior, or something that could simply be seen as “protective.” If your partner wants to know your location at all times, controls the way you dress or who you are around, isolates you from the people you love, and does other things along those lines, you should talk to a trusted adult and take the best course of action. It is a serious sign of abuse, and controlling behavior can go really wrong really quick.


     Lastly, if your partner is pressuring you into sending nudes, participating in sex, or forgoing certain precautions when these things happen, that is abuse. Please talk to an adult, and be safe.