One of the biggest questions I had when my abusive relationship ended was, “How do I avoid this ever happening to me again?”
UPDATE: I have created a quiz entitled “Quiz: Could my crush be a potential abuser?” that you can access in our free resource library that will help with this as well; it has a bit more than what is included in this post!*
After reading many, many articles and doing some massive soul searching and deconstructing how my abuser and I first began to date, I found some common threads.
Below are three action items to do that will help you avoid getting into an abusive relationship.
*There is a video at the end if you prefer that*
I’m not sure there is a secret I can tell you that will work every time. Sometimes you just don’t realize what these people are like until you are in a relationship with them. However, I do believe there are some behaviors to watch for and if you see them, it’s best to not get involved with them.Ever been in an abusive relationship? Click here to read how to avoid another one. Click To Tweet
1. Irrational Anger/Jealousy
We all get mad sometimes, but most of us have a healthy dose of self-control that keeps us from losing it. In general, abusers are irrationally angry. They get in fights in gym class, punch things when they’re upset, and get involved in altercations that do not concern them.
This can also happen over insignificant happenings like slow internet, a speeding ticket, their food being incorrect at a restaurant, things like that.
Personal story: I had a girl in my class one time whose boyfriend played on the basketball team. When he would make a mistake and get benched, he would punch the bench HARD and curse at himself. This happened two to three times a game. I just wanted to tell my student RUN AWAY because irrational anger is generally a dead giveaway that they have deeper emotional problems.
Jealousy is also never a good quality. It may seem cute on the surface, but if you get into a relationship with this person, they will get jealous and it will cause you to start isolating yourself.
2. How they talk to and about others
Matthew 12:34 states: “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Whatever they say about others and how they talk to them is important to watch. If they are always cutting people down, rude, or belittling, it’s only a matter of time until they are that way with you. It’s who they are.
Are his friends like this as well? Even more of a give away. This shows they see nothing wrong with their behavior if they surround themselves with friends who are the same way.
3. Do your homework!!
Look at their social media if they have it. What do they comment? What do they like/favor?
Listen to others. If people tell you he’s a jerk, he’s a jerk. Girls tend to think that boys will be different with them. That we are somehow better than his last girlfriend. LIES.
I had one girl that warned me about my abusive relationship in college as soon as she found out we were dating. I didn’t listen, did do much homework, and spent almost a year of my life in MISERY.
Watch them. How do they interact with others? With teachers? Parents? Teammates? Are they mean to everyone, but nice to you? Then it’s only a matter of time until they’re mean to you as well. It’s a character issue; it’s who they are.
Don’t commit quickly. This goes for any relationship. Watch them for a while, maybe go on a few dates, but don’t commit to a relationship until you’ve done your homework. There are still no guarantees, but your chances are MUCH better.
*If you’re only interested in how to avoid an abuser, start the video at the 4:30 mark.
If you follow the guidelines, it will greatly reduce your chances of entering into an abusive relationship. You may feel that it can work or that he will change [lie], but listen to your BRAIN. As always, be sure to pray about any relationship before you decide to get into it.
Thank you so much for reading. Here are all the posts in the series:
- What is the Cycle of Violence?
2.Seven Characteristics of an Abuser
3.Quiz: Am I in an Abusive Relationship?
4. How to Break up with an Abuser
5. Healing After an Abusive Relationship
6. How to Avoid an Abuser in your Future Relationships
7. Vlog: My Personal Story of Abuse
*UPDATE: I have created a quiz entitled “Quiz: Could my crush be a potential abuser?” that you can access in our free resource library that will help with this as well; it has a bit more than what is included in this post!*
Love to all,
P.S. We talk about the Cycle of Violence extensively in our book So, You Think You’re Ready to Date? We also talk about other dating pitfalls to avoid and what a good guy is like :). To learn more, click the graphic below: