And while many of your friends may say they are in love, more than 1 out of every 4 teens reports experiencing verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse during a dating relationship.
What some teens call true love, is really abuse.
Abuse comes in many forms—it doesn’t just mean being pushed around, slapped or bruised. Abuse can be controlling behavior, which makes you doubt yourself and forces you to act in ways you aren’t comfortable.
Being in an abusive relationship can feel like you are chained down—unable to move without your partner’s permission—and fearing if you set out to do your own thing, you will be threatened, yelled at or hurt. That doesn’t sound like true love.
Some ways abusers try to control their partners may include the following:
- Constant texting or IMing at all hours–and freaking out if you don’t respond immediately
- Calling you names or posting insulting comments on your FaceBook/MySpace pages
- Pressuring you into “sexting” or asking you to share private pics of yourself
- Threatening that they will break up with you unless you perform certain sexual acts
- Controlling whom you can be friends with, and how much time you can spend with them