Author of Anger of Entitlement Dr Steven Stosny, breaks down the signs that show you could be dating an abuser.
“There are obvious red flags to avoid in a prospective lover, such as angry, controlling, possessive, jealous, or violent behaviour. Unfortunately, most abusers are able to mask these tendencies in dating. By the time many people notice the obvious red flags, they're already attached to an abuser,” says Dr Stonsy.
The red flags your partner could be violent:
They don’t take responsibility for their actions and negativity – it’s always someone else’s fault that things go south. Stosny says, “If he compares you with statements like ‘You're so smart, sensitive, caring, and loving, not like that bi**h I used to go out with’, run! Don’t fall for it.”
He dwells on the unfairness of things; unfortunately life has hiccups but he is hanging up on the negative. It is all about their “rights” to things but he falls short because he’s caught up on what they don’t have and how they’ve been wronged.
He believes he comes first always. After the honeymoon phase wears off you’ll notice that an entitled partner will regard his feelings and desires as more important than yours. You’ll get frustrated.
This is another red flag. “He’ll behave superior through body language or tone of voice. Potential abusers tend to have hierarchical self-esteem meaning they need to feel better than someone else to feel okay about themselves.”
A TRUE LOVE reader, Sibongile, 34, didn’t see the signs. “My ex-boyfriend and I were together for five years, I thought he cared because he always wanted to know about my whereabouts. Until he started insisting I stay home unless I’m with him, even then when we went out I couldn’t really mingle or talk to anyone. One fight got too much when he slapped me for talking to some guy. He wanted to own me. I finally left him a few months later.”
At first you might think he is really particular and knows what he wants but in a relationship, his petty attitudes and behaviour will reduce you to some small mistake, as if nothing you have ever done right in your life matters. Be careful of that.
They exaggerate their good qualities to get you and what they think you want; he also lies a lot.
The thing about jealousy is you want your partner to want you and be willing to fight for you, but there is a thin line between that and jealousy. Jealousy can escalate which is why it is dangerous. If he is controlling and possessive then that’s a red flag.