Don’t Confuse Love & Abuse

When we enter into a serious relationship with someone, none of us expects to be treated badly. We are attracted to the positive qualities in a potential partner, we feel passionately towards them, we often ignore or fail to see any negative attributes, and we fall in love. But there is something else that influences our attraction to a prospective mate: our need to love and be loved. – Ana Nogales in Psychology Today 

Learning to turn away from an abusive relationship is not always easy. Many survivors of domestic violence have told me that one of the most difficult obstacles to leaving an abusive relationship is confusion over what constitutes abusive behavior. They say that while it should be simple to tell when you’re being abused, sometimes it’s not. 

What Is Dating Abuse?

Dating abuse is a type of domestic violence characterized by a pattern of controlling and sometimes violent behavior in casual or serious dating relationships. It affects people regardless of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation. Even a one-time incident of dating violence is NOT ok. In abusive relationships, there is a pattern of controlling and/or violent behavior: the abuse happens again and again, and it gets worse over time. 

Technological Abuse 


  • Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on Facebook and other sites
  • Sends you negative, insulting or threatening emails, Facebook messages, tweets, DMs or other messages online
  • Uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and others to keep constant tabs on you
  • Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear that you will be punished
  • Uses any kind of technology (such as spyware or GPS in a car or on a phone) to monitor you
  • Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on your pictures, texts and outgoing calls




  • Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and/or demands you send some in return
  • Puts you down in their status updates
  • Pressures you to send explicit video or sexts
  • Steals or insists on being given your passwords
  • Tags you unkindly in pictures on Instagram, Tumblr, etc




Check out the full article on dating abuse here and learn about the other types of abuse (emotional, verbal, physical, financial). 

“Every romantic relationship is different. But there’s one thing all men and women should know doesn’t belong in a relationship: ABUSE, whether physical or emotional. Sometimes abuse is disguised as or confused with love. But it’s not. No one has the right to hurt you, control you, or make you feel afraid — even if they say they do it because they love you.”  – Nicole Greene 


Free Yourself Global 

This campaign explores the enculturation of violence through families over generations across cultures, and how does one, whether the abuser or the abused, interrupt the pattern of violence? This for-profit campaign will contribute proceeds directly to our affiliate organizations combating this pandemic and supporting victims and recovering abusers. We also aim to connect professional and service groups to share resources, tools, ideas, and collaborate. Currently organizations from over 68 countries around the world have officiated their support of Free Yourself Global. Click here to learn more. 

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