When I was in college, I dated a young man who seemed like a nice guy. But the more time I spent with him, the more his behavior changed. I should have noticed the danger signs. I don’t know if I misinterpreted them, or perhaps I just didn’t want to see them at all.
I interpreted his jealous nature as love. I interpreted his anger at other guys for even glancing my direction as love. I interpreted his buying me men’s Levis to wear because they hide my waistline in public as love. I interpreted his requiring me to wear large sweatshirts to cover up my figure as love. I interpreted his frustration by punching holes in the walls instead of holes in me as love. I missed the signs all right. In fact, I was so blind to the signs, I married him.
What about you? Are you missing the signs?
True love is not suspicious. It does not keep tabs on where you have been or who you have been talking to. True love is not demeaning. It does not put you down or make you feel stupid. True love is not pushy. It does not control what you do or force you to do things you don’t want to do. True love is not manipulating. It does not try to guilt you into being with it or shame you into staying. True love is not intimidating. It does not try to frighten you or threaten you. True love is never violent. It never intends to physically, emotionally or psychologically hurt you.
These signs can appear in any relationship that professes to love or care for you. A friend, a parent, a brother or sister, a significant other, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a spouse.
The signs are all around us. Heeding the signs is the first step.
If you want to learn more, here are some resources …
Community Solutions of San Benito County
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-877-363-7238
Youth and Family Crisis Line: 1-408-683-4118
Emmaus House Women and Children’s Violence Shelter of Hollister
24 Hour Emergency Hotline: 1-877-778-7978
RAINN: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
Hotline 24 hours: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)