People Are Sharing The Early Signs Of Dating An Abusive Partner (20 Signs)

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with an abusive partner, you know that there are often early signs that the abuse will eventually escalate. Unfortunately, when you’re in the beginning of an abusive relationship, it’s hard to realize it until it’s too late.

People on Reddit are sharing the early signs that you are dating an abusive partner in the hopes that folks will be on the lookout.

But honestly, abusers are so manipulative that even if you know all the warning signs, you still might not understand the danger you’re in. Dating violence is incredibly serious, and it’s important that we keep talking about how to identify abusers and also how to heal from them. Abuse is never a survivor’s fault.

1. You Feel Nervous

“When you are nervous next to them and ‘relaxed’ when not.” — v_ookami

2. Controlling Behavior

“Controlling behaviour – always assuming control and undermining your ability to do anything yourself.” – TrainingRange

3. Insecurity

“My ex was so insecure about other men around me that he would stalk my Instagram and any time I added a new guy he grilled me about my connection to them. One time he went through my phone and deleted every single one of the contacts with a masculine sounding name.. on every single social media platform. If I tried to take my phone with me to the bathroom, this would make him feel even more insecure as if I had something to hide. Had the audacity to constantly accuse me of being a whore while he only knew that cheating was an option in our relationship because he was doing it.” — misterkvothe

4. Isolating You From Friends And Family

“Make it difficult for you to meet/connect/spend time with family or friends.” — NapendaWatermelon

5. Not Letting You Go Anywhere Alone

“Wanting to always come with you to see these people or showing up to places you didn’t invite them to.” — DropTheShovel

6. Belittling

“When everything you do, they always make it sound like nothing important. Downgrading it, belittling, anything of the sort.” — arafille

7. Stopping You From Giving Your Opinion

“If you cant have a mature conversation about the relationship and what you feel you need without being told you are actually the manipulative one run because they will try to tell you that you are manipulative to manipulate you into never saying your opinion.” — Colecypher

8. Threats

“If you love me you’ll do ‘blank’ for me.” — Future-Ingenuity

9. Blaming You For Everything

“Your feelings don’t matter, and no matter what happens, everything is your fault. You’re trying to talk about a problem and by the end of the conversation you’re the one apologizing. My ex-boyfriend never once uttered the words, ‘I’m sorry’ straightforwardly. If anything, it was always, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way.'” — adelinalynn

10. Pushing Boundaries

“Not taking no for an answer and pushing boundaries – but acting like they’re pushing you as a favour to you and it’s for your own good.” — AMarmaladeSandwich

11. Criticism

“Hates your friends / relatives and will repeatedly make critical comments (to isolate you), picks fights over silly things (to test boundaries), makes out that they’re the only one who cares about you (to make you stay/rely on them), repeatedly brings up the ‘favours’ they’ve done (to get you to comply), makes promises they never keep – even the little ones (because it makes you look crazy and abusive when you get upset), subtle criticism of your clothes, body and behaviour (so you’ll be worn down and have low self esteem because it makes you more compliant), gaslighting (so you question your sanity), controlling the income/stealing money (so you rely on them), spreading lies to those in your inner and outer circle (to isolate you).” — floss147

12. Gaslighting

“My ex would gaslight me almost everyday. She would make up entire stories about things I had said in my sleep (I’m actually not a sleep talker). About a lot of things I’d supposedly said or done. She made me question my own memories of events.” —LestHeBeNamedSilver

13. Never Taking Responsibility

“If it’s never their fault.” — Y00M-TAH

14. Not Respecting Your Boundaries

“They don’t respect your boundaries.” — SuperOliverTwist

15. Disrespecting You

“Controlling, demeaning, knocks you down, talks badly about everyone in your life, doesn’t respect you. It isn’t fixable and it will get worse.” — Bongmark92

16. Anger

“Gets angry and offended when confronted about their own issues and gaslights you into saying sorry or that it is YOU who has to do better in the end.” — pat-pat-says-the-cat

17. Manipulating You

“Manipulation. One thing I found with someone’s relationship (someone I care about) was that she’s with him because she’s afraid of what will happen to him if she leaves. So things like ‘I won’t ever find anyone else if you leave me’ and ‘I’ll be depressed,’ etc etc. If they are making you feel guilty for leaving, that’s not a good relationship.” — LoddZee

18. You Start Hiding Things

“If you find yourself hiding things about them from other people, or making excuses for them, it’s a huge red flag that you are actively ignoring something that is wrong with your relationship.” — MauiMadMan

19. Passive Aggression

“When they are surrounded by assholes. Ex was an asshole. Boss is an asshole. This thing happened today and can you believe what happened…their bad luck with other people seems uncanny. When it’s a lot early on. You’re the only one who understands. Never met anyone like you before. It’s a real connection. Soulmates. They say they love you quite fast. It’s a whirlwind of attention and validation. They care quite a bit about who you hang out with and why. They have ‘trust issues’ that they really want you to understand and try and work with. Any kind of physical aggression at all, towards anyone or anything. Throwing their keys onto the table angrily after a bad day. Punching the wall. Driving erratically. Refusing to give you space during an argument, including following you if you leave the room. Also shouting or insults leveled at anyone, not just you. Low empathy. Finding other people’s misfortune funny. Pranks that aren’t well received. A win-lose attitude to life, as though other people’s good stuff somehow takes away from them. Telling you that you’re over-reacting, sensitive, ‘looking for the worst’, just like their abusive ex, paranoid. Also accusing you of feelings and actions you don’t have and are not expressing, like anger, anxiety, insecurity, being controlling. Passive aggression, such as the silent treatment, ignoring messages, walking out on you and not returning, and breaking plans/commitments unilaterally. Sexual entitlement, such as pushing kinks, demanding sex and pouting when denied, showing sexual jealousy and blaming you for it.” — lickykicky

20. Love Bombing

“Love bombing.” — SomeOfThese

Featured Image: Unsplash

Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.