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Love is Setting Boundaries: When Boundaries Aren’t Respected

For Teen DV Month, we’re talking about setting healthy boundaries in relationships. Today, we’re discussing what happens when boundaries aren’t respected.

In our previous post, we talked about how boundaries help you honor your own needs and feelings by defining what you are comfortable with and how you’d like to be treated by others. In a relationship, both people have the right to set their own boundaries AND have those boundaries respected, no matter what. But what happens if someone crosses a line? How do you deal with it? Here’s what to consider if…

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Everyone Deserves a Healthy Relationship

You probably know that the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the very popular book series, opens today in theaters nationwide. Despite the popularity of the series, a lot of different people have criticized the books for portraying and even romanticizing unhealthy and abusive behaviors.

Some members of the media and other groups have also talked a lot about the characters participating in BDSM. We at loveisrespect just want to note that a BDSM relationship is not necessarily abusive. People in the BDSM community enter into consenting and healthy relationshipsevery day.

A healthy relationship includes open communication, mutually agreed-upon boundaries and consent from all partners. No matter how a relationship is defined, behaviors like verbal abuse, sexual violence, jealousy, possessiveness, stalking and damaging or destroying belongings are all signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship. If you have questions about your own relationship, if you feel unsafe or if you are feeling triggered, peer advocates are here to support you 24/7, confidentially and without judgment.

At loveisrespect, we believe everyone deserves to be in a healthy and safe relationship!


Relationship Games

This post was written by Gabriella, a loveisrespect intern.

Winter break is coming up, and that means you can finally relax instead of worrying about school.

Wish you could say the same about a relationship?

Sometimes unsteady or new relationships can feel confusing and hard to navigate, especially if a crush is playing “relationship games.” These games aren’t very much fun, and they usually include behaviors that don’t help build a healthy relationship.

So what are some of these “games,” and how do you spot them?

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Is Your Long-Distance Relationship Unhealthy?

This post was written by Gabriella, a loveisrespect intern.

You might be in a long-distance relationship because of a high school graduation, a connection you made with someone over the internet, or any number of reasons. Long-distance relationships have a bad rap for being notoriously difficult and complicated, requiring even more commitment from both partners than usual. Sure, everyone knows they aren’t easy, but how do you know if your long-distance relationship is healthy or not? Are they all doomed?

Thankfully, the answer is NO, not all long-distance relationships fail! But it can be tricky figuring out if yours is healthy. Here are some warning signs of an unhealthy long-distance relationship:

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Building Support Systems While in an Unhealthy Relationship

Sometimes building and maintaining support systems can be tricky in a relationship. Time that you would have usually dedicated to friends is now being spent on the relationship, or maybe your partner is getting jealous when you talk or hang out with others. It’s normal if these behaviors are making you feel lonely, especially if your partner asked you to not talk about your relationship to other people.

Feeling isolated because of your relationship is unhealthy and can even be considered an abusive relationship if your partner is actively trying to keep you from communicating with others. Feeling isolated can happen at anytime during a relationship, especially if you moved in with an abusive partner. Everyone deserves to have a support system, whether their relationship is generally pretty healthy or if their relationship has become abusive. If you are in an unhealthy relationship and are wondering how to build a support system you might ask:

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Checking In or Checking Up?

where r u?

who u with?

y havent u txtd me back??

Do those texts sound familiar? When you’re in a relationship with someone, it’s natural to want to spend as much time with them as possible. Checking in with your partner – whether it’s to see how their day went, or to confirm that date for Friday night – can be one way to let them know you’re thinking of them. But checking in becomes checking up if it’s driven by insecurity or jealousy. Attempting to control a person by checking up on them is unhealthy behavior that can quickly become abusive.

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Recognizing the Signs

Today’s post was written by Anitra, one of our peer advocates. She has bravely chosen to share her personal experience with the hope that it will help others recognize the signs of an abusive relationship. 

Abusive relationships are tough situations that can happen to anyone. Relationships that seem healthy and positive can quickly take a turn for the worse and before you know it, you could be in over your head. This is something that happened to me.

A few years ago, I was in a relationship that started off really positive. We met through friends at a birthday dinner, and he seemed nice. In the beginning, he was fun and seemed to want to get to know me. I thought the relationship had a lot of promise.

Soon after the relationship began, he started to criticize me on my appearance and the way I dressed. He would say that “real girlfriends” should dress and look a certain way, and the way I looked wasn’t good enough.  I tried not to let it bother me and to let his comments go. I also tried to make it clear that he would have to accept me for who I was. I didn’t realize he was already showing signs of controlling behavior.

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What is Gaslighting?

“You’re crazy – that never happened.”

“Are you sure? You tend to have a bad memory.”

“It’s all in your head.”

Does your partner say things like this to you a lot? Do you often start questioning what’s really true – or even your own sanity – within your relationship? If so, your partner may be using what mental health professionals call “gaslighting.”

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What is Sexual Coercion?

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is almost over, but it’s never too late (or too soon!) to talk about sex and healthy relationships. In a healthy relationship, both partners feel comfortable with the level of physical activity, whether that means holding hands, kissing, touching, and/or having intercourse.

One aspect of your life that you always have complete control over is how far you want to take it with your romantic partner, your significant other, your crush or even someone you’re just hooking up with. When it comes to anything physical, you absolutely have a voice and do not have to do anything you don’t want to do.

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