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The real dangers of college dating

College relationships come and go, lasting anywhere from a few nights to a few years. Some people find their soulmates, while some merely find a person to spend time with. But, no matter the future potential, most college relationships are fleeting. Few people consider all of the possibilities when entering a relationship, especially the possibility of being abused.

We all know someone who has been in a ‘bad relationship,’ or someone who ‘just isn’t treated right.’ We have all witnessed arguments, been shoulders to cry on or helped someone recover after a bad break up. It rarely occurs to the average college student that they or their friend may be being abused.

Recently, the news has been splattered with pictures and stories covering the alleged physical violence occurring in Chris Brown and Rihanna’s relationship. Violence against women and violence in relationships has become the new hot topic, suddenly becoming an important cause to fight against again.

Sadly, abusive relationships are not merely limited to celebrities. Being in an abusive relationship is not only constituted by physical violence, it rather encompasses a wide range of behaviors.

According to womenshealth.gov, one can be abused physically, psychologically and emotionally through means of verbal and physical interaction. Though physical abuse is generally more apparent and easily identifiable, this is not always the most common form of abuse in relationships, especially college relationships.

Abuse may start with something as simple as one partner being distrusting of the other, starting to accuse them of being unfaithful or constantly monitoring what the other is doing. If one partner starts to be more controlling over the other’s activities, spending habits or friends, it could be a sign that there is not an equal level of power or respect in the relationship, two things that can lead to the success or failure of any relationship.

We have all seen our friends yell at each other or observed their erratic behavior when in a bad relationship, but we rarely consider what goes on behind closed doors.

Paired with the use of alcohol or drugs, any relationship can turn very sour if one of the individuals gains more control over the other. What may start out as a few heated arguments, checking text messages and calls or one partner blaming the other for their problems, may very well turn into stalking, being forced to have sex, being hit or having things like beer bottles thrown at you.

Many people, females especially, are willing to write-off some of the clear signs of abuse as a one-time thing, give the partner another chance or worse, are naïve upon entering a relationship, repeating the ever popular motto, “it’s not going to happen to me.” Abuse can happen to anyone at any age, of any race or social class, and it does not always result in a black eye.

Young people especially need to be more aware of the dangers of abuse, no matter how well they think they know their partner.

There are few feelings more powerful than young love, yet it is one of the downfalls that blinds people into believing that they are untouchable, that the person they fell in love with will never change, never do anything to hurt them.

Just because someone is super attractive, pays close attention to you and treats you like you are the only person on earth at first does not mean that they will necessarily remain that way forever.

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March 4, 2009 Posted by | Dating, Online Dating, Relationships | , , , , , | Leave a comment