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Teen Dating Violence Awareness: Watch the Love

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is an important month. Toxic, abusive relasionships develop slowly and sneakily. Watch for these signs of toxic love.

Teen dating violence awareness is vital. It’s fitting that Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is February, a month earmarked to celebrate love. Love is an experience that, because it’s such a basic part of being human, isn’t always discussed. It’s just there. It is what it is. It’s an instinct. Unfortunately, while love is an integral part of humanity, it not always easy to know what healthy versus unhealthy love is. This is especially true during adolescence, when teens are pulling away from parents, and friends and dating relationships become important but are new territory. As a high school teacher and counselor, I saw too many teens, boys and girls alike, become stuck in toxic relationships before they recognized what was happening. Here’s a look at some toxic behaviors in relationships.

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End the Confusion about Love and Abusive Relationships

Abusive relationships are complex, and the idea of love is convoluted, obscured by confusing behavior. Teens, learn about toxic behavior and what love isn't

Abusive relationships aren’t love. That might seem obvious, but abusive, toxic people behave in convoluted, contradictory, and confusing ways. In toxic relationships, love isn’t as cut-and-dried as a neutral observer ¬†might expect it to be. For example, one might think that love, real love, doesn’t hurt. And it shouldn’t. Love should never hurt. Sometimes it does, though. Sometimes one partner in a relationship is toxic. The hurt is direct in the form of actions and words, and the hurt is indirect in the form of actions and words–actions and words that seem kind, caring, loving.

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