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University Life Café

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Part I

a man and woman yelling at each other with their foreheads pressed together while they are pulling each other's hair
How to recognize unhealthy relationships and get out

PART I

By Karin S. Ryan, Psy.D. & Heather B. Trangsrud, Ph.D.

"Red flags" of an unhealthy relationship: 

My partner:

...tells me what to do.

...what to wear.

...puts me down, insults me, and calls me names.

...makes me have sex when I don't want to.

...threatens to "out" me.

...keeps me from my friends and/or family.

...holds me down/pushes me.

...plays mind games (e.g., "If you loved me, you would...", "If you don't do X, I'll kill myself.").

...reads my email or texts without permission.

Stats of unhealthy relationships 

  • Violent dating relationships occur as early as high school.
  • 25% of teens report verbal, physical, or sexual abuse from a dating partner each year.
  • About 10% of students across the US report being physically abused by a dating partner in the past 12 months.
  • Violent dating/intimate relationships continue in adulthood.
  • Each year, women experience 4.8 million intimate partner assaults/rapes and men experience 2.9 million.
  • In 2005, 1510 deaths were due to violence in an intimate relationship (78% women; 22% men).

Stats are similar for same-sex relationships, but unfortunately less resources are available.

© All staff articles are used by permission of the respective author(s). Copyright belongs to the University Life Café. No part of this may be used without authorization. 

How to recognize unhealthy relationships and get out PART I (pdf)