I have consumed an amazing amount of Valentine candy today and it is only February 13th! At this time of year it seems love has our attention even more than usual. This morning the news was all about how much we are all spending on Valentine’s Day and all the special things people planned to celebrate the special relationships in their lives.

But not all relationships are healthy and for many, Valentine’s Day will be a painful reminder of that very fact. In fact, in 2010 Congress dedicated the entire month of February to teen dating violence awareness and prevention. Teen Dating Violence Month gives more information about what is going on across the nation to bring awareness to this important topic.

What are the signs of an unhealthy relationship? The Let Your Heart Rule website gives the top ten warning signs you are in a relationship that could become violent and abusive. Those warning signs are:
1. Calling you names or put downs
2. Checking your cell phone or e-mail
3. Isolating you
4. Excessive texting
5. Explosive temper
6. Mood swings
7. Physically hurting you
8. Telling you what to do
9. Blaming you for the things they say or do
10. Extreme jealousy or insecurity

As the website points out, dating abuse isn’t an argument every once in a while. But if you are seeing a pattern of controlling behavior in your boyfriend or girlfriend, it may be time to learn more about this important topic. There are many places to get help. The time to get that help is now!