Friday, March 13, 2009

In Some Relationships, There's Abuse and Then There's Abuse

Rihanna and Chris Brown are still big news here in the States.

Allegedly, Brown beat Rihanna, and she had to be had to be hospitalized. Now, according to reports, she's taken him back, and they're going to record a duet together.

It's dumbfounding. The girl's on top of the world (huge record sales, makes loads of money advertising products), and she's going to waste time with a guy who hit her?

While Brown's alleged treatment of his girlfriend is clearly abuse, a lot of times, women date men who hurt them in much subtler ways. These guys play head games, manipulate, cheat, tell the girlfriend she's "fat" or "ugly," and that nobody else will want her.

Other men try to separate girlfriends from friends and family in order to gain control over them. Some pester their girlfriends by cellphone, texting and calling constantly (even while they're at work, jeopardizing their jobs!), to keep tabs.

Other subtle forms of abuse: deliberately and repeatedly ogling other women, or comparing the girlfriend to other women in a way that demeans her and makes her feel insecure and unattractive. Still other ways include refusing to compliment her on her achievements, or to even notice them.

If you're in a relationship with a guy who repeatedly and deliberately makes you feel bad about yourself or tries to control you, tread carefully. This person may light you up every once in a while by assuring you how much he "needs" you and "loves" you, but his behavior has nothing to do with love.

Take a step back. Ask yourself, "Would I treat a person I love like this?" And then ask yourself, "Would a guy who genuinely loves a woman treat her like this?"

The correct answer is "no."

Here's the thing: You do not need a boyfriend like this. You will be better off on your own. Forget about not wanting to be single. You will be better off single.

Yes, the pressure to "be in a relationship" can sometimes be overwhelming. But, please know this: The only way you'll ever attract a man who'll love you properly is to love yourself first. And a woman who hangs around with a man who habitually hurts her doesn't love herself. She'd be better learning to love herself, be happily single, and open to meeting a man who will treat her well.

You're too smart to live your life looking over your shoulder.