He wants to control you. He does it first by being nice. He takes you out. He chooses the meal. He chooses the movie, or the club. He orders your drink, if you are old enough to do so. He buys you little gifts. They are always surprises, purchased without consulting you.
He moves too fast. After one or two dates, he wants to be with you all the time. If he knows you will be somewhere...at work, say, he will show up there and hang out. If you are with your friends, he shows up. He calls you all the time. He wants you to call him.
Soon, he starts to get miffed if you don't do all the things he wants. If you are not where he thinks you will be, he's on the phone, saying, "Where are you? I thought you were going to be at the mall." If you tell him your plans changed, he asks why you didn't call him. He wants to know all about where you were, what you ate, who you saw. You can tell he's not happy.
He goes through your purse and wallet. He wants to know who all your pictures are, and he may even remove and keep or destroy pictures of other boys or men. You can tell him it's your cousin until you are blue in the face, he thinks it's an old boyfriend that you still like. He will look through your phone book, calling anyone he doesn't know.
If he is at all computer-savvy, he will ask you for all of your passwords. He knows exactly how far it is to school, work, the mall, and he will do the arithmetic with your odometer. If you are still living at home, this is the time to fall back on your parents, and tell him you are not allowed to give out passwords, accept gifts, date on weeknights, etc.
If you are a teenager at home, this boyfriend will start trying to get you to do things you know your parents wouldn't allow. He has several reasons. First, he wants you to listen to him, and not them. He feels very powerful when you go against your parents' wishes. Second, if you are not obeying your parents, you will be fighting with them. If you are fighting with your parents, you will want to spend more time with Boyfriend and less with Mom and Dad. If he can drive a wedge between you and your mom, he thinks you've lost a backup. The more your mom says, "This guy is trouble," the more you will defend him, and the greater your investment is in him. You might let yourself be talked into a lot of things to avoid that parental, "I told you so!"
You find yourself stuck in the middle, with Boyfriend saying that your parents don't care about you, and don't want you to have any fun, and Parents saying that you are not allowed to see him any more. If that happens, of course he will try and get you to sneak out of the house.
He wants to choose your clothes. He may want you to dye your hair, get a tattoo, pierce your navel.
If you try to call a halt at any time, he will sulk and accuse you of not caring about him. If you are immune to that, he will escalate, slamming doors and stomping off.
Has he told you you are stupid? Ugly? Fat? A tramp? That is emotional abuse. You don't deserve it.
If you are a teen, and any of this sounds familiar, now is the time to throw in the towel and tell your parents what is going on. Call a Dating Violence Hot line. Visit this site:
It has all sorts of information and 800-numbers you can call for help.
The reason you have to get out NOW is that he will hurt you soon, if he hasn't already. Usually, the violence starts small and works up. He will playfully punch your arm, or grab you in a headlock. All in fun, of course. Or, he'll be angry, and grab your wrist to drag you away with him. He will apologize. "I didn't know it would leave a bruise," he says. "It will never happen again," he says. "I don't know what came over me," he says. "If you hadn't made me angry..." he says.
Let's get one thing straight right now. No matter what you have done, no matter how "angry" he is, there is NO EXCUSE for him to hit you. None.
Sometimes, vicious violence comes out of nowhere. You could wind up in hospital or dead with no warning whatsoever. You will need help to dump him, and you need to do it now.
You have no idea how good it will feel to tell him, "I don't want to see you any more," and mean it. You may need large or multitudinous friends. Your best friend and your parents can help you set that up. You might even need to put your car in the garage, or switch bedrooms to one with a window in the back. You might need to get a court order for him to stay away from you.
The big thing is, you need to take any threats he makes seriously.
And, you need to get out of the relationship. We will talk more tomorrow.