Friday, June 2, 2017

Relationship Red Flags-- #ChooseYou Bad Romance Blog Tour

I'm so happy to be apart of the Bad Romance Blog Tour today!!  When I heard Heather Demetrios had a new book coming out, I was interested-- but when I found out that it was going to be a book about a dark romance, I was SO IN!

Book Summary:

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape. 

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Find it:  Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Book Depository

Blogger: 5 advice tips to give my younger self

Guest Post: Author Interview

Blogger: Tips for encouraging self worth

Blogger: Red Flags to Look Out For

Blogger: Some signs that I wish I had seen

Blogger: What things I wish I'd had during my Bad Romance

Blogger: Relationship advice

Blogger: Bad Romance story along with some tips

Blogger: Tips for Self Worth

Blogger: List of Bad Romances in Pop Culture

Blogger: Bad Romance Story

Blogger: Bad Romance Story

Guest Post: How to make sure that your relationship is a healthy one

One thing you might not know about me is that when I was in my late teens/early 20's, I was in a Bad Romance of my own.

I met a guy, who was EVERYTHING I thought I wanted in a boyfriend.  He was cute, attentive, caring, all about me, and felt like a best friend.  But as time went on, he became something completely different.

He was controlling and manipulative.  He made me feel like everything was my fault, and I didn't know how to get out.  Every time I tried to leave, he would tell me he was going to kill himself or he would cry tears and beg me to stay until I broke.  He would always claim he was going to change and/or get professional help, but of course that never happened.  It took me longer than I care to admit to break away from that, but it was hands down one of the best choices I've ever made.

Since I've lived through it, I thought I would list some RED FLAGS to look for-- signs that you might be entering into TOXIC RELATIONSHIP TERRITORY:

Red Flags

He/she wants to go through your phone/emails/social media

  • This lack of trust isn't healthy.  The person is going to say "if you have nothing to hide, it shouldn't be a big deal"-- but the point isn't that you're hiding something.  The point is that your partner doesn't get to keep tabs on you like that.  A relationship should be based on trust, and going through someone's communications doesn't show trust.

Wanting to listen in on your phone calls

  • Again, lack of trust.  What does he/she think you're going to say??  Why does he/she have to be involved in a conversation that doesn't include them?

Getting mad when you talk to a guy/girl

  • Sometimes in life you need to talk to someone of the opposite gender.  Unless you go to an all girls or boys school, you're going to be in classes with the opposite sex.  If you have a job, there's a good chance you might work with guys and girls.  Interactions with them shouldn't be forbidden by your partner.  Your partner doesn't get to tell you who you can speak to.  That's also a lack of trust and SUPER controlling behavior.  It shows that the person is insecure and probably needs to work on themselves before being in a relationship at all.

Alienating you from your friends and family

  • A controlling partner will often try to pull you away from your family and close friends.  This is because they feel threatened when you have close relationships with people who aren't them. They want to make it so they are the center of your world because it makes it easier to control you that way.

Making it seem like you need their permission to wear certain clothes/make-up

  • My boyfriend would always say that if I didn't wear the outfit/make-up around him, then I shouldn't be wearing it when I'm not around him.
  • You should be able to dress how you feel comfortable and shouldn't have someone else telling you what's appropriate for you.  If your partner thinks that a short skirt or some mascara is going to cause you to cheat on them, that's a self-esteem problem that THEY have, not you.

Wanting to know where you are all the time-- making you account for every minute

  • Controlling behavior.  You don't have to report to anybody 24/7.  They are your partner, not your parent.

Insisting on driving/picking you up from work of school

  • This is usually done so that they can make sure you are going where you say you are going.  Basically, it's a way for them to keep tabs on you and it's NOT cool.

Going through the same cycle of intense anger and then begging for forgiveness

  • Usually toxic relationships go through a repetitive cycle.  Mine looked like this: Peaceful/fun/amazing times, something would trigger him, fighting, escalating of the fighting, me trying to leave, him begging me not to leave and claiming he would change, me wanting to believe him and staying.

Wanting you to quit activities that don't include them

  • Like I said above, they want to be the center of your world because if you don't have outside people telling you to leave, it makes it harder.

You notice that you have changed your behavior to avoid conflict
  • When you start avoiding friends or situations that you know will set your partner off (especially if the situations you are avoiding are things you would normally do and people you would normally talk to), this is bad.  I know you are doing it because it makes your life easier, but believe me, it's not worth it.
  • When I was in my BAD ROMANCE, I would literally stare at the sidewalk if we were walking anywhere because if I happened to make eye contact with a guy, my boyfriend would start asking me why I was looking at him and if I knew him and BLAH BLAH BLAH.  So, to avoid that bullshit, I would just not make eye contact.  It sounds crazy, but I just didn't want to fight anymore.

The thing is, if you've never been in a toxic relationship, you might think-- what's the big deal??  Someone starts acting like this, you just leave!!  And sometimes that works.  But sometimes you meet someone who is SO good at their craft that before you know it you're in DEEP. 

It can be really hard to get out of, especially when your partner is begging you for help, telling you everything you want to hear, professing that they will get outside help, and if you leave them they will die.  They are also very good at manipulation and making you believe that it's YOUR fault and that you deserve to be treated this way.

My advice: ask for help.  Ask your mom, your dad, your brother, your best friend.  Go to campus counseling or call a hotline.  There is help out there, and it's okay to ask for it.  When it comes to toxic relationships, most people need help to get out.

If you know someone going through this, just let them know you are going to be there to help them when they are ready to ask.  They may not be ready when you think they should be.  Don't get angry with them, just be there for them-- because they're going to need you!

P.S.-- I'm reading this book now and will be reviewing it next week!!  You guys, it's SO GOOD!!

Have you ever been in a toxic relationship?  Do you have any red flags to add?

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  1. These are great red flags to look for and I'm so glad this book is shining a light on these issues. I hope they help someone who needs it. Bad Romance is such an important read for all. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I wish this book was out when I was younger!! Maybe I would have recognized how toxic my boyfriend was if I read it!

  2. Aw sweetie, I am so sorry that you have been through this. I think that more people have than we realize. It is so scary. These are REALLY great red flags to share too- because they are subtle, and I think that they are really easy for the toxic person to manipulate. And your advice is fabulous too! I agree, the book is really good, I hope you're still enjoying it.

    1. OMG I finished it and LOVED!! I felt like it was a book about my life-- a book I could have written. So scary and weird how insane it looks from the other side!

  3. Wow! This was deep. I admire and appreciate you sharing. <3
    Sam @ WLABB

  4. Thanks for sharing your story and these red flags, Michelle. These are so important!

    1. Thanks Lori!! I know you know what it's like. I hope this book helps a lot of people!

  5. I am glad you were able to share your story with the world. What is even more amazing is that you were able to escape it and write this post. These are great advices for people who recognize the signs but are in denial.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us. I think it's great that you were able to turn a negative situation into a positive one by sharing some advise and the red flags.

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