- Unsplash / Becca Tapert
When you first meet someone you really like, you want to text them all the time.
You want to know about what they’re doing at every hour of the day because everything they tell you seems super interesting.
Many of us have learned – perhaps the hard way – that needy behaviour can be off-putting. We may be dying to text the person we’re interested in, but hold back.
However, sometimes a partner can be in constant contact. During the honeymoon period when things are very new, this can be flattering and exciting. We get so carried away with the thrill of a new love that we don’t realise when things can turn sinister.
But constant contact with a partner isn’t actually endearing. Texts and calls 24/7 are actually a warning sign that you could be entering into an abusive relationship.
In May, a domestic abuse survivor shared screenshots of text messages her abusive partner used to sent to her. He would constantly be asking her where she was, what she was doing, and accusing her of cheating and lying.
In the first stages of a relationship, abusive people love bomb their victims by being incredibly charming, complimentary, and affectionate. This gets their target to get used to high levels of connection and makes them fall in love fast and intensely.
It’s all lies and manipulations though because the mask slips more and more over time to reveal the monster underneath. To maintain a level of control, the abuser tracks their partner’s every move. They keep on texting and calling all the time, but the cute messages turn into criticisms and orders.
They also gaslight their victim into believing it’s normal to be together most of the time and in contact the rest of the time.
“Bottom line, constant texts and phone calls can be a form of stalking – checking where the person is, what they are doing, and making sure they are always available,” Lisa Aronson Fontes, a psychology researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of “Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship,” told Business Insider.
“Constant texts and phone calls is a way to monitor another person’s activities. In the beginning of a relationship, this constant contact may feel like a sign of love. Over time, the person realizes that she is not free to live her own life without constant interference, in the form of these texts and phone calls.”
If this happens to you, you will probably start to feel guilty when you’re not talking to your abusive partner. You will gradually stop seeing your friends and family, as you will be punished for it whenever you make time for anyone other than the abuser. You might start to feel like your life isn’t yours anymore, as your partner is so controlling they don’t let you make any decisions.
Everything you do seems to be wrong, and every day the abuser will wear you down more. This is why you should be aware of the red flags of abusive partners when someone you like is hitting up your phone all the time.
It doesn’t necessarily mean trouble – they might just really like you. But if they start acting strangely, by pushing your boundaries and snapping at seemingly tiny things, it might be better to get out of the situation sooner rather than later.