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Commentary: Relationship red flags

As we get close to the end of the school year we all find ourselves changing. Some of us have gotten jobs and finally have a little money to spend for ourselves. Some of us gain new friends and lose some close ones as we progress through this year. And some of us found ourselves getting into relationships for the first time. This article is for those romantic relationships that tend to change who you are as a person and even your work ethic.

You would think at our age we would not have to deal with abusive relationships, but they do happen. For those who have never had a relationship, it is hard to see warning signs when it comes to a partner. Here are four single warning signs you should watch out for in a relationship.

One red flag that could reveal your relationship is turning abusive is that your partner tells you that you need to lose weight because you are looking “fat.”

A proper boyfriend or girlfriend would never comment on your weight unless you bring it up, and if you do, they should encourage you by saying that they could help you lose weight. They should never insult you or tell you that you need to change unless you have expressed that you want to change your image.

Better yet, they should say you are perfect as you are and if you partner does not feel that way about you, then that is a sign to leave.

Another red flag that you should watch for is your partner not wanting to speak to you and distancing himself or herself. Now couples don’t always have to talk to each other, and you sometimes need alone time from each other. But if it becomes a daily occurrence, then that is a red flag.

In a relationship you need to communicate, and if you are not talking at all then that is not a relationship. The best thing to do at that point is end it because someone’s feelings will get hurt.

Something else you should always watch out for is your partner ignoring you when you say you are uncomfortable when it comes to something.

Your boyfriend or girlfriend should have enough respect for you to stop when you’re uncomfortable, be it kissing or something as simple as a hug.

Your partner should respect you and understand. They should not blame you or get mad at you. They should not guilt-trip you or say something like, “Well, if you love me you should.” Now that is a huge warning sign. If they have no respect for you it will only lead to pain further on in the relationships.

The final red flag – and this is a huge one – if they distance you from your friends, leave.

When your partner starts telling you that you should hang out with them instead of your friends all the time, you need to get far away from that person as fast as possible.

When a partner starts to dissolve your support system, that leaves you vulnerable to abuse. Without a support system, there will be no one to fall back on.

Think of it like this: If your partner is your best friend, you are doing it right. If your partner is your only friend, you are doing it very wrong.

Having relationships at our age should be fun and not lead to crippling depression, heartbreak and trust issues. Yes, heartbreaks will happen in relationships, but it should not break you as a person.

So learn these warning signs. Never let someone play with your heart and disrespect you. You are better than that.

Tatiyana Parker is a senior at Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School.