Alright ladies and gents, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I could have berated you with my unromantic cynicism about ‘yet another commercialised holiday’, but I would like to talk about something a little more serious instead.
In recent years I have noticed a significant rise, particularly in young people, in rather unsettling behaviours. That’s right, I am talking about the ‘psycho girlfriend/possessive boyfriend’ trend that seems to be sweeping across the world of relationships.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. This is not ‘relationship goals’, this is unhealthy, and ultimately damaging.
First of all, girls, it is not cute to be crazy. Stop using words like ‘psycho’ and ‘crazy’ as a fashion statement, or a means of describing your petulant, bratty behaviour. Mental illness is not a joke. It is not something to be desired, nor does it make you desirable; it is a very serious, debilitating issue that destroys lives.
1 in 10 young people, between the ages 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental illness, with 1 in 15 deliberately self-harming – and that’s not even taking in to consideration the vast number of adult cases. This is not something to make light of, and your juvenile, blasé attitude hugely devalues the struggles of those who are genuinely suffering. Quite frankly, it’s insulting.
And boys, under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to tell a girl what she can and can’t do, or where she can and can’t go. You certainly do not have the right to dictate who her friends can be. Get over yourself.
I don’t understand where you got these ideas from, or where you learned these behaviours – perhaps social media has a part to blame – but they’re not endearing, and they don’t “show that you care.” Quite the opposite, actually.
Being possessive of your partner is NOT affectionate. Jealousy is NOT a testament to your love. I cannot stress enough how dangerous these attitudes are.
If you see another woman admiring your man, you do not flout yourself all over him to mark your territory – you are not a dog. Take pride in the knowledge that he is appealing to others, and take comfort in the fact that he has chosen you.
If your girlfriend wants to go to a party, she does not need to text you at regular intervals with updates. And if she wants to drink, or speak to another man, she does not need your permission, just know that she is loyal to you, and still capable of having a life of her own.
These traits that you all favour so much, are very close to crossing the line in to abusive territory. Thousands of men and women have to cope with the catastrophic effects of domestic abuse every day, and here you are, making a mockery of their turmoil, all in the name of fashion? Shame on you.
There is nothing glamorous about domestic abuse, I can assure you, so stop romanticising it. It’s a horrific ordeal that accounts for 16% of all recorded violent crimes, with 2 women being murdered per week, and 30 men in a year as a result. On top of that, there are the 400 individuals who kill themselves as a means of escaping their abuser. Suddenly it’s not so cute, is it?
Trust and respect are the key foundations of any healthy relationship (parents, I’m looking at you here, these are principles you should be teaching your kids), but if you don’t have either of these, then maybe you shouldn’t be in one.
So do yourself a favour: Wake up, grow up, and get a grip.
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