Minnesota Day One Crisis Hotline

What is an Unhealthy Relationship

Chances are, you know someone who might be in an unhealthy relationship. How do you know if it has crossed the line into dating violence?

Signs of Unhealthy Dating Relationship Behavior

Dating violence is a pattern of behaviors in which people use intimidation, confusion, isolation, and fear to control relationships. Since abusive behaviors can be subtle at first, it’s important to know the signs. Read the following indicators and consider the people and relationships in your own life. Is it abuse?

Emotional Abuse

  • Puts you down and calls you names
  • Makes you feel crazy
  • Contempt, dirty looks, yelling

Economic Control

  • Expects repayment for everything
  • Discourages you from getting or keeping a job
  • Frequently asks you for money
  • Lies about money

Denying, Minimizing & Blaming

  • Ignores your feelings
  • Uses your past issues against you
  • Dismisses abusive incidents as no big deal
  • Makes you feel like you did something wrong


  • Gives you “that look” that says you should be afraid
  • Does things to make you fearful
  • Displays fist or other weapons


  • Limits who you’re with and who you talk to
  • Disapproves of friends/family
  • Lack of online and cell phone privacy

Lack of Mutual Respect

  • They can do things that you can’t
  • Makes all decisions and decides what is best for you
  • You give in to avoid an argument

Sexual Violence

  • Criticizes and jokes about your body
  • Attacks sexual parts of your body
  • Dictates and controls what you wear
  • Forces you to do things sexually you don’t want to do


  • Warns to hurt you if you end the relationship
  • Threatens suicide
  • Says they will destroy your future relationships
  • Threatens to damage property
  • Sends threatening text and phone messages

If you or someone you know is experiencing one or more of these and would like to talk to someone to learn about options, call an advocate at the confidential Minnesota Day One Crisis Hotline at 1-866-223-1111 or Cornerstone’s 24-hour helpline at 952-884-0330.