Be authentic this Christmas Ever been ‘loved up’ …… it’s a nice feeling hey. You have met someone new and everything seems so amazing. He is treating you well and buying you nice gifts, everything seems lovely and maybe, just maybe you have finally found your ‘Mr Right’. You have fallen in love and you want to do everything you can to make this happen! You want to work towards a life with this person, the love feels strong and deep and he really seems ‘to get you’ like no one else ever has before. He wants you to spend time with him, as much as you can. You start to worry that you have seen less and less of your friends and family than you would normally and when you try to make plans with them Mr Right is putting blockers in the way, its ok though it’s because ‘he wants you all to himself’. That’s how much he loves you. That’s what you’re telling yourself anyway. Something feels odd but you can’t put your finger on it, surely he just has your best interests at heart, this is a love like no other after all? He just wants to look after you. Things are still strange though and you are beginning to feel confused a lot of the time. Anxiety has set in and you are not even sure why? Those amazing meals that you once prepared are now starting to be picked apart, the dress that you have always worn is now too short or slutty, those texts from your friends are now being questioned and no matter what you do it isn’t quite enough for him. Things can change in any relationship and it’s good to remember that, it’s also wise to expect some sticky times along the road but you must never lose yourself in the process. If your gut is telling you something feels odd, then listen to it and listen to it carefully. Maybe this relationship is not quite what you thought it was, last Christmas was truly amazing but this Christmas you are just not sure what is going on. He is slowly starting to stop you from being who you want to be, maybe your friends and family have pointed out that you are distant or seem unhappy? This is the time to speak to someone, Next Chapter are here to listen and offer advice, it can be hard to discuss these types of worries to people you are close to and who know your partner. Below are 8 red flags to look out for when questioning if your relationship is healthy…. You find yourself justifying their bad behaviour They don’t or won’t talk through issues with you They are constantly testing your boundaries They have a massive sense of entitlement As we’ve already mentioned something in your gut feels wrong Everything is always about them They are overly critical about their ex-partners They constantly deny, criticise or dismiss you and your feelings It can be a very confusing and upsetting time when you have doubts about someone you love, and you can also become comfortable in their funny ways with this becoming ‘your norm’ but it is always good to talk and explore the worry that is inside of you. We are each entitled to love but it should never come at the cost of yourself. A healthy, loving relationship is about supporting each other and loving each other. If you have found yourself stuck and confused, then please get in touch. Be authentic this Christmas, living a lie and covering up someone’s bad behaviour is only going to cause you deep emotional harm. Talk to a Domestic Abuse Practitioner today in confidence. If you want to test your memory, then ask yourself what you were worrying about last year. If it was the exact same issues, then please get in touch, we can help you to unpick what is happening and help you find the right solution for you. Make 2021 your most authentic year yet!