By Claire Cappetta, See the Triumph Contributor
Could there possibly be a man out there who is Prince TooCharming? You might also know him as Mr. Duck? You know the saying, “If it quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, then yes, you’ve met Mr. Duck.” He also goes by his alias, Prince TooCharming!”
Yes, I see you pulling a face and smirking, but some of us have fallen for it, even the savviest of us. He walks into the room, your eyes meet and BOOM! You connect. Why not? Look at him, he’s just your “type”. He’s handsome, funny, he seems to adore you completely. You become his world. How do you feel? Completely flattered, of course! Who wouldn’t? But look out…Your supposed prince turns out to really be Prince TooCharming!
So, how can you tell the difference between a kind-hearted, loving partner and a potential abuser, Prince TooCharming? Here are some signs to look for:
He just simply adores you, and at first it seems that there’s nothing wrong with that, as everyone loves to be adored. He brings you flowers and listens intently to your every word. He’ll even turn off the music or television because you are “way more important than that.” He’ll surprise you with gifts, just for being you. You might even think he’s just too good to be true, and sadly that’s because he is. Don’t get me wrong, romance is wonderful, but this guy? He needs you to believe in him, completely, so he turns on the charm as much as he can until he’s completely gained your trust. Be especially cautious if he’s professing his love very soon after you’ve met. Real love takes time.
“You’re Late. Where were you?”
You’ve been dating him for a week or two and you’re meeting up for the evening. Sadly, the bus or train was late, or traffic was congested, and now you’re ten minutes late. You get there, see him and his eyes are flashing, as if to warn you, “Danger Ahead!!!” He shouts at you for being late, even as you explain your perfectly valid reason for being late. But he doesn’t want to hear it. Instead, he asks “Who is he? How long have you seen him?” You explain there is nobody else. He doesn’t buy it, and he doesn’t listen. He might even go into a full blown rage. Or, he may be the type who sulks, goes quiet, and doesn’t want to talk, because emotionally manipulating you is so much fun for him. Either way, he’s shown you that he disregards your feelings and opinions, and he’s prone to jealousy and possessiveness. These are common characteristics of a potential abuser.
Are you being controlled and isolated yet?
In the beginning you could do no wrong. But now? He starts telling you that everything you do is wrong. You wear the wrong clothes, and he doesn’t like the way you do your make-up. He might set up situations that turn out negative, and he immediately blames you. For the most part, you know that it’s not your fault, but you are starting to think that maybe, just maybe it is. You start to think that he could have a point, and maybe you’re not good at deciding things for yourself. It’s okay, he tells you, and slowly and subtly, he starts to make your decisions for you. He’ll tell you he doesn’t like your friends and family and that you don’t need them because “You have each other.” Prince TooCharming shows you in so many ways that he wants total control of you, from what you think to what you wear to who you spend your time with.
You oughta put a ring on it!
He wants to commit, already. Yes, I know, you’ve known each other for a whole month! That’s long enough for him to tell you he loves you and that he wants you to be his “One and Only” forever. You might even get the whole “Forever Together” smile, too! That’s a long time after only a month, but he’ll tell you how it’s a whirlwind for him, how he’s never felt like this before, because you are just too special, too precious to let go. He needs to make you his…possession. A kind-hearted partner respects your need for space and your boundaries, while Prince TooCharming is really trying to claim ownership of you.
But I love you!...
Prince TooCharming makes you feel guilty, for just about everything. He’ll call and text you constantly, because, after all, you’re so precious to him, and he believes he owns you now. You're his life and his world, and he tells you that if you were to ever leave him, he’ll die. He may even threaten to commit suicide if you leave him, he emotionally blackmails you, and he spins you around in circles so much that you no longer can tell which way is up, down or sideways. Life with Prince TooCharming feels constantly confusing, as though it’s an unpredictable roller coaster of emotions, with a healthy dose of fear and danger that’s backed up by his threats to hurt you even more.
Do you see your new boyfriend in this description of Prince TooCharming? Many of us have been there, too, and it’s a hard fact to face. You don’t need to face it alone. You can talk to an adult you trust, such as your parent, a teacher, or a counselor. You also could call the LoveisRespct.org Teen Dating Violence Hotline, which you can learn about here: http://www.loveisrespect.org/. If you’re dating someone who may be a Prince TooCharming, know that there are truly kindhearted, respectful partners out there, and you don’t need to settle for someone who turns on the charm only to entrap you in an abusive relationship. You deserve a safe, loving relationship—don’t let Prince TooCharming distract you from your quest to find it.
Claire is the author of A Broken Ring ~ A journey of Empowerment and Stalking Liberty ~ Are you safe?..., (Parts One and Two of the Ride to Liberty Trilogy). Born and raised in Yorkshire, England, she recently retired from the financial world to concentrate on writing her personal journey through relationships, child abuse, rape, domestic violence, through to healing and empowerment. Although at times heartbreaking it shows healing is possible. The story is heartwarming and inspiring. She now lives in New York with her husband and step-daughter, while her two grown children live in England.