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How Netflix’s You highlights the dangerous side of modern dating

As Netflix’s disturbing thriller You returns to our screens, social media is once again awash with women claiming to be attracted to the fictional murderer Joe Goldberg.

But Elaine Parker, CEO and founder of Safer Date, has warned that this tendency to focus on the character’s charming and attractive side is disturbing, because doing the same in a real-life relationship makes it easy to hear the warning signs of abusive behavior. and controlling tendencies.

Elaine told FEMAIL: ‘When it comes to dating – and especially online dating – everyone needs to be aware that there are no legal standards for the dating industry, so you could literally talk to anyone online – even serial domestic abuse and sex offenders.

“When it comes to you, we’ve seen a lot of women on social media say they have a guilty crush on Joe, despite his violent tendencies. These are certainly not qualities that you should look for in a partner.

“But seeing his character on TV shows us how easy it is for Joe to hide these traits, which is why it’s so important to watch out for red flags like ‘love bombing’ and possessiveness.”

After the disturbing Netflix thriller You hit our screens last week, a security expert has revealed how to spot red flags in relationships, including relentless “love bombing.” Pictured, Penn Badgley as fictional murderer Joe Goldberg

She added: “If you’re dating and you see red flags, trust your gut and get out of the relationship.

‘Please watch your friends too. If one of your friends is dating online and you think something isn’t right, ask if they’re okay.

“It’s not always easy to talk about what goes on behind closed doors, so if you see them less and less and they withdraw, get in touch. It’s hard to start those conversations, but it can make a huge difference.

Elaine Parker, CEO and founder of Safer Date, (pictured) revealed how to date safely online

Elaine Parker, CEO and founder of Safer Date, (pictured) revealed how to date safely online

Elaine Parker, CEO and founder of Safer Date, (pictured) revealed how to date safely online

Here, Elaine reveals how to date safely online by seeing the seemingly harmless signs that could indicate something sinister.

They seem too good to be true

The world of dating can be difficult and you may have a lot of worries. When you go out, do you pay half, offer to pay in full, or wait for them to pick up the bill?

Such conversations can often be uncomfortable. But it can be a red flag if you go out with someone who always pays for your date, showers you with compliments and gifts, and makes big gestures as a way to show their affection and make you fall harder for them.

This is called “love bombing” – the relentless way a partner bombards you with love at the beginning of a relationship to gain love and trust. Often they manipulate you to get what they want.

You might think it would be nice to receive this affection, but the truth is that the good part of “love bombing” only happens at the beginning of the relationship. Once they win you over to get what they want, the love suddenly disappears.

They pressure you to rush things

Love bombing often involves gaslighting, but not in the way you might think. Using affection as a reason or excuse for bad behavior, such as exclaiming “I love you” as a motive for suffocation or privacy violations. If you feel like you might be being “bombed,” it’s important to look at the whole situation and trust your gut feeling.

Asking your partner to slow down in a relationship can help you see someone’s true intentions. If they are sincere, they will understand and respect your decision.

However, a “love bomber” may try to make you feel guilty and ashamed for “ending” the relationship.

They check your phone

If you’ve ever caught a partner going through your phone, laptop, or social media posts, you’ll feel that breach of trust almost immediately.

What are they looking for? Why not just ask? Why do not you trust me? It can feel very intrusive, like a theft of your privacy. If your partner can’t trust you (and has no reason not to), then it’s important to address the issue and start a conversation if this happens.

Your partner must understand and respect your privacy and work to regain your trust. If they can’t do this, you shouldn’t be in a relationship with them.

Elaine warned that because the character is charming and attractive, it’s easy to miss the hidden red flags that indicate his violent and controlling tendencies — from hasty relationships to “love bombings.”

They want all your time…or none of it

When you’re in a relationship, it’s fun to spend time together and bond over your mutual interests. But if you notice that your partner criticizes you when you spend time with your friends or family, he may be jealous that you don’t spend all your time with them.

It can be more than just family and friends that a narcissist can envy, even showing affection to your beloved pet can irritate him. As a result, they may try to isolate you from your other loved ones so that they are the only relationship in your life.

Constantly calling or FaceTimeing you, or demanding an immediate response to their latest message, can also be quite stifling, leaving you with no time for yourself. On the contrary, someone who doesn’t call, contact you or dodge communication for a period of time can leave you confused as to where you stand.

These actions are often those of a partner trying to control not only the relationship but you as well. It is important to talk to your partner and reaffirm that although you are together, you are also living your own separate lives.

You might encourage your partner to start a new hobby or spend time with friends who pursue their own interests. An added bonus here is that you both have something new to talk about.

Being in love doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time together – it’s important to keep a line of communication, but as they say, absence makes the heart grow faster.