From apology gifts to constant texts: Is it love or control you’re getting on Valentine’s Day?
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From apology gifts to constant texts: Is it love or control you’re getting on Valentine’s Day?

Spot the red flags 🚩🚩🚩

Valentine’s Day is like a big deal for a bunch of people, but let’s keep it real – for some, it's not all hearts and flowers. 

It can be a wake-up call that what seems sweet might actually be toxic - if you know what signs to watch out for.

That’s exactly why this V-Day, family violence response service Shine is dropping some major truth bombs.

If your partner is crowding your space, always watching you, cutting you off from your crew, or making you feel like trash, that's not love, it's a major red flag.

"Family violence is not only physical violence. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect," says Shine DVFREE Lead and Senior Trainer, Mira Taitz. "Unwanted attention, constant monitoring and surveillance, isolating you from your family and friends, limiting what you can do, making you too uncomfortable or scared to disagree, insulting you, humiliating you and controlling your money are all forms of coercive control and family violence. They’re all dangerous."

Here are the warning signs to watch out for in a toxic relationship:

  • Your partner or ex-partner keeps sending you flowers even though you've made it clear you're not interested.
  • They splurge on fancy gifts, but really, they're just trying to cover up their abusive behaviour from the day before.
  • Purposely buying clothing for you in the wrong size and making you super uncomfortable.
  • You can't even breathe without them blowing up your phone with texts and calls, trying to track your every move.
  • They keep sending you money, but the messages attached are all kinds of nasty.
  • ‘Love bombing’ - At the start of the relationship, they shower you with love and gifts, but then slowly start to tear down the relationship and present constant red flags.
  • They make you feel like you don't need anyone else and try to cut you off from your friends and fam.
  • If they’re not keen on you going out on your own and stopping you from heading off to do personal activities - even if it’s just a workout class.

The bottom line is: this isn’t love, my friend. It's straight-up controlling and manipulation.

If you’re worried about your own or someone you know and their situation, a helpline is available on 0508 744 633 or find help at