When two people are dating, it generally means they are still in the beginning stages of forming a relationship. The early stages of dating are a crucial time as it lets a couple get to know one another and make a decision about whether or not they want to stay together in a formal relationship. When verbal abuse is experienced during the dating stage, it can put the whole relationship at risk and cause physical and emotional upset to the individuals involved.
Verbal abuse is emotionally unhealthy. It can cause people in a dating relationship to feel unsafe around their partner, as well as cause them to feel angry, depressed, shocked, anxious, irritable, guilty, develop a low self-esteem or -- in severe cases -- become emotionally traumatized. One of the hardest elements of verbal abuse in dating is that the abuse comes from a partner who supposedly loves you, or at least enjoys spending time with you. As a result, victims of verbal abuse often begin to not trust the abuser.
Physical effects can manifest as a result of relationship verbal abuse. Victims may begin to experience stomachaches, headaches, backaches, nightmares, sleep insomnia, tense muscles, loss of appetite, fatigue and heart palpitations. When physical signs and symptoms occur as a response to verbal abuse, it is a clear indication that the victim is in distress, and that the verbal abuse is taking a toll on his or her body. Physical effects can be reversed or vanish completely when removed from the abusive environment.
If verbal abuse is present in a dating relationship, it is only a matter of time before the relationship will be impacted. One of the partners may decide to leave the relationship, as they may no longer want to be exposed to the cruelty of the other person. If a relationship continues even despite the verbal abuse, the victim may withdraw from the abuser and have trouble maintaining a closeness with him or her.
Many people who are dating have children from previous marriages or relationships. When verbal abuse takes place between a couple, children may be exposed to the abuse by hearing or watching it occur in the home. Consequently, children may begin to experience effects of verbal abuse by becoming afraid, angry, participating in self-destructive or violent behaviors, or by not feeling safe in their own home. Children may also grasp onto the learned behavior and become verbally abusive to others, if the child gets the impression that verbal abuse is OK.