February is here and that means love is in the air. A few things you may want to consider before you start a new relationship. Most people are aware that possessiveness, aggression and controlling behavior are signs of an unhealthy or even dangerous relationship. According to Psychology Today, too much romance could also indicate a potentially abusive partner. 

 The classic image of a person being swept off their feet is powerful in America, and broad sweeping gestures of affection continue to be a cornerstone of popular culture. However, experts warn that many abusive partners are very romantic in the early stages of a relationship. Another major red flag to be aware of is abusive partners tend to move relationships along very quickly, pushing the partner out of their comfort zone. 

Romantic gestures alone should not send you running for the hills; however, if the new person in your life is overly affectionate be aware of how fast the relationship is moving. Make sure you are comfortable with the pace the relationship is taking. Katie Yates, Program Director of Washington Says No More suggests “To set clear boundaries from the beginning and uphold them.” 

Dating someone new always carries with it a certain level of risk. Although this should not stop you from giving dating a shot. The best way to protect yourself is to trust in your instincts and stay true to your core values. “If you stay focused on what’s important to you, then those who truly value you as a person will inherently gravitate toward you,” states Yates. If you are uncomfortable with how fast your new relationship is moving, make sure to communicate that. If your partner appears to dismiss your feelings you may need to reevaluate your relationship. 

Romance, like chocolate, is good in small doses and could be very bad in large amounts. The best advice you can get is to trust your gut and be comfortable expressing your desires to your partner. Someone who values you as a person will be willing to accommodate your feelings and respect your boundaries.