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Green-eyed monster: Being peeved that you exchange occasional texts with an ex is one thing -- throwing a shrieking tantrum because you're spending the evening with your mom is a big fat red flag. And if I dared defy him, well, I still don't like to talk abut that.

My ex was jealous of my family, my favorite art teacher (an elderly gay man! After a while it became easier to avoid them than dealing with the drama that resulted from seeing them. : My mom screamed at me over my day-glo hair, but my boyfriend loathed my short skirts and fishnets (I was punk rawk! So if your man constantly critiques your everyday outfits as "too slutty" it's something you might want to worry about.

This is why I rarely talk about my two-year relationship with a batterer.

I wasn't a housewife with no resources, I was a teenager and he was my first boyfriend. After I escaped, it was years before I told anyone what I'd been through because I was so ashamed. What people don't understand is that abusers don't generally punch you in the face on the first date.

Not smart enough, not rich enough, not romantic or sensitive enough.

An emotional bully will put down your accomplishments and discourage your goals, and tell you what to do.

Now obviously there are jealous guys who'd never raise a hand to a woman and whiny victim types who'd sooner put their own eye out than hurt you.

But if you're dating someone who has one or more of these flaws, you might want to do a little digging.

But there are some early warning signs -- and as much as you might hate to admit it to yourself, the fact is, even a strong, smart, independent woman can find herself on the wrong end of the fist.

Your girlfriend or boyfriend should encourage your relationships with your parents, siblings, and old friends, as well as when making new friends.

The controlling significant other manages your time and decides who you spend it with, and makes you feel guilty if you leave them to be with friends or family.

You begin to become more and more isolated from them, and they begin to feel distanced from you and concerned about your behavior.

You may start to feel like you are never good enough.

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