Netflix is on a roll lately. Between the Marie Kondo specials, the hypnotic new Black Mirror special and the award winning film, “Roma,” there’s a lot of entertainment to soak up. Recently, I just started watching the thriller “You,” starring Penn Badgley as a stalker obsessed with a girl he runs into in New York City. I won’t spoil anything, but things get… intense, and his controlling, vindictive behavior is hard to watch.
However, I have an even bigger problem with how some fans are reacting to what they see. Some are romanticizing Badgley’s character, defending some his inexcusable behaviors. This points to a bigger problem with our dating culture and it’s important to point out some major warning signs for those who might be experiencing an abusive relationship, even if they don’t realize it yet.
“You can romanticize elements of his character, but if you romanticize his entire outlook on life, then that might be an issue,” co-star Shay Mitchell told Refinery29. “I can see it, when somebody really cares a lot [and] they just look into certain aspects of your life, but I do think there is a fine line with that.”
And she’s absolutely right. On the surface, it may seem like someone just really, really cares, but when things get controlling, it’s time to intervene, especially if you witness any of the following signs:
1. Needing to know where a partner is at all times
2. Stealing a partner’s phone or laptop, or searching the device without asking
3. Intense jealously when the partner spends time with friends or family
4. “Spying” on or following the partner to see what they’re doing
5. Telling a partner what to do, such as what to eat and what to wear
These are all things Badgley’s character is guilty of, and there is no excuse for him, or for anyone that resorts to these measures. If you see something like this happening to you or a friend, ask for help. Remember, a relationship should always be equal.