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5 warning signs of a toxic relationship we witnessed on Bachelor in Paradise


Bachelor in Paradise, Channel 10

It's not uncommon for victims of abusive relationships to admit they missed early warning signs that their relationship would turn toxic.


Thanks to Bachelor in Paradise, we watched the beginnings of a manipulative, abusive relationship play out on our television screens.

Bachelor in Paradise contestants Ivan and Tenille

We're of course talking about male contestant, Ivan's unhealthy obsession with female contestant, Tenille.


The Australian public has watched this situation go from bad to worse and were justifiably outraged watching it all unfold.





While we're all questioning why producers or Channel 10 didn't step in and pull Ivan into line, it's important we discuss how and why his behaviour is completely unacceptable and downright dangerous.



Here are 5 red flags we've seen over the last few weeks and warning signs that a relationship could turn abusive...



1. He's so clingy it makes you uncomfortable


After just a few days and a short time getting to know each other, it was clear that Ivan had put all his eggs in Tenille's hypothetical basket. What started off as an an innocent crush soon became all too much for Tenille, who became frustrated when Ivan wouldn't give her space.


Tenille confided in American Alex about feeling uncomfortable with the pace of hers and Ivan's relationship.


“He’s like up here and I’m like down here,” she said.


“That makes me think too much, too soon. I’ve been here for four days. Yeah, it’s scary for me.”


Unbeknownst to Alex and Tenille, Ivan is watching this whole conversation from across Paradise, and his blood is starting to boil. He later confronts Alex, questioning if he has any interest in Tenille.


Ivan confronts Alex (Channel 10)

Alex quickly diffuses the situation and assures Ivan he's not a threat. He later tells the producers that Ivan should reassess his approach to women.



2. He dismisses your feelings


After literally sneaking into Tenille's room while she's on the toilet, Ivan proceeds to completely disregard her feelings or concerns about the pace of their relationship.


“Do you think we should just rein it in a little?” Tenille asked.


“Nah,” Ivan responded. “I’d rather go all in.”


Talking to producers in an interview, Ivan later sulks that Tenille is being "selish" by pulling away from him. UMMM NO MATE. She is completely entitled to end any relationship that she's not feeling comfortable with, okay?



3. He views you as a possession, not a person


When fellow Paradise contestant, Jules expressed interest in getting to know Tenille, Ivan quickly lost his very short temper and was quick to try and mark his territory.


'Jules. What the hell are you doing? Tenille's mine. She's my girlfriend. F***ing snake,' he said.


Bear in mind, this is how he views his relationship with a woman who he's known for less than a week. The level of entitlement and ownership he feels over Tenille is really quite terrifying.



4. He tries to isolate you

Image from WhiteRibbon.org.au

On Sunday's episode, Ivan pulled Tenille away from the group and blamed her for ruining his "good headspace" and that she needs to stay away from Bill and Alex, his closest friends in Paradise.


"If you want me to stay away from Bill and Alex...?" Tenille questions.


"And Nathan" demands Ivan.


Thankfully, Tenille can see through this absolute BS. In an interview with producers she remarks that it's "absolutely absurd" and that she's not quite sure who he thinks he is.



5. His jealousy often turns into rage


“I’m about to punch a wall right now … I’m about to lose my s**t.”


"Nathan is a dead man walking."


These are just two examples of Ivan displaying a complete lack of emotional control and threatening violence. Fellow contestants labelled Ivan as "scary" with even the shows host Osher Gusberg calling him out on Twitter.




Since leaving the show, Ivan has released an apology on Instagram, stating he is remorseful for his behavior. We can only hope he is making a genuine effort to adjust his attitude and behaviour towards women going forward.



If you or someone you know is experiencing physical or emotional abuse, help is available.


Call 1800RESPECT or visit whiteribbon.org.au


If you are in immediate danger, please call 000.

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