Love “contract” rules/breaches: the role of digital abuse

Roberta Matassoli Duran Flach Suely Ferreira Deslandes About the authors


Digital abuse in intimate relationships is a topic that is still poorly studied in Brazil, and this practice is often naturalized, especially among young people. This article aims to know the meanings attributed by adolescents to the set of rules and agreements, implicit or agreed, that define the contours of a “love contract” and the role of digital abuse in these strategic understandings. Qualitative study conducted with primary oral sources, from four focus groups with adolescents from public and private schools, of both sexes, aged 15 to 18 years, totaling 26 students. The analysis was based on the perspective of the interpretation of meanings, with thematic bias, anchored in Bauman’s theory of liquid love and Giddens’ category of confluent love. Trust, individuality and intimacy were values ​​considered essential for the existence of an intimate relationship considered “serious”. The “exposure of intimacy” and “monitoring” without permission are acts that can lead to the breakdown of this “love contract”. The adolescents showed us that we need to treat digital abuse between partners by reflecting on the rules, values ​​and agreements that define the contours of the “love contract” they establish.

Key words:
Digital abuse; Love; Teen; Affective-sexual

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