How to date again after you’ve been in an abusive relationship



Dating again after you’ve been in an abusive relationship is often a daunting experience.

It might feel impossible to heal and find happiness after you’ve been harmed by someone who was supposed to love you, but you really can do it.

Getting back into the dating world requires you to be kind to yourself, trust your instincts, and go at your own pace.

Keep reading to find out what else to factor in if you’re dating again after an abusive relationship.

1. Build up your self-worth

An abusive relationship changes you and often, the effects are long-lasting. One of the most common consequences of being in an abusive relationship is losing your self-worth. Your abuser might have convinced you that you’re not worth much or you’re not lovable, so spend some time building it up again. Practice self-love and be kind to yourself.

2. Talk to a licensed therapist

Before you start dating again, it might be worth talking to a licensed therapist or counselor. If you’ve got severe PTSD or other mental health issues as a result of the abuse, a therapist can help you to overcome your struggles. They’ll give you techniques to cope with the pain and anxiety, and also help you to find closure.

3. Know that everyone is different

As you step back onto the dating scene, remind yourself that everyone is different. It’s common to expect the same behavior from someone new that your ex showed, but that’s just your anxiety trying to protect you. Trust that the new person you date will be refreshingly different from the last, and you won’t have to protect yourself in the same ways. If you notice signs that your new date is similar to your abusive ex, don’t be afraid to walk away.

4. Go at your own pace

Dating can be really scary at the best of times. When you’re recovering from an abusive relationship, it can be absolutely terrifying. That’s okay. You don’t have to rush into anything before you’re ready; always go at your own pace. No matter what your friends and family say, wait until you’re ready before you start dating someone new. And when you find someone you want to date, they’ll have to accept your pace.

5. Always trust your gut

Your intuition knows best. Pay attention to the signs your body gives you. If someone you’re dating makes you uncomfortable, listen to that gut reaction. Use your best judgment and the lessons you’ve learned in the past to pick up on potentially dangerous situations. If you think you might be a little paranoid given your past, you can always talk your concerns through with a friend you trust and get their take on the situation.

6. Be picky

Never feel bad about being picky! Rather than just dating for the sake of it, only date the people that you’re actually interested in. That will reduce your chances of ending up with someone who’s not good for you. It’s okay to have an open mind and give people a chance. But if you’re really not feeling it, don’t feel guilty about saying no.

7. Remember you don’t owe anyone anything

You have a right to say no because you don’t owe anyone anything. Sometimes, feeling like you have to impress your dates can bring about major anxiety. But you don’t owe them anything, so don’t prioritize their wellbeing ahead of your own. Date the way you want to and don’t force yourself out of your comfort zone for them. Your only job is to take care of yourself.

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