Have you become newly single after escaping from a toxic situation and are you wondering how to ease back into dating after an abusive relationship so that you can truly find happiness?
I know that it’s scary, the idea of dating, and good for you for thinking ahead about how to do it in a healthy way.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to make sure that, when you are ready to start dating again, you will be prepared so that you can set yourself up for success.
5 Ways To Ease Back Into Dating After An Abusive Relationship
1. Get to know yourself again.
For many people who have been in abusive relationships, we lose who we are. Months or years of being told that we are less than, that everything is our fault, that we are worthless and not worth respect, and that we are unattractive and stupid, takes its toll on one’s self-esteem.
And people who have low self-esteem will attract other people with low self-esteem, which might just start the whole vicious cycle all over again.
When you have gotten out of an abusive relationship, take some time to get to know yourself again. Spend time with people who love you so that you can re-learn how loveable you are. Do something that you have always wanted to do but didn’t believe you could, so you can learn how strong you really are. Learn something new, so that you can get reconnected with your intelligence.
Building up your self-confidence is a key part of being successful in the dating world. If you can go into it not thinking of yourself as a victim or as less than, but as someone who had the strength to get out of an abusive relationship, someone who values themselves and is surrounded by people who love them, you will attract like-minded people, the kind of people you would want to be in a relationship with.
I know the idea might be daunting but getting to know yourself again is an important part of easing back into dating after an abusive relationship.
2. Take stock of what happened in your relationship.
Abusive relationships are devastating. You find yourself in a place where you are constantly miserable, questioning yourself and everything around you, being subjected to verbal, and maybe, physical abuse, treading water just trying to prevent yourself from drowning. Ugh.
Once you escape from an abusive relationship it’s important to take stock of how the relationship turned abusive. Was it that way from the beginning or did something happen that caused the abuse to start? Was the abuse constant or only during a certain set of circumstances? Did other people know about the abuse or did you hide it? Were you aware that you were being abused?
It’s also important to take stock of your role in the relationship. Was your overwhelm such that you found yourself provoking your person at times? Did you roll over and take the abuse, even in front of your children? Could you have left the situation earlier than you did?
Being aware of everything that happened in your relationship, and recognizing things that you did that you can take responsibility for, will allow you to ease back into dating because you will have clarity about what happened and be determined not to let it happen again.
Many people who are ready to ease back into dating after an abusive relationship, go in skeptical. Their view of love has been tainted by the past and the prospect of meeting someone new, someone who could love the ‘broken’ them, seems impossible. This is especially true of people who are considering online dating, a truly frustrating and seemingly unnatural way to date.
Let me tell you, from years of personal and professional experience, that it is not only possible, but probable, that you will meet someone else out there in the world. That you will meet someone who can treat you right and who will make you happy. It might take some time and you might need to kiss a few frogs but your person is out there.
And while internet dating may seem unpalatable, there are plenty of people who have met their person online and who are living happily ever after.