95: Dating After Abuse 101

I got a question the other day asking about dating while in abuse recovery. Is it possible to have a healthy relationship while in recovery.

When I reached out and asked what people thought, the answer was 50/50 as far as yes or no.

I did an IG live on it but I realized how important it is that this be on the podcast.

So today we’re talking about dating and abuse recovery.

If you’re not currently wanting to date, don’t turn off this episode. Are you already in a relationship? Don’t turn this off. There’s lots of things on here that will help you in the future but will also help your current relationship.

In short the answer to “can you have a healthy relationship while in recovery” is a tentative yes.

The reason it’s tentative is because it truly depends on you and where you’re at in your recovery journey.

If you just committed to your recovery yesterday, I don’t think it’s the best time to start dating. But even if you’ve been on the journey for months it doesn’t mean that you’re ready to date, either.

So how do you know? There are three things that I feel need to be in place before you consider dating.

  1. Be ok on your own and willing to wait for the right person.
  2. Get SUPER comfortable setting and KEEPING boundaries.
  3. Become aware of your triggers and begin to manage and get a handle on them.

Be ok on your own

Be truly ok spending time by yourself. Become super comfortable in who you are as an individual. As survivors, it’s easy for us to jump into a relationship and fall back into old habits. Even if it’s a good relationship, we lose who we are. We begin to mold ourselves into who we think they want us to be because we’re afraid of the repercussions.

Make sure you’re very clear on who you are and what you want on your own before you step into a relationship with someone else.

Be comfortable setting and keeping boundaries

As survivors we were taught that boundaries aren’t a privilege that was given to us. This is not only a mindset shift that we have to have, but also a skill we have to strengthen. If we don’t feel comfortable having boundaries on our own, we’re sure as hell not going to take them seriously with someone else.

The skills of setting and KEEPING boundaries is a critical one for all of us, but especially when it comes to relationships.

Boundary Podcast Episodes and Blog Posts:

Let’s Talk Boundaries

All About Boundaries

How to Say No

Teach People How to Treat You

Be aware of and make sure you have a handle on your triggers

In relationships, issues are going to arise. Relationships are work, even healthy ones. You’re taking two individual people and putting them together – shit’s going to go down at some point. Because of this, you may be triggered. Why? A lot of our triggers aren’t as obvious as flinching when someone raises their hand at you.

For me, if I feel disrespected, I shut down and get defensive. Whether they are purposely disrespectful or not doesn’t matter to my brain. All it sees is perceived disrespect. If I wasn’t aware of this, any sarcastic comment or argument could send me spiraling into a self sabotaging pattern.

Some triggers are like this, and others are bigger. If you’re not aware of the potential triggers you’re going to run into, you won’t be able to properly handle yourself when things happen. Having a plan for when you’re triggered and how you’ll handle it can save not only the relationship but you and your sanity.

If this resonated with you and you’re ready to let go and finally live the life you deserve, then you should check out the Worthy of Recovery printable journal. Every day for 30 days you’ll complete a journal prompt and document your gratitude and your daily victories. Worried that you don’t have the time? Included with the journal is a course that teaches you how to journal your way to freedom in less than 15 minutes a day. As an added bonus, you also get over 45 printable affirmation cards. It has all the pieces that helped me on my recovery journey and I know it’ll help you, too. Click here to grab yours!

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