I get asked all of the time how I handle dating after abuse recovery. I always laugh to myself when hearing this because my dating life is so chaotic. From dating way too soon after getting out of an abusive relationship, to finding myself falling into another one, all the way to recognizing the signs and shutting it down, I’m still learning how to navigate dating in this new world.
But with that being said, I’ve learned some dos and don’ts that have completely changed the game for me. Being in abuse recovery can become quite lonely, but I’ve learned that it’s better to be lonely than to be treated less than you deserve.
Below I share some of my top tips!
Get a handle on your major triggers
A message that I get a lot is “How do I manage my triggers while trying to date?
If you are struggling with your triggers, then I personally don’t believe that you’re ready to date. That’s not a judgement by any means. I was still neck deep in my triggers and trying to date. And every single one of those dates ended in disaster.
If you are realizing that triggers are coming up quite often for you, my suggestion would be to take a break from dating and focus on healing.
That doesn’t mean that you’re destined to be alone or that I think you shouldn’t pursue happiness with someone else. But until you get a handle on the big triggers, you’re not going to be able to experience the happiness you’re craving.
Here’s a video that I did on working through triggers that may help you. Watch it below!
Learn to love yourself
I see too many people jumping to another relationship far too soon. When you get out of an abusive relationship, it’s going to take longer than a month or two to heal.
Here’s a tough love moment for you. If you catch yourself saying “I’ve been single for 3 months – I’m totally healed,” then you’ve got a LOT more work to do.
Recovery is a lifelong process. The moment you think you’re completely healed is the moment that you cut yourself off from any more growth.
I jumped into date after date because I didn’t love myself at all. I only looked for validation from others. I didn’t know how to get it from within.
Other coaches in this space may disagree with me, but I believe that until you’re able to recognize how to let go of the need for outside validation, you’re leaving yourself open and vulnerable to all sorts of manipulation tactics.
I realize that sounds cynical, but it’s true.
You have to learn how to love yourself before you can be truly happy with someone else.
Check out this podcast episode to help you on your journey!
Give yourself grace
Dating after abuse isn’t easy. Whether it’s been a year later or 10 years later, it isn’t easy in the least. But just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean that it’s not possible.
What it does mean is that you need to give yourself grace. Allow yourself to take whatever time you need in order to heal.
Don’t try to rush the process. Don’t get frustrated with yourself because you think it’s taking longer than it should.
Give yourself as much grace as you would give anyone else.
It can be a lonely time, but I promise that if you commit to it, you will find love again.
Dating after abuse is one of the hardest things to do. It’s a mess of triggers, confusion, mistrust, and your brain reacting in ways you don’t understand. But it won’t stay that way forever. If you learn how to manage your triggers, how to love yourself fully before loving someone else, and give yourself grace, I promise that you’ll grow through it. You’ll feel ready and prepared to meet that special someone.
I know that this isn’t easy. I know how lonely it can feel. With that being said, you don’t have to do this alone. This is the exact reason that Worthy. Was created.
Worthy. is a monthly membership where you’ll not only get coached through topics like this, but you’ll also be surrounded by women who get it. Women who have been through the same situations. Women that will lift you up when you feel like you just can’t take it anymore.
Enrollment closes soon and you don’t want to miss your chance! Click here for more information!