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Dating after abuse

(15 Posts)
Springheeled Tue 19-Aug-14 23:13:14

I have had a couple of dates with someone, though I was not looking to date I liked the look of someone and was pleased when he asked me out. BUT I'm so guarded and hyper vigilant to red flags that I don't trust my instincts at all.

I am in two minds whether to continue and go for the third date. I am just not ready for anyone to enter my life. On the other hand, I find this man attractive and certainly really miss certain things blush

Any advice for getting toe in water again? Is it always this hard? Does it get easier?

buttonortwo Tue 19-Aug-14 23:18:23

It is hard following abuse and good you recognise the red flags. You must also be quite open to it as you've been on 2 dates already.. It's only a date, you aren't committing to marriage. If you like him enjoy it, go with the flow, it will hopefully increase your confidence even if nothing comes of it. Yes it will get easier as your self esteem grows. Sorry you went through the abuse, it's awful, I know. Go on the date! Nothing to lose?

Springheeled Tue 19-Aug-14 23:21:05

Re the previous relationship, it was not violent, rather it was emotionally and sexually abusive and he was very intense and excessively demanding. The slightest simple thing now feels like a demand to me. Even having to return texts. (Ex would complain endlessly about text times, content, phrasing, etc and happily initiate rows that lasted for hours in which I was harangued for texting at 10.05 pm instead of 10 pm as promised, etc, etc)

Springheeled Tue 19-Aug-14 23:23:22

Thanks button! It's just so scary. Because ex was not as he first appeared, I got into that rel very quickly and with huge intensity. I won't do that again. What if I kissed this man or slept with him and reason flew out of the window again? Because the worst that could happen is that it could happen again.

redtiger1079 Wed 20-Aug-14 00:52:06

The fact that you're cautious means you can surely trust yourself to spot the signs.

Which conversely means that if you take things slowly, you'll have enough time to reflect upon whether it's right.

MiscellaneousAssortment Wed 20-Aug-14 01:29:28

Be cautious and also start learning how to trust yourself again. I think it may be harder to trust yourself than it is to trust others in a way.

I haven't done it yet, I think I have a long way to go to heal after a lifetime of abusive relationships, and I am terrified of dating again. But I am also very lonely and I'd love to have someone special in my life, to share myself and my life again. And to do that, you have to date!

So I'm not advising in a 'been there done that' way, but good luck. People do it, and it must start with a cautiously open heart, and a sense of what you want and what you'll accept/ expect.

Good luck

Justatoe Wed 20-Aug-14 04:23:03

It is hard but definitely gets easier....for me it was not a having a minor (or sometimes major!) mistake being turned into a huge row to get used to.
I have read lots of books & discussed with close friends as I have really no idea what a good relationship looks like! I have hashed up one relationship, did better with the next and am proud I walked away when I needed to. I feel much more comfortable with the current one & just remain conscious of my need to people please.
I think looking for red flags is normal, and brilliant!
The Freedom Programme includes new relationships, I understand.
Enjoy!

Springheeled Wed 20-Aug-14 08:42:39

Great advice, much appreciated thank you.

Yes, it's trusting myself that's the problem and mainly the tendency toward not exactly people pleasing- more like conflict avoidance, that I need to address most. I'd rather sidestep, worm out of, ignore or avoid any conflict and sometimes that means not saying what I think or want. Or I'll excuse the other person and make allowances.

Ok so I'll go for the third date...

Springheeled Fri 22-Aug-14 23:59:12

Nope, it's no good- I will never trust anyone again I don't think! I'm hyper vigilant and everything sends me into a panic of remembering. I'd best wait a while longer.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 23-Aug-14 00:22:26

Oh dear, what happened? Was it really triggering or just rubbish in general. Poor you sad

Is there any use in doing some councelling? it's just so hard to relearn and find your way when you're doing it completely on your own...

HoundPaws Sat 23-Aug-14 00:32:29

I'm in a new relationship with a lovely guy after a 15 year abusive relationship and its been fine, no problems at all, I am confident that I would spot any red flags now and I just appreciate extra much how gentle and laid back the new guy is! So I would say don't worry smile

UrsulaBuffay Sat 23-Aug-14 00:35:42

If you're not ready you're not ready, you'll find that you feel bad for leading someone on and not being able to commit to them if they are in a better place. You probably need to talk to him about what you want from it and what you're able to give

superstarheartbreaker Sat 23-Aug-14 06:37:59

If your not ready why rush? Take time to love yourself. Sex is overrated imo...or maybe the sex ive been having!

Maybe this guy will be lovely , maybe not but im going to dish out the advice that ive been given on here...you need to repair your twat radar !

Springheeled Sat 23-Aug-14 08:15:30

Thank you- miscellaneous yes, it was triggering and I can't believe it because I really didn't think that would be an issue ever again. That's exactly the word though- I think I almost had a panic attack; I just sort of ran away as quickly as I possibly could and it was all because he asked where I live and then was a bit miffed as to why I wouldn't tell him and asked if I was still married.

Triggering for two reasons- My safety and happiness in my house was completely violated by exp and I actually don't know whether I'll ever let anyone in it again. Which is probably a pre requisite for a relationship really. I posted about things at the time but under a different name- exp sexually assaulted me there.

I had no idea it would frighten me so much for someone to ask where I live!!!

And I've had loads of counselling and thought I was over it all as far as poss.

Prior to that, things were ok. I had been really clear that I wasn't looking for a serious relationship, I thought I'd expressed boundaries well and he was good about it- very straightforward. I asked him to back off and he did. I've tried really hard to be sensible, clear, etc.

But he asked where I live and I freaked to the point of basically running away as fast as I could

Springheeled Sat 23-Aug-14 08:17:14

Oh yes, the second thing it triggered was that feeling of being pressurised and not knowing what to say for the best. Which I felt with exp ALL the time as he used to sometimes kind of interrogate me and there was no correct answer...

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