4 Healing Steps for Dating After an Abusive Relationship

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Healing from an abusive relationship is a lengthy and complex process that doesn’t have an expiration date. Some people can be perfectly capable of getting together with a new partner in just a few months or even weeks, while others may need years to recover and get back on the dating track.

Additionally, issues such as not knowing what a healthy and truly loving relationship should look like or being scared of failing into the same pattern can only further complicate things. If you’ve been a victim of abuse, you’re also likely to experience trouble connecting with your new partner physically and emotionally.

In such a situation, it’s important to take baby steps and practice self-compassion when moving forward. After all, your recovery from partner abuse is not a race. Without further ado, here’s what you can do to begin the process of healing and get ready to start dating again eventually:

Focus on Self-Care

When getting out of an abusive relationship, you’re essentially a survivor. Abuse is not to be taken lightly, and even if you’ve been gaslighted into thinking that “others have it worse,” you need to remember that your experiences are still valid and can’t be ignored. Now is the time to dedicate to practicing self-care and self-love.

This can take many different forms. For some, it may be purchasing new sex toys or browsing online for some of the best sex dolls and allowing themselves to explore their own sexuality in a safe way. Others may find an outlet for their feelings by exploring hobbies they gave up during the abusive relationship. You can also try journaling to get negative thoughts and feelings out of your head or even consider attending a support group dedicated to abuse victims. 

Once you break free from your abusive ex, you’ll likely have lots of spare time. If your previous partner used to control you or always tell you what to do, learning to spend time alone won’t be easy and can make you feel lonely, so try to use it to work on your confidence and take good care of yourself.

Set Boundaries

In an abusive relationship, boundaries are non-existent. There’s an abuser and a victim, and the former usually decides what happens and how it happens. Because of this, you may not be used to setting boundaries or living the way you want to, even after the abusive relationship ends. 

It’s best to begin establishing boundaries by separating yourself from your ex. Things are likely to be more complicated if you have children because you probably won’t be able to cut off all communication. 

However, you can keep their phone number and choose to contact them only this way, setting digital boundaries instead. This can mean blocking them on social media or preventing them from reaching you through texting apps such as WhatsApp or Messenger. Creating at least some distance between yourself and your ex will make it easier to heal at your own pace.

Have a Support System

Healing from an abusive relationship can be incredibly lonely, mostly because abusers tend to distance their victims from people who care about them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to family members and friends, even if you haven’t seen them or talked to them in a long time. 

Reconnecting with people who love you and care about you is one of the best things you can do during your recovery. This way, you can build a solid support system around yourself and have someone to talk to when you feel lonely or upset. 

Friends and trusted family members can also help you start navigating the dating world again or even set you up for a date with some great people if you ask them to.

Learn How to Date Safely

Being stuck in an abusive relationship can keep you out of the loop, but if you want to explore what Tinder and Bumble are all about and feel ready to date again, give yourself another chance at love. However, before you go out with anyone, it’s essential to learn about the principles of safe dating.

Whether it’s a first date with a person you met on a dating app or lunch with your sister’s coworker, you should always try to meet in public and preferably during the day. Don’t worry — there will be plenty of time for romantic evenings once you get to know your date better, provided you hit it off and you feel ready for a new relationship. 

Additionally, you should always tell someone where you’re going and who you’re planning to meet. Have your own way to get there, whether by your car or a cab. Stay sober during the date, and don’t feel like you have to share your phone number right away or disclose any personal details. 

You can do all of these things on the next date or when you simply feel ready and comfortable with such a decision.

In Conclusion

The process of getting over an abusive relationship and learning how to date again is not easy. However, if you are gentle with yourself and try to look at things from a different perspective, you should eventually find it easier to create a better future for yourself.

When recovering from your past relationship, you must give yourself enough time to heal. Focus on self-care and self-love, and make sure to set boundaries with your ex. It’s also an excellent idea to create a support system around yourself and, once you feel ready to start dating again, learn how to date safely

Of course, you shouldn’t feel obligated to start dating right after you reconnect with other people again. Everybody has a different timeline when it comes to healing from abuse, and it’s important that you listen to your instincts. Take care!


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