Dating after toxic relationships

I like being single , I like not having to worry about another adult. Relationships I have been in have always been at best disfunctional and at worst abusive and I just don’t have it in me to do that again. I can’t imagine ever being in a serious relationship , I certainly don’t think I could live with anyone again.

Now and again though I do think it’d be nice to have someone special. An actual grown up to spend time with , a bit of affection perhaps even a bit of romance (I know high maintenance eh?!)

The thing is after you’ve been in a toxic relationships, dating is a minefield. There’s so much scope for old anxieties to resurface , to fall back into negative thought patterns. I can only tell my story but there really are a lot of hurdles to overcome.

One of my main problems when I’ve given dating a shot is that it highlights how skewed my view of myself is and how damage done in toxic relationships is still apparent. Compliments are difficult for example. If someone tells me I look nice or I’m funny or anything positive at all I dismiss it instantly. They’re just being polite I think or even worse they’re thinking I look terrible and are having to lie. That’s a really warped thought pattern , I know that. The thing is being told you’re fat and ugly and disgusting everyday for years on end is going to have an impact. I’ve 4 children and the body to prove it . I’m guarded. Trusting when someone tells you you’re fantastic is a risk , you believed someone when they told you that before and look how that turned out?

My next boyfriend is going to have to be the world’s most patient man.

Then there’s *whispers* sex ssshhh. Another mental minefield. Another thing associated with trauma. Along with the body worries there’s also the fact I’ve not done it in AGES!! What if I am rubbish at it ?! I worry I’d zone out mid event as was the way I got through it back then. That’d be fun eh??

The next guy is going to need to be so patient he would make Mother Theresa look a bit cranky!!

Then there’s the big one. Trust.
It’s not what you think either , it’s not that I don’t trust men or that I think they’ll all treat me terribly. I really don’t believe that to be true . I don’t trust my own judgement though.

I’ve always said my perfect boyfriend would be someone who was happy to just see me once a month for dinner and romance and the bedroom stuff , with more time in the school holidays when the kids were away! Good plan eh?

I know this is an unrealistic scenario. Men I’ve known have wanted to move along quite quickly and it put me off straight away.I’m certainly not ready to jump into anything with both feet. I don’t know if I ever will be.

So you see dating is a tricky game to play for me . I like meeting new people , I enjoy the company of interesting men and I hope one day I will have my Mr Perfect in my life ….it’s just the actual dating bit I could do without!!

It turns out though, the only way to get over all the hang ups is to actually get out there and do it! Practice makes almost perfect. Bad dates are as helpful as lovely ones.
The bad ones help you realise that your self esteem has grown to a point that deciding a person is just not right for you is OK.

The good ones? Well if like me you’re naturally suspicious of men as a species after bad experiences, there’s hopefully going to be someone who comes along and presses the reset button. Who has you decide actually this is the benchmark for the future.When someone is respectful and kind and thoughtful you kind of make an internal deal with yourself that this is the only way you’ll stand to be treated in future. It doesn’t have to be love of your life stuff (one step at a bloody time) but just enough to make you set the bar high.

We’ve been through the mill and not treated well enough, but that really doesn’t have to be our lot.

Setting high standards isn’t a thing of arrogance it’s self preservertion and when you do meet someone that gives you all the tummy flutters and smiling at your phone like a loon at cute texts (spoiler alert – so have !!) well it makes waiting for the right one and being that bit picky and cautious totally worth the wait

My Facebook page is here

27 thoughts on “Dating after toxic relationships

  1. This may be an overshare, but I had a boyfriend who controlled everything I ate, what I did at the gym, etc., to make sure I stayed just the way he wanted me to be. To this day (~17ish years later), I still can’t go to the gym with a guy I’m seeing. There are certain things that just don’t go away, and I’ve found that once you know your triggers, you just have to set the boundaries that work for you. #blogstravaganza

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having high standards, it only means that you are holding out for what you deserve! Self-preservation is key! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza, hope to see you again next week xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. After all you’ve been through there is nothing wrong with setting the bar high. It’s no less than you deserve. You’ve been through hell and now you deserve happy. You are more than entitled to protect yourself. I truly hope you find the ‘one’ who ticks all your boxes. Until then, just carrying on be the awesome you, you are xx #blogstravaganza

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Setting the bar high is essential! And actually every woman should be setting the bar high.

    I am so sorry to hear how this still haunts you. It is such a horrible thing to have to go through. But I think you’re so brave to be even thinking about going out there again. Trust yourself – you’ve brought up your kids on your own – that proves you have good judgement because you’ve had to make every single decision for them. #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So much to think about, but try not to lose hope that there are loads of good eggs out there. And there is nothing wrong with setting the bar high. Best off be single than with a loser. Stay strong xx


  6. I totally agree, self preservation is important. I was on my own for nearly five years before I met the Other Half, I simply wasn’t ready to get hurt again. One day Mr Right will walk through the door and be willing to go at the pace that’s right for you. Because you deserve it. #PostsFromTheHeart

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s certainly nothing wrong with having high standards!

    I know what you mean about being nervous about dating after a toxic relationship. For a very long time I was petrified of getting into another relationship. I feel that the toxic and controlling nature of my previous relationship crept up on me. I didn’t see the clues, or at least I didn’t act on them – I swept them under the carpet. The thing that worries me most is that I won’t see them next time either.

    3 years on, I realise that I probably don’t need to worry. The chances of me meeting someone are so very slim and actually I really enjoy being single. Dating seems like too much hassle these days.

    Pen x #Familyfun

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is exactly how I feel ! Would I do the same again?? Except yes I’m really content single , would take something different to change that!


  8. I’ve thankfully never been in a toxic relationship but I still have all the same questions and lack of self confidence when dating. I think I have a good one now though that I don’t want to ever let go. Very honest post ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m still affected by past relationships too. But the biggest one was my last one. I wrote a blog post about him and how he tried to manipulate me and con me and at a time in my life when I finally ready to start putting my trust in people again, In men again. He set me back so far but I learned from it. You have to set the bar high because if you don’t the bad ones find their way in. They always do unless you make very clear boundaries and set that bar as high as possible. I’m a pretty positive person. I’ve worked hard for a long time to become positive but when it comes to dating and relationships, I’m every bit a cynic. And I like it that way. I’m so much happier being single because I know who I am and what I want. And the best part is I don’t have to worry about making someone else happy, especially someone else who is only in it for himself. I’m glad I’m not the only one though. Glad I read your post. #ABloggingGoodTime

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly what you say , the bar has to be set super high !!! If that means you’re single a while longer so be it , way better than settling for someone who is going to end up causing you even more bother

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s