As I always and will always say ,I can only tell my story of recovery after domestic abuse . I can only give my opinion and talk about what helps me . Every woman is different but I think if writing this blog has taught me nothing else it’s that we do share similar thoughts and worries.
Dating someone who has been through domestic abuse is not for the faint hearted . Whether the abuse be emotional or physical or both scars will be left. It likely won’t be an easy journey but it’ll be worth it . I thought maybe I could help a little with some hints and advice on how to date a woman who has previously been abused.
1) Don’t take it personally if she doesn’t believe your word
She shrugs off compliments and disagrees with kind words you say about her ?
The thing is she’s been told for a very long time that no one else would ever want her. That she is ugly , that she is fat and stupid and pathetic. She’s likely been told this daily , incessantly.
You tell her that she’s beautiful and wonderful company and funny and you mean it but the thing is HE told her all those things once. At the beginning love bombing her with charming words and grand gestures and then he took it all back and it destroyed her and she doesn’t want to give anyone the power to do that again. So she’ll take your compliments with a pinch of salt . Don’t let that deter you though. Keep the compliments coming . Of all the important things when it comes to dating someone who has been abused consistency is key.
2) Respect Boundaries
For me personally this is massive.
Even if it’s a tiny , seemingly daft ,thing like not turning up at her house unannounced or not wanting to sleep over at yours. Whatever boundaries she has she has put there for her own safe keeping . She needs to see that you care enough to understand. Walls are built ,high and sturdy but when she sees you do respect them and that you don’t push her to do more than she is capable of she’ll lower those walls and let you in .
3) Patience really is a virtue
Current crush waited 2 years for a first date. This is extreme – that’s me all over but he did it . The thing is I needed him to prove he was consistent. Consistently kind , and patient .Consistent with his words and backed up by his actions.
I’m not suggesting anyone should have to run the kind of gauntlet that is dating me but for me I need slow . I need slower than snails pace . I need gentle teeny tiny babysteps ahead of big stomping giant strides. This does indeed take a patient person.
You have to be patient in other areas too. Sex might be a problem. It might be a huge trigger for trauma . Emotional intimacy may take time .
Patience is necessary because it’s not just you she has to learn to trust but her own judge of character.
4) There’ll be wobbles and steps backwards.
If you’re going to get involved with a woman after abuse you need to be in for the long haul really and not easily scared away . We are strong , brave , powerful women but that little crack in our spirit ,that has the potential to rip us apart at any given moment.
Triggers we might not even know ourselves have the potential to shake us . A certain phrase you may say , a certain place you may visit might provoke an unusual reaction but given space she’ll likely explain herself because she wants you to know that she’s really quite fond of you and this is not about the two of you but just her battling old demons .
Just be there to hold her hand and stand with her.
I don’t want this to be a negative post .
Yes there are obstacles to overcome ,but I think they’re probably worth it.
I’m a resilient , independent woman and I absolutely do not need a man to validate my existence or to protect me and certainly not to save me . So if I’m really keen to spend time with you it’s because I really want to not because I just need someone.
I think there are a fair few of us out there !!! Hidden gems who sparkle in the right company! There’s certainly no negatives in that!!!