Tagged: Dating again after abuse
15th May 2016 at 1:55 pm #17340CopperflameParticipant
Hello Ladies, I was posting on the forum previously, but under another username. I left my abusive partner last year, and after several months in refuge, I am now in my own place and generally life is very positive. I have had specialist DV counselling, attended a DV support project for several months and also completed the Recovery Toolkit course, which I found very helpful.
Just recently, I decided to start dating again and joined a dating site. I met a couple of guys with whom I had a brief relationship, but in both cases red flags showed up very early on. I decided to test them and their abusive response told me what I needed to know. I was not emotionally involved with either of these men – I have built a wall around my heart to protect my vulnerability – but the tirade of verbal abuse that they both subjected me to HURT a great deal and I felt very triggered due to past abuse. I’m beginning to wonder if I have a sign on my head that makes abusive men target me. Anyway I’ve deleted my profile from the dating site and have decided not to date for the time being but enjoy the freedom of being single. Right now I’m finding it hard to trust men and I’m vigilant about spotting red flags to the point of being paranoid. It is now over a year since I left my abuser and it upsets me that I’ve yet again been a target for yet more abusive men despite all the work I’ve done to increase my self-confidence and self-esteem.
I would be interested to hear about anyone elses experience of dating after an abusive relationship.
Much love to you all,
15th May 2016 at 2:30 pm #17347AyannaParticipant
Abusers prefer the internet because in real life no woman likes them. Rather meet men in public spaces. There you can see how they interact from the start.
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Nowadays we reached a stage in which women do not need men anymore anyway, even for conceiving babies they are not essential anymore.
15th May 2016 at 6:59 pm #17356missiepieParticipant
I think all men can be a little controlling. The difference is those that respect boundaries. I started dating a new man and the difference now is not that he is perfect but that I dont react like I used to. With my abusive ex I was 100% submissive…I had to be or face the consequences. Consequences what escalated to violence and mental torture if he didnt get his way. I would run after him and beg him to be with me when he threatened to leave me….I gave him all the power.
Now when my bf steps out of line, I hold my ground. I tell him not to talk to me in any tone I feel is unresepctful. I nip it in the bud early and I have found it works. He respects me more now. Arguments are not the same as boundaries have been put in place.
I promised myself I would never beg another man to be with me. So if he ever threatens to walk out I will let him. Im not living under threats and violence again
15th May 2016 at 8:37 pm #17368CopperflameParticipant
Thank you ladies. Although my confidence has improved, I don’t think I’m ready to date yet. As you say, there are a lot of predators on the internet many of whom have innocent looking profiles so you have no way of knowing what they are really like. I have become much better at setting boundaries generally, but I’ve noticed with men that I feel defensive and still vulnerable. I found that when a lot of men message women on this particular dating site, they automatically assume that you’re going to jump straight into bed with them on the first date! I found this too much to cope with – whatever happened to good old fashioned dating where you went out on a few dates with someone before you became intimate?
My life is pretty busy at the moment anyway and I don’t really need a man right now. I’ve heard it said that often someone will come into your life when you are not looking for it. No men for me for a while! Xx
15th May 2016 at 8:44 pm #17371SerenityParticipant
Well done. I used to have to beg mine to not walk out too. Never again!
If a man wants to walk, he can walk. And I’m not begging him. At the same time, I am not giving unless someone deserves it.
15th May 2016 at 10:14 pm #17384Peaceful PigParticipant
Hi copperflame, it’s not you it’s them. I have a friend who uses dating sites and this behaviour is pretty much par for the course it seems. I think you’re right to listen to your instincts if you’re not ready, but you’re clearly very adept at spotting red flags and keeping safe. I’ve noticed lately that the pervy, annoying men who used to leer at me don’t anymore. I’m hoping that’s because I am clearly not vulnerable and so they’re not interested. On the other hand I could just be old and unattractive, it’s hard to say!! Either way, I’m much happier without any of them! Xx
15th May 2016 at 11:25 pm #17386SaharaDParticipant
Most DV/DA organisations recommended two year after leaving the abuse to start dating again.
I made it to 20 months. I’ve had some unpleasantness but they were dropped out of my life very quickly.
I date several men at once. I’m not looking for a relationship. I set strong boundaries and expect respect. These men know they are not the only men I date so they have to get used to sharing my time.
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Old fashioned dating is very rare. I’m not sure why it is rare but I insist on the it.
I don’t get my hopes up too high until we have been on several dates. I only see them once a week and I usually don’t just meet with no advance notice. I have a separate phone and email for them also. They don’t know where I live (not even the local high street for shops) and they don’t know where I work. They don’t know my day to day movements.
I never want to answer to, give myself to, or have to explain myself to another man ever again.
16th May 2016 at 9:49 am #17399Confused123Participant
I think its good u went on the dating site, it makes us aware of our own feelings at what stage we at, and helps us see if we can recognise red flags which i think most of us do now, i was the same , have been out 18 months, i think i went on dating sites after i had been out 14 months, again like u i pick up on a lot of red flags so kept away and for me that was important that i realized im not gonna let guys mess me about, use me just for sex, and play the silent game with me. Dating just seems so different now, men just seem to presume u want to have sex with them on first date, what happened to lets get to know u first, i found this too full on , hence why i backed off dating sites , i think whoever come sin my life is just going to have to go extra slow, letting some one in to my heart again will be hard and gosh the sex is just another level which i def couldnt deal with now . We all have differnet experiences, go with what feels right for u
16th May 2016 at 7:13 pm #17425SaharaDParticipant
I wanted to say that we have to consider generally how men brains work in terms of dating.
I know it’s controversial but forewarned is forearmed and there is science behind the facts.
Here are a few articles that I found:
This doesn’t mean that we should accept men disrespecting us. We should always set strict boundaries and get rid of any man, person etc who violates our boundaries completely.
No excuses, no letting off, no giving second, third and fourth chances. Men are capable of controlling their impulses and if they don’t work on themselves to do this they are nothing more than closer to animals.
That’s what sets us apart from animals. Impulse control and negative behaviour modification.
I am very clear with any man that I go on a first date with that he should not expect sex. I pay for my own meal, ticket, transport and meet in a public place to view their social skills and interaction.
I remember one man was angry because I paid for my coffee and cake before he turned up. He was gotten rid of quite quickly. He said that people didn’t like him. I think it was because he was terrible at treating people respectfully. He didn’t seem to understand that it was him and not them and that he needed to modify his behaviour.
Keep your walls barriers and boundaries up. After everything that has happened to us we deserve not to settle for even one red flag.
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