This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Lostforever 2 days, 19 hours ago.

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  • #113179

    I’ve finally reached a point where I’m really ready to move on from my abusive relationship. I’ve met someone that I’m really interested in, but in doing so I’ve realized my self esteem is right down in the dirt. I feel incredibly unattractive and uninteresting. I also feel quite shy and more afraid of rejection than I used to be, and it doesn’t help that the way I met this man was not by intentionally looking to date someone, but in a sort of professional way. Our professional relationship has ended, but I feel terribly awkward about making a move. Also, he has become intimately familiar with the details of my recent abusive relationship, and I can’t help but think, why would a man want to enter into anything with a woman who has been so damaged? I still have a lot of shame around the whole thing.

    How have you all found the strength to put yourself out there and face possible rejection or hurt again? Is it perhaps too soon for me to be trying to date again? I’d hate to miss this opportunity because I feel that there could really be something worthwhile to pursue, and because he was the professional in our relationship, I think he might find it inappropriate to make the first move himself. How do you know if it’s too soon to put yourself out there again?

  • #113182

    Hello QuietGiraffe,
    I understand how you feel. I would suggest that you take things slowly and understand your own healing process, so you don’t repeat patterns. I also could tell you from self-experience that I struggled to fit in a relationship because I thought I wasn’t worth being with, or that guys will look at me just to spend the time, but for nothing serious as my ex- made me believe. I reflected these insecurities in my current relationship and it didn’t go well, also sometimes I didn’t believe we will stay that long and he realized it, also other moments I got angry from nowhere or frustrated at my previous relationship, other times I compared him with my ex, when he did a little mistake, and he had to stand those situations. He has been a very understanding guy, but I decided to give us a break because I realized I wasn’t ready and I haven’t healed properly. Then, we started talking again because, he understood I needed a break, and if he is the right one I guess he should understand that I am not ok now and later we can give it a try if we are both committed to it. Hope this helps and I wish you the best.

    • #114230
       Living Warrior 

      Hi, i apologise if this has already been said (i havnt had chance to read through the replies so apologises in advance.

      This was my issue not so long ago, I had no self-esteem or confidence and I would wonder why anyone would want to be with me! I started by taking things very slowly, coffee dates etc, getting my confidence up, but making it completely open to the fact I WAS NOT looking for serious. To my surprise, the guys I dated understood and they didn’t know the DV background, just that it was a messy break-up. I had trust issues and all sorts of intimacy issues but by being open with people, without actually saying DV because obviously you still need to be wary of “those type” of men. Coffee’s, movies, things you enjoy, those kinds of dates with out the emphasis on more really helped me, I had fun, I ALWAYS went with my gut and if something “felt off” I wouldn’t go on any more dates, just explaining in the nicest way possible that “I wasn’t ready” or whatever.
      You know you! my best advice is ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT- it may seem to you, that you are useless at judging people, or that you don’t have any power, but trust me. YOU moved on! YOU got out! YOU are still here today because you trusted YOUR GUT (doesnt matter how long it took, YOU DID IT)
      You are a very brave, courageous, strong woman, to be in a DV relationship, get out of it and even consider a new relationship.
      WELL DONE! enjoy the freedom 🙂
      Iv been with someone new for a while now, things are going really well. So maybe, just maybe there can be happiness after the abuse 🙂

  • #113206

    Thanks, tavarish. It’s good to hear that I’m not alone in feeling these things. I wouldn’t wan to bring my old baggage in and ruin something that could be wonderful, and at the same time I also don’t want to pass up an opportunity for something wonderful, so it’s a little confusing. But I know healing is the most important thing; I just wish I could make the proccess go faster so that I could start living my life fully again without all these inhibitions and fears.

  • #113212

    Hello Quietgirraffe,

    My feeling is that if you don’t try you may regret not doing so, maybe just message him and ask if he’d like to meet for coffee or something similarly low key. If he says yes, when you’re there maybe ask if he sees the possibility that you could be more than just acquaintances/friends if it feels right to do so. Ideally use your intuition on the day to judge if and how to put this.

    For sure any old wounds, either from past bad Romantic relationships or from Childhood do inevitably surface in new relationships but if you’re aware of that and keep grounded it’s worth a try.
    Everything is a learning opportunity.
    If he says no, then you’re not going to be wondering about what could have happened, and if as you say your professional relationship ended, it doesn’t matter because you don’t need to see him again.
    I think at the end of the day, we only regret the things we wish we tried to do but didn’t.
    One thing to avoid is talking any more about your previous abusive relationships unless he asks you specific questions, even then don’t dwell upon it and try to focus on what’s happening now and not the past.
    Wishing you good luck

  • #113338

    Hi QJ

    Speaking from experience I’d be wary of jumping into anything too soon. It’s really hard to trust our feelings when we’ve been abused. I think we also tend to see a new relationship as a sign that we’ve ‘got over’ everything. Personally I fixated on men who showed me any hint of interest, whether they were suitable or not. Basically I was desperate.

    I’m not saying you’re desperate. But you are putting yourself through a lot of angst. Why the hurry with this man? Why the time-pressure to do something right this minute? Keep in touch but keep it light. You’ll know soon enough if he’s interested. It should develop naturally, no stressing about who should make the first move.

  • #113884

    Thank you all for your replies, plenty of food for thought. After realizing that a big part of what got me into the mess with my ex was my inability to see him clearly and my lack of self-worth that made me accept such poor treatment, I think I probably need to get in better touch with myself before pursuing further romantic involvement. My overwhelming fear of rejection probably means that its too soon. I’ve decided its best to just focus on myself for now, and if this thing is actually right, maybe it’ll come back around at a better time.

  • #114259


    Hi, don’t know if this is a helpful comment but I’ve watched a ton of videos on YouTube about how dating and relationships are in 2020, as well as ones dealing with abusive partners and abusive family situations.

    Fascinating, as it’s moved on a lot from my early dating experiences.
    Also, For me knowledge is power, I’m a good communicator and I have been able to have relationships recently that haven’t followed an abusive pattern.

    As you say, you may need time to trust your instincts and judgement again, everyone is different!

  • #114393

    Hi G, it’s natural that entering into and being in a new relationship will inevitably stir up old memories and feelings from the past. You also sound aware that this and your low self esteem has the potential to sabortage this new relationship. It can be good to have a therapist close by during this confusing time to ensure you don’t make your past your next partner’s problem. It can be a confusing time and women often tend to withdraw into themselves, which pushes him away.

    Keep working on developing yourself, for you, for those around you and for your future partner/s too!

    Agree with the above, just take your time and really get to know this man, before you make any commitments that don’t feel absolutely right for you. If you are uncomfirtable with anthing adddress it; always stand in your truth – however hard this feels – by being open and honest. Don’t trust too soon, work out whether he is someone who will give you what you need and can be trustworthy first!

    I think trying to avoid rejection was one of the main reasons why I stayed with him for so long, to avoid feeling this, had I not tried to prevent this and keep it going, I truly think I would have left him a lot sooner and not endured the years of abuse and misery. Knowing this now has shown me this is no good reason to stay, and no reason to be anyone, nor to agree to things I am not comfortable with – just to avoid feeling this way. I’ve felt rejection and yes it hurt, but do you know what, I now know I can handle it, it’s actually just a feeling like all the rest and it does pass. If it doesn’t work out with him or someone else then it’s just the case you were not compatible for one another, or you felt you needed more, a stronger bond maybe, more love, respect and affection? This is a process isn’t it, where you are now finding out whether you both like and want to be together, no use being with someone who doesn’t want to be with you is it, or worse, someone who knows you will never leave and treats you how he likes and only uses you (as was the case for me), if he says thanks but no thanks down the line, just say you’ve enjoyed getting to know him and wish him well, then take the time you need to resolve how you feel until it’s time to let it go. Of course it may be you who feels he’s not for you too. It’s absolutely fine and needed for either one of you to say you’re lovely but not for me – isn’t it? FL.x

  • #114416

    Thanks fizzylem, I suppose I just need to go for things without expectation and let them be what they will be and not expect myself to be perfect. I’m still trying to decide whether ligjt dating will be helpful to my recovery at this point or if I should just be focusing on myself, but I’ll just keep working on trusting my instincts and know that wherever I decide I need to be, is fine!

  • #114419

    I don’t know how anyone ever dates again. Absolutely never again. Ever.

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