How to Date After Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Now that you have successfully left your nasty ex (congratulations!), it is time to move on with confidence and wisdom.


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    Enjoy the feeling of being free. Do all the things they said you couldn't. Celebrate your one week, one month, two month, three month, six month, one year anniversary with family and friends; they will be so happy to have you back! While you are out make sure to meet people, not just the opposite sex, but everyone. If you have kids, make them your focus and go to parks and school functions and such; it is important for the kids to know that you are there and it will give you a boost and a feeling of ownership in your new life.
    • Hint: Don't tell new people about your recent break up. Besides being annoying, this is your test for your new friends. Let them know that you have a new leash on life, but don't tell them why. If they ask, tell them you'd rather not talk about it and that it doesn't matter because you have moved past it. If they keep asking, pressure you, or convince you otherwise, then run away and don't look back––the pestering indicates that they have control issues!
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    Learn to be happy on your own. Now that you have new friends and a new life you have something to work with. Before you can have any type of healthy romantic relationship, you need to be committed to being alone. Be happy having friends (and going to school plays and baseball games if you have kids). You need to realize all of the benefits of being alone and learn to love them. The idea of giving up great things like using the bathroom with the door open, or going to the store, or two-tracking without anyone wondering where you are, has to be mortifying. Get a twin size bed and love all the bedroom space you have for dancing in your underwear. Once the idea of having someone barge into your new way of life makes you cringe, you are ready to start dating.
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    Be careful when dating, stay away from stalkers, sweet talkers, and people that are "broken". This sounds disheartening, but they have their own journey to figure out and theirs is not the same as yours was. If you try to guide them or lead them to happiness, you will be doing more harm than good. They need to find their way and you need to continue on yours.
    • Don't be picky with looks, hobbies, style, car preference, etc. Say yes to new experiences and learn to listen to your dates stories.
    • Remember too date for fun, not for a relationship (because the idea of a relationship should terrify you). Make sure that your dates know that you are only looking for fun and new experiences and are not looking for commitment yet.
    • Hint: Always look for red flags and deal breakers. If the person is using absolutes (for example, "I will never drive an electric car/I only use name brand/it's all or nothing") then they are either being very fake or they are way too self-absorbed.
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    Once you are content with occasional dates, still loving the single life, enjoying all your time with your family, all your advancements at work, and freedom to decorate (or not decorate) as you see fit, it is possible that you will find somebody that you won't want to be away from.
    • If you have kids, be careful, if they want to jump into a family role or meet your kids before you are comfortable, then they are being selfish and immature and are not in a position to fill a parenting role. When you two finally talk about your partner's role with your kids, it should be only mildly awkward and definitely a little uncomfortable. They should never be jealous of your time with your kids, family, or work. Your new partner should be supportive, open, and honest; as you should be with them as well.


  • Do not punish your new love for the sins of your ex!


  • Two things people do when they leave an abuser 1. find a new abuser - or- 2. become an abuser. Make sure not to do these two things and make sure that your new partner isn't either. If either of you are filling one of these roles, it is time to walk away.

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Categories: Pages Needing Attention | Domestic Violence | Dating