Dating After Narcissistic Abuse

Are you interested in dating after narcissistic abuse? Then this guide is for you!

Once you’ve healed from narcissistic abuse, there will most likely come a time when you’d like to begin dating again.

You probably have many questions, such as if you’re ready to date again, if you can trust someone again, and if anyone will ever truly love you for who you are.

Many of your questions can be traced back to the abuse you incurred from your relationship with a narcissist, leaving you with shattered self-esteem.

First, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time before you start dating again.

Even if you’re used to jumping straight into a new relationship after ending a previous one, the narcissistic relationship is different.

1. Give yourself time to heal

A relationship with a narcissist makes you used to a dangerous “norm.” You could easily be lured into the same negative and abusive relationship types.

Even if you look for something different than the narcissist play style, your self-esteem may be so low that you cling to the first person that gives you positive attention.

This can lead to the development of another bad relationship, and you don’t need that.

Instead, you need to take some time to be alone. You’ll want to learn about narcissism and the signs to be aware of.

You need to be able to forgive yourself for falling for the narcissist. Remember, narcissists, are skilled at detecting, luring, and hooking up new prey.

You also need to forgive yourself for staying in an abusive relationship as long as you did.

Take this time to discover areas within yourself that need strengthening so that you’re happy with yourself as a person.

On top of that, you’ll want to learn who you are as a person. Who are you now? Who do you want to be?

Asking yourself these questions will help you to understand the areas where you need to grow to get past the narcissistic abuse to help you avoid another similar relationship in the future.

Additionally, when you strive to become who you want to be, you’re less likely to change yourself just to please someone else. This will help you to identify a narcissist in earlier stages better.

2. Be sure you’re over the narcissist

Before you begin dating again, you must be completely over the narcissist and the past relationship.

If you still have strong feelings, positive or negative, for the narcissist, you’re probably not ready to begin dating again.

At this point, you may be lonely or wish you had a significant other to help you through your recovery. However, this is something you need to do on your own.

It’s easy to fall for the same type of relationship because things were so wonderful initially.

Additionally, you won’t feel like you have to talk to a potential partner about the narcissistic abuse right from the start.

Although it’s a part of your past, you won’t feel like you have to discuss this issue immediately.

Once you have no feelings either way about the narcissist and the harm he or she caused you, meaning that you’re pretty neutral, you’re better prepared to seek a healthy relationship.

3. Start slowly

Don’t rush into a relationship. You may be extremely excited to move forward on your new journey, but it’s important to take your time and let things flow naturally.

Remember, the narcissist wanted to rush into a relationship. He or she was so charming and had you believe that the two of you were perfect and meant to be together.

It takes time to get to know another person truly. Nearly everyone puts their best face on a relationship’s fresh stages.

As time passes, people relax more and let their true selves show more and more. This is when you’ll be able to see what your next potential partner is really like.

If your potential dating partner wants to move quickly, ask yourself why. Someone comfortable with themselves will be willing to take things more slowly.

In the same way, don’t rush someone else into a relationship. Don’t question if they say they’re not ready for a commitment.

They may want to take things slowly as well.

4. Know the red flags

Don’t accept things that disturb you. When you were with the narcissist, you most likely overlooked some red flags because the positives surely outweighed the negatives, at least at first.

During your healing time, you should take the time to learn the signs that show someone is a narcissist or may become abusive to you in any way.

Learn to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore this.

It’s okay to move slowly into a relationship. It’s also perfectly fine to stop seeing someone who makes you uncomfortable, even if it’s only a seemingly small issue.

5. Trust is earned

Although you may be the type of person to trust others until they wrong you, this mindset can set you up for a fail.

While you don’t want to mistrust everyone you meet instantly, there’s nothing wrong with waiting to see what new people you become involved with are like.

This is also another good reason to take things slowly. It will give you a chance to see your potential dating partner in a variety of situations.

If, at any point, this person seems to be untrustworthy, take that as a cue to leave.

On the other hand, you can slowly build your trust with this person over time as they show you what they’re like.

6. Don’t settle

This might be difficult if you’re not completely confident in yourself, but you don’t have to get into a serious relationship with the first person you begin to date.

You’ve been through a lot. Take time to enjoy the beginning stages of getting to know another person.

Additionally, you don’t have the get right into an exclusive relationship.

Perhaps you want to enjoy some companionship with several different prospective suitors before making a choice if you choose at all.

If you’ve taken enough time to heal and grow into the person you want to be, you won’t settle for more than what you deserve.

Understand what traits are important to you in a partner and the smaller things that may not bother you one way or another.

So be it if you have to list exactly what you want in a partner.

Just be sure to review that list repeatedly to verify what’s truly important and what you’re willing to negotiate.

7. Keep reality and fantasy separate

Not every person you meet will be a good fit for you. even if you feel great chemistry, the other person may not. Accept this and move on.

If you try to cling to a person who isn’t ready or who simply isn’t that into you, you risk becoming the person you were, which could become a magnet for narcissists.

Although a fairy-tale romance can seem appealing, it’s just not realistic.

Take an objective look at the interactions between you and your dates to keep yourself focused and your feet on the ground to avoid being swept into another bad relationship.

8. Let actions speak louder than words

Remember all the promises made by the narcissist and how these words never panned out into real action. This will help keep you from making similar mistakes.

Keep a careful eye on what your potential suitor does compare to what he or she says. If these don’t match, it’s time to call it quits.

This is not one of those small things that can be overlooked.

Someone who truly cares about you will do what they say.

Be yourself

Authenticity is of utmost importance in your entire life, including when it comes to dating. Don’t try to seem a certain way that you think will be attractive to another person if that’s not what you’re truly like.

For example, you don’t want to come across as low maintenance to impress someone if you actually require more attention and care.

Potential suitors may be able to see through this or find something off about you that they can’t put their fingers on.

Additionally, you value yourself and know your worth when you’re authentic. This will help you to weed out less-than-worthy suitors.

Be your true self, and the right person will be attracted.

Can a gifted therapist help you too?

If you struggle with anxiety, depression, high-stress levels, relationship issues, or other specific challenges, one-on-one support from a therapist can help a lot.

You don’t need to go through this alone. There’s no shame in getting help!

Thousands of people get tailor-made support from a kind, empathetic, helpful therapist when faced with difficult life situations.

I recommend BetterHelp, which is a sponsor of Personality Unleashed.

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Plus, you can talk to your therapist however you feel comfortable, whether through video, phone, or messaging.

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