If you've been in an abusive relationship, dating again can be scary. You're tired of being lonely, but you're afraid of ending up with another abuser. It is normal for women to have these fears. Here are some tips to make the dating scene easier for you:
The most important point that I can make is to wait before you date. It's best to wait at least six months to a year so you can recover from the past abuse and get grounded before you find someone new. The reason for this is when you're just out of an abusive relationship, there's much stress and mixed emotions going on, and you're in no state of mind for dealing with another relationship. Relationships take a lot of time and energy to maintain. When you leave an abusive relationship, your focus and energy should be on getting your life together, not another man.
You may feel lonely at the time, but it's not smart to fill that loneliness with another man right away. Your judgment will be clouded due to the stress you're under, and you may make another poor choice. Wait until you have your head on straight before you make any major decisions like whom to date.
Now may also be a good time to speak with a therapist about your past abuse. A therapist can help you work through the trauma you've experienced, teach you better coping skills, and help you learn how to choose a better mate in the future.
Once you've decided that you're ready to date, start going to social functions where you can meet men. Church, special interest groups, and barbecues are good places to meet and socialize with eligible bachelors. Online venues such as dating sites and social networking sites can open the doors for you to meet people that you wouldn't meet otherwise. Avoid bars, unless you want an alcoholic for your next boyfriend.
When you start dating someone, take it slow. Don't get too serious when you don't know him that well. In the beginning, you won't know what you're getting into. Take time to get to know him first, and then decide whether to continue the relationship, end it, or just be friends. Give it at least three months before you begin to get serious.
Watch out for red flags, such as financial irresponsibility, substance abuse, and controlling or erratic behavior. If you see red flags, it's time to get out. The sooner you end the relationship, the easier it will be. If you hang on, even after you know that he's not the right one, breaking up with him will be harder to do. Don't stay with someone who isn't right for you, just to have a mate. You deserve a man who is responsible, kind, and respectful.
Christine Davis is an author who owns a blog about relationship abuse. Visit her blog at http://www.celebrateyourfreedom.com