A survivor of domestic violence will always be on high alert for any potential repeat offenders.
To take the huge step of dating again takes incredible courage on her part.
She will be looking for a man who is going to be there for her, but also give her the freedom to be who she wants to be, remember that was stripped away from her.
She will be looking for a man who not only says he loves her but can prove it too.
Words are empty when there is nothing backing it up.
If you want to date her then it’s down to you to accept the challenging times ahead.
She can’t run away from her past.
She can’t forget her past even if she wanted to.
That was an awful period for her, she is healing from it, but don’t expect her to forget it, that just isn’t going to happen, so whatever you do, don’t tell her to forget it, as to do so will appear to be minimizing what happened to her and that will be hurtful.
She is getting stronger every day, it was a tough lesson in life, but now she will not settle for anything less than she deserves. Embrace her imperfections, work with her in building a good life with a future, make her feel loved, if you can’t do that are you even the right man for her?
Physical contact is not easy for her.
Touch is the most intimate thing between two people.
You need to understand that her partner may have been physically abusive to her and she suffered greatly because of that.
Touch without warning or consent could trigger so many memories for her and may permanently damage any trust or building of your relationship.
Talk this through with her before instigating any bodily contact, even hand-holding, put the ball firmly in her court, telling her you will wait until she is ready will go a long way.
Tell her you are leaving it down to her to make the first move, that will relieve any pressure she may be feeling regarding intimacy.
She feels empty and lost.
She may be having feelings of she can’t even trust herself.
She may even still be blaming herself for what happened.
This may cause her to feel lost in herself as a person, as the woman she was before all this is gone.
She needs you to be patient.
Encourage her to talk about the past with you, and yes it will be hard to hear what a man did to this woman you have feelings for, but it will go a long way to building trust if she knows she can confide in you with no judgment being given.
She may not give all the details in the beginning, it is natural to hold back.
Think how you would feel if the person you loved, hit you and belittled you.
That is what she is dealing with as she goes through recovery.
She needs your support.
She doesn’t need you to feel sorry for her over what happened. She needs to hear how brave and strong she is for getting as far as she has.
Don’t talk to her as a victim.
Talk with her as a survivor.
She deserves better and she knows it.
She has survived more vile shit that you can even begin to imagine. What she needs now is someone who will improve her life and grow with her.
She knows first hand what it is like to be beaten to the point of emotional death, can you even imagine what that is like?
She is recovering, she is rebuilding from the soul upwards.
She knows her worth.
Just you make sure you are worthy of her before getting in too deep.