Dating after narcissistic abuse
While on a date last night and as we watched our movie – I noticed myself drifting into analysis; common after narcissistic abuse, because we don’t want to miss any “clues.”
Rather than focus on what was or wasn’t present in this date, I’d like to share some realizations that showed me that Im earning my trust back with myself and am serious when I say, I would rather BE ALONE than ever go through an abusive relationship like I had with the narcissist.
1. Going slow.
By slow I mean, we’ve been getting to know eachother for 2 months straight and I still don’t feel that I want to rush into anything physical; sex, kissing, etc. Nothing more than a little hand holding. Im no prude by any stretch of the imagination, so it’s not THAT. Rather, I VALUE MY INTIMACY; I dont want to share it with just ANYONE. The guy is going to have to be special; mean something to me and be worthy of receiving me. Not only that, the evil soul tie that the narcissist had over me was not an easy demonic influence to wash myself of. I dont want to create another bond like that again, unless its someone with LIGHT running through their veins.
You know, actually THINKING about things. Focusing on who the person IS, taking my ego out of it & seeing what EXISTS. Evaluating this persons behavior over time to determine if they are worthy of my trust. Are they consistent? Do they respect my boundaries? Do they show / present ANY traits of narcissism; if so, how much? Are they able to express feelings? Can they tolerate differences? (maturity) Is their word honest & reliable? Are they genuine, generous and kind for the sake of being kind as opposed to “faking it”. What’s their focus? Do they get to know me for who I am? Are they projecting any baggage or ideals onto me? Are they focused on sex or intimacy?
Knowing what I am responsible for and differentiating my feelings, thoughts, actions and words from his feelings, thoughts, actions and words. Maintaining two very separate identities. Enjoying that we aren’t linked at the hip – that we each have separate, busy lives & careers. Not taking anything personally. Not mind reading. Not being responsible for someone else’s moods. Not taking the bait to save or rescue. Caring for someone with considering myself and being sure that my need for reciprocity is met.
Here’s why I can apply the above 3 actions to my new dating life, I LOVE MYSELF. Not the show boaty, ego based, “love myself” that our world is on steroids over right now- the real kind where what I say about being treated with respect or wanting a healthy relationship is met with the ACTIONS that show I really DO love myself and believe I deserve healthy love.
That’s no easy feat for a former target of a narcissist. My inner voice reflects my own new parenting style that’s realistic and unconditionally loving based on WHO I AM, not what I look like, what my sex is like, or how I make someone else feel. My worth is INTERNAL; an inside job. I look to nurture and protect myself and my strengths. I dont just give them away for free in the hopes that someone (anyone) will like me. If they don’t like me, well that’s their opinion. I just know not to waste my resources spending time around those people.
Dating is no longer for me – some missing piece of my life. I have LOVE. I AM LOVE. I dont go searching for love. I accept dates. I apply the above actions and see what sticks, naturally. That’s QUITE ENOUGH FOR ME.