Dating : Advice needed; dating someone who’s been badly abused

Dating : Advice needed; dating someone who’s been badly abused

So I’ve been seeing this girl for a few weeks (nothing exclusive) and at first things were fun and great. We were talking (texting) for about 2 weeks before our first date which was 3 weeks ago now.

The dates have become progressively a little more awkward. Conversations are a little stale, but there are the occasional sparkle moments that made me so attracted to her in the first place. We haven’t had sex yet because I’m trying to be considerate of her past with severe sexual and physical abuse and trying to let her take the lead, but she hasn’t yet. We only kiss when I initiate and I’m at a loss of what to do or think.

She never texts first and barely responds to my texts anymore (like once a day if at all) but still agrees to go on dates. I have no idea what to make of that. We’re going out again over the weekend and I’m thinking that I should just take the lead instead. Maybe she’s not as “scarred” of sex as I think she is and she’s waiting for me to be assertive.

So my question is: Is she losing interest or is she waiting for me to be assertive?

Any perspective from women who’ve been sexually abused would be helpful. Any advice in general would be helpful.

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What do you think?

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  1. She aint ready bro, she wants to be from what you say but she may not know how to be vulnerable at this time. You cant save her either. She’ll face the abuse when she’s ready with whom she’s ready. I would bet she has a lot of unresolved emotions if she’s shutting you out. You can ask questions, that’s about it. This isn’t something wrong with you, I understand you care about her.

    You could just ask her « what are we, what do you want between us? ».

    This gives a lot of information.

    From an abusee perspective, I faced a lot of abuse from verbal to maiming and have done things in this life that lead to others being maimed or killed (military) and I can tell you that traumatic events are a tricky thing. It’s not about taking the feeling of the abuse away, fixing it or « making it right » but being able to feel that the negative emotions behind it are normal. It’s hard to get to that point for some people, sometimes it takes another abused person for that to feel normal because a sense of « what’s normal’ may be lost. I distanced myself from people who didn’t face abuse for a long time and I still struggle relating with them. The way they see the world is different then I do, there are a lot of threats out there that people are blind too until it happens to them (this is the « it’ll never happen to me mentality » a lot of people have). I didn’t want to shut them out but I did until I learned how to address that and I was comfortable in understanding how I felt. I needed stability of mind, spirit and soul. This is where she may be. I want you to know it sounds like it isn’t anything wrong with you. She’s most likely putting her emotions together.

    Also, lot of positive statements helps calm down someone thats been abused (this weather is amazing! I like xyz food we had! I’m looking forward to going to xyz with you! I’m excited!) Don’t ignore the negatives though, those are just as important because she feels what she feels.

  2. Before I go into it, I think it’s important to really make sure you like her and if you are having problems with just holding a conversation maybe reconsider a couple things, this kind of situation takes work.

    So this is a hard one to read. I am a woman who has been through the same types of abuse. I can only give you my perspective and how my abuse influenced the way I date. I still hope for the guy to take the lead in the relationship and that’s because it’s the only way I can tell the guy is interested. I don’t text first or call unless I am responding. It comes from a deep insecurity of feeling unwanted. This sounds really messed up but when a guy is pursuing me it makes me feel valued. I only do this in a relationship setting and yes I understand it’s unhealthy and probably unfair. On the other hand it shows me the man can be a leader, he is confident in his own decisions and it lets me see what he is into. Even though I’m sitting back, I’m also watching for any signs that this guy is crazy or will be violent in any way. It’s kind of like a big test. Later in relationships it becomes a problem but those who have been sensitive to my issues have been able to work with me.
    When it comes to sex, it’s complicated. Again I like the man to be more dominate. This can be a hard situation because when I was younger I let men take advantage of me because I couldn’t gauge my comfort level since I never had the opportunity to understand nor develop it. I used to feel like I owed men sex after a date and it hurt me a lot every time. Now that I am older this isn’t a problem anymore. But like I said I still like it for the man to lead. If you want to test her to see if she is comfortable telling you ‘no,’ that’s the best place to start. You need to find out is she has a grip on her comfort gauge. Do it with things you might have talked about in the past. Find out her least favorite drink, and the next date ask her if you can order it for her. If she can’t say ‘no’ she isn’t ready. If she can, you still need to gauge her on more serious stuff but go slow. Again go slow. Don’t rush her into sex. If it takes a few months I’m sure you she will appreciate you and it could only benefit the relationship. Also don’t be afraid to talk about it. If she has already told you about her abuse, that’s a huge leap of trust. Plus even though her messages are short, she is still contacting you. If she’s anything like me she might not want to get attached to soon because it can be torture if you decide it doesn’t work for you.

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