Dating After Assault

I should probably title this “lack of dating,” because right now, I just don’t think it’s possible. I’ve slowly been feeling better since my assault – I’ve started reopening up to having friends of the opposite sex, I’m starting to not constantly be upset and stressed, and I feel like the incident is moving to the back of my mind. Trust is everything, and after my assault, I stopped giving it out. However, I was starting to feel like maybe some people were worth trusting. I honestly thought I was ready to date again.

Cue Mr. Perfect – We met right around my assault in a time where I was still very vulnerable, learning about healing. He came into my life as a friend, which was something I was learning to be okay with. My friends thought we were like a Nicholas Sparks romance coming to real life. He was there for me during the dark times, and tried to bring out the light in me. He was a gentleman – he took things slow, he never pressured me into anything, and understood that I wasn’t ready to jump into anything physically. He took me out on what should have been the most romantic date that I’ve ever been on – we went to a fancy Italian restaurant, we went mini golfing where I won (I think I earned my victory but he claimed otherwise,) and afterwards stared out at the stars and just talked.

The only problem? I couldn’t feel anything other than nauseous. Though we talked, I never let him in. I felt like I had a wall blocking me from discussing anything important in my life. He wanted to know about my life, my family, likes and dislikes…all the normal things. He didn’t press me to talk about my assault. The topics are all so minute and unimportant in the grand scheme of life, yet I couldn’t open up. I remember coming home after a date and crying because of how hopeless I felt. I wanted to trust him, yet I couldn’t…Even worse was the physical – acts as simple as hand holding and him putting his arm around me made me nauseous where I would have to pull away from him. I felt repulsed by these acts that I once enjoyed, further upsetting me. I couldn’t trust him mentally or physically, and that was the end. He cared about me too much, and I couldn’t reciprocate it. I tried. I wanted it to work. I just couldn’t do it. The worst part of it all is that I was (and maybe a part of me still is) genuinely upset that it couldn’t work.

I thought I was ready to date again, and I was wrong. The walls are up, stronger than ever, and I don’t think they’re going to come down for a while. Maybe Mr. Perfect wasn’t so perfect and wasn’t the right guy. I’m not sure if it was him or me – and I don’t think I’m ready to find out. I don’t want to think of myself as damaged and unable to find love. Those thoughts are flying through my mind every day, and I’m just hoping they aren’t true.

Maybe one day I’ll meet someone who I want to be with. Maybe not. Will I ever have a healthy relationship again? I’m just lost, but hopefully one day the path becomes clear.

Author

Heather

Heather

Hi! I'm Heather, a blogger here on When You're Ready.org Sexual assault is something extremely personal and important to me, and I’m trying to use my own experiences with it to help others deal with theirs. No one should feel alone in his or her experiences. While I can’t stop these things from happening, hopefully spreading knowledge will help people learn how to handle sexual assault. I want the world to be a place where people feel safe to talk about their experiences to ensure they can heal. Keep talking, Keep sharing. When You're Ready, I'll be here.

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