7 Signs You’re Ready to Date Again After Abuse

7 Signs You’re Ready to Date Again After Abuse 7 signs you’re ready to date again after abuse
Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

Dating after being in an abusive relationship is not an easy thing to do. It is scary and intimidating to even think about it as we still remember how we were scammed and manipulated by our past partners. The relationship left us in a dark path of hopelessness, pessimism, fear, despair, depression, and anxiety, so thinking about getting ourselves into another relationship can be quite disturbing.

Any abusive relationship survivor can tell you how overwhelming it is to even think of being with someone else after the mind games and manipulation they’ve been put through in the past. But as we all know, humans are social beings, and we crave that connection.

That’s why the idea of being with someone will always be hanging in there. Of course, it is highly recommended to stay single for some time after leaving an abusive relationship so that you can allow yourself the time and space to heal from the past traumas and rediscover your authentic self.


Jumping into a relationship or a situationship after being in an abusive relationship can be a dangerous thing, and 9 out of 10 times, it mostly turns out to be another abusive cycle. So, how do you know you’re ready to date and find love again after leaving an abusive relationship? This article is going to share some insights on that.

  1. You have forgiven yourself for what happened in the past.

After leaving that relationship, you will find it hard to forgive yourself because you will be constantly thinking of the tortures you put yourself through. This leads to feelings of anger and resentment towards yourself. You will also feel awful and embarrassed because of what you put yourself through.

You will know you’re ready to date when you’ve begun to be more compassionate with yourself and deeply understand that you are not a mistake. You’ve set yourself free from the deep regret and shame coming from what happened to you in the past. In short, you’ve made amends with the past ‘you’ that went through those tough times and you understand that you were just duped by someone who mirrored your deep desires.

2. You’re firm with your boundaries and know when to say No.

Boundaries outline what you are comfortable with, how you expect others to treat you, and vice versa. Having healthy boundaries means that you can express yourself authentically, and you know what you stand for. Abusive relationships begin when toxic people breach those boundaries. They will constantly poke and step on those boundaries if you let them do it. You will know you’re ready to date if you deeply understand how you deserve to be treated and know what you can’t tolerate from anyone.

Knowledge of these boundaries is not enough, though, as you also need to be the kind of person who can say ‘NO’ or walk away when someone constantly steps on those boundaries. If you get to the point where you can say ‘NO’ with ease even if it makes other people uncomfortable, it simply means that you can stand up for yourself and understand you deserve respect and a better life.


3. You no longer feel broken by the past relationship.

An abusive relationship leaves someone feeling broken and emotionally distressed. You experience deep feelings of despair and hopelessness, which are just by-products of being in that manipulative situation. The feelings do fade and heal with time when you work on yourself.

Trying to date in this kind of state is a recipe for disaster as you will probably be desperate and looking for a quick fix to cover your wounds. It will also mean that you’re carrying the past relationship to a new relationship, and this complicates things more as you will not be fully present in the relationship. It’s normal to carry some negative experiences with you and be watchful about creating new relationships.

Flashes of past relationship trauma do linger for a long time, and that’s okay, but when they override most of your thoughts and your present life, then you’re not ready to date. Instead, you should first heal and come to terms with your past.

You will know you’re ready to date when your past relationship does have little or no impact on your decisions and your present life as a whole. You understand what happened, happened, and it does not have to have an effect on the actions you take presently.

4. You now understand you are your own top priority.

You will know you’re ready to date again if you put your own self-care in front of everything else. This is the point where you prioritize your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

Survivors of abusive relationships normally neglect their own needs and instead prioritize the needs of their toxic partners or other people. The relationship may also drive someone to indulge in unhealthy habits just as an escape from the painful experiences of the abuse.

Your readiness to date will show up when you deeply understand that you will always come first and no one can take you away from it. You see and treat yourself as being worthy of your love and care by becoming a little self-centered with your needs.

5. You’re able to Trust Again.

An abusive relationship ruins someone’s ability to trust as they’ve been betrayed by those people who they fully trusted and shared their lives with. Abuse leads to mistrust in your own judgments and decisions as well as in other people’s.

Trust begins with regaining trust in yourself. As I said in a previous article, trust is foundational for the growth of any relationship. When you get to the point where you can be comfortable opening up and being vulnerable with someone else, then you’re ready to date.

It will also mean that you trust your own instincts and you can choose to invest in a prospective relationship or pull the plug if you feel it’s not the right relationship for you.

6. You can easily identify Red Flags and call out any Toxic Behavior.

Another important factor is if you now understand the red flags to watch out for in any relationship. Once you know the red flags, it means you can avoid those people who display toxic behavior.

Red flags are just telltale signs that the relationship you’re about to invest in will turn out to be abusive, and there’s no need to be attached to it. Some red flags may, of course, be hard to identify, but as a general rule of thumb, if you have butterflies in your stomach or your intuition keeps telling you something feels off, then you better trust it.

This point on red flags has another side to it: you should not only be able to identify the red flags but also be able to call them out and not rationalize any abusive behavior. Your readiness to date will be determined by your ability to walk away and never look back once you identify the red flags. By doing so, it will keep you away from being enmeshed in another abusive situation.

7. You understand who you are and feel whole again.

A narcissistic relationship distorts your sense of reality and makes you forget what you love and who you are at the core. The relationship has even made you cast aside your hobbies and interests in life. You no longer realize your worth, and you may feel incomplete and that something has been taken away from your life.

An abusive relationship strips you of your personal preferences, opinions, beliefs, and values. You will know you’re ready to date again if you’ve started to rediscover your true worth and deeply understand you’re a whole being who doesn’t need constant validation from other people to prove their value.

This means that you’re assertive, confident in your ability, and you can voice your own opinions. It’s the point where you can stand for yourself without crutches. When you get to the point where you can firmly stand on your feet, understand your likes and dislikes, understand your talents and hobbies, then it means you’re ready to jump into a new relationship.


Dating after leaving any abusive relationship is not easy, and the signs I’ve outlined above will just help you avoid being entangled in another manipulative dynamic. One thing to note is that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to knowing your 100% readiness to date.

The best determinant is for you to be honest with yourself and deeply look into yourself to know the ‘Why’ you want a new relationship or if you’re truly ready to take a ‘gamble’ with another partner.

It’s good to understand that you’re worthy of love and respect, and no abusive behavior should be rationalized or watered down so that you can impress other people or have a false sense that you’re in a ‘healthy relationship’ just like everyone else.

The best relationship is the relationship we have with ourselves. If you are ready to date, I wish you all the best and date on your own terms.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns (in less than 2 months) , then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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