“In the three years since leaving my narcissist ex-husband, dating again after narcissistic abuse has been a process of learning and unlearning—learning about personality disorders, domestic violence, the legal system; unlearning all the lies that made up the bedrock of my marriage; learning to feel valuable again; unlearning my pattern of placing blind trust in strangers; learning that, despite my original Pollyanna view of the world, sometimes people are simply not good.” Chaya Beyla Dating After a Narcissist
I’ve been wondering if I was ready to date again since the summer. I have, after all, done a lot of work on myself and becoming my own person. After finishing a 21 day meditation series on Desire and Destiny, I decided it was time.
Being a mom of two who works from home, I don’t get out much. Online dating really seemed like the only option. I started out by writing down some boundaries for myself:
- Keep notifications turned off
- Only talk to guys when you want to
- Take breaks when you need to
- If someone is bothering you, say bye and block them
- Always meet in public
- Have coffee first
- Be straightforward and honest after meeting them
- No meeting the kids or in depth conversations about them
And deal breakers for the men:
- Addiction of any kind
- Disrespecting/pushing my boundaries
- Diminishing/devaluing behavior
- Any NPD Checklist Items
- Breaks commitments/shows up late
I feel pretty naive thinking this would be enough to get me off on the right foot. There are a hundreds of small rejections along the way. And the feelings! Even the good ones make me uncomfortable. Old patterns die hard, painful deaths.
Each date comes with lessons about myself, but I don’t know if it’s worth it.