Dating After a Toxic Relationship – 3 Tips to Making Better Choices

So, you’ve gotten out of your toxic relationship. That is a very courageous and challenging step, so congratulations! Often, however, people come out of such a difficult situation wondering how to avoid falling into the same trap again. It is important to take good care of yourself and work to rebuild the self esteem that likely took a hit during your toxic relationship. Learning to trust your judgment again can take a little time, so be sure you are giving yourself the space and time to process what you need to process. A little work now can help ensure a happier dating life in the future. Here are 3 tips to making better choices when you do decide to date:

1. Take good care of yourself. The mind body connection is important, and supporting the health of one will benefit the other. It will also send your mind the message that you are worthy of care and attention – which is how you want future dates to treat you. Eat healthy foods, avoiding highly processed choices, and take vitamins and supplements as needed. A naturopath can give you a personally tailored supplement plan. Fish oil and a food based multivitamin are a good start for many people. Exercise regularly as your doctor recommends.

2. Spend time on yourself. Take a close look at what happened in your toxic relationship and what your part was in it. This is not an exercise to beat yourself up, but to understand what your patterns are, if any, so you can break them. A counselor can be of great help if you feel overwhelmed and lost in this process. Begin paying close attention to your red flag instincts, noting how your body reacts physically to different people and situations. Do you notice when you tense up or get anxious around some people, but feel relaxed and comfortable with others? Develop your awareness of this feeling. Ask yourself if nervousness on a date is your own performance anxiety, or whether your body is warning you of potential harm.

3. Spend time with friends and family. Not only will this boost your self esteem by counteracting the negative messages of your toxic ex, it will fill your social calendar so you are not “too available”, or desperate for company, when an opportunity for a date comes around. The best relationships arise between two people who have fulfilling, whole lives, and who want to share it with another.

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