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“I need to feel like I can throw the brakes on something or that I will be heard if I say I’m uncomfortable,” says a survivor. “There’s no gray area…and don’t feel bad because you’re saying no.” Survivors may have specific needs to deal with triggers from the past that seem simple but are critical for safety.
Subsequent relationships have been mixed at best, from the partner who got mad when I froze during sex, to the dates when I could barely squeak out what my job title is because I was so petrified.
With that in mind, here are seven tips for dating a survivor.
Because trauma is so common, it’s important to be educated about how it affects people. Intimate relationships can produce intense trauma reactions because these situations often cause the strongest reminders of a harmful past, and the body and brain react based on these past memories.
Disclosing past assault or abuse can be one of the hardest moments in a relationship, and also one of the most critical.
It’s important a survivor has the space to share their story when and how they want.