How to Date a Guy Who Was Hurt in a Past Relationship
Most of us have been hurt in the past, and the pain you experience from the loss of a romantic relationship can run deep. For some, the pain can impact on their current and future happiness, but if you accept how you feel and live through the situation rather than using tactics to numb your feelings such as drinking too much alcohol, you can become much stronger from the experience. It does not necessarily mean you're "emotionally damaged" and cannot really love someone else in a new relationship.
Yes, you are "risking" getting hurt again with a new person, and trust needs time to develop, but to move forward, you will need to let go.
When you've experienced pain from the loss of a loved one, you can develop knowledge and a more in-depth understanding of others who are going through a similar experience; you can see they've been emotionally wounded. If you don't know how to date a guy who has been hurt in a past relationship and had a hard time (and you really/really like him), this post will support you to "tap into" your skills so you can make a conscious choice as to whether or not this guy is right for you!
Knowing how to date a guy who's been hurt in a past relationship will help you to establish if:
You're trying to rescue and fix your date. Are you genuinely attracted to your date or do you want to "rescue" him?
Your date really a "Victim" or a "Tin Man" (see blow for more information) and he would demonstrate these behaviors regardless of him being hurt in the past, or
There is a potential relationship for the two of you, long-term!
If your date is currently experiencing grief and loss over a past relationship, you no doubt will have some understanding of how he feels. Your date's feelings can stir up issues for you because when you connect with someone on an intimate level, you can experience triggers and emotions due to your own unresolved issues and baggage from the past.
You may deem and label your date emotionally damaged, or a "damaged man." Yes, trust may take time for your date to move past his current feelings, but if you see that he's a good man, and there "is" potential for a long-term relationship, why walk away and date another person?
If you are triggered, what past relationship of yours have you not resolved?
What past relationship needs closure?
The deeper your connection and intimacy with your date, the more likely they are going to trigger something in you that has not healed.
If you have unresolved issues from a previous relationship and still "carry a torch" for an ex-partner, or you're still angry the way your relationship ended, this can cause you to react in different ways due to your feelings. Maybe it makes you question how much you trust your date. This doubt is "projection." You are projection your unresolved issues and feelings on to your date due to your own unresolved issues.
An easy way to remember "projection" is—"project I On" another.
When you don't trust your date, and they appear to have difficulties letting you in (emotionally) because of their past wounds, this is a recipe for disaster.
Just imagine it.
Your date is struggling to open up to you. They find it difficult to be vulnerable and tell you how he's feeling because of his past relationship, and you dismiss his feelings. You ignore him and refuse to let him in emotionally because you don't trust him; it's just not going to work.
If you are triggered by your date, it's because you have something to resolve and heal within you.
Take this opportunity of discovering how to date a guy who's been hurt in the past, to reflect on your unresolved issues.
- You are "baggage free" (okay, not quite because we've all got something to work on)
- You have feelings for your date
- You see potential in the relationship
- Your date respects your boundaries
- Your date meets ALL of your relationship requirements
- This is the only red flag you can see (so far). Click the button below if you want to get a copy of your free downloadable red flags checklist.
You can come from a place that is:
- Without attachment to the outcome
When you are free from judgment, and can come from a loving and appreciative place for your date, without passing judgment on his feelings, thoughts, and behavior, the more loving energy your date will receive from you. You will be able to open up opportunities for your date to develop trust in you and the relationship. He will see he has a loyal and supportive date and he can release his past.
On the other hand, if you are dismissive of your date's feelings, take his behavior personally and criticize him, your date will find it more difficult to open up and trust you. If the situation was the other way around, would you want to open up and share your feelings with someone who is critical and/or dismissive?
We all have different ways of dealing with issues and feelings. Just because you might want to talk about how you feel and tell twenty different people the same story over and over again, it does not mean that your date is the same.
Your date may in fact, be the total opposite of you, which can often be the case; "opposites attract."
Your date may:
- withdraw and emotionally shut you out (the Tin Man), or
- blame his ex-partner (even you) for how he feels and his situation (the Victim), or
- become anxious you will leave him too (the Clingy Guy), or
- ignore his feelings and focus on you supporting you so you don't leave/hurt him (the Knight in Shining Armor), or
- take his frustrations out on you and try to control you (the Sergeant Major).
There is no right way or wrong way for a person to overcome their past, but knowing how to date a guy who's been hurt in the past can determine how you perceive your date and therefore the outcome of the relationship.
For instance, if your date retreats into his tin shell and you believe he's rejecting you, you will react and respond differently to your date than if you see it is his way of dealing with his feelings.
Try to continue to hold a loving and supportive space that has not attachment to the outcome. As a result, your connection with your date will be completely different to a relationship that is co-dependent, and possibly any relationship you've experienced in the past.
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I look forward to connecting.
Until next time
Relationship Coach and Dating Coach
Coach 2 Connect
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