Starting a New Relationship

Eventually you may be ready to begin a new relationship. Your past experiences may impact upon your thoughts and feelings about a new relationship. You may:

  • Be very cautious, find it difficult to trust your new partner or be anxious that they may try to control you.
  • Find it difficult to share your independence within the new relationship.

It can be very useful to be cautious about your new relationship. It is also important not to let your experiences get in the way of the possibility of a positive and trusting relationship with your new partner. There is a range of things you can do to help yourself feel comfortable in a new relationship:

  • Take it slowly, you have a right to have the relationship develop at a pace you are comfortable with.
  • Stay in contact with all of the people who support you, they might be good reality checks for you.
  • Be clear with yourself and your new partner about what sort of behaviour you will and won’t accept.
  • Talk with your new partner about your experiences so they understand what you have been through.
  • Keep your finances and other essentials separate until you feel confident to
    combine them. You may decide that you don’t ever want to combine these aspects of your life.
  • Talk to a counsellor, either by yourself or with your new partner, about any
    anxieties you may be feeling.

People who abuse their partners tend to target vulnerable people to form relationships. You may be a vulnerable person if you have recently come out of an abusive relationship. When starting a new relationship make sure you go at your own pace and open up to your new partner when you feel you can trust him or her.

"Finally I woke up. I couldn't let her do any more damage to me. I went to counselling, stopped drinking, moved back to the city, got a great job and went back to school" (Maree, 22)