Dating a man with childhood trauma

I have never went out on a date with a guy who had childhood trauma before until 2 months ago. He did not tell me about the trauma until the third date. As always, I listen intently to what others have to say. I’ve learnt to let people reveal themselves.

He thought that I would laugh at him for what he is going to say. At one point, he even put on his sunglasses while recalling his trauma to me. I thought he was going to cry, that’s why he needed to hide behind his sunglasses. Later I found out it was because he felt ashamed, and couldn’t bear to look me in the eye.  He was surprised that I did not laugh at him or walk away from that.

Because of his childhood trauma, what he wanted in a relationship was very different from the norm. He preferred zero physical intimacy. The most he could accept was probably holding hands and possibly kissing. Honestly, I told him that he is looking at probably 2 % of the pool of available dating women who wanted the same things.

I shared with him some perspective and I suggested that he should try therapy or counseling. Most men shy away from therapy because it is hard for them to accept that they need and require help. They feel ashamed and have so much fear speaking to a stranger about the past.

I learnt that though my intentions are genuine and I wanted the best for the other person, but if the person isn’t ready to accept help, then you can’t force that to happen. The best thing you can do is walk away.  The other person needs to have the self awareness to recognize that he needs courage, commitment and determination to change and re-learn many things before he is even ready to enter into any relationship.

I realized that I am also getting “sharper” in my encounters with men. I tend to get emotional or upset when things turn out differently in the past. I would have taken a longer time to get over things in the past. But I’ve realized that I’ve gotten so much stronger each time and especially this year. Being able to walk away without feeling sad is such an empowering breakthrough for me. Learning to let go and move on was such an important lesson for me. I’m grateful…

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