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How can I deal with the vulnerability inherrent to dating?

Marcus Fenix

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I have been verbally and emotionally abused for most of my life. I fear that the abuse has taken some toll on my self esteem.


Although I am very strong academically, and even though people tell me that I am very funny, I still don't believe that I could be successful dating. As a result, I do not put much effort into dating, I reluctantly decided that it is "out of reach". Perhaps what I am most scared of is not failure, but the vulnerability that is associated with dating. If I were to get close to someone, perhaps they could emotionally hurt me. Has anyone had a similar experience or have any advice on how to deal with being scared to allow oneself to become vulnerable?

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There's no amount of well intentioned good advice on the internet that is going to help you overcome your issues if you you've been abused most of your life. The best thing you can do is find a good therapist to help you work through these issues.


There's no shame in going to therapy. I had a pretty bad childhood too. Before I was even 8 years old my parents would mockingly tell me I would have to be in therapy when I was old enough to pay for it myself. Twenty years later - here I am in therapy now that I have a good job and the ability to pay for it.

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You must start with telling yourself that you'll only put stock in positive things that people say to you. If people verbally abuse you, then it should be clear to you that their abuse is not positive and thereforeeee not worth investing your emotions in. On that note, don't confuse constructive criticism with abuse; we all need to be corrected for our mistakes should we be blind to them. Constructive criticism should always be welcomed, and seen as positive.


Using that mental-filter should help remind you that emotional abuse is how you make of it. It is up to you to determine what makes you vulnerable and what makes you strong. Hopefully this helps you in shedding your fear and replacing it with well-deserved confidence.

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