Dating Someone with PTSD: Things to Know and Consider


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not a disease of war soldiers, victims of disasters or violence only. PTSD can also appear in everyday life, for example, after a painful breakup, cheating, or when women leave their men and this becomes a psychological blow for them. Flashbacks and other unpleasant consequences of trauma can turn a person’s life into a nightmare. PTSD is more than just dealing with a negative event. Our emotions become out of balance, especially when arousal and reaction systems are in place. It also affects thinking and mood. We try to avoid uncomfortable situations, especially if they somehow resemble a traumatic event. When all these symptoms are aggravated to such an extent that we can’t cope with them on our own and live normally in society, the syndrome becomes a disorder.

ptsd and dating relationships

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that differs from other anxiety disorders in its origin – it occurs as a result of traumatic events that cause severe stress. It is normal to experience shock when faced with this type of event: this is the so-called “acute stress” reaction, which usually lasts less than a month. For some people, this period of stress persists for an abnormally long time from several weeks to several months. The impact of a traumatic event can be different: a person may have experienced the event (s) or witnessed events that happened to other people, or simply learned about a sudden accident or death of someone close. In some cases, a person may have been exposed to a negative event more than once. Anyone who has ever experienced PTSD remains vulnerable for a very long time and may have trouble reappearing under certain circumstances. Sometimes the consequences of PTSD take the form of depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol or drug abuse.

Sometimes the disorder appears only a few years after the negative event or after a person experiences a new event that reminds them of the first either because they are more vulnerable or just because they hear about a similar event. Thus, post-traumatic stress disorder can remain latent for several years and appear late in a context that is clearly not related to the previous one. For example, watching disasters on television, listening to rape victims on the radio shouldn’t generally trigger PTSD unless the person has experienced similar traumatic experiences in the past and has tried hard to forget them. Or men can experience negative feelings visiting a woman seeking man website because of a bad experience in the past. PTSD causes clinically objective distress or changes in social and professional functioning. Dating someone with complex PTSD, the disease can affect relationships and lead to serious conflicts.

Challenges of dating someone with PTSD

Love can be destroyed under the influence of the disorder of one or both partners. How is PTSD related to love relationships? What does dating with PTSD look like? The fact is that a person experiences special emotions to the world around and those close to him or her. Such a state is often accompanied by a desire to isolate yourself from other people, as well as from the world around us, which cause negative emotions.

People understand the negative impact of their mood on a love relationship. But at the same time, they feel uselessness and worthlessness, which makes them feel fear of conflict, a desire to manipulate a partner with the help of emotional tricks, and a furious desire to save a relationship. They want to improve relations, but their methods and techniques only drive partners away. Having PTSD and dating someone may be difficult. If only one partner has PTSD, then the second partner may simply not understand and even avoid him or her sometimes, since everything happens at the level of emotions in an inadequate form. A person wants something but expresses these desires sometimes aggressively or very compassionately. And this puts pressure on the psyche of a partner. Unsuccessful attempts to improve relationships between partners when one or both have PTSD symptoms lead to the fact that problems begin to accumulate in the relationship. A person in such a state is simply not able to adequately and reasonably solve problems. Moreover, additional stressful situations can plunge people into their depressed mood even more. And this will affect the further problems in relations. Thus, some topics become closed for discussion; some problems are not solved and increasingly aggravate the situation between partners. Unwillingness to get out of PTSD leads to a break in relationships. The problem lies not in the relationship itself but in people who are suppressed by certain events. And the solution to the problem must be sought in a person who has PTSD, which will lead to a better relationship with the partner.

Dating someone with PTSD from abuse: advice for men

Is dating someone with PTSD from abuse a good idea? This question is often asked by men observing the state of their loved ones. However, if you show firmness and perseverance, you can help a loved one. You can always help find a way out of any difficult situation in life.ptsd and dating

1. Don’t criticize and don’t blame

Dating PTSD woman, you should remember that she really feels like a worthless loser who doesn’t deserve your love. So, praise in such a state will never be superfluous (even for the fact that she washed her hair and made tea). Moreover, discontent with the world around you and disappointment in the fact that she doesn’t love you so much you want it shouldn’t bother you. At these moments, the woman doesn’t think about you at all, but that her whole life is one continuous failure.

2. Keep in touch

Dating someone with PTSD, tell them when you get home, what important things you are doing, and why you are in a bad mood. This will save you and their nerves. After all, when an anxious woman doesn’t know what is happening, her brain draws the most terrifying version possible. By the time you return from an unscheduled meeting with a friend, your woman may come up with a million terrible situations in her head.

3. Help her fight against fears

You can help a woman deal with fears using different supporting methods. That is, make the loved one stop being afraid of something, listening to her and encouraging her. If she has a fear that something may happen again, work through this situation so that she can cope with it in the future. Your care creates this feeling of security. Actually, it is so nice to overcome fears together.

4. Make your loved one feel safe with you

After a traumatic experience, it is often difficult for the woman to feel safe even at home. Although in PTSD dating, you certainly can’t promise a woman that nothing bad will happen to her again, you can show that you are always ready to help her, protect her, and that you take her very seriously.

5. Don’t limit the woman’s personal space

She has a lot to deal with, which she may not tell you about. Dating a woman with PTSD, you should be tolerant of her needs during a difficult rehabilitation period. Don’t force your loved one to tell you about her experiences. Just be there, and if she needs to, she will speak to you. Be prepared for the fact that the woman wants to be alone today, and the next day, she wants someone to be around. Try to meet the wishes of a loved one.

6. Try to dispel the obsessive dark thoughts of your loved one

She may constantly think of her own inferiority or she may mentally return to a stressful situation. Encourage her not to think badly of herself and not to paint a sad future in her thoughts. Talk to the woman, show her your love and care, without judging her. For example, your loved one may feel that everything that happened is only her fault. Try to convince the girlfriend that this is not so. Tell her that she is wrongly berating herself.

Guide for dating a veteran with PTSD

People with post-traumatic stress disorder can perceive each new day in their lives as another struggle to survive. It is not necessary to consider it your duty to say something right to them, but it is a good idea to show sympathy and understanding about the experience of a person. The more support and understanding people receive, the faster their rehabilitation goes.

1. Be aware of the most common symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD can completely change the behavior and feelings of the stress survivor, affecting other people. Mental trauma can cause consequences that complicate the person’s communication with others, lead to withdrawal and closure. If you communicate with such a person, you need to know about the characteristic symptoms of the disease and learn some of the most effective recommendations for solving the problems.

2. Don’t create stressful situationsptsd dating

If a person is prone to PTSD, it is important to understand that he or she objectively has less strength and energy, gets tired faster, and reacts more strongly to negativity. The magic calls to get out of the comfort zone and ingenious advice like “be more positive” will not help in any way. You have to support such people every time they need it.

3. Visit a specialist together

Are PTSD and dating relationships compatible? Yes, they are. You just have to take your loved one to a neurologist and a psychotherapist, remind them how important it is to get enough sleep and do exercises. If episodes of PTSD are repeated and don’t go away for weeks, antidepressants must be taken (only with a prescription from a good doctor).

4. Be positive

Dating a veteran with PTSD, be a good listener. When your loved one tells you something, repeat what you understand and ask if you want to know more. Don’t interrupt or argue but be clear about your feelings. Help your loved ones express their feelings in words. Ask specific questions about feelings, and ask what you can do to help. But don’t give advice unless they ask you for it.

5. Be sure to involve the person in any active activity

For example, play sports, go to the cinema, concerts, picnics, just walk, go abroad, etc. It can help distract the person and increase blood endorphins, which will definitely benefit. Spend a lot of time outdoors and in public together. It is important to listen to the person you are going to help. PTSD is a disease that doesn’t go away by itself. On the contrary, it has a cumulative effect and only progresses over the years. Therefore, treatment is necessary. It is always worth remembering that complete recovery is possible. PTSD and dating are compatible. But don’t forget that people may suffer from PTSD throughout their life. Try to treat your loved ones with love and care. If there is something in their behavior that upsets you, let them know about it, show that it hurts you but you can forgive them. They really need your support and help.

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