Relationship PTSD: How Broken Relationships Can Have a Lasting Effect

When it comes to dating, most of us have had to kiss a lot of frogs to get the kind of man we want. Some of us are still kissing frogs to no avail. We often hear complaints from black men like “Black women are too difficult, too mean, or too crazy,” but we rarely hear about what has happened to give that impression. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a full year now. One thing that has been interesting to me is observing elements of my friends’ relationship statuses and my relationship status. I have friends who are married, in relationships, single & looking, as well as single & over it. My single and over it friends are the most interesting because they want love and a meaningful relationship with a partner, but they are just not feeling the search. They have no interest in dating. No man quite fits the bill, even if he meets every requirement on the checklist. Why is that the case? After questioning one friend’s reasoning in a situation like this, I think I’ve figured it out….

Girl! You have relationship PTSD!

Okay. Relationships are hard, man. Like, hard as shit. A relationship with the wrong person can be especially traumatic. PTSD doesn’t mean mental illness. That’s not what PTSD is. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is actually more like a psychological injury. It’s trauma inside your head. Lord knows we’ve all probably suffered through some traumatic situationships with terrible men. Things like constant dishonesty, infidelity, differences in core values, or abuse (physical, verbal, emotional or sexual) might as well be an ass whooping to our psyches when it comes to dating and relationships. Have you ever dated a complete fool and the experience was so awful, that it ruined your idea of men in general? If you say stuff like “These n****s are all the same,” or “Men ain’t shit,” you probably answered yes to my original question. You might be suffering from relationship PTSD.

So, what now? Well, first things first: Don’t let one man’s foolishness ruin you or your experience with the next person. This is the hardest part, especially if you’ve experienced the fuckery with more than one person.

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Also, take time for yourself. Treat yoself! You probably have a “broken pussy.” (This post was perfect for an Insecure/Issa Rae reference. I couldn’t help myself! LOL!) Take a trip, have a spa day, have girls’ night out or girls’ night in. Do whatever you have to do to make yourself feel good. You deserve it, especially if you’ve been putting up with somebody else’s BS. PTSD is an injury, girl. You have to heal.

Next, maybe re-evaluate your checklist, sis. Maybe you’re looking for the wrong things. A man that is understanding, helpful, supportive, and willing to grow with you will put a man with money, cars, homes and a wondering eye to shame any day. Just sayin’!

Lastly, when you do finally meet a contender, make sure it feels healthy. Healthy relationships do the following:

·         Allow for individuality

·         Bring out both people’s best qualities

·         Have openness to change, but don’t force change

·         Experience true intimacy, not just sex

·         Believe in equality

·         Compromise

·         Promote honesty and understanding

·         Show acceptance, appreciation, admiration and approval

If you don’t feel or see these qualities in your relationship, you might want to consider moving along. No relationship is perfect (Trust me! I usually want to throat punch my boyfriend at least twice a week), but you should feel safe, secure and happy overall. You deserve it and when you get that, what you give back is priceless.

Until next time, stay beautiful and protect your magic…