It’s never easy when you find someone with whom you have a strong connection, only to realize that he’s going through something difficult. Or, perhaps, that he just has a lot of personal work he still needs to do. Maybe he has emotional wounds to heal from past relationships or from his childhood. You can see parts of his real self—of his happy, whole self—peeking through. But it’s peeking through so much trauma, pain, and devastation. You don’t really get the full person. You know he has the capacity to be a wonderful partner some day, and you really, really wish that day were today. In fact, you may just try to shoehorn this relationship into the timeline that works for you, even though you know this person isn’t quite ready to be a partner. You’ll tell yourself he can get better within the relationship, but that’s rarely true. Here is why healing from past trauma while dating rarely works.
You can’t put a timeline on healing
Nobody could say for certain how long it takes to recover from emotional trauma. A therapist may be able to give you a ballpark figure—perhaps consistent therapy can see results in…six months or…two years—but even that is not a promise and it is not meant to be a promise. Everyone is different, and some take longer to heal than others. It depends on what they’ve been through.