Research shows that potentially 70 percent of American adults have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives. Furthermore, though it may come as no surprise that 90 percent of kids who are exposed to school shootings or victims of sexual abuse develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it may surprise you that 35 percent of youth living in urban areas who witness community violence also develop PTSD. With these numbers in mind, you may be starting to realize there is a good chance you know someone dealing with trauma. You probably know several people, and you may become romantically involved with someone in the thick of that battle.
If we could craft and manipulate life as we liked, well, trauma wouldn’t happen in the first place. But even if it still did, we would at least get to choose the timeline of our healing. But, that’s just not the case. Life doesn’t pause while you heal. It’s pretty unfair like that. It also means that you might meet someone who is still healing from trauma, and fall in love. Or at least see a lot of potential for a relationship. We asked licensed clinical mental health counselor Shanita Burgess (IG: @shanita__b), M.Ed. what to know about dating someone with trauma.
It’s not a deal-breaker
In response to the question, “Can you date someone recovering from trauma?” Burgess said, “Of course! Dating someone who has survived any type of trauma requires patience and effective communication just like any other relationship. While different forms of trauma can present different concerns, there are a few things to keep in mind that make dating a survivor a whole lot easier for both parties.”