Relationships and Healing, Feeling not worthy of love

I’ve been working on healing my childhood trauma. I don’t feel like I’m ready for a relationship just yet. However, I’m starting to have feelings for someone that I don’t think I can just let pass me by. I also really don’t think I’m worthy of love from this person in return (thanks to the childhood trauma). My struggle here is how am I supposed to know when I’m ready for a relationship? Mental health is so incredibly important to me at this stage in my life. Love is also important. Im so confused on what to do in this situation. Do I not tell this person how I feel because I think I don’t deserve this opportunity? Trauma sucks.

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First off, welcome to HeartSupport! You are safe here.

This is a really subjective area. My take is that none of us are “ready” for a relationship. I mean, there’s decidedly not ready (fresh heartbreak, stressful lifestyle, etc.), but if you aren’t not ready, you could just see where it takes you.

There’s also a gray area between “in a relationship” and “not in a relationship.” It’s casually dating. You might save the feelings talk for the third or fourth date, and just break the ice by asking them for coffee. Coffee is a low-stakes commitment for everyone. If things get awkward, one or the other of you doesn’t have to spend more than 30 minutes there. If things go well, you can spend as long as you want together. It’s cheap, it’s casual, and it doesn’t imply anything more forward–if it goes well, you can call it a date, and if it doesn’t you can just call it meeting for coffee with no hard feelings. Best of all though, holding warm things creates positive associations in the brain :slight_smile:

Lastly, know that “no” is okay. The worst they might say is no, and it will sting, but it won’t wreck your world. I’ve been scared to confess my feelings to women before, then done it, and when they said they didn’t feel the same, I was better within a day or two. The scarier thing might be that they say yes. In that case, there is not much you can do to guard your mental health. If you start dating them, you will become vulnerable to them. You’ll need to trust that they won’t break your heart, because anticipating heartbreak will keep you from being fully present in a relationship. It’s a risk, a gamble, but one that can pay off so well!

Not knowing will eat you up. Wondering what could have been will haunt you forever. In my 30-something years in this world, my only regrets are the things I didn’t do, and the top of that list consists of women I didn’t ask out. I’ve had my heart broken, and in those moments I would have given anything to not feel those feelings, but in the long run I’m glad I had those opportunities. The pain of heartbreak came from worthwhile relationships, and worthwhile relationships are better than safe solitude.

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, Thank you for your post. I would love to start by telling you that you are so loved and incase you have any doubt left you have come to the right place, here you are loved by all no matter what. So yes you are worthy of a relationship however I will say that if you are worried its ok to take your time and go at your own pace, never be hurried into anything you are not comfortable with. Do what ever YOU want to do and remember you now have a whole communitly behind you wishing you well. Much Love Lisa. x

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Hi StruggleBus,
thank you so much for sharing and Welcome to Heart Support.
i am sorry to hear about your trauma.
give yourself some time and don’t put pressure on yourself. take one step at a time. and give yourself
time to reflect all of that. small steps matter most.
if someone have feelings towards yourself, that tells that this person wants to be with you, spend
time with you, loves and cares about you, because of how you are when you are with this person.
you deserve that opportunity , you deserve all the love in the world my friend. you are loved and you matter
you are worth it. Feel hugged and
Greetings

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From: Mamadien

Strugglebus, welcome to the HS community. I’m so glad you’re here. You’ve come to a great place to learn about why you are so worth being loved and that you truly are loved and lovable. You’re right about mental health being so incredibly important and it’s a huge thing that you are doing the work of healing your childhood trauma. It’s a big deal. Keep working the process and taking care of you. You are so totally worth it. As for relationships, it’s not always easy to start one in any situation so that feeling seems to be universal. As you continue to get to know this person, you’ll get a better sense of where you might want this relationship to go and you’ll be able to decide how to tell them. Again, welcome to HS and I’m glad you’re here. Please let us know how you are doing. You are loved.

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From: StarFox

Hello there! I first wanted to mention how much I love your user name. I feel like I am on the struggle bus quite often. Secondly, I want you to know that you are not alone with these thoughts & feelings. Life & past trauma can be a heavy weight to carry, but please know that you now have an entire community that will come alongside you to carry that load with you. Thank you for sharing with us & being yourself with us. Love finds us in the most random parts of our lives.

How close are you with this person? Would it be a good idea to sit down & discuss your feelings for them? Take some time to reflect on what you need & what would be best to communicate these feelings to them. Personally, I have had times when I felt connected with someone & let that opportunity slip by. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace.

You are brave. You are enough. You are valid. You are wonderful.

-StarFox :yellow_heart:

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From: ᏒᎧᏕᎥᏋ

Hi StruggleBus, welcome to Heart Support and I love your name! I want to start off by saying, you ARE worthy of love. There isn’t anyone in the world who isn’t. Whoever made you believe you aren’t was so, so wrong. I think healing from trauma is something that is very important and having someone love you while you are going thru your healing who is supportive can be a really good thing. Getting to know this person better before you tell them might be a good idea since you’re just starting to develop feelings. I think when you are ready tho, you will know and not have any doubts. Hope it all works out for you. ~Mystrose

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Hey friendy.

I think you just answered your own question about not being ready for being in a relationship. Working on healing sounds like it’s your priority right now, and that’s a great place to be! It’ll help you in all sorts of future endeavors, and definitely get you ready for being in a relationship with someone. I don’t believe the saying that ‘you can’t love someone if you don’t love yourself’… but I do think that being in an okay headspace is very helpful when you start giving parts of your heart to others! Other people can help you get an understanding of how much you are loved and deserving of it.

HOWEVER, if you’re feelings are so strong for this person that you don’t want to let them pass you by, there’s definitely nothing wrong with talking to them and telling them how you feel. explore it! I promise you that you are worthy of their love…you do deserve someone to take care of you and be there for you…your past is not your future, and your past is not who you are. Look at things in the now. This person may be able to help you get to a better place emotionally and help through your journey.

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Hi StruggleBus! I’m so sorry you are feeling torn between holding back your feelings and listening to your heart and head. That can be a very confusing space, and you are definitely not alone in it. If you feel that you don’t want to let this opportunity pass you by, you shouldnt! But you can definitely be cautious and set yourself some boundaries to make sure that you are not focusing ALL of your attention into the relationship, but rather continuing to take care of yourself and your mental health as number 1! Ease into the friendship and make sure to ask yourself the right questions along the way: Does this person bring out the best in me? Are they supportive of my mental health journey? Are we able to communicate and understand each other on a deeper level? Can I be myself around them? Do they give me the space I need to prioritize myself in the ways I need to to stay healthy? Do we share the same values?

Continue to ask yourself everyday, “is this still right for me?” There is nothing that says you can’t change your mind if at some point it doesn’t feel right anymore. Your happiness and peace are the most important.

You are SOOO worthy of love, ALWAYS. Just by existing. If they’re the right person it will feel right, if they arent, you will be one step closer to finding out what you like and dislike in relationships and know even more about how your mental health journey and relationships flow together. :heart::heart::heart: Hope this helps!!!