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My dating experiences while having post-concussion symptoms. Are you ready for a relationship?

Updated: Mar 15

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Relationships After Traumatic Brain Injury

A few months before my accident I broke up with my boyfriend because my relationship wasn’t making me happy anymore and I wanted to travel the world, alone. I decided to make a “test” trip of 7 weeks in Asia with a friend. It was the best time of my life and I decided to make another longer trip myself after. But then… I got into my accident and instead of traveling the world, I was stuck at home unable to go outside. From spreading my wings into freedom to get caught in my own small concussion world.

The first year I didn’t date at all, I didn’t meet new people and I doubted if I ever would. After 2 years, I felt a bit more ready to have my first date again. I was set up with a friend of a friend and was so nervous. What if he asks what I do for a living, should I be honest or just lie about it? What if I tell the truth? I should explain more about my situation and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it. So I decided to lie about it and pretend that I was doing okay and happy about my life. It was confronting.

Besides that it was confronting I felt I wasn’t ready for dating, it took all my energy and meeting in busy restaurants or bars pretending I was healthy wasn’t helping me at all. I felt more negative about my situation and missed the old me who always loved dating, new experiences and meeting new people. I felt more isolated because I wasn’t able to participate in the “normal” world. So I decided to focus on my health instead of dating.


After almost 3 years I made more progress in my recovery and I decided to give dating a new shot. I remembered dating someone I even didn’t like that much. Because of my “problems”, I decided I wasn’t perfect as well and thought I couldn’t deserve or ask for more. He was sweet, listened but had some problems as well. I am someone who always cares for other people first so I efface myself completely. It took all my energy again and I just couldn’t handle it anymore so I decided to end it. I had no choice. It was a short “relationship” of a few months. Was I ever going to be able to date again?

I told myself I should try it again and dated another guy a few months after. It felt different, I felt like I could be myself and I overshared my situation after a few dates. How did he respond to all this information? He rejected me, it hurt. I dated a few more guys and it all didn’t work out. What happened? It felt like I had to learn how this whole dating process works when you have an invisible injury. Wasn’t it enough to find out who I was as a “new” person, what my boundaries are, how my new life would look like? Great (not!), I could add a new thing to the list of things to find out as well as a result of my concussion.


Before my accident I dated a lot and I never had issues, I was never rejected and I had to reject guys, now it’s the other way around. It made me insecure, it confirmed the feelings I had of not being enough anymore or feeling a lesser version of myself. What if I couldn't share my struggles, the real me, there wouldn’t be a real connection right? I decided to avoid being vulnerable and didn’t want to take the risk of being rejected again. So that’s the end of my dating life, for now. It was not helping me move forward and everything that’s not helping me to move forward will not be a part of my recovery process.

I focused again on my health and realized every time when there is no guy in my life I feel so much more balanced and I make improvements. So I decided to focus on not dating for a while. I have the hope that the right person will come when the time is right. I focused too much on getting into a relationship because I thought I needed it. Now I feel so much stronger and I know I don’t NEED a relationship, I am more happy with myself, my life and I deserve someone I am totally in love with, someone who gives me energy and not just takes my energy. I don’t settle for less, otherwise, I would rather be alone.


For all single people who are focused on getting a relationship. My advice is to focus first on yourself, make yourself your number 1 priority. Get to know yourself and when you do, this perfect person will come your way. You will have a healthy relationship that’s an addition to your life and not something you need in your life. Love yourself first.


During my concussion journey, I felt so lost and lonely.

I was feeling restless all the time. Doctors weren’t able to help me so I was feeling stuck. 🤦🏽‍♀️


My setbacks were the worst things ever and I didn’t know how to deal with them or prevent them. My days felt more like surviving than enjoying and I was always looking for a balance between rest and doing things.


Thankfully, I'm feeling much better now with the help of professionals who GET it and because of all tips and support from others in the same situation.

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- to reduce my fatigue & brain fog

- to have more energy, no napping anymore!

- to improve my sleep, waking up is easier

- to feel less stressed, it's not slowing down my recovery anymore 

- to exercise again (finally!)
- to have a better mood, goodbye negative spiral! 

 

7 things that have helped me:

 

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