Falling in love after being in an abusive relationship can be tricky. After you finally decide to leave your abusive partner the last thing on your mind is indeed falling in love or having a relationship of any kind, perhaps even with yourself.

Sometimes, you can feel confused; will it hurt more to fall in love and know its the wrong time or if you stay alone?

You may not be prepared to or ready to deal with aspects of yourself, which, in turn may mean you can not develop the relationship you find yourself in.

How will the relationship develop?

Will it become hollow, difficult one sided?

What if he sees there is nothing wrong and will that mean you are wrong to feel unsure, could he be blind to the reality of it all?

As old wounds rear their ugly head and you debate as to whether you are imagining things that aren't there, whether certain behaviours are or are not acceptable - YOU think surely I would have learnt by now to see past all that and have a strong clear view of what was and wasn't acceptable in your life now and going forward, why haven't you made that agreement with yourself?

What indeed would that agreement be?

Is it possible when feeling like you're dragging yourself along the bottom of a pit to make sound decisions on a new relationship you weren't expecting?

It's time to trust your gut once more.

When it happens, how do you want to feel?

Which option should you take?

I know women who have spent their whole lives alone after a break up, they have never got to the step of compassionate reflection and have held a bitter taste in their mouths and never had the joy of experiencing real love.

I know women who have given themselves a little time and bumped into to love on their journey.

I know women who end up in the same kind of relationships time and time again, they are un-prepared to love. They can not see the patterns they repeat and don't seek help to stop them.

I know women who have given it a go, and even though they had an incredibly bumpy ride, they learnt so much about themselves and had someone who loved them enough to pick them up no matter how many times they fell down.

When is the right time for you?

Now, Never or tomorrow?

The thing is when love pops up again the biggest barrier for you will be trust.

You may not even trust yourself right now.

But ask yourself, do you feel safe?

Is this person treating you well?

Would you remember the signs to look out for to know if things are turning sour?

It's right to try when you feel you can learn to trust again, and let it flow.

There will be a million and one questions running around your head at the point of onset of a new relationship.

The only way you can have them answered is to make a decision, and move on.

My 3 essentials for preparing to love again:

One of the most important lessons I learnt is to peel back the layers of yourself.

Now don't do this alone I totally recommend you seek out the some support, this part will be rough, but totally worth it. A therapist, mentor or practitioner.

The second most important lesson is Self Care.

Never underestimate the power of this step. If you go into any relationship this is the step that will support it, because you are taking care of the most important thing in your life, YOU.

Three - Be OPEN and expect good things to happen. One of the ways we can shut our gremlins up and start to break those patterns is to change your thinking. It will take time, and you may think time and time again, its twaddle. I can tell you its not.

So what is the first step YOU are going to take today?

Please share your own experiences in the comments below, and do let me know how you go.

With love and happiness,