How to Recover After Being Duped by a Date

You’ve met someone you really like. They seem to have met your qualifications, including your need for honesty. Meanwhile, they say and do certain things that lead you to think they want more than a one-night stand. You believe them. Within days, that same person, who you thought was honest and whom you believed, ghosts you.

After that, you question yourself and your discernment. You wonder if you can even trust your gut with romantic prospects moving forward. You ask yourself, in sadness and confusion, how you could’ve fallen so quickly for this person and whether there were signs along the way that you naively missed.

Being duped by a date can be hard to recover from. As common as the experience may be—many people can identify in various ways—the resulting feelings of hurt, betrayal, anger, confusion, and self-doubt can be intense and linger long after. After being taken advantage of by someone who they thought cared for them, a person can question whether they even have what it takes to date again. Meeting new people can suddenly seem scarier, and the notion of re-entering the dating world—fraught with risks.

Recovery Advice from a Sex and Relationships Therapist

There is no doubt about it: Dating today is not for the faint of heart, especially when people can be less than honest about their intentions. The reality is that there are going to be people whose modus operandi is to try to take advantage of you, and you may get duped.

Reach Out to Your Supports

“When you get duped, the best thing to do is to reach out to supports to help uplift you,” said Dr. Sachi Ananda, PhD, LMHC, MCAP. Dr. Ananda is a sex and relationships therapist and the director of a mental health and addiction treatment program for first responders, Shatterproof FHE Health.

Write Down Your Positive Strengths and Qualities

How is reaching out to your supports helpful? “Your supports—friends, family, therapists, etc.—can remind you about your strengths and positive qualities that the ‘duper’ has lost out on by ghosting you,” Dr. Ananda continued. She also advised writing down these qualities and adding to them “from your own perspective of yourself.”

Dr. Ananda shared these final recommendations for how to recover in the wake of being duped….

Practice Enjoying Your Own Company

“Before re-entering the dating field, build up your self-esteem and practice enjoying your own company,” Dr. Ananda said. “When you love yourself, you are less likely to jump into bed with someone who is not worth your time.”

Reflect on Your Life Goals and Values

“Spend some time reflecting on your life goals and values, so that you find a mate who may fit your needs the best.”

Don’t Give Up

Finally, “if your goal is to be in a healthy relationship, get back on the dating horse and don’t give up!”

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