The dreaded dating topic. Ugh. Many of you have asked about this and I find tonight a good night to reflect on this topic. Clearly, enduring a sexual assault prosecution is not for the faint of heart. And, I confess, I am not an expert in any way, shape or form about the subject of dating. But I can tell you this: it’s a tough decision to bring someone into the middle of your personal hell. For me, I began dating a friend a few months after the attack. He knew about what happened to me and became a source of comfort. But, and I know this is not the case for all, I caution that getting involved during a time when your life is in turmoil, comes with inherent risk. You are not yourself. You will not be yourself for quite some time. And while you are trying to handle yourself – a titan’s task – worrying about someone else and cultivating a relationship is an added pressure that should be approached with caution. The good news is that the pressure brings to light things in your partner and yourself that may have taken months to materialize without it. For me, the person I chose was not supportive of my decision to prosecute. He didn’t come right out and say it, but was always asking me “Can’t you just let this go?” That question was couched in “concern” for me, but I know it spoke more to his discomfort with the thought of seeing me and us through a possibly ugly trial in Italy. If you are a strong person – and you are if you prosecute – dating someone less strong is not what you need. And when it falls apart – because weak people don’t stick around – it hits and hurts that much more. These are just my personal observations. But I have had a lot of time to reflect on it and I regret it for sure. I regret that I did not come into the relationship as my best self, and because of it, I chose someone less than I was suited for. I wish I had given myself space and time to go through all the phases of my experience.