Millions of people around the world suffer from depression and many of them are actively dating, often using online dating sites. No doubt dating can be difficult when you suffer from depression, but it can also be a tremendous source of happiness when you meet someone special.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you are dealing with depression and trying to find love — or maybe just trying to enjoy a few fun dates!
1. Think About Professional Help
Dating can be challenging, even more so if you are suffering from depression. If you are considering getting out there, or already dating, you could seek professional advice from a therapist who will help you get the most from the experience. Working with a therapist is a great way to identify and manage mental health issues that come up with dating and relationships.
2. The Right Timing
Suffering from depression requires you to take good care of yourself before you can even think about taking care of anyone else. Take your time when dating and only begin to meet people when the time is right. Good support from friends and family as well as the right therapy and medication can certainly help you to pick a time that feels comfortable for meeting new people.
3. There is No Pressure to Discuss Depression on the First Date
Do not feel like you have to discuss your depression on the first date. Thinking this way can actually put you in a positive frame of mind because the pressure is relieved, enabling you to focus on getting to know the other person.
Nonetheless, if things progress and become serious, you should then tell the person you’re seeing. The best time would be when you decide to see each other exclusively or when your feelings for them start to change. These types of conversations may spark the right moment.
4. How to Explain That You Suffer From Depression
When the moment comes to tell your partner, consider using a three-part script.
This involves explaining to your partner that they mean a lot to you, but also requires you to be vulnerable.
Following this, gently broach the subject by explaining to them that you have struggled with a common problem. Then tell them you have been diagnosed with depression and are receiving treatment for it.
Then make it clear again that you care about them and the relationship you have. This is as important as explaining you have depression.
5. Agree to Receive Help
While having a support network of family and friends can really help, it is important to inform potential partners how they can help. This could be something as simple as asking a partner to exercise with you if you use exercise as a way of enhancing your mood. If they choose to support you, then it indicates they really care.
6. Patience May Be Required
Understand that your potential partner may ask questions or offer help. Even if you find them unhelpful, you need to recognize that they are acting with the best of intentions. Acknowledge their willingness to help and let them know you want to be with them.
7. Reduced Sex Drive
Depression, as well as the mental health medication used to treat it, can result in a low libido. Nonetheless, this should not stop you from dating and enjoying all it has to offer. This does not mean you should conceal this fact from your partner. Talk about it. You can also show them you care in other ways, including being affectionate and telling them you find them attractive.
8. Don’t Follow Past Mistakes
When it comes to dating, understanding your strengths and weaknesses can help ensure you do not make the same mistakes as you have in the past. Dating involves as much learning about yourself as it does learning about others. Avoiding past mistakes will ensure you have a happier experience this time around.
Depression Can Also Help Your Dating Life
Depression may be an obstacle to living a happy life, but it doesn’t need to get in the way of dating. Struggling with depression can eventually be something you bond over with a partner. You need to work on it individually, but it is also a challenge you can tackle together.
Bio: Alex Reddle manages the blog at Flirt.com. He loves to study people and communicate with them.