Ask a Therapist: Anxiety is Tearing My Boyfriend and I Apart

couple arguing outside on city street

Talkspace is pleased to continue our advice column, this week with therapist Dr. Samantha Rodman. Send your mental health questions for Samantha to [email protected].

Dating Drama writes,

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost three months. In the beginning, everything was perfect, but then it’s like a huge storm came and destroyed our relationship. I am trying to help him deal with his severe anxiety, and we constantly fight all day. He accuses me of doing things wrong when I do nothing. I understand I have flaws and faults from the past (before we were together), but I am not the same person as I was when he first met me. I’m constantly being insulted and being accused of these ridiculous things. He even blamed me for what someone else posted on their social media. Continue reading Ask a Therapist: Anxiety is Tearing My Boyfriend and I Apart

How to Manage Social Anxiety When Meeting Your SO’s Friends

man with girlfriend her friends in living room

My first experience meeting a significant other’s close friends was like being thrown into the lion’s den. I’m from a small rural town and had recently moved to a city. The group I was diving into was a suburban clique that had known each other since childhood.

I was in an unfamiliar place. People asked me lots of questions. I drank to relax. Long story short, it was awful.

Just getting out and dating with social anxiety comes with its own set of pitfalls and requires both courage and commitment. Now that you’ve jumped that hurdle, getting serious means meeting friends and family. This step of relationship growth can be a big social anxiety trigger.

Over the years, I searched for ways to make the best of meeting my partner’s friends, much to the benefit of the authors of the books I bought and therapist I paid. The following tips are what I learned and will help you have the best experience possible when meeting your significant other’s close friends or family. Before we dive in, my tips assume your partner knows about your social anxiety, your symptoms, and is committed to supporting you. If that’s not the case, that should be your first step. Continue reading How to Manage Social Anxiety When Meeting Your SO’s Friends

How To Get Over A Breakup

woman crying in bed arms folded smartphone

Breakups suck, whether you’re the one who’s dumped or the one doing the dumping. When overcome with such intense emotions, it can be difficult to keep your mental health in check and figure out how to get over a breakup. Already plagued with depression, breakups are particularly difficult for me, often leaving me bedridden and writing bad poetry.

My first serious boyfriend made my biggest fear come true when he broke up with me because he could no longer handle my mood swings and depressive episodes that were “bringing him down.” I thought he was the man I’d marry…and then that was shattered. My next boyfriend broke up with me for strange reasons I can’t begin to get into, and then drove across the country to move to California. This split left me unable to be awake for more than a couple hours at once, let alone eat.

I’ve experienced some pretty serious heartbreak that really messed with my mental health, but I at least learned how to get over a breakup. Here are my pointers to stay well during a turbulent time. Continue reading How To Get Over A Breakup

7 Tips For Dating A Survivor of Sexual Abuse or Assault

couple in bed holding each other tenderly

As a sexual abuse survivor, dating terrifies me. Abuse taught me that a relationship meant losing all of my agency and performing sexual acts I didn’t want to — “no” wasn’t an option. Subsequent relationships have been mixed at best, from the partner who got mad when I froze during sex, to the dates when I could barely squeak out what my job title is because I was so petrified.

Survivors like me are not rare, especially considering the statistics. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted, including both male and female victims. This means at some point in your dating life, odds are you will encounter a survivor.

“If we’re going to be dating, and if we’re going to be dating a lot, we’re going to run into someone who probably is a sexual assault survivor,” says Cynthia Stocker, a licensed clinical social worker with more than 30 years of experience. “It’s really pretty common.”

Dating as a survivor often brings out traumatic memories, sensations, and emotions because of past experiences. When a current partner is empathetic, educated, and understanding, however, that can make dating easier to manage for both parties.

With that in mind, here are seven tips for dating a survivor. Continue reading 7 Tips For Dating A Survivor of Sexual Abuse or Assault

Dating With Depression: 8 Tips For A Great Time

couple wearing hoodies leaning on bridge railing

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. Continue reading Dating With Depression: 8 Tips For A Great Time

6 Quick Tips to Maintain Your Mental Health While Dating

date woman man eating dinner at home

Dating and relationships can be wonderful — meeting new people, the exciting first kindling of romance, establishing a deeper connection with someone who knows you intimately. But it can also go wrong. And when it does, the damage to our self-esteem can cause intense emotional suffering, the type of pain that hurts in ways you didn’t imagine before getting involved with someone. To avoid some of that hurt, try these quick mental health tips.

Try Not to Be Jealous

If your significant other goes out and you know they’re with attractive people, it can make you start comparing yourself to others who your partner interacts with. This is an unhealthy mindset to fall into because it can exacerbate insecurities. Try your best to stop comparing yourself. Continue reading 6 Quick Tips to Maintain Your Mental Health While Dating

Dating Someone With Anxiety: What You Need to Know and Do

anxious man stressed woman sketch

Dating someone with anxiety issues or an anxiety disorder can be horribly stressful. Sometimes it can feel like the anxiety is a third person in the relationship, someone who wriggles in between you and your partner. This person constantly sows doubt and confusion.

No one prepared you for this, and you can’t choose who you fall for. There’s no high school class on dating, much less dating someone with a mental health condition.

Nonetheless, anxiety doesn’t have to break your relationship or put a strain on it to the point where it’s hard to enjoy. By understanding anxiety in general and how it affects both your partner and your relationship, you can love each other more deeply and connect in a new way. Educating yourself can also relieve a lot of the stress.

This article breaks down everything you need to know and do when dating someone with anxiety: how to support your partner, understanding how the anxiety can impact your relationship, looking out for your own mental health and more. Keep reading if you want to make sure anxiety doesn’t become a third person in your relationship. Continue reading Dating Someone With Anxiety: What You Need to Know and Do

Dating a Man with Depression: What You Need to Know and Do

man with depression dating woman

When you date a man with depression, it can become a struggle to maintain a relationship with him and protect your own mental health. The experience is not fundamentally different than dating someone without a mental illness, but there are issues that are more likely to arise.

By understanding these issues and knowing how to respond, you can support the man you love without threatening the relationship or your emotional wellbeing. Continue reading Dating a Man with Depression: What You Need to Know and Do

Meeting Your Online Date In-Person: 5 Tips to Get Through It

woman online dating app in-person meeting

What happens when your dating pool is disappointing or you have trouble asking people out in person? You turn to online dating of course!

Online dating makes it easy to talk to people, but eventually you have to meet them in-person and carry on a conversation. You’ve got game when you’re typing back and forth on the computer, but face-to-face you might be nervous and not know what to say to keep the conversation flowing. It can be awkward.

As a therapist at Talkspace who listens to relationship and dating problems, I recognize the affects it can have on people. It might cause anxiety and uncertainty when transitioning from an online relationship to a face-to-face date. Although these feelings are common, it should not prevent you from taking the next step. I have written a few pointers on how to have a great first date with someone you met online. Continue reading Meeting Your Online Date In-Person: 5 Tips to Get Through It

The Complete Online Dating Guide for Women

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For the millions of women who are not lucky enough to encounter Mr. or Mrs. Right on the street or in their social circles, online dating is the go-to. We use all sorts of online resources to find the best flight or restaurants, so why not put in the work to find something more important: love? Online dating is also a great way to date casually and meet interesting people you would not encounter in your daily life.

Nonetheless, online dating can be frustrating, especially for women who — more often than men —  have to deal with rude messages, fake profiles, scams and more. This guide will show you how to win at online dating so you can meet the best people, have fun and avoid compromising situations. Continue reading The Complete Online Dating Guide for Women