Are you living with depression? Are you worried it is affecting your dating life?
If so, you’re not alone. Over 7% of adults struggle with depression, and millions of other adults live with mood disorders or anxiety. This can make dating feel difficult at times, but many people can relate to this struggle – and it doesn’t have to stop you from finding a happy, healthy relationship.
Here are five tips to help if you are dating with depression.
1. Dating With Depression: Don’t Try To Hide From Negative Emotions
Most people feel some level of anxiety when they are dating, but for some people this anxiety can be crippling. If this is the case for you, don’t shy away from the negative emotions. Tell yourself it is okay to feel this way, and consider opening up about your feelings with a trusted friend (or even your date). This will help to normalise your feelings so it will be easier to accept them. In fact, one day you may even be able to move past the feelings.
2. Try Not To Overthink It
If you are prone to anxiety you might find yourself overthinking romantic situations, but this won’t benefit you in any way – it will just make you question yourself and your decisions. So try to be aware of negative, overthinking thought patterns, and distract yourself when you notice they are happening. You could do this by getting out of the house for a run, or you could call a friend to distract yourself. Either way, try to remove yourself from the negative thought spiral.
3. Plan Dates At Places That Make You Feel Comfortable
If you struggle with first date nerves it could be useful to plan dates at places that make you feel comfortable. This might be difficult right now due to the pandemic, but when restrictions lift we suggest choosing friendly, comfortable venues that don’t try too hard. This means you will feel more natural and relaxed, especially if you frequent the place regularly.
4. Be Proud Of Yourself!
Most people struggle to congratulate themselves on their achievements, instead focusing on the areas they want to work on – but in reality it is likely you have already made some progress when it comes to dating with mental illness! From signing up to a dating website to planning a date with a stranger, you may have already achieved some of your goals – so be proud of yourself.
5. Remember You’re Not Alone
Around one in ten adults suffer from a form of mental illness, so you are not alone. There are millions of adults who are dating with mental illness, and they will all be able to relate to your struggle. There are also lots of forums and websites you can check out for more support.