What to Consider When Dating Someone with Depression
Depression sucks. It can sneak up with little warning, or it can take its time, gathering strength over years before crashing down in a storm of misery. It affects the young and old, men and women, happy and unhappy…everyone, everywhere.
WATCH: SAY YES TO GOODNESS HELPS YOU FIND HAPPINESS FASTER
The world at large has taken great big wonderful steps recently to battle the stigma surrounding mental illness. It’s socially acceptable to have a mental illness now. It’s even okay to talk about it. That doesn’t make it easy to live with it, or to be related to, friends with, or dating someone with a mental illness like depression.
Dating someone who suffers from depression can be a roller coaster. Whether your romantic interest has been clinically diagnosed with depression or you just suspect he has it, do some research about how to talk to someone with depression. You may be tempted to coddle him or let him lean on you at all times.
This is dicey and could lead you to resent him. You may be unwilling to break up with him because you’re afraid it will affect his mental health negatively. That’s also a straight and narrow path to resentment. How do you find the right balance between supporter and babysitter?
My top advice is to talk to professionals, like your doctor and a counsellor. Look for support groups and seminars for people who provide care to those with depression available. Whether it’s monthly meetings or a one-time information session you will learn out not only how to respond to your partner when their depression weighs heavily on him, but also how to respond when his depression weighs heavily on you.
There are no one-solution-suits-all relationships, ever, in any situation, and that applies to dating and depression. No matter what, you have to remind yourself, and possibly him, that you are in a two-way relationship. If you’re in it for the long-haul, you both have to pull your weight and be there for each other, to lean on each other, and support each other. Try couples’ counselling, or just seeing his, or your, counsellor together.
Know the difference between at fault and no fault. Depression can be blamed for some things, but not for all. Someone with depression can be excused for some behaviours, attitudes and decisions, but that does not mean you have to accept those behaviours, attitudes, and decisions. Abuse is never okay, even when someone has been diagnosed with depression.
If you are unable to find a healthy way to love each other, you have to really look at past behaviours and see how they will predict the future; is your partner willing to work through hard situations or will he relapse and depend on you, or worse, use you to carry him through life? Are you going to be able to support him through the hard times, or will you bail? These are difficult questions to work through on your own, which is all the more reason to see a counsellor, even just on your own.
Sounds a lot like dating in general, doesn’t it? Dating someone with depression isn’t easy, but you know what? Dating ANYONE isn’t easy.
How do you date someone with depression? The same way you would date anyone, with your whole heart. There are specific challenges that come up when you’re dating someone with depression, but as long as you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into, and you’re in it for the right reasons, then you can strategize ways to work through the times in your relationship that depression darkens.
Here’s what you can do going forward:
If he’s NOT ready to commit and you’re tired of this scenario, or just want to make sure your next kiss is with someone who’s ready, get a copy of No More Assholes and find someone seriously amazing and ready to commit. He’s out there, I promise.
This is the book that helps you avoid turning little things into big fights, and you’ll love how the advice inside helps you create the Magical relationship you’re looking for. Peaceful, cohesive, passionate, and intimate.
Need help figuring the whole thing out? Let’s work together one on one so you can gain the clarity and peace of mind you need right now. My specialty is your peace of mind, and I’m adept at giving the perspective you need along with the tools you’ll use to start feeling happier, clearer, and on your way to the Love you want ASAP.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favorite online book retailer) help her readers attract the love they’re looking for, regardless of their starting point . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.