Know where you are at with your depression and what you want out of a date. Depression is hardly a homogeneous experience, as anyone who has struggled with it will tell you. Some days are better than others, some symptoms are more debilitating, and some activities are more challenging. So the first thing to ask yourself is where you stand on your own spectrum, says Dr Shannon Kolakowski, author of When Depression Hurts Your Relationships.
If you're struggling with suicidal thoughts, feelings of hopelessness or totally exhausted, dating may need to wait until the symptoms are reduced and they're more stable,' while you focus on the essentials, she says. But for many people, depression is a part of daily functioning, not a full-on roadblock to it.
She says to consider whether you are seeking a relationship or just looking to dip your toes back into something more casual. There is no wrong answer - but information is power. If you have answered 'yes' to the question 'are you ready to date,' then 'it is a really good sign that you are wanting to date and are ready to connect with others.
Whether it's a walk in the park or a night at the movies, make a game plan that makes YOU feel good. A good date for anyone involves sharing a fun activity, and this is particularly important for someone who is depressed. If you are feeling negative about the date, anticipating it being a fun event will help in terms of the mindset that you go into it with,' explains Dr Kolakowski. This activity should be 'whatever suits you: But ultimately it is important that the activity is one you want to do, and feel comfortable with.
Tap into your support network and practice some date scenarios. First date jitters are normal for everyone, but if depression is a part of your life 'you want to be aware that you may be more vulnerable to the difficulties that can come with dating, and want to have a support system in place,' says Dr Kolakowski. Talking to friends and family before a date and scheduling time to touch base with them afterwards 'so you're not building your whole world around dating - which we know can be up-and-down' can help ease nerves even 'treat' depression, she says.
Part of the excitement of dating is the unknown aspect, but that doesn't mean that you can't run some rehearsals with someone you trust before you go. Dr Whitely is working on setting up a system of 'supportive dating,' providing a platform for patients to practice modeling a date with a peer or professional. He suggests that 'you can go through scenarios [that might occur on the date], practice what kinds of questions people are going to ask you and rehearse how you might deal with x, y and z,' he says.
This way, you can feel out when your answers might start to lilt toward the negative, and practice calling up more positive answers - which will make you more appealing, and, more importantly, help you to feel better about yourself. Do some feel-good date prep like going to the gym or writing in your journal. You probably have a ritual for going out - whether with friends or on a date - but when you're dealing with depression, it's important to include elements besides the standard two spritzes of cologne or drawing on your favorite cat eyeliner.
Take some time on the day of the date to do things that are reflective and 'nourishing' to you, says Dr Kolakowski. Dr Kolakowski suggests journaling or exercising, two different ways of connecting with yourself and your strengths. Steer the conversation and don't let depression take the wheel.
This can quickly turn into 'overly-focusing on yourself, because if you're depressed you tend to be more internalized,' says Dr Kolakowski.
Dating anxiety is a common occurrence, even if you don't have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. Here are ten tips to help you get through it. If you're single and looking for love, you're likely familiar with the usual anxieties associated with dating. Here are tips to help you relax and.
All that self-contemplation can get in way of conversation, but dating is really an opportunity to break outside of your own mind. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to depression still persists, as Dr Whitely found in his research. Depression is common and not something to be ashamed of, but exposing that part of yourself too early on in getting to know someone can leave you vulnerable.
Talking about depression is 'self-disclosure and about timing. First dates don't need to involve that heavy of a topic,' says Dr Kolokowski. Instead, when self-loathing thoughts start to sneak up, 'try to overcome that with the knowledge that everyone, including you, has interesting things in their life, past and present,' advises Dr Whitely. Rejection is part of dating, not a consequence of who you are.
By definition, dating 'involves recognition, people not calling back, and spitting you out,' Dr Whitely concedes, 'but sometimes you click. Create Search Search for: Follow us facebook twitter googleplus instagram tumblr youtube. Anxiety affects roughly 40 million Americans so it stands to reason that more than a few of those sufferers will try their hand at dating at some point in their lives. Now, dating can lead non-anxiety suffers to feel some pre-date jitters, but for the most part those tend to subside a short time after the date has started.
So what can be done for those that have anxiety, especially a social anxiety? What can they do to help themselves relax and have a good time? How can they make it past date one or, dare we say, date five? This can be applied to both a casual dating situation as well as a more established relationship. It can also, in both instances, sabotage anything that could happen.
Before you get after yourself for these thoughts you should take a moment to evaluate what they are good for. In most cases they are going to be the exact opposite of helpful. You should be proud of yourself for getting ready and going on that date!
You can also use this as a time to go to a museum, an art gallery, or even wine tasting. Focusing on the date, and the person that you are with, can help you cancel out some of the negative self-talk that might be floating around inside of your head. It can pertain to your mental state as well.
This can lead to an overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by other physiological signs such as sweating, tension, feeling light-headed, chest pain, rapid thoughts, and increased heart rate. This can be applied to both a casual dating situation as well as a more established relationship. We can discuss some additional ways you can overcome this so that you can have the life you really want. And some you might try an extended audition with for many months…even years. Hoping to encourage more people to talk about mental health. They can even think that their partner prefers to be antisocial because they don't understand the nature of their partner's condition. Talking to friends and family before a date and scheduling time to touch base with them afterwards 'so you're not building your whole world around dating - which we know can be up-and-down' can help ease nerves even 'treat' depression, she says.
It is also another example of putting undo stress upon yourself. If you are already in an established relationship and worrying what your partner thinks of you, take a step back and remember that they are with you for a reason. If you are going out on your first date with the other person just be yourself and have a good time.
A healthy dose of nerves can help keep you focused on the date, but they can also get out of hand and cause you to panic. Casual is the key word here so just keep it there. Just remind yourself that there are other fish in the sea and there is going to be someone out there who wants to share your part of the ocean with you.
Having a list of topics that you like can be a great way to see if you and the other person share the same interests. It can also mean that you have learned from past dating mishaps and are now using that data to optimize this newest experience. Going over topics of conversation might allow you to work out any kinks.
Especially if you worry that you might stutter from nervousness. Having a funny anecdote from a bad date might add levity to a slightly awkward situation.
Mentally preparing for the date will allow you to feel more in control if your anxiety starts to creep up on you. Either way it is important to help yourself feel comfortable within the date so stacking the cards in your favor might help you out with this one. Hiding your anxiety can make you resent it even more than you probably already do.
This can lead you to avoiding situations and experiences that would otherwise be great opportunities for you.
Make sure that you feel safe and comfortable sharing this information about yourself as it is a big step to allowing someone to get to know the real you. Sharing can also allow you to get out of the repetitive negative or fearful thoughts that might be there. Plus, your date can help you focus on the here and now which could lead the two of you to some interesting common ground you might have missed otherwise.
The five tips listed above are focused, mainly, on casual dating and what to do if you are the person suffering from anxiety.