For many years, depression poisoned the way I thought about dating. Because of a foundation of negative beliefs, I did not think I would meet a good woman who loved me or reciprocated my affections until I was successful. Only a high level of accomplishment and money would provide enough options to find someone who could see past how awkward I was.
Everyone with depression has different negative beliefs that form it or become symptoms of it, but all of us can learn from the story of overcoming this negativity. If you are struggling with dating and dealing with depression, my story might help you.
Challenge That Negative Voice In Your Head By Asking Objective Questions
Whenever a woman I was interested in ignored, rejected, took advantage of or ghosted me, I couldn’t help thinking part of it was my fault. Maybe I did something to cause her to lose interest or perhaps I didn’t strategize well enough to gain her interest.
Seeing a therapist helped me deal with these situations because I had an ally to help me objectively analyze the situation. Being able to weigh the evidence rather than relying solely on my feelings made me realize it wasn’t my fault when someone wasn’t attracted to me or seemed to lose interest. And when there was something I could’ve done better, my therapist was there to teach me.
This approach allowed me to move on quickly after being rejected and stop the disappointments from exacerbating my depression. Shifting the focus from beliefs to the actual situation was also invaluable in learning more about dating.
Tell Your Date Or Partner About the Depression Early On
I mentioned my depression on the first date with my girlfriend. It wasn’t awkward because she was accepting of it.
I’m not saying you should go out of your way to bring it up immediately, but don’t avoid it. It’s best to know whether someone will judge you for it early in the relationship. If the illness is a problem for them, they’re not worth dating.
Coming out about mental illness will also allow you to be more genuine with a partner. Not worrying about the weight of that conversation makes the initial dating less awkward and more open.
Embrace Events And People Who Challenge Your Negative Dating Beliefs
A therapist isn’t the only person who can help people challenge negative beliefs about dating. My mentor once brought me to tears by saying I was already successful and my good dates were accomplishments even if they didn’t lead to relationships. Her kind words and logic churned against the poison of my depression. It was the antidote I needed that day.
After she said that, I ensured I never forgot it. I wrote down every word she said and referred back to them whenever I felt down or discouraged. It became a medicine I could carry with me.
Being with my girlfriend has been the ultimate blow to my depression. When she fell in love with me, I was recently laid off, broke, sick and dealing with a bed bug infestation (part of why I was broke).
I didn’t need to be wildly successful! All I needed to do was be kind and try my best to be a great boyfriend. This was evidence against one of my most long-standing negative beliefs. An amazing woman loved me for who I was, not what I had done or could offer her.
If anything even remotely this great happens to you, holding onto it will be a powerful weapon you can use to stop depression from dragging down your dating life.
Whether it’s through therapy or life, the key is making depression a part of yourself someone can fall in love with, not part of the person people can reject.