4 Tips on Dating When You Struggle With Your Mental & Emotional Health
For those of you who have felt overwhelmed by dating due to anxiety, depression or other mental health issues, there are many things you can do to help ease your symptoms and still do the things you want to do. If you are wanting to date but don’t know how to meet someone, or are worried they won’t understand what you are going through, that’s okay. It’s normal to feel this way.
And if you are bogged down in doubt and worried about this, you should know there are strategies to consider. Consider these four tips on how to date when you have mental or emotional struggles.
1. Be Open and Honest
There is nothing wrong with letting someone know you have depression or anxiety. Let the person you are dating know what is going on in your life. They will appreciate your honesty and better understand your situation. If you continue dating that person they will then know how to help you.
It might be scary to let someone in, but the person you like might not understand how to support you unless you tell them. Feel free to let them know any symptoms they might want to look out for, and any coping strategies that they can help with.
It is important for you to give your partner a heads up on activities that make your symptoms worse, are hard for you, or that make you feel uncomfortable. Whether related to your Mental health or not, communication is key so that your significant other can be of the most help to you. If you’re in love with someone they should be showing you that same love by understanding and helping you with any illness or struggle, whether mental or physical.
2. Talk to a Professional
If you are currently under care from a mental health provider (therapist, counselor, psychiatrist), it might be a good idea to let them know your concerns. Your provider can help assess whether or not your relationship is helping or hindering your healing process.
Therapy can play such a significant role in your progress. One company that offers Neurofeedback Treatment in Colorado Springs tells us that, “Therapy can help individuals and families gain a better understanding of themselves or each other, manage anger or other intense emotions, learn new ways of coping, alter behavior patterns, learn and practice skills to improve relationships, develop/increase self-esteem and empowerment, and work through traumatic experiences.”
For those of you currently receiving mental health care, it’s a good idea to stick to any plans you currently have in motion relating to your care. If possible try not to modify your care plan to make yourself more available for someone you are dating. The healthiest you, is also the best romantic partner. You may have minor modifications to your care at any time, but you want to try and stay on track with your goals outside of your dating life, and talking to your counselor or therapist can help.
3. Involve Your Significant Other
As mentioned earlier, you may need to be okay with letting the person you’re dating know about your mental illness. And if the relationship continues, you might need to fill them in more about your struggles.
When in a serious relationship, it’s important to be open to the idea of your partner being more hands-on with your care. You may be using specific treatments and your partner might need to understand how it works. When the time is right, try to be willing to see if they need clarity about your treatment and if they would benefit from being more involved. They can go with you to therapy to share concerns and get feedback about how they manage your mental health struggles. You can also get them to go to appointments with your psychiatrist should they have questions about any medicine that you take.
4. Continue Working on Yourself
Continue to work on you. Whatever your struggles may be, there is always hope for things to get better. If you’re dating someone new, try not to let your worries get in the way. Most people will understand and be able to accommodate your needs. You may even learn that they have similar struggles and needs. Knowing you are not alone is one of the most powerful experiences.
Do take your needs seriously, but don’t let your fears of dating keep you from having the chance to make a new friend, or find love. If you need time to yourself that’s okay, you can always let the person you are dating know. If they understand your needs they will be happy to give you time.
Dating is complicated and messy no matter what, but don’t let that stop you from living your best life. If you are continuing your regular health care there is no reason for you to not date if you want to.
You Can Do This
You do not have to let mental health struggles keep you from enjoying things in life. That includes your dating life. And when it comes to dating, you have the power to decide what’s best for you.