More than a quarter of people will experience an episode of depression in their lives. The causes of the current epidemic are still being thrashed out by researchers, but there's ample evidence that there's something desperately wrong at the core of our society.
Since depression is a feature of so many people's lives, the question of how to proceed on the dating front arises naturally. Should you pursue a relationship if you're depressed? Or should you wait until you're healthier before hitting the dating scene?
The Risk Of Dating
When you enter the world of dating, you soon realize that it can be a tumultuous place. Modern dating apps have enabled us to connect with more people than ever before, but they've also turned dating into a marketplace. Apps tempt people to hold out until they find someone “better.” Thus, even if a relationship seems to be going well, there's always a temptation for people to continue using apps because of what else could be out there.
If you have depression, this can be a toxic environment. Depression is difficult enough as it is. You don't want the angst of worrying about rejection on top of that. However, if you feel that dating is for you and you don't want to put your life on hold, here are some rules you might want to adopt.
Don't Expect Your Date To Solve Your Depression.
Dealing with depression is a complicated process. Teenage depression treatment, for instance, includes using drugs, making changes to lifestyle, going to group therapy sessions and much, much more. It's unlikely, therefore, that a date will provide a solution to your problems. After all, they're just a person and, usually, not equipped to help you navigate depression and emerge stronger on the other side.
Concentrate On The Other Person
When people have depression, there's a tendency to go inwards and focus on the self. Dating, therefore, can be an opportunity to shift your focus and make it more outward. People with depression often find that dating is an opportunity to investigate the feelings and interests of the other person. By getting inside their head, you can get out of your own.
Listen To Your Emotions
Sometimes you're just not in the mood to leave the house and do something as monumental as going on a date. The peaks and troughs in how you feel can be too high and too low.
Always listen to your body and don't be afraid to cancel a date if you don't feel up to it. If you can't make a date in the evening because you've had an exhausting day at work, ask your date whether they'd be willing to meet up for brunch at the weekend.
Why Dating Can Be Great
So long as you find a good person, dating can actually be an excellent experience for people with depression. Dating helps you be around people, rather than alone, active rather than passive, and make decisions. If you are depressed, it can be a good activity and prevents the condition from putting your life on hold.