Dating is difficult ASF. Like, am I the only one who thinks dating is a full-time job? Especially if there is more than one person in the picture. You have to get to know all those people and go through the process of elimination. Now add being a single-mother on top of that *insert dramatic eye roll and deep sigh* that ish ain’t f**king easy. But that is not what we’re here to talk about today. The topic for the week is “What To expect when dating someone suffering from depression”. As much as we (people who have depression) try to be “normal”, our Depression is something that cannot be hidden from others forever.
I have personally tried to hide my symptoms from previous partners and when my depression was really hitting. My partner did not understand because they did not know what was going on and I did not know how to explain to them what was going on. So there you have it, two people confused and frustrated and ultimately, you can imagine, the relationship ended. I am not at all no type of expert but I am sharing my tactics, tips I have learned from my failures so you all don’t make those mistakes as well and save yourself from problems.
I think one of the biggest questions we ask ourselves when we are dating someone is “Should I tell this person about my depression”? For me, the answer is based on how you feel about the person. If it is just a fling and yall just having fun, no strings attached, I would say the person does not need to know. Why? Well because that person is someone you are not going to keep in your life so it unnecessary, ya feel me? I mean if you guys are having a deep conversation and the topic pops up go ahead. But I feel opening up about something personal like that should be shared with a partner you plan on getting very serious with. Those are the people who are less likely to spread your business and are genuinely interested in what is going on with you.
So Boom. You are feeling this person and you guys have the “talk”. After you tell your partner about your depression. READ THEIR BODY LANGUAGE. Speaking about Depression makes a lot of people uncomfortable, believe it or not. Is he asking you more questions about how you became diagnosed with it? Is he acting weird after you told him that? All those things you need to keep an eye out for because they will determine a lot about where things are going to go from there. Why would you want to spend your life with someone who does not want to understand your illness? It is not healthy being with someone who does not support you.
There are those days when you are going to feel very low and emotional. Is that person going to just ignore it and say “its all in your head”, you’re doing too much, just get over it”? This is the time to asses that. I have been in relationships where I was with someone but felt alone. They did not care or take time to understand where I was coming from so to them I was just acting out and acting crazy. I have been told, “stop blaming everything on depression”. Those words hurt a lot from someone who is suppose to love you and be your backbone. Heed My Warning Ladies, save yourself from heartache. The person is either going to add to your problems or help relieve them. The dating phase is when you find any red flags and those are just a couple. So abandon ship while you can before you invest your time and feelings.
*For those dating someone with Depression*
Depression: A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
Please note that not everyone handles depression the same way. It really is something that you have to take, case by case. Depression is a real thing and it is not a phase that someone can easily just get over. If the person you are dating has decided to open up to you about something so personal, then you are someone they trust. Do not take advantage of that trust. If you are unsure about where to go from here, I have included some things to keep in mind that will make this experience easier for you. I hope that these tips help you to become a better partner for that special someone. And if you are reading down this far, clearly you already are and want to make sure you can help in the best way possible.
- Ask Questions: It is always good to ask questions because it shows that you are interested, just like you would do at an interview. You want to make sure you get the whole picture not just part of it. A few things you could ask is
- At what age were you diagnosed?
- Do you have any triggers, if so what are they?
- Do you have any family support?
- What are things I can do to help you go through this?
- Be Patient: Patience is definitely a virtue. Don’t go forcing the person to tell you everything at once. When the person is comfortable enough, you will get to know everything you need. People handle their “off days” differently. In my case, I tend to just want to be alone and not be bothered. If I had a partner I would explain that to them, so that they do not take offense. That is why the asking questions are very important. Over time you learn someone’s habits and how they cope with different situations. It will not be an overnight thing. It takes time and you truly love that person, it won’t be too much to do.
- Remind them: Remind that person you will be there for them when they need someone to talk to or to cry on. Remind them that you love them. Trust me when I say that goes a long way!!
- Be Honest with yourself: Dating someone who has depression can be difficult for some which are understandable. If it is too much for you to handle, talk to the person about your concerns and feelings. It takes TWO. If this is not for you have to be honest and not drag the person along because that only causes more damage.
- IT IS NOT A GAME: Please don’t be the a**hole to make rude remarks about someone going through depression. People take this too lightly when it should be the opposite. Words hold a lot of power and don’t let your words be the one that pushes someone over the edge. FR FR. I cannot express this enough. It is never funny to joke about someone’s problems, let alone an illness.
- Do your research: Take some time to look into what depression really is. You will definitely find useful information that will make you more knowledgeable on the topic and in turn make you a better person for your partner. That shows you want to know more, and you are ready to get on this journey with them. It really doesn’t take a lot to show someone you’re there for them and support them.
Just because someone is going through depression, that doesn’t mean you need to be all awkward around them. We are normal people and some type of infectious disease. Let’s start the conversation.
Do you have any tips you would like to add? Comment and share Below!
Peace, Love & Melanin
-The Brown Mom