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The statistics make sobering reading. According to the World Health Organization, one in four people will be affected by mental health issues, commonly depression, at some point in their lives. Because this will have a significant impact on various aspects of daily activities, it will particularly affect dating. The Internet has had a profound influence on how singles can meet up, providing a convenient platform for people to interact with like minded individuals, getting to know them in chat rooms, or by sending direct messages. But anyone prone to depression will still find it difficult to make the most of popular online dating sites, such as Quickflirt and the likes. Here are some of the ways depression can have a debilitating influence on your love life, and how this can be dealt with.
Appreciating the difference between feeling down and depression
Everyone feels low at some point. This is an aspect of being human, and the ups and downs of modern life are something which will affect all of us to some extent. But there is a world of difference between being down because you’ve had a row with a partner or because your favorite sports team has suffered a heavy defeat and the debilitating illness that is depression. While most people will be able to snap out of a bad mood when there’s a change of circumstances, depression can be a constant – a condition which is never resolved, leaving the sufferer devoid of enthusiasm. In a dating situation, this will cause obvious problems. If you are not all that familiar with a new partner, how on earth will you be able to distinguish between them merely suffering from bad moods or something much more serious?
Managing your expectations
When embarking on any new relationship, most people will have a certain agenda, an idea of how they would like to see matters progress. This is a cornerstone of dating because it allows singles to plan for the type of person they’d like to interact with, whether that’s on a dating site or in any other walk of life. When someone is suffering from depression, they will have a blinkered outlook and will be unable to view things so objectively. In many instances, they will feel worthless and will simply view dating as a hurdle far too daunting for them to get over.
Feeling cut off from society
One of the hardest aspects of living with depression is having to view the outside world carrying on regardless. An apt analogy would be describing a stone, lodged in position as a stream bubbles and froths around it, the fast-flowing current oblivious to the problems being hurtling by. While the sufferer might be tempted to take the easier route of attempting to engage with other singles in the online environment, any sense of rejection is still going to have a negative effect, perhaps more so as the person feels if they can’t connect online, they won’t be able to do so anywhere in the offline world.
Showing empathy with a loved one
So what can be done to help someone dealing with depression in the dating world? It’s so important for anyone they are trying to connect with to show empathy. Depression is no longer stigmatized to the same extent it once was, often featuring in the storylines of TV dramas. We should all be more aware of the symptoms. So understanding someone’s dark moods are so much more than just ‘having a bad day’ is key. And also appreciate where they might go to seek professional help, starting with their GP.