This post is the last part in this “Dating With Depression” series. You can read the first post about putting yourself out there here, the second post about talking about mental health with your partner here, and the third post about what your partner should know about your mental health here.
As I’ve gone through this series, I’ve been looking at different stages of a relationship in chronological order, and that was done for a specific reason. Every part of a relationship requires different advice, knowledge and tips, and having romantic interests while living with mental illness can make those parts even more complicated. But to wrap the series up, I want reflect on something for the readers, and it’s this (potential hot take coming up): for people living with mental illness, it’s possible to give and receive love in a romantic relationship. Not only is it possible, but being who you are can actually improve the relationship.
In the first post of my Dating With Depression series, I wrote about how to put yourself out there and be open to meeting someone. I don’t think I’d have been able to put myself out there if I wasn’t prepared to handle what was next, which is how I’d like to segue into the next post in this series – how to bring up that mental health conversation with someone you’re dating. Obviously every relationship and person is unique, but there are a few bits of advice I’ve learned (and heard from others) about more approachable ways to bring up mental health that everyone can shape for their own needs and relationships. Let’s dive in!
I’ve written on the blog before that living with mental illness can impact daily life in so many ways. One of those ways that has the biggest impact is with the relationships we form. My entire adult life, I wasn’t really sure how I’d approach dating with depression, and it was something I was afraid of. I’ve written in the past about some types of relationships, but I’ve never really had the courage or knowledge of how to write about romantic relationships – until recently. From putting yourself out there, to opening up and having those conversations about your mental health and figuring out what comes next, dating when you live with mental illness – and dating someone who lives with a mental illness – isn’t easy to navigate. Where do we even start? Well friends, I’m here to help (with the limited personal experience I have). Welcome to Dating with Depression – told with the help of a wonderful woman I’ve been fortunate to get to know this year.