Depression and dating

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:07 am

Day dreams are fine, but recognize that having a "goddess" who will make you never lonely again and make everything perfect is akin to fantasizing about having a super power or getting a billion dollars: harmless wish fulfillment.

Having a girlfriend is realistic and good to dream about, but maybe try doing some "what if?" reality musings as well? Imagine handling being in a fight or how you will handle her doing something that makes you mad or unintentionally hurts your feelings. Fantisize about how you are going to resolve common relationship issues such as chores, finances, one of you being very stressed and unable to invest in the relationship for a period of time, having to do short term LDR, etc. in addition to how amazing you think the relationship will be.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:52 pm

I think I'll (eventually) be able to try and decouple my fantasies from my more realistic daydreams, but I think my therapist will have a better idea of how I should end up doing that. For the last few weeks, my therapist and I have been working on learning what my emotions do for me and what they're trying to communicate to me, which if memory serves is intended to help me cope whenever I start feeling my mood dip below what's normal for me, or at least what counts as normal. However, that does mean that we haven't been working a whole lot on how I should survive this part of the year, or what to do about my incessant desires and daydreams to fall in love.

At times, I honestly wish I could just stop myself from worrying about my lack of a love life and just focus on getting better in the rest of my life. At the same time, though, I feel like I need some reminder of why I'm continuing to struggle with my depression and other issues, since as detailed earlier I have a very hard time staying focused on my recovery without that end goal in mind.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:55 am

Very true. I just fear that you are going to be severely disappointed by how not magical and hard relationships can be. Given what you have said here, I can see you blaming yourself for not having the magic be a permanent state, when the truth is that it is never all magical.


But, as you said, that is for the future.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:50 am

I think what reboot's saying is important and true, but let me append: love can definitely be super mega magical, even if it's interspersed with less magical moments. It's an entirely worthy aspiration and dream, and can be pretty much as cool as the hype--just not 100% of the time. Wink
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:59 pm

Based on what you guys have been saying lately, I think I'm starting to accept my daydreams a little more. I was starting to think that they were in some ways harmful to me, like how I was arguably setting myself up for massive disappointment later on in life when I actually *find* someone to fall in love with, but I feel like I'm coming to terms with that. Still, I feel like I still have a long way to go before I can truly accept my daydreams and what they do / don't do for me.

Also, side question, has anyone else here been playing Fire Emblem Fates? I've been playing Conquest, it's pretty good so far Smile

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu May 12, 2016 1:56 am

Hi again! It's been a while, hasn't it? I have a tendency to disappear for a while from here, it seems Sad

Not much noteworthy stuff has happened over the last two-and-a-half months, so I haven't really thought too much about updating you guys over here about what has happened. I did spend some lovely time playing board games with a few of my old friends yesterday afternoon though, playing in particular a game called Millennium Blades which is a lot of fun Smile

I haven't seen my therapist for a couple weeks, though, since she's been out of town on vacation of some description. Fortunately, that coincided with a major route closure here in Seattle, so my dad and I haven't had to worry about getting me to my appointments on time this week and last. My therapist and psychiatrist believe that I've been gradually doing better lately, which I sort of agree with, except that my mood hasn't necessarily followed suit with my progress. I do, however, feel like I'm more calm and almost happier sometimes, except when someone or something reminds me of my insecurities (chief among them being my non-existent love and sex lives, much to my eternal chagrin and the complete non-surprise of most people here).

It's hard not to fall into the trap of "love will heal me" when my desire for such is one of the very few reasons I'm aware of that I'm still fighting my depression and my anxiety. Sometimes, I can't even distract myself from that desire Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Thu May 12, 2016 1:11 pm

Hey Reploid! Glad to feel you're doing well and making progress!
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Thu May 12, 2016 4:26 pm

Heya Reploid! Happy to hear things seem to be continuing to improve, if slowly (improvement is always slow, though! That it's happening at all is something to celebrate!)

And it is always tough to handle reeeeeaaallly wanting something, but not being in a good place to get it at the moment; but that wanting can be useful if it spurs you on. Love may not heal you, but a desire for it can sure be used to push yourself to keep getting better and becoming a happier, more stable, more outward-looking you. And then you'll be in an even better place to have healthy relationships and be a better partner to somebody, so hooray! Smile
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat May 14, 2016 2:17 am

I feel like I have to trust that things are getting better and going in the right direction, because right now I only see how far I feel like I still have to go until I can get the things I want in my life. So far, I'm of the opinion that there's a *lot* of things that have to get done first before I can start having nice things like a love life or a girlfriend, and I feel like that just depresses me more because of how long it will take to work on those insecurities and other such issues.

I wish I knew why I had to have this mental illness BS to deal with in the first place... I'm not being punished for being bad, am I? I just want to be happy and in a good, healthy relationship Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Sat May 14, 2016 12:21 pm

It might not be as far as it looks - people with depression get into relationships all the time. You don't have to achieve perfection or completely vanquish your depression to have a love life or do other things you want to do, you just need to get yourself into a state where you can reasonably give them a go (and then have the luck to meet someone, of course, which isn't guaranteed for overcoming depression any more than it is for anything else Wink).

Mental illness is absolutely 100% not a punishment, it's just a sucky thing that people have to deal with sometimes for no fault of their own, like any other health issue.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:10 am

So, I recently asked a couple of my female friends how date-able they thought I was, and what they thought I could do to work on being date-able. The answers I got were... less than promising, with one of them outright refusing to answer in the slightest. I can't seem to catch a break sometimes.

Also, my therapist is resigning next week, so now I have to worry about how long it will be until I get a new therapist, and what kind of person they will be D:

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:31 am

That's actually a pretty uncomfortable question to ask someone unless you're very close and have the kind of relationship where you get really personal and forthright with each other. And it's also not an easy question to answer in a useful way, especially if they feel put on the spot, uncomfortable saying harsh things or resentful if they think it's fishing for compliments, maybe wondering if it's a roundabout way of asking them out. It's also a very broad question; specific questions are usually much easier to get a handle on and answer. I'm not surprised you wouldn't get terribly satisfactory responses from that.

Sorry your therapist is resigning, hope you get a new one soon and that they're good!
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:17 am

I feel like things have really been going downhill lately.

My dad and I got into yet another argument today, over a broken washing machine. He had been harassing and bullying me for the last 2-3 weeks to "wash some (clothes) or buy some", even with the washing machine broken and my latest paycheck eaten up by a dental payment. I ended up trying to wash some of my clothes, mostly to shut him up, only for the washing machine to break more. I angrily asked him what he was going to do to make this up to me, but instead he lashed out at me in return, criticizing my spending habits (a continuation of a regular theme in this household) and telling me that "if I wanted to be an adult, I should make adult choices".

On top of that, I've noticed that my usual Tuesday night board game meetup has resulted in a number of bad experiences lately, whereas I used to trust that I would at least have a good time. And, finally, I posted on Facebook a few days ago that I was feeling really empty inside between my therapist's resignation and my lack of love, stating "I feel like I'm nothing without the intimacy and companionship I've been searching for..."

At this point I'm convinced that there's no way out of this. I'm convinced that there's nothing worth fighting for, nothing worth suffering this much for...

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:57 pm

Sorry you've been having a rough time lately. Living with your dad sounds so hard and frustrating! Do you have a sense of what's been causing the bad experiences with your board game meetup? Is it stuff about the group or more just an internal lack of enjoyment?

Try to remember that depression always has its ups and downs, just because it's been a bad period lately doesn't mean things are on a downward trajectory or that the real progress you've been making on the larger scale has disappeared. Not having your therapist's support is probably making things harder right now, but you're going to get a new therapist, hopefully soon (any word on that yet?), so there's at least one solid thing that you know is going to change for the better in the foreseeable future. The way things are feeling right now is not how things are going to be forever.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:04 pm

Let's change the topic to something a bit more, mmm, exciting that came up recently.

Yesterday, while I was at work, I came up with an idea for how I could work on improving my self-image, self-esteem, et al. I ran this by a lady friend of mine, and she seemed pretty happy with it. It's not something anyone who knows me would ever expect, and it's a little embarrassing, but if I remember Werel right then she'll get a kick out of this Wink

This super-secret plan isn't all that complicated, but it is going to take a while. The first part is fairly simple: Just me working out and exercising for a few months, working on getting fit and toned. The other, and more risque part, would eventually involve me posting some... photos to r/ladybonersgw Embarassed

Here's my train of thought on this. Part of me wants to feel... desirable. Irresistible. Wanted. Sexy. I've been feeling like my desire for love and romance is more about that emotional connection, that emotional fulfillment, that I simply haven't been getting out of my loneliness. If I manage to pull this off, I feel like it will help in a number of ways: Working out for long enough is bound to improve how I look, and by extension my self-image; Simply sticking to a schedule like this for long enough is likely going to improve my self-esteem, since I'll have something I can look at as an example of me accomplishing something; Putting (mostly, or maybe totally Wink) naked photos of myself out on the internet is probably going to help me work on getting through my shyness and confidence; And so on.

Anyone else here like this idea?

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:30 pm

rofl Hahaha, okay, guilty. I'm down with this idea. But for reasons other than pervy ones!

First, I think you're definitely on the right track with exercise. All that stuff they say about physical activity and dopamine is real! (YMMV, but it sure does give me a boost.) Not only is it a way to feel like you're a little bit more in control of your body--which is a feeling that can be really useful when you're in the "AAHH WHY IS MY GREY MATTER BETRAYING ME" pits of depression--but it's also a way to move towards being friends with it. When your body can do cool stuff like running a long way, or lifting heavy things, you're probably gonna be a little more amiable towards it. And being better friends with your body can be a huge help in dealing with self-esteem and physical confidence issues. Plus, everything you said about that "I did it!" feeling. Thumbs up all around!

The posting salacious pics bit is outside my personal experience, but if you think that some positive external feedback will be a good motivator, go for it! Standard warnings about anonymity and risk-acceptance apply, but if feeling a little bit objectified (in a good way) seems like it might give you some confidence, it sounds like a solid plan. The bit about emotional connections brings up a question, though: you're not looking for that connection aspect from this plan, right? This is more just for physical confidence and some fun/sexy validation?

(I don't know the temperature on that subreddit, though-- mostly positive/appreciative? Don't go putting yourself out there in a place where people are mean. Neutral)
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:57 pm

I'm pretty sure that the pervy reasons are still valid, aren't they? Razz Don't worry... It will be fun to give you and the other ladies here something nice to look at Wink

You brought up that "emotional connection" bit for good reason; The wording on that is a little icky. Allow me to try and explain: One of my beliefs and expectations regarding romantic and sexual relationships is that a really good partner should make you feel desired, wanted, and sexy, among other things. Since I've never been able to start a romantic or sexual relationship, I've never had good reason to feel desired or sexy, and I want to. I want to feel like there are people out there who want to get into my pants and into my heart, and that's part of why I'm planning on doing this. It is mostly for physical confidence and fun/sexy validation, as you said, but there are also some mental and emotional benefits.

Also, I had a look-see around the subreddit in question, and one of the main rules is to be nice. I don't think I have much to worry about there Smile

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:41 pm

Ah, okay, that logic sounds solid--you're right that feeling desired, even in a passing, quasi-anonymous way, can go a long way towards helping people really, actually, gut-level believe that they're desirable. Experiential knowledge is always handy, including for emotions. So if you're looking to gather some evidence that a potential partner could find you desirable, sounds like a plan!

And I'm glad to hear that being nice is in the rules, what a surprising oasis in the middle of an internet full of jerks. Razz
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:06 am

Between my (admittedly intermittent) exercising and a new gal showing up at the weekly board game meetup, I'm starting to feel like there's a chance of there being a ray of hope for me.

Last week, we had a couple new people show up to our group, and one of them was a gal named Emily. While I spent the early half of last Tuesday night dealing with the other new person, who was being loud and boisterous (perhaps due to social anxiety, someone mused), Emily and I seemed to have a fairly good rapport considering we had just met. Hell, we were both leaving around the same time, so she offered to walk out to her car with me and to drive me home - both things I would not expect from a new acquaintance. It also helped that she was easy on the eyes, and seemed to have a good, kind personality.

I remember all too well my usual pattern when dealing with cute girls (for those who don't, it's that I'd ask them out about 2-3 months after initially meeting them, only to get shot down when they aren't single) so, if I get a chance next week, I might ask if she's seeing someone. On the off chance that she isn't, I'll try to ask for her number and set something up for a later time. If she is, then... At least I'm learning that now, and not in 2-3 months when my hopes get too high.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:24 am

Awesome, Reploid!! cheers Sounds like a fun evening, and there's nothing like hitting it off with a new acquaintance. And it sounds like you're making a smart choice by settling the question of dating sooner rather than later, before you get too invested in the idea of somebody as a potential partner, and I think you're being pretty brave by doing the smart (scary) thing. Smile
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:54 am

To avoid any awkwardness, try to get her talking about herself. Find out how long she has lived in your city, why she moved there, (if she is from there ask the same questions about neighborhood), ask about what she has been up to since you saw her last, etc. Usually if someone has a partner it will come up in the basic bio questions, so you do not have to ask the potentially awkward relationship question directly. "So, are you seeing anyone?" can be a bit off-putting and the above questions let you learn more about her by listening.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:22 am

Well, I was *going* to ask Emily some question related to whether she is single or not... But she didn't show up to the board game meetup earlier this week. I'll have to wait until next week, hopefully she shows up then :S

Also, I had my first appointment with my new therapist a couple days ago. I'm not quite sure about him yet, mostly because he's a new face to me, but he seemed okay at least. He's also supposedly good friends with my previous therapist, so that might work out well. Still, it's going to be weird opening up to a male therapist, but I can't really complain about that since I don't remember myself telling the clinic I preferred female therapists.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:39 am

Well, I still don't have a date, but there's at least something to be happy about.

Emily showed up again to the game night this week. She missed last week for reasons, so I was glad to see her again. We played a few board games together, and then around 8:15 pm, she decided she was going to head out. I stopped her before she left entirely, and asked her if she was seeing anybody. She said she wasn't seeing anyone... But, she also said she wasn't looking for someone, either. However, she told me she liked spending time with me on a platonic basis, and gave me her number in case I wanted to do something casual later on.

It does suck to have my hopes crushed again like this, but like I said earlier, at least this happened sooner rather than later, when the stakes would've been a lot higher. And, it is nice to get that sort of thing off of my chest, so that I don't have to worry about the specter of "I might end up dating this woman" in every interaction I have.

But, it does also mean that I'm still back to square one in terms of finding someone I'm attracted to, near my age, that I could start dating.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Hirundo Bos on Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:19 am

I'm sorry it didn't go the way you hoped... But at least you've asked the question, in a clear way, and got a clear answer... I don't know if that's something you're experienced with or not, but in either case it takes a lot of courage. And it shows you have some other skills that can eventually lead to dating. Like connecting with someone at more than surface level, recognizing your own feelings, acting on them in time, taking rejection gracefully. Those are all good skills to have, and as I said they take a lot of work and courage to gain.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:37 am

Hirundo Bos wrote:I'm sorry it didn't go the way you hoped... But at least you've asked the question, in a clear way, and got a clear answer... I don't know if that's something you're experienced with or not, but in either case it takes a lot of courage. And it shows you have some other skills that can eventually lead to dating. Like connecting with someone at more than surface level, recognizing your own feelings, acting on them in time, taking rejection gracefully. Those are all good skills to have, and as I said they take a lot of work and courage to gain.

Seconded. You managed the question and your response so well that she gave you her number to hang out platonically. That is not common and it is a great opportunity to expand your social circle and perhaps meet more people you are attracted to, who are your age, and that might be open to dating.
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