Why Dating Is Difficult for Me as Someone With Anxiety and Depression

I believe we are all a little hungry for love.

I struggle with depression and anxiety. Sometimes just getting up and getting out of bed and acting like a functional human feels too hard.

Because of that, because of my struggles, I have distanced myself from dating and relationships. I don’t have a lot of experience in that world.

For some people, going on a first date is a fun opportunity to meet someone new. For me, when I go on a date, I am so anxious by the time I get there that I want to go home. I feel like I am going to throw up. My stomach is in knots. My head is spinning with thoughts. I am so focused on the person I am meeting and all the things that aren’t being said — the eye contact, the folded hands on the table, the strong smell of coffee, the background noise — that I find it hard to concentrate on the conversation.

Dating exhausts me.

Because of this, I find myself wanting to cut through all of the fluff, and all of the masks, and all of the games.

I often wonder, how do you date, how do you meet the right one, how do you cut through all of the fluff and the masks you are both wearing and find the real person?

When I browse online dating sites, I find myself at a loss. How do you pick someone you’d like to meet in real life based on a selfie and their astrological sign?

How do you find out who people really are?

I don’t care what your hobbies are. I want to see your soul.

I want to know, are you a good person? Like really, truly, a real good person? Or do you just pretend to be a good person?

Do you have people you care about? Do you have something you’re passionate about? Are you invested in someone or something besides yourself?

Are you considerate? Do you attempt to be tender with other people’s feelings? Do you have empathy?

Are you straightforward? Are you honest? Do you tell the truth about things that matter? Would you be brave enough to tell me you loved me? Would you be genuine enough with me to tell me you don’t?

Do you listen? Do you care?

I am constantly trying to find the space between desperately yearning for the company of another person, for someone to see me in all of my truth, and in being a strong, independent woman, not needing another struggling human to complete me.

For those who feel alone in this, know you are not.

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Unsplash photo via Joshua Ness

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