15 Date Ideas for a Partner Struggling With Depression


Depression can sometimes make dating a challenge. Maybe you’re struggling with getting out of bed, and the thought of going on a date makes you feel more exhausted than you already are. Maybe you are feeling slightly better depression-wise, want to go on a date with your significant other, but have no idea what to do. Or maybe your partner is depressed, and you want to have a special night, but still be respectful and aware of their mental health needs.

Whatever your reason may be for wanting date suggestions, we’ve got you covered. We asked our mental health community to share with us what their ideal date would be when they are struggling with depression. Of course, everyone is different, but these ideas might offer some inspiration.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Stay at Home for a Netflix Night

“First, Netflix and chill. Make some good food or order food. Have some beer or sodas. Just cuddle and enjoy the movie.” — Brandi G.

Stay in bed date make sure we have all the food we need favorite movies and cuddles.” — Caitlyn W.

2. Going to the Beach

“Just to go to the beach and hear the water sounds. To be alone together and be able to breathe deeply with the right person — this to me is just perfect.” — Luisa M.

Dinner on the beach followed by a walk in the water is always nice. The gentle splashing of the waves is relaxing and it feels more intimate than at a restaurant.” — Krystal K.

3. Making Dinner Together

“After cooking/baking a meal, sitting down with the lights dimmed, candles lit and light music going… From there, sitting and watching a movie we picked out.” — Tatauq M.

4. Ordering In

It depends on my mood. Me and my partner both live with depression, so we are always careful when we decide to go out. I have the tendency to over-plan, since it’s a long distance relationship. He keeps me down and stops me, suggesting we order food and simply watch some movies all snuggled up together.” — Mopfel F.

5. Dinner and a Movie

“I like movie dates. It’s not too high pressure, but still gets me out of the house which is something I struggle with during depressive episodes. Plus the movie provides a good distraction.” — Rachel S.

“Dinner and a movie sitting in the back row.” — Katie E.

6. Having a Picnic

A picnic in a quiet park would be great. “ — Liliane A.

“It really depends on how bad my depression is that day. I would love to go for a walk and have picnic, but on other days I might not be able to get out of bed.” — Lannie D.

7. Going on a Road Trip

I would love to get up early and drive to Yosemite, the beach or Disneyland. I’m good spending time in the car — it is getting us to somewhere we rarely go.” — Roxy R.

8. Stargazing

“My ideal date would be laying out under the stars in the calm and just talking. Or a walk in a park that’s not so crowded. Even just cruising around listening to music is great.” — Samantha W.

My dream date is in the back of a pick up truck on a starry night… With lots of blankets, good conversation, some beers and a radio.” — Angie G.

9. Going to the Zoo or an Animal Shelter

Anything to do with seeing dogs or animals. They instantly make me happy. The Humane Society, petting zoos, etc.” — Megan T.

10. Going to a Show or “Open Mic” Night

“We can make art or go to an open mic together and watch all the artists perform.” — Reign R.

11. Building a Blanket/Pillow Fort

Cuddling up on the couch we turned into a blanket fort, eating take out and watching movies.” — Amy S.

“Stuck inside the house, building a big pillow fort.” — Erin S.

12. Going on a “Spontaneous” Date

“Spontaneous. Don’t give me time to back out or cancel. Take advantage of it if I say yes, and don’t take it personally if I say no. Sometimes I desperately want to spend time with someone, but can’t make myself do it. Going for a walk or getting coffee (or both) is an easy thing for me to agree to, and the more low-key a date is, the more likely I am to follow through with going.” — Jessie K.

“The best dates are probably spur of the moment. Anything that will take my mind off things. Personally, my husband doesn’t mind when plans change. Sometimes, an event sounds really fun, right up until it is time to leave. He gives me the freedom and support to decide what we should do in that moment. It is ideal.” — Angela C.

13. Going for a Walk in the Park

“Just a decent walk to the park and lying down on the grass and having a deep conversation with someone who cares for me as much as I care for them.” — Justin R.

“Stop somewhere for a cup of coffee or tea and then go sit at a park and talk. Having something to drink helps when there are awkward moments or your throat is dry and having something to hold or fidget with is very calming. Being out in nature and getting some vitamin D is absolutely wonderful. A park is perfect because you can sit or walk.” — Annie J.

14. Going on an “Adventure”

I need someone to realize that sometimes I want to go on an adventure to help kick myself out of it.” — Chrissy R.

15. Grabbing Coffee

My ideal date would be totally low key, like coffee at a cafe and maybe wandering around a bookshop. Or coming over to mine for pizza and a movie. The stress of dressing up and having the stilted ‘romantic’ evening winds me up so bad I dread the actual event.” — Afton S.

What would you add?


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Depression

young woman lying on bed in room looking at phone

What I Found When I Looked Back at My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741. The new year is a great time to reflect on the previous year and make resolutions for the following year. I have fallen into this trap time [...]

20 Memes That Perfectly Describe the 'Embarrassing' Symptoms of Depression

When you live with depression, sometimes you experience symptoms you would rather not share with others. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you showered, and dry shampoo just isn’t covering it up anymore. Maybe your once-satisfying sex life has taken a hit, and you can’t enjoy physical intimacy. Or maybe your emotions feel out of [...]
woman with blonde hair and jean jacket looks at the camera

What 1,000 Days With Depression Has Been Like

1,000 days. It has been 1,000 days since this all began, my depression. I know it is 1,000 days. I know the exact day I finally cried out for help. I have seen the good, the bad, even the most ugly parts of myself. I have even learned a little. I have learned people can [...]
silhouette of man walking in water with stormy sky

Why You Shouldn’t Say ‘You Can Do It’ to a Person With Depression

When I was deep in my depression, I heard so many caring people and my family say to me, “You can do it!” or “Be strong!” I feel their love, but I feel weak. I feel so small. Every time I heard words like those and others with similar intentions during my depression, it did [...]