Dating and Feeling Needy as a Person With Depression
It’s hard to date as a person with depression. You live in a constant battle with yourself, all while trying to be “good enough” for your significant other. When you are with that other person, you are happy and can breathe easy, but once they leave, you fall apart all over again. You try to put on a brave face, even on your dark days when you feel insecure and scared shitless about life — making efforts to pretend you are an active member in your own life when actually, you haven’t left your bed in three days.
You tell your loved one you can’t wait to go out with their friends tonight; in reality, the mere thought fills you with anxiety, making you not want to move from your bed. You cover up your feelings to follow through with the night’s plan, but you are struggling to cease your weeping eyes on the drive to their house. Forcing a smile when they ask you if you are having fun. Lying to everyone, saying the reason you’re quiet is because you’re “just tired from work/school.” Harboring a bit of guilt for having prayed for a reason to leave early when your lover tells you how much they appreciate you coming out. They don’t know, as soon as you shut that car door, that the truth you’ve been hiding will come flooding out through your eyes. And it’s not their fault; you’ve become an expert at holding back.
And when your wonderful other half asks if you will be alright tonight without them, you nod and smile, too afraid to ask them to stay with you. Even if you are desperate for their tight embrace, telling you everything will be alright, and that they are there for you. Because let’s be real: There are days you just want to scream “give me all your love and attention.” But that isn’t allowed. Anxiety and self-doubt whisper in your ear, prohibiting you from uttering a single word in fear of seeming too needy.
It’s not that you can’t manage on your own; you do it on a daily basis. No, it’s simply that the other person makes you feel like you’re not alone. They allow you to believe you are worth something.
However, sometimes your significant other is the one who, unintentionally, causes you to feel insecure. Things that wouldn’t bother you one day suddenly have an effect on you tomorrow. It could be something as small as them liking a revealing picture of someone else on social media. Normally, you wouldn’t pay it much mind, but there are days you will be down over it. Self-doubt creeps in, and you start to question yourself — “Do they wish I looked like that? Or acted this way?” — all the while knowing it’s ridiculous to get upset over it, but that is how your mind works some days.
Dating when you have depression is hard. You live in a world of second-guessing; a limitless amount of questions your mind comes up with… but it does get easier. One day, you’ll find a person who you can be completely transparent with. You’ll find someone you can vent your struggles to and breakdown in front of, exposing the most vulnerable side of yourself, without fear of judgment. You’ll allow those little voices and insecure thoughts to be silenced by a single phrase from the person who loves you. I cannot lie and say there aren’t days you will feel insecure or feel like a burden, because there will be. But if you find the right partner, they will reassure you, and they will help you stand on your own two feet again.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Getty Images photo via ipopba