15 Tips for Dating a Woman with Depression

How to Date a Woman Who Suffers From Depression.

Keara Douglas
Apr 14 · 9 min read
Photography provided by BetterHelp

There are so many things you just need to do and so many things that you just do not need to do while dating a woman with depression. I have personally suffered from this mental illness for years now. Some days things are really great, even for some months at a time, I feel like a normal and healthy minded person. And then there are the times where things are not great. Not even good. With me being in my late twenties in age now and maintaining my depression the best that I can, things have been a little rocky in the dating field. I have found myself explaining myself a lot more than necessary due to some of my dating potentials’ ignorance to depression itself. Most haven’t even known what exactly depression is and some just haven’t taken the time out to learn about it for the benefit and sake of others they’re around. Lets take a look at what not to do while dating a woman with depression.

  1. Don’t feed into her sleepiness all the time. Yes, it is good for us women to get rest and all, but with a woman suffering from depression that rest time can become a negative thing if it’s not caught onto early enough. A woman whom is suffering from depression will want to stay in the bed all day and night long. She will just want to either simply lay there with or without sleeping in the dark all day and night, or she will want to lay around and eat junk food all day. No, this is not saying that it is your responsibility to be a parent figure in this area. It is simply saying if you love her or see potential in a relationship with her, care enough to not allow her do either one of those things for a continuous & consistent basis.
  2. That leads us to our next point, don’t let her eat a bunch of junk food. We as women tend to opt for a lot of junk food when we are going through somethings for some reason. Most of the time it’s something sweet like ice cream and those small snack cakes. Don’t allow her to eat her pain away. It’s not healthy and she will gain a lot of unhealthy weight from it as well, which won’t help anything. Feed her some better options like veggie plates or fruit trays. Something she can just grab and snack on. It is also good to make sure she eats period which leads us to our next point.
  3. Don’t let her starve herself. Some women tend to eat more during depressive stages, and then you have some that don’t eat all. I think I would place myself in this category when it comes to my depressive moments and eating habits combined. A woman may not have the desire to eat at all for days. Make sure she has ate something, *hint: those veggie trays and fruit plates are a small step towards progress*.
  4. Don’t cancel plans. If you schedule a date or something fun with her please do remember that it is hard enough to get a depressed person out the house let alone out and about to do anything, so if something just magically comes up and you are forced to cancel plans that she finally found the strength to get up and take part in, she may take it a lot harder and rougher than the average person. She may feel like you’re just trying to make her feel even worse about herself with thoughts that you only got her out the house to stand her up when that may not have even been the case in reality. Try not to cancel at all no matter what. Make sure your schedule is clear completely for those plans. If you do have to cancel, make sure you let her know ahead of time and reassure her that you really want to hangout but not at the moment, that you’ll reschedule for a better time.
  5. Don’t disappear. There is nothing worse than making a connection with a great person, whom you think is a great person, & they disappear on you completely. But for a depressed woman, ghosting & disappearing may hit harder than the average person. Again, the depression itself makes a woman feel bad about herself so you ghosting, or disappearing, is like pushing a knife that’s already in her chest deeper into her chest, it’s painful & hurtful.
  6. Never make it seem like she’s being dramatic. The last thing a woman suffering from depression needs to feel like is that she’s being dramatic or bringing drama to the table in her relationship. Depression is controllable but only if learned how to control. Most of the time a woman can’t control her depression in the beginning so things will be a little rocky. She may not even know that her behavior is depressive so make sure you talk things out with her versus criticizing her actions. She is not being over the top about her emotions and how she feels so don’t make it seem like that.
  7. Stop complaining. Complaining about her not wanting to do the things she once did, or not wearing the clothes she once wore as an example is not going to make her want to do those things again. This will only push her away even more from what ever it is that you’re complaining about her not doing anymore. Instead make suggestions about previous activities she used to love doing, or show her old pictures of when she wore the clothes you loved seeing her in. Gradually bring her back to those old habits and ways of doing things.
  8. Don’t compare her to other women. This may be by far the worst thing you could do to a woman suffering from depression, or any woman for that matter that you see a potential relationship with. At the end of the day what other women have going on or what they look like will never matter to her. They are the least thing she is thinking about so if you come to her showing her different things going on with different women she is more prone to leave you all together and shut down completely. When you begin to compare her to these other women, or you begin to point out other things with other women while in her presence as she suffers from a mental illness, you are telling her that her problems don’t matter and you now have eyes for these other women and what they have going on. This also tells her indirectly that you’d rather be with those women you’re comparing her to which could lead to her feeling even worse about herself, as though she’s in competition. Which leads to our next point…..
  9. Don’t make her compete for you and your heart. A depressed woman won’t compete for you nor your love on a healthy note. It is best not to test her this way as some with mental illness may not react rationally, making a bad situation terrible. You then have that other side where some women suffering from depression won’t compete period. They won’t try to prove themselves. They won’t change up things to make you feel more comfortable and bring reassurance for you. They will flat out shut down and cut you off all together. Instead be patient with her, and give her as much reassurance as you can.
  10. Don’t be defensive. Remember your lady is suffering from an illness and sometimes this type of illness may result to her falsely assuming things from time to time. Remember we talked about how you should not disappear in number five right? Well this stems from that as well. In a woman’s mind, if she’s truly depressed, everything and everyone is against her. Somehow, there’s this little voice, a subconscious negative voice, in her head telling her that she’s not worthy of your love and she’s good enough for anything or anyone. Depression really and truly attacks women’s self-esteem and self-worth in women the hardest. This can lead to minor mishaps turning into huge negative ordeals for your relationship. For example, one missed call or reply back to a text has the potential to turn into a nasty argument based on that little subconscious voice in the back of her mind. Yes you know it’s all in her head, but she doesn’t know that or can’t seem to control it. Don’t argue and become defensive with her about it. Again, reassurance is your friend here.
  11. Don’t tell her she’s crazy. She’s not crazy and no one suffering from a mental illness is crazy. They are simply suffering from an illness of the mind. Everything discussed here are just symptoms of her illness and they can be controlled and even erased all together with the proper guidance and reassurance over time. Be patient with her.
  12. Never accuse her of being weak. People whom suffer from mental illnesses and are still here and willing to live through it and learn how to control it are the most strongest human beings on Earth. Don’t underestimate her. She may not have control of her emotions and feelings, but I can guarantee there is a highly strong woman under that depression. Nothing is weak about someone suffering from depression.
  13. Don’t knock the idea of attending therapy with her. Listen, therapy is always good. If she is willing to go to therapy, the smart and best thing for you to do as her man or the person she is dating is to go with her to her first therapy sessions unless she states otherwise. That small step of being there literally for her during one of the roughest parts of her life is what she will remember and cherish forever. Most people don’t have that type of support of someone willing to take the time out of their life to go with them to therapy. You would be making a huge step here in your relationship with her and would have gained an ample amount of trust from her.
  14. Don’t think that it is you or that you have caused her depression. Yes people can cause other’s to have depression triggers but don’t falsely assume that you are the cause of her depression. Sometimes a woman may have deep rooted issues going on from previous relationships and family dynamics that cause her depression. You never truly know what is the initial cause unless you do attend therapy as stated in number 13. Just know it’s not you, it is in fact her, but please reassure her that you are a good person and you are there to help her.
  15. Don’t force sex or sexual acts. Not going to lie here, sex is a tricky topic for a truly depressed woman. There isn’t really a middle ground so things can either go one of two routes. She will either be too depressed, sad, to have sex at all. Or she will be highly sexual. If your woman that you’re dating is facing depression and does not want to have sex like normal then do not force it at all. You shouldn’t be forcing a woman to have sex with you at all, that is in fact called rape, but also remember to not force the issue. She’s just simply not in the mood at all and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s her body and her decision so give her some time, or work on the previous steps above to get her in a better headspace for sex. If she becomes overly sexual, this could lead to bigger problems. Women who become overly sexual as a way to cope and mask their initial problems often times lead to her having more than one partner. Don’t freak out just keep an eye on her and somehow allow her desires to be a benefit for the both of you. If you’re uncomfortable, try talking it out and considering therapy here as well.

Of course everyone is different so the results of performing any of the tips provided above may or may not work for some depending on the type of person you’re dating. Always remember no woman is the same so don’t always treat them all the same. No one’s depression is the same, which means some may need different treatment to treat their symptoms or for a complete change with their illness.

6 Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Depression Alliance

Keara Douglas

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I write to make me happy and to let others know they are not alone.