Tips for Dating Someone With Anxiety or Trauma

We haven’t written about depression and anxiety, in a while, and I am seeing a lot of posts from men and women asking advice about how to best help their significant others who also suffer from mental illness.

Now I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL… I just happen to have come past the darkest of times, and realise what helped me personally. This advice is NOT universal. Everyone heals differently. 🙂 That being said, here are some things I’ve appreciated.

1. Lay off the advice:

Tips for Dating Someone With Anxiety or Trauma(Ironic that this is the first piece of advice, eh?) Most of the time if I’m depressed, crying, or having a panic attack – having someone say, “Why don’t you just…” feels, in a way like they are dismissing pain. Instead of giving advice, try listening to actually listen…not to weigh in. You’ll be surprised at how often someone with anxiety will eventually talk themselves down if you nod, and empathise… instead of lecturing.

2. Reassurance:

I think we tend to take this for granted, but it’s so helpful to simply hear the words, “I believe you. I love you. I’m sticking around.”

3. Consistency:

If you say you’re going to be somewhere, or that you’re going to check in by a certain time…do it. Because though it may seem normal to you, to be late, etc… to someone with anxiety, it can sometimes feel like every minute is an hour, and every moment is filled with dread of how you’re going to dump me, leave me, or…that you’ve just plain died in a car wreck. Yes, this is how my brain works. Skipping to the worst possible scenario, as if you’re strapped to virtual reality, and forced to watch your life going as quickly as possible.

4. How I heal isn’t how others heal:

Some people heal through anger, some through tears, some through shouting, others through silence. The important thing is that the person suffering isn’t harming you, or themselves in the process…and that they are validated. Hearing, “Your pain is real. How can I help?” Is amazing.

Tips for Dating Someone With Anxiety or Trauma

5. Give distinct choices:

Victims of trauma aren’t given choices. Usually we’re given open ended statements by people looking to “help”, such as… “Call if you need me…”
We don’t know if that means 3am when we have flashbacks, too? Choices and examples are great, “Would you like me to help you book a therapy appointment? Would you like me to just listen? Would you like to do something to get your mind off of it? If none of these options sound awesome, that’s OK, too…I want to support.” It’s amazing how have 3+ choices can help. (ps. this is a piece of advice I learned from the “Break the Silence Day” initiative on Facebook – check it out, amazing resource for survivors)

6. Think About All of the Senses:

Does your partner like rope? They might like a weighted blanket.

Do they like texture? A soft plushie may be a cool gift to cuddle.

Does smell, calm them? Learn about that, and encourage it. Whatever it is they like…because coping mechanisms are not one size fits all.

7. Be Patient:

By being there, you are doing more than many of our past partners have done. We know we are a handful, but we are grateful to have you. 🙂

Like I said, I heal differently than others…so, if there is any advice you personally have, as an anxiety or depression sufferer (warrior?), feel free to add – but please, no fighting – since we all handle things differently. <3


Jon the nudist

Jon the nudist

Well, my name is Jon the Owner of You Only Wetter a 37-year-old, Poly practicing, Dom with two great kids. I am a happy busy internet geek with a love of all things Google and I love spending time sitting on the sofa watching the latest Dr. Who, Mythbusters or a movie. I am a nudist mostly at home but do like to go down to the beach and bare all or go for a little walk around some hidden woodland really would like to do the whole nudist holiday :)

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Tips for Dating Someone With Anxiety or Trauma

by Jon the nudist time to read: 4 min
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