Mental Health and Dating: Keeping Safe in a Fast Paced World

Posted by [email protected] on July 21, 2017 at 10:15 AM

      Are you single, divorced, or widowed? If yes, then like many singles across our nation, you know the struggles associated with finding a friend or even a date that worth keeping around.

      With the modernization of online dating, it can be a scary time as single men and women try to balance life while trying to reenter the dating scene. So, it has occurred to me that this might be an area of interest during this time of weddings, family vacations, holidays, college trips, etc., when many singles are feeling the most vulnerable.

      Some particularly good advice to assist you during this season comes from an article on BlackDoctors.org called “15 Mental Health Questions You Should Ask Your Date.” The article suggests the following advice about dating and offers a few mental health questions to ask your date. Here’s an excerpt from their page:

“Dating is hard enough as it is. Now, pile on mental health issues stemming from his or her past and it’s a recipe for disaster. So instead of finding out later that the person you're dating may have some mental health problems that you didn't sign up for, here are a few questions you should ask and they should answer (and you should answer too).

1. Do you like your job?

Why: Is the person about to make any major life changes e.g., leave their $200K/year job to go back to school? What's their attitude to their work? Do they see it as a job, a vocation, or are they primarily motivated by climbing the career ladder?

2. What sort of vacations do you like to take?

Why: Different vacation preferences or amounts of vacation time can be a major source of ongoing incompatibility. For example, if one person likes to take very long trips and the other person has a more standard two weeks’ vacation time.

3. How was your day?

Why: This question helps establish if your date has a positive or negative attitude? If asking this question leads to five solid minutes of them complaining you'll know the person sees the glass as half empty. Also, if anything out of the ordinary has happened that might be affecting your date's mood, it's good to factor this in.

4. Tell me about your friends?

Why: When you enter a relationship with someone you're also entering a relationship with their friends. Also, it's nice to give your date an opportunity to answer a question that isn't directly about them.

5. Are you a dog person, a cat person, or neither?

Why: If one of you doesn't like pets and the other has three dogs?

6. Would you like a bite of my food?

Why: This question shows you’re open to sharing. On a first date go for a friendly tone rather than an intimate tone when asking this question. If the person is against it, he or she may be against sharing in life or have some sort of issue with sharing from his/her past.

7. Is it too noisy in here for you?

Why: This shows you’re considerate of other people’s comfort. Don’t be afraid to change plans if you arrive at a restaurant and find it’s too noisy for a good conversation.

8. Are you close to your family? Or, tell me who’s in your family?

Why: Are they very involved with their family of origin? Is this something that appeals to you or not? Are their family intrusive?

9. Is there anything you don’t eat?

Why: Helps you plan future dates but also gives you an opportunity to choose not to pursue dating someone who has very incompatible food preferences from you.”

      Can you use these tips now as you navigate the dating landscape? Also, do you have any stories or tips to share as singles work to assess the mental health of their dates. If yes, please send me your story!

      Dating is hard work, but it is a time for gathering information in order to weed out those with whom you might be incompatible. Next month, I will follow up with other tips in our Mental Health and Dating Part II blog. So, let me hear from you about how if any these might have helped.

Happy dating!

Dr. Meg

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