How To Date Me: A White Queer Neurodivergent Depressed NB’s Guide is a guest post written by Patience Virtue and published with permission.
Dating is hard, Depression is even harder, so as I’m sure you can imagine, dating while depressed can range from exhausting, to nightmarishly terrifying, to an insurmountable obstacle of nope. And frankly I’m really really tired of the ableism in the dating world, which frankly just stems from the ableism in the world at large.
So, here are a few simple rules I’ve drafted for dating a depressed person. You will of course know that I’m depressed because I’ve put it in my goddamn dating profile. No fucking excuses.
1). I did not cancel on you because I’m a petty, mean, wishy-washy jerk. I am disabled. I have a disability. If I have to cancel on you I already feel like total shit and have imagined myself in several different hells this morning. Don’t be a jerk.
2). Don’t wax eloquent about the low-maintenance or drama-free partner that you dream of. Some of us will never be low-maintenance and I find your profile to be ableist and self-serving. If you’re too low-key to date anyone who has any disability, you might be too low-key to date. Period.
3). I’m not trying to be shy. I’m not magically suddenly unattracted to you and a coward. When I say I’m tired, I fucking mean it. I’m tired. I’m not trying to get out of the date. I’m not “fake gay” who’s never dated queer before and is suddenly getting cold feet. I. Am. Fucking. Tired. I’m sorry if my disability is an inconvenience to you, but can you imagine for a goddamn second that I’m not only inconvenienced by my own fucking disability, but now I’m also having to babysit your feels about it? Give me a fucking break please.
4). If you do decide that I’m too much work, have the fucking guts to say it. Don’t be a coward and a bigot. At least own your ableism; you can’t handle my depression. I get it. Frankly I can’t really handle it most days. But JFC could we not with acting like I had some sort of moral failing or I stopped existing, and could you just tell me please. I know I suck at humaning sometimes. I am well aware. And you telling me, while it will hurt, will at least keep me from days or weeks of gas lighting musing on how I’m such a terrible person in every conceivable way.
5). If you do decide that my adorable personality, charming sense of humor, and cute-as-a-button face are special and you want to keep seeing me, please continue to educate yourself on depression and how not to be a shit. Seriously it’s so easy to accidentally drain or hurt people who are depressed. And I’ve had it all before. Please don’t offer advice. For the love of god I know all the woo cures and I don’t give a shit. Please just treat me like a person and respect that my disability is mine. It’s part of me like everything else and I don’t want you to ignore it, try to fix it for me, or try to carry it. I just want what everyone else wants; a partner who likes me, wants to spend time with me, sees me, and who feels as lit up at the sight of me as I do at the sight of them.
6). We are not a monolith. This is the dating guide to dating this particular person, me. This can be helpful for understanding some or many people, but you absolutely have to always communicate on an individual level to understand that particular persons feelings about their disability and their preferences. Never ever ever assume you understand a group of people based on one member of that group. Ever.
7). P.S. Those of us with mental illnesses and/or disability are much more likely to have been abused. Please be fucking sensitive.