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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Savvy Singles > Dating & Depression

Savvy Singles
by dating expert Tonja Evetts Weimer

It's Hard to Date When You're Depressed

Have you had trouble finding a date lately? Are you often depressed and can’t find the energy to get out there and socialize? There are times when the collective mood seems like a gray day in January. Terrorist alerts that inform us of what may happen in the near future, lists of casualties from combat zones, or frequent weather disasters can create despair.

If you are single, you may be feeling the current of the times even more. You may look at your life and wish you had a mate to share the good times and the bad. It may feel like if you had someone to lean on when the morning news feels menacing, you could get through the day better. However, the catch-22 is this: it’s hard to be attractive when you are depressed. Furthermore, you will probably attract someone just like you. Then, neither of you will have the other to tap for energy.


It is important to clarify that I am not referring to clinical depression that requires treatment by a medical doctor. If you have a sustained loss of interest in your work and your life, if your eating and sleeping habits are not as they used to be, if you are feeling hopeless and worthless for long periods of time, or if you have thoughts of suicide, I urge you to get help now.

The depression I refer to is a garden-variety kind of weed that can grow overnight and shade out the good plants. If you feel sad or lonely or experience a general malaise, there are ways to confront this type of depression.

An interesting aspect to coaching is to help clients discover individual qualities that they were born with. When they are unaware of what these qualities are, and they are not living from them, they lose a large part of themselves. Helping them to find and use one or more of their strengths often breaks up depression immediately.

An example might be, if you are a creative artist and love beauty and excellence, and you see all of nature as a display of beauty; if you deeply feel the colors, textures, and rhythms of your surroundings; or if a beautiful piece of music transports you to another realm of imagination, you need a life where you can honor these characteristics. You did not choose these traits. You came into the world with them.

If, as this artist, you find yourself in a relationship where the level of entertainment that your mate wants is to spend the weekend on the couch watching soap operas (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and her idea of travel is to visit her parents in the next county, you both may be suffering. She cannot possibly understand why you want to explore new countries and go to museums and concerts. If you try to live the life she wants and deny your heart’s longing, you will wither.

Or perhaps one of your character strengths is that you have a great capacity to love. Adults, children, pets, and even flowers grow and flourish in your presence. But if you work in an office of people who appear to be more robot than human, and the daily agenda is business as usual in a cold, rigid, concrete atmosphere, your energy level there will sag.

You may have a love of learning as a core value. This characteristic exists in all of us to some extent, but to certain people, it is essential to their emotional health. They get tanked up when they are learning and discovering something new. But if you married young or have a large family to support, you may have sacrificed a level of education you have sorely missed. If you have a job where your brain feels flat—your spirits might feel the same way.

The three strengths in the examples above are appreciation of beauty and excellence, the capacity to give and receive love, and a love of learning. If you can identify one of your most urgent, currently unused characteristics, and begin to use it more, you will be a happier person. Incorporating your values into your life makes you happy. It also makes you attractive.

Ask yourself what kind of traits you are known for. Do you need to be creative? Do you think of new and ingenious ways to do things? Being creative is not limited to the arts. Finding a new way to solve an old problem and not being content to do things in the same conventional manner might be the mark of your individual character.

Are you the original Curious George? Are you interested in everything and always asking questions? Or do you possess an unusual level of wisdom, bringing a unique perspective to every situation that makes sense to you and to others?

Whatever your strengths, it is important to recognize them and put them to use. When you do, your depression will be dissipated and you will find new energy. Optimism, hope, and excitement for life are magnetic. Since like attracts like—you may soon find yourself with someone who shares your interests and your enthusiasm.

Tonja Evetts Weimer, M.A., is an award-winning author and Master Certified Single’s Coach and Personal Life Coach. Her Savvy Singles column appears every Friday in Online Dating Magazine. You can email Tonja at, visit her website a or, or call 864-294-9494.

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