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If they will support you in your endeavors, “they could be a real keeper,” she says.

Telling them about the challenges you face or going to couples counseling can also be helpful.

In addition to surrounding yourself with the support of friends and family, Sheela Raja, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says it’s important to let potential partners know how they can help you.

For example, if you exercise regularly to help lift your mood, ask your partner to join you.

You might choose that time to share that you have depression.”When you feel the time is right, Friedman suggests a three-part “script.” First, tell your partner that she is important to you, enough so that you have something about yourself to share with her.

Second, don’t just blurt out “I suffer from depression.” Instead, preface it by telling her there’s something you’ve struggled with that’s a fairly common problem, let her know you have been diagnosed with depression and that you’re taking care of yourself by seeking treatment.

If you don’t feel like having sex, let the person know you still find him or her attractive by cuddling or being affectionate.

This message is as important as telling her that you have depression, says Friedman.

For example, men often feel that it’s their job to make their partner happy, says Friedman.

Understand his desire to help, but let him know you can’t always put on a happy face.

If things become more serious, however, you should tell your potential partner.

Friedman says a good time might be when you decide to see each other exclusively or when you just feel that you care more deeply about each other.

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