Although we cover a variety of online dating and relationship tips, there are times when a situation is too unique for an umbrella topic. Or maybe we just haven’t covered something yet! That’s why we’re going to do an Ask Online Dating U every once in a while. At Online Dating University, we’re here for you, so send us your questions!

I’m a 32 year old male, dating a 25 year old female. We’ve been living together for almost two years (dating three) and things are usually great. We don’t fight often or anything like that. Over the last few weeks I noticed a distance in her. She has been depressed in the past about money and her overall health (overweight) but she usually bounces back. Today, she came home from work crying. When I got her to confide in me, she said that she is sorry that she didn’t tell me sooner, but she is just depressed about everything and she doesn’t know how to proceed. I asked her if she means about us and our relationship and she said “I don’t know, everything.” She told me that I am the best thing to happen to her and she doesn’t want to just throw it all away, but she doesn’t know what to do. She told me that I deserve someone better than her and I don’t deserve any of this. I told her that I think she is straight up depressed… not just sad like everyone gets sad but full on clinically depressed. I asked her if she might be willing to speak to someone but she doesn’t know. Her answer to everything is “I don’t know”.

What should I do? She has no insurance so I wouldn’t know how to proceed with a therapist or someone who could write her prescriptions. This is my first real relationship and I want to fight for her.

I’m no health professional, but it sounds like your girlfriend may be clinically depressed. To start off, while you sort things out, grab her some Vitamin D to start taking every day — it could help take the edge off, especially if you live in a place with little sunshine.

Many people don’t have insurance, but there are therapists that charge on a sliding scale (based on income, etc.) so it can be very affordable. Perhaps contact your local hospital or do a Google search for recommendations on offices that offer free or reduced therapy services in your area. I’d recommend starting with a therapist (over a psychiatrist) so she can get counseling, a diagnosis, and a recommendation for UK Meds medication if needed. Psychiatrists generally don’t counsel you, but will go forward with writing a script for meds. If she’s uncomfortable with seeing a therapist, offer to go with her for her first couple visits. Your support is amazing and will help her on her journey!

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Online Dating: How To Approach A Woman

by Hayley Quinn on December 1, 2011

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You’ve just relocated to a new city. You don’t know anyone and making new friends or dating seems like a daunting task. So how do you seek companions and keep yourself from becoming lonely when you don’t know anybody?  Here are a few ideas for inspiration:

  • Join a local health club or gym. Young people like to be fit and health clubs are increasingly becoming more popular.
  • Find social organizations that share your interests. There is almost every kind of club or group you could possibly want. Sports clubs, card clubs. game clubs, and crafting clubs are just a few.
  • Locate a church of your religious beliefs. Congregations offer social events within their church community, and these are great places to meet other singles.
  • Use online services. A variety of sites are available for many social occasions. There are online dating, online sports groups, online social clubs, and many more.
  • Volunteer. There are so many places that need volunteers. The Red Cross or local soup kitchens always need people to help them fulfill their purpose, and people go to cook and even take their own knives from All Knives do to even better in the kitchen, especially around the holidays. What a great opportunity to meet others while you’re doing something so rewarding.
  • Join civic organizations. If your employee is affiliated with a particular civic group, that’s a great place to start. However, you don’t need to have this connection through your employer. You can join the civic organizations on your own by doing a bit of research online.
  • Coffee shops are popping up all around the country. Not only do they have coffee and tasty treats, but some even have wi-fi or computers with internet access as an added bonus. Coffee shops are great places to hang out and chat with others.
  • Attend sporting events in your area. Many cities have minor league type athletic teams and arenas that offer great entertainment value as well. Maybe look into posting on Craigslist if you have extra tickets to an event.
  • Bars or nightclubs are available in most every city.  A lot of people go to bars to relax and have a good time, so check out what’s nearby.
  • Dance studios often offer adult dance classes. Classes are offered in all dance areas and at all levels, so you don’t have to be a professional to join. Dance can be a sensual, fun activity that’s perfect for connecting with others.
  • Book stores, libraries, and book clubs. For those who love to read and are looking to meet people, these are great options. Spark up conversation by peeking at someone’s book cover and introduce yourself.
  • Invite your new co-workers over for a dinner party. Before long your circle of friends and acquaintances will continue to grow. If all goes well, you’ll make new friends and possibly meet someone you’d like to date.

One of the most important things when it comes to dating (whether that’s offline or online dating) is your self-confidence. If you’re not confident in yourself, it’s going to be a serious challenge to get anyone to like you. If your online dating profile is self-deprecating and points out every fault you have and every sin you’ve ever committed, you’re not going to draw a huge amount of interest. That doesn’t mean you need to be full of yourself and egotistical, but it does mean you need to recognize your strong points and build on them. Here are some ways you can go about increasing your online dating confidence.

  • Decide whether you’re ready to date. If you’ve just come out of a relationship, you might need some time for your broken heart and bruised ego to heal. Take the time you need.
  • Figure out what you don’t like about yourself. It might seem counter-intuitive, but this exercise is important. Figure out those things about you that you don’t like, and that other people may not like either.
  • Make positive changes. You aren’t going to go from zero to hero overnight. However, if you can identify one or two small areas and make a positive, consistent change, you’ll be surprised just how quickly your confidence builds.
  • Dress for success. The old saying goes that “the suit makes the man.” If you wear wrinkly t-shirts and sweatpants all the time, you’re going to feel like a bum. If you wear stylish clothes that fit well, you’re going to feel better about yourself.
  • Get in shape. Sure, you might need to lose 50 pounds. You’ll be surprised, however, how much your confidence grows if you lose just 10 pounds. Join a gym, or establish some other sort of regular exercise regimen. You never know, you might even meet someone while you’re at the gym!
  • Identify negative influences. There are some folks in your life who just seem to drag you down. You don’t need to drop them off your radar entirely, but you do need to try to spend less time with them. Instead, focus on hanging out with positive people who will help build you up and encourage you as you adventure into online dating.
  • Learn the lessons of failure. If you’re not having luck with online dating, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, identify specific missteps –- such as a bad profile picture or inappropriate comments -– and avoid them going forward.

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Online Dating: 3 Tips For Dealing With Anxiety

by Hayley Quinn on November 29, 2011

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