Dear Surly Amy,
I find myself in a quandary involving my love life. Â Here’s theÂ problem: Â I’m 50 and I’m on disability for chronic severe depression.It seems that women are expecting me to have a job and to have noÂ baggage (believe me, if you look at the ads from women looking for menÂ you’ll see that with amazing frequency.) Â At 50 I can tell you thatÂ you’re going to have baggage, but in my case, thanks to theÂ depression, I have enough baggage to choke United Airlines. Â If itÂ weren’t for the depression I’d be a pretty amazing guy. Â I’mÂ intelligent, witty, have a greatÂ personality and am willing to learnÂ and do things I’ve never done before. Â I’m also honest, so how do IÂ Â deal with my income (I get enough to support myself) issue andÂ depression when a lady asks me what I do for a living? Â If I comeÂ right out and say what’s going on it’s an instant turn off. Â AnyÂ suggestions? Â Or perhaps do you know of some place where people areÂ accepting of people in my situation?
Your question really got the gals riled up behind the scenes. You might actually be surprised by how many people have had their lives touched by chronic and severe depression. In fact, I would guess that most of the writers for this blog know and love someone or actually are someone who have been touched by severe depression. And almost all of the ladies I talked with about this (it was the ladies you were asking about) agree on one thing: The depression isn’t the issue.
You sir, need to get a hobby.
Allow me to explain.
Seems that you are allowing your disability in combination with your income to be a road block in your life and while it is completely understandable that a chronic illness can encompass a large section of your life, it shouldn’t be everything about you. You may only make enough money for yourself. That is not as big a deal as you think and you are insinuating that all women are looking for a meal ticket. Which quite frankly, is offensive to say the least. I will say that if I were to look at a dating site and saw a potential mate with no job I would be turned off, not because he wouldn’t be able to pay for things for me (I’m quite capable of paying for my own things as are most women I know) but because it would appear as though the guy had no interests in life at all.
A wonderful suggestion by one of the Skepchicks quite familiar with depression was for you to do some volunteer work. That way you are doing something that will benefit society, you can make your own hours and you have something to put in the work section of a dating site.
At age 50 it would not be at all unusual for a man to be retired and doing volunteer work by choice. As a bonus you open yourself up to meeting new friends while you make the world a better place! Some volunteer work can even be done from home if you can not leave the house. Find a charity you like and get involved. Then pick up another hobby such as learning a new language or a musical instrument. Find things to do. You will open yourself up to a whole new group of people online and in person with similar interests and activities who will have a chance to get to know you for reasons much more relevant and interesting than your income statement.
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*Ask Surly Amy is meant for entertainment purposes only. All advice should be taken with as much skepticism as anything else, really.