(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)As if dating isn’t hard enough, new findings have revealed that 54% of single people have mental health issues – and it’s affecting their love lives.
Out of 4,000 participants, just under half (43%) of singles with mental health problems said it makes it harder for them to find a relationship.
The survey, which was conducted by eharmony together with psychotherapist Lucy Beresford, further revealed that being ghosted (20%) and not receiving a reply from a new lover (18%) is a trigger for many single people.
Receiving critique for their appearance and having their mental health problems misunderstood was also a sensitive issue for 16%, respectively.
The most common mental health issues for singles included anxiety and depression (39% for both) and sleep disorders (18%).
However, the stigma around mental health may be lessening in relation to dating.
One third of the single people said it’s no longer taboo, while for those in relationships, half (50%) said mental health problems are present in their relationship but 48% believe it has a positive influence.
Body confidence concerns were prevalent for both singles and those in relationships; 14% of the later are triggered by getting naked with their other half.
Top 10 mental health triggers for single people
1. Being ‘ghosted’ – 20%
2. Being worried about having sex for the first time with a new partner – 19%
3. Unsuccessful dates – 19%
4. A new date not texting back – 18%
5. Having mental health problems misunderstood – 16%
6. Sexual/ physical intimacy – 16%
7. Getting into an argument with someone they’re dating – 16%
8. A date being critical about looks – 15
9. A date being critical about an element of their personality – 15%
10. Experiencing ‘gaslighting’ – 13%
Top 10 mental health triggers for people in relationships
1. Getting into an argument with my partner – 20%
2. Having my mental health problems misunderstood by my partner – 17%
3. Issues around sexual activity or physical intimacy – 16%
4. My partner being critical about an element of my personality – 16%
5. Getting naked in front of my partner – 14%
6. My partner not contacting me back when I was expecting a response – 13%
7. A partner having previously cut off communication with me – 12%
8. My partner being critical about my looks – 11%
9. Experiencing ‘gaslighting’ – 9%
10. Interacting with my partner’s friends – 8%
‘What’s massively encouraging from this research is that so many people – whether they’re dating or in a relationship – are benefitting from starting a conversation about their mental health,’ said psychotherapist Lucy Beresford.
‘Intimate relationships can provide the support people need to improve their mental wellbeing, and can allow us to experience tolerance, understanding and being loved for who we are.
‘At the same time, it’s useful to be reminded that relationships and dating can create negative triggers for mental health.
‘Whether it’s anxieties around body confidence or sexual performance, feeling like your mental health diagnosis is misunderstood, or confusion around modern dating protocols, knowing that your mental health could be affected means you’re in a better position to take your self-care seriously. If issues are affecting you or your relationship, professional help is available and can make the world of difference.’
When it came to talking about mental health problems with a partner, nearly half of those in a relationship felt ‘safe and empowered’ by it, but 21% revealed it takes them more than a year to do so.
This was particularly prevalent among participants over the age of 35, who were found to be four times more likely to not tell their partner about their mental health condition(s).
‘We applaud both and couples for admitting they sometimes battle mental health issues,’ said Rachael Lloyd, relationship expert at eharmony.
‘The reality is most of us will have an experience of depression or anxiety in our lifetimes and, hopefully, gone are the days of having to pretend it’s not happening.
‘We encourage those battling anxiety-related conditions to be bold in their search for love. We know that high levels of neuroticism can impact on overall relationship satisfaction. But even if there are mental health struggles present, couples who communicate well, score high on conflict resolution and are adaptable can and do have happy relationships in the long term.’
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