June 28, 2022

How to Start a New Relationship While Living With Anxiety, Depression, OCD, or Other Mental Health Challenges with Allison Raskin

How to Start a New Relationship While Living With Anxiety, Depression, OCD, or Other Mental Health Challenges with Allison Raskin

Our guest is Allison Raskin, author of Overthinking About You: Navigating Romantic Relationships When You Have Anxiety, OCD, and/or Depression

There are countless books on dating and many books on how to cope with mental illness. But, shockingly, there are very few books that explore the complex intersection of romance and mental health.

With radical vulnerability, humor, and compassion, the new book: Overthinking About You: Navigating Romantic Relationships When You Have Anxiety, OCD, and/or Depression - gives readers the tools to better understand themselves and what they want in a partner. It's a road map for what to do with this information - all while living with mental health issues.

The book is written by Allison Raskin - comedian, host of the popular "Just Between Us" podcast, mental health advocate, and New York Times bestselling author.

In this episode, we talk with her about her own mental health and dating journey and how her own worst fear came true while writing the book.

In this episode, you will learn the following:

  • How to have more authentic, meaningful relationships.
  • How to navigate romantic relationships when you have anxiety, OCD, and/or depression
  • Why breakups are so triggering for our mental health and how we can process them better.

Like this show? Please leave us a review here – even one sentence helps! Post a screenshot of you listening on Instagram & tag us so we can thank you personally!


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[00:00:00] Zach: You're on all the dating apps. You meet new people fairly regularly, and you really hope to make a connection.

[00:00:06] Jeremy: But you're afraid to share your struggle with anxiety, depression, O C, D, or whatever mental health challenges you face, or you wonder when and how to bring them up without scaring off a potential partner.

[00:00:16] Zach: Today? You'll hear from someone who literally wrote the book on this, keep listening to learn how sharing your struggle is a strength that can help you have more authentic, meaningful relationships.

[00:00:25] Music 

[00:00:26] Jeremy: Coming up on the fit mess.

[00:00:27] Allison Raskin - USB: I actually think it's, it's very misleading to say that you can't love someone else until you love yourself. You absolutely can. And people will definitely love you back. Like there are plenty of people who don't love themselves, who are in relationships. My question is, is it a healthy relationship?

[00:00:43] Because those are two very different things.

[00:00:45] Zach: That's Allison Raskin. She's a comedian and host of the popular just between us podcast and a New York times bestselling author Today, we'll talk with her about the lessons she shares in her new book called overthinking about you navigating romantic relationships.

[00:01:01] When you have anxiety O C, D and or depression,

[00:01:04] Jeremy: But first I'm Jeremy.

[00:01:06] Zach: and I'm Zach we've spent years pushing ourselves to learn more about our own physical, emotional, and mental health, and picked up a few coaching certificates along the way.

[00:01:14] Jeremy: Really we're two guys who got sick of our own shit and started making changes to be healthier, happier, and live more meaningful lives.

[00:01:20] Zach: And each week we talk to world class experts with advice to help you do the same.

[00:01:26] Jeremy: Dating new people is something I haven't had to do for over 20 years. But Zach you're newly single as we discussed a couple of weeks ago, this must be like going to another planet after, uh, being married for so long.

[00:01:37] Zach: Yeah. Well, I think at this point it's actually not quite being at a new planet because while I guess to anyone listening, this is relatively new. This is well over eight months old for me now. So but what I will say is that it is shifting now.

[00:01:53] So I went from it being another planet like, it's all different, it's weird. You're adapting, it's scary. It's exciting. It's, , all of those things, but then there comes a point where you just wanna go home, right?

[00:02:04] Jeremy: Mm-hmm

[00:02:05] Zach: And nothing else matters. You just wanna go home. I'm kind of at that point, like the dating thing is like, I don't know if I like it

[00:02:14] Jeremy: the,

[00:02:14] Zach: much. Like it, maybe it's, I'm too picky. Maybe I'm not quite cut out for it, but it, I, I spend more and more time thinking to. I kind of like being home by myself and I'm kind of enjoying this quiet time. , it's been an interesting ride the last few, you know, eight months or so.

[00:02:35] Jeremy: Well, I'm not gonna ask you about what your type is or, or what the, your sign is or any of that. But I, I am curious because we've talked at length on this show about your anxiety issues. how does that show up in dating? Is that something that comes up early? I mean, I, I don't, I don't know how many dates you've been on with any one person.

[00:02:52] I don't know if you have someone you've seen four or five times or whatever, but has mental health come up because it just seems like at this point in your life, you maybe don't wanna waste a lot of time and wait, , a year or two to be like, oh, Hey, by the way, I have crippling anxiety, does, does it come up pretty, uh, pretty early on in the process?

[00:03:11] Zach: Uh, it actually does, , to the point where, so, you know, I was using a few dating apps and I in my profile , I kind of hint at it. Right. So in the profile, there's like this leading question of like two truths and a lie where you like two things that are true about you. And one thing, that's a lie.

[00:03:26] Right. Pretty simple. , so I actually put in there that I am the co-host of a podcast that deals with mental and emotional health.

[00:03:34] Jeremy: So it sort of implies it without

[00:03:36] Zach: it could be right, but. Right. It it's in there, it's out there. That, that stuff is important to me. So that actually in my opinion probably gets me less people swiping right on me.

[00:03:47] Jeremy: It gets the right people swiping right on you.

[00:03:50] Zach: yeah, it gets the right people swiping right on me. Like even if that was the lie, the fact that it's in there and somebody doesn't like it, I don't wanna talk to them anyway.

[00:03:59] Jeremy: But you have actually gone on dates over the last several months. Ha has it been a topic of conversation at any point?

[00:04:06] Zach: It has, , for sure. And to be fair, like that question is actually the one that people respond to me the most with, and they try and guess what it is. 

[00:04:14] Jeremy: Oh, 

[00:04:15] Zach: not true. And the other two things are that I didn't finish high school and that I'm a yoga teacher.

[00:04:20] Jeremy: Oh, interesting. That's funny.

[00:04:22] Yeah. 

[00:04:24] Zach: the one thing which is technically not true is that I'm a yoga teacher.

[00:04:29] Because while I have my yoga certificate, I do not teach and I don't ever want to teach. So all three things kind of are for the most part. True. so people guess, and then I tell them what the answer is, and then it usually leads to, oh, what's the name of your podcast? And I send it to them and they listen for a couple of episodes or not.

[00:04:49] And 

[00:04:49] Jeremy: And then you never hear from them again.

[00:04:51] Zach: For a couple of them. I have never heard from them again, and I get ghosted, but for others, I get a response back of holy shit. That's amazing. This is really cool. And then again, those are the people I wanna talk to.

[00:05:04] Jeremy: So really your dating life is a marketing arm of the fit mess podcast.

[00:05:08] Zach: It is our listenership has gone up significantly

[00:05:10] Jeremy: it really? It really has. 

[00:05:11] Zach: yeah. You know, I'm taking one for the team. well, Well, Jeremy, you know, my life has been. Busy without dating. And now with dating, it's even busier. Right? there's a lot on my plate and I will admit that I don't always have time to, eat the best, especially since I'm like going out to dinner quite a bit.

[00:05:29] I have now committed to ordering salads and things like that, but I was going a little, um, not the nutritious route

[00:05:36] Jeremy: Was was the bloom and onion a, a little too much for you a couple times a week.

[00:05:40] Zach: I've never done

[00:05:40] that. No, I, I, I love onion rings, but only like on a burger. So, but anyway, so my nutrition has been, , I've got it dialed in now, but there was a good, , probably a month where it was going a little haywire, but it's a good thing. I was taking athletic greens every day. Because I really needed to have a sufficient. That tasted great, gave me all the things that I needed. , and I didn't want to have to take 10 pills a day or, spend all of my time cooking all the meals.

[00:06:07] I try and get my nutrients from food, but let's face it. We don't get everything we need every day from food. So athletic greens was a great solution for me. It tastes great. Gives me everything I need for more energy, better gut health optimized immune system. 

[00:06:22] It has less than a gram of sugar and there's no nasty chemicals or artificial anything. And it actually does taste good. And for what you get, it's less than $3.

[00:06:30] and right now is the time to incorporate better health and athletic greens is a perfect start to make it easy.

[00:06:36] Athletic greens is going to give you a free one-year supply of immune supporting vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. All you have to do is visit athletic greens.com/fit mass. Again, that's athletic greens.com/fit. Mess to take ownership over your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance.

[00:06:55] that link will be on the show notes and it's plastered all over our website@thefitness.com.

[00:07:00] Jeremy: Our guest this week is Allison Raskin among other things. She's the author of overthinking about you navigating romantic relationships when you have anxiety, OCD, and or depression?

[00:07:09] We started by asking her about why she felt relationships and mental health was an issue that she needed to write a book about. 

[00:07:15] Allison Raskin - USB: I think it's just something that impacts so many of us. And yet we haven't really started the conversation around it. So a lot of people are left feeling like they're just bad at dating, or they don't know how to have a healthy relationship. When in reality, these are skills that need to be learned and it makes sense that they're struggling in the first place. 

[00:07:38] Zach: So I will, release a little bit of information about my life that we haven't really made public until now, which I'm comfortable with, but I was married for many, many years, but now I'm not. And I am back into the dating world and I have pretty bad anxiety. So, what you just said there just really hit me hard because like in the dating world and like navigating these.

[00:08:00] And chips. It's been very, um, very anxious. We'll just say that, but your book is not just for single people. It's for all types of people in all kinds of relationships. , can you talk about like how it applies to different types of relationships? Single, married? 

[00:08:18] Allison Raskin - USB: So the original conceit, I think, was more for the single person, , looking to date, there's a whole chapter in there about how to productively online dates so that you're not burning out or tapping into a lot of anxiety around it.

[00:08:32] Hearing feedback. And also just through the process, I think a lot of the stuff I talk about is, is just how to have a healthy relationship and how to communicate better with people. And so I've even heard some feedback that it's helpful and non-romantic relationships and how to talk to your friends and family about your mental health.

[00:08:50] And also just how to hopefully have a better relationship with yourself, which is always, the first step of, of all your other relationships.

[00:08:59] Jeremy: What are some of the big challenges that people with? I mean, and this is such a big umbrella to put a bunch of different people under, but people that are depressed, OCD, anxiety, what are some of the barriers that get in the way of those healthy relationships that these challenges present?

[00:09:15] Allison Raskin - USB: You know, I think one thing is his self stigma is feeling like, because you've struggled with these things that may be , you have less value than other people looking to date that, that you're more challenging that you have,, baggage that would make you less appealing to somebody. But I really think that if you've struggled with your mental health, Sometimes that makes you a better partner, because it means that you have actually worked through things that you have a better understanding of how you work.

[00:09:47] You have gone through tough things and, and hopefully come out on the other side of them. And I think it often makes you more empathetic, right? You struggled. So when your partner is struggling, you have a, more of a willingness to understand where they're coming from and have empathy and compassion for them about it.

[00:10:05] So I think just really reframing this idea that, that these disorders are just struggles, make you a worse partner, looking at it sometimes as sort of a strength. 

[00:10:16] Zach: So you also, tried to help the reader differentiate between who they are and what their disorder is though. either one of those doesn't make the other one.

[00:10:24] Right. Can you talk a little bit more about. 

[00:10:26] Allison Raskin - USB: There's definitely, , some debate about this and with different disorders, , some people don't like this approach, but for me, and with my OCD and anxiety in particular, I find it really helpful to externalize and to view my OCD and my anxiety as things that are separate from me.

[00:10:45] And that do not define who Alison is. They influence my life, but they're not who I am. , and so viewing it that way and then. Expressing that to my partners, I think is really helpful that like really getting to the core of like, I don't, I don't want these things. I don't want to be this way. I don't want to be constantly asking you for reassurance.

[00:11:07] I don't want to be demanding all. Accommodations for my contamination, OCD, you know, letting them know that this isn't like, I don't, I not looking at this behavior and thinking, oh great. You know, that it is, it is a struggle and that it causes me distress. And I think the ability to, to express the distress and articulate the distress that it causes you makes it so much easier for your partner to one, not take things personally, and to also have that easier time empathizing with.

[00:11:40] Jeremy: Yeah. We talked to somebody else recently who, who put it really well? He said, you know, when it comes to having anxiety or depression, it's like, you don't say I am the flu, but we always say I am depressed or I am anxious. But if. Just sort of switched that language and say, I'm feeling depressed or I'm feeling anxious.

[00:11:58] You can start to put that wall up. And that barrier, that, that really helps you start to separate from the feelings that are kind of overriding your, your day-to-day life.

[00:12:08] Allison Raskin - USB: Absolutely. I am not OCD. I have OCD and that's a really important distinction. And I, I think, uh, a slip up, I see a lot of people make. 

[00:12:17] Zach: in your book, , you talk about the fact that during the writing process, your worst fear actually happened. Can you tell us about that? 

[00:12:25] Allison Raskin - USB: Oh, if I must know. So while I was writing the book, I actually got engaged and that was so huge for me because I'm someone who, , has wanted a life partner.

[00:12:37] Since I was a little kid, I, I have always wanted to be married. , and so getting engaged, it very much felt like, oh, I figured this out. Now my book is even better because now I can show that I'm a real success story. Um, and then six months later, My fiance. Very abruptly walked out on me one Monday night with almost no explanation outside of something is missing.

[00:13:02] And it was, , my worst fear realized like, if you'd asked me, Hey, what, what's the worst thing that could happen to you? It'd be like, my parents could die or my life. Could leave with no reason other than they just don't like me or like that they just don't love me enough to keep like, wanting to make this work.

[00:13:19] , and I kind of unintentionally became the first Guinea pig of all of the lessons in the book because of the premise of the book is basically. Dating is scary. Dating is always a risk, especially when you struggle with your mental health. But if you sort of do certain things, it, the impact won't be as bad.

[00:13:40] Like you can date in a safer way because you know, even if your worst case scenario happens, you won't fall apart mentally, maybe the way you have in the past. That's what happened to me. I mean, this was by far the most significant breakup of my entire life. We were engaged. We were living together, but when he left, I didn't fall apart mentally.

[00:14:02] The way I had in previous breakups, I didn't become suicidal. I didn't self harm. I didn't hate myself. I didn't blame myself. And that really allowed me to heal so much quicker because I was able to just focus on the grief and the loss instead of seeing the rejection. Some signal that I'm a garbage person who will never find love again.

[00:14:24] Jeremy: So I would love to dive into that a little bit more because I mean, I'm somebody I've been married for over 20 years and I still struggle with feeling like I don't deserve love. I've got two kids that adore me and I struggle with accepting that they can just love me because I'm just the guy in their life that happens to be their dad.

[00:14:38] That inability to connect with. Deserving love to me. If, if my wife walked out, I would just go like help. There's more evidence. I'm a garbage person. And of course, why, why did she stay as long as she did? How does somebody work through that? Cause I love that you, you sort of leaned into the grief, you leaned into it and processed it.

[00:14:56] What advice do you have for somebody who struggles like I do to, to accept love, or as perhaps going through a breakup right now and, and wrestling with that idea of well, yeah, that makes sense. Why, why wouldn't that person.

[00:15:08] Allison Raskin - USB: I think they've kind of two separate things. And so, you know, if you're in a, in a happy relationship, I think the best thing that you can do is start to trust what your partner is telling you trust. When they say that they love you trust. When they say that you're a great partner trust. When they say you're a great parent, I made this decision a few years ago to just believe the compliments that people gave me, you know, like.

[00:15:33] I used to feel a need to counter them or to feel like they were lying or misinformed about me. But when I like made this shift to just be like, okay, I'm going to choose to believe you. It was so wonderful and fortifying. And then I think when you're going through the break, It's really important to not add extra meaning onto it.

[00:15:54] A breakup means that you were not compatible with one person in a world, filled with billions of people. That is all that. It means it doesn't mean that you will never find a relationship again. It doesn't mean that you are unlovable and when you add that extra stuff onto it, of course you're going to be crushed.

[00:16:14] And of course it's going to have a much bigger impact, but I think recognizing that you don't need to do that to yourself, that these things that you're telling yourself about what it means are just thoughts. They're not based in reality, they're not provable. And if anything, you know, the Evans. Suggests that you'll probably have another relationship because you just had one. 

[00:16:37] Zach: For me, again, , just kind of navigating back into the dating world after not being in it for 20 years, which has been, , again, slightly scary. You know, I spent an unbelievable amount of time determining when I tell somebody about. My struggles with mental health.

[00:16:56] And do I do that upfront? And do I do that? You know, once I've convinced them that I'm, , nice. , and I've kind of landed on this whole thing of, I tell them about my podcast, which is my mental health struggle in public format. , and I found that it kind of just filters out the people that maybe I'm not compatible.

[00:17:15] , as soon as that happens, so my way of doing it, it's a little bit different than most people's would be, but like, how do you gauge that? How, you know, if you are dating and you're, going out on a date with somebody for the first time or the 10th time, like when do you bring that up?

[00:17:27] Like when's a safe place. And I know it's probably dependent on the situation, but you 

[00:17:32] know, 

[00:17:32] Jeremy: that it? Is that a first date question? A first date topic over appetizers.

[00:17:38] Allison Raskin - USB: I think context matters, you know, when you're older and when you're dating seriously. And like you maybe you're, , over 30 and you're having with someone and that date is four hours long and you start to dive into real things in real time. And you're feeling like you're actually getting to know this person.

[00:17:56] I think mentioning that you have anxiety on that first date. Isn't that big of a deal, but I think it's really about the stage that you're in. And are you at a place where you're both starting to really open up and be vulnerable with each other? So if you're just having surface level conversations with this person, and you're on your fourth date with them and you still don't even know where they're from or what their parents do.

[00:18:17] You know, maybe not the time, because you're not at that level yet of really getting to know each other. But as soon as that door opens, which I honestly think when you're an adult, it can be on the first date, especially if you've met someone online and you both have in the intention of wanting a long-term relationship.

[00:18:34] It really becomes more about how you disclose and not feeling like you need to disclose everything all at once. I don't need to sit you down and tell you every depressive episode I've ever had and win, but to say I've struggled with depression and to have some ownership over it. So really disclosing in a way where you're not saying I'm.

[00:18:54] Dumping this on you. You're saying I'm just sharing a part of myself with you that I am in charge of. I, my mental health is my responsibility. I'm actively taking care of it and, and my struggles with it have shaped me into the person I am today. , that's very different than sharing from a place of fear or a fear that they're going to reject you or judge you, because you should really view that disclosure as an opportunity for you to get to know them too, you know, like how do they handle your disclosure?

[00:19:25] How do they handle your vulnerability? Are they an active listener? Are they curious about it? Do they have empathy for you or do they just like, ignore what you just said in order another round of beers? Do they like make it clear that they don't believe in therapy or like there's so much for you to learn during that conversation.

[00:19:45] It's not just an opportunity for them to accept or reject you. It's an opportunity for you to accept or reject them based on how they receive it in a lot of ways.

[00:19:56] Jeremy: You mentioned at the beginning that the lessons of this book can also be applied to your relationship with yourself. And I've always struggled with the concept of, , how can you love someone else if you can't love yourself, especially as someone with depression, because there's, there's a lot of dark times and a lot of dark voices.

[00:20:12] So. How does somebody navigate that? How does somebody try to improve their relationship with themselves when they're struggling like this with a, with a mental illness?

[00:20:22] Allison Raskin - USB: See, I actually think it's, it's very misleading to say that you can't love someone else until you love yourself. You absolutely can. And people will definitely love you back. Like there are plenty of people who don't love themselves, who are in relationships. My question is, is it a healthy relationship?

[00:20:38] Because those are two very different things. And so for me, , one of my unhealthy relationships was because I felt like I did not deserve him. I felt like he was above me. I put him on a pedestal and it was really. Working on me, liking myself and appreciating myself and deciding that if somebody is with me, it's because they love us.

[00:21:00] Like me back. Nobody's forcing them to be with me. Nobody is like, you know, like it is an active choice for your partner to be with you and to say, oh, they must be doing this for a reason. And also to just like lean into your strengths. I think that we live in a world. So focused on our weaknesses and is so focused on fixing us and getting us to our highest potential.

[00:21:23] But right now, as you are, you have strengths. So what are those? And instead of like putting all your energy into fixing quote on quote, unquote, fixing your weaknesses, maybe you put some energy into just like emphasizing your strengths and building those up and the parts of you that you do love pour your energy into that.

[00:21:40] Sometimes instead of this constant need to like better ourselves. 

[00:21:45] Zach: I love that. I tell people all the time that if you focus on your weaknesses, the best they're ever going to become as mediocre. And if you focus on your strengths, you have like 10 X potential , on making them better. , I absolutely love that.

[00:21:59] , I am curious about, , the book in the, this topic, this isn't talked about very much. This is something that. I personally, haven't seen like anyone put any real effort into exploring. And so I'm really just curious, like why, why, you know, why, why did you come to the conclusion that like you needed to explore. 

[00:22:23] Allison Raskin - USB: I think it's, it didn't exist. You know, I sort of wrote this book for my younger self and as a writer and creator, it's so rare to stumble across an idea that hasn't been done to death. And, , I think the fact that this kind of book hasn't been written before just speaks to the fact that we aren't having broad enough conversations about mental.

[00:22:42] You know, we are having some conversations, but it's much more like broad strokes instead of like the specifics of, okay, so you have anxiety. How does that show up for you day to day? How does that impact your relationships? You know, like the nitty gritty of it all. And then also the acknowledgement that like, of course, if you struggle with these things, they're going to show up in your romantic relationships, because those are some of the most important relationships you have in your life.

[00:23:11] And that's when you're the most vulnerable. And those are the most scary. So why wouldn't it, if anything, show up more there than in other aspects of your life.

[00:23:21] Jeremy: When people struggle with any number of things, we're always offering to them. The idea of find a partner, find an accountability partner, somebody you can turn to a coach, but you actually talk about being your own primary helper. What does, what do you mean by.

[00:23:34] Allison Raskin - USB: It's this great idea that psychologist, Robin Gibbs mentioned that I've really latched on to. And it's basically this idea that you are responsible for your own mental health. I mean, obviously there's the caveat of some people with really chronic mental illness where that's not possible and they need to be inpatient and then they need a team helping them.

[00:23:54] If you're not someone that needs to be inpatient, it really is your responsibility to show up for yourself and to get yourself the help that you need so that you're not suffering all the time. And so that you can. Have a better internal world and a better experience just being alive on this planet. And sometimes I think we can feel that, oh, once I get a partner, that part of me will be fixed or my partner will be in charge of making me feel better when I have bad anxiety.

[00:24:25] But that's when you get in these unhelpful cycles of like caretaker, patient, That isn't really the best case for, for romantic relationships. I mean, some people like that dynamic, but most people don't. And so if you can step up for yourself and if you can be in the driver's seat, when it comes to your mental health, then it allows your partner to be in the passenger seat.

[00:24:45] It allows them to support you. They get to hand you a drink when you're thirsty, but you know, they're not in charge of it. And that makes them have a lot less pressure. And also the impact of your mental health on the relationship is lessened. 

[00:24:59] Zach: So before you even get there, though, if you are single, and you do have, , some struggles with mental health, anxiety, depression, OCD, and you do need to deal with yourself and you need to take ownership over your own mental health first, like maybe dating is not the right place for you to be like, how can you tell the difference between when you're ready and when you're not 

[00:25:18] Allison Raskin - USB: ready?

[00:25:19] It's a great question. And I think there's two different paths. One is looking at how is my mental health affecting the rest of my life. So am I having problems with my friends? Am I having problems at work? Am I, is my family worried about me? If your mental health is seeping into other areas of your life?

[00:25:37] That it's likely that you're not in a good enough place to date because that's like we said, gonna probably trigger you even more. And then let's say now you're doing pretty well in other aspects of your life, but you've had a lot of heartache and hard times with dating in the past. And so you're wondering, , will this rock me too much?

[00:25:55] If I try again, I would start to explore your beliefs around dating. So. Uh, sit with yourself and say, if somebody rejects me after a first date, what am I going to think about that? Am I going to think that that means that I'm garbage? Or am I going to think that I had a bad. You know, and sort of like, see kind of try, it's so hard to anticipate how we're going to react, but sort of see what your thoughts are around eating.

[00:26:22] And if they're still kind of unhealthy and make it, make it easy for you to jump to bad conclusions and, and really, you know, given to your compulsion's and your anxiety and all of those things, then that is a signal that maybe you still need a little more work in this area of your life before you can dive into it.

[00:26:42] Jeremy: You mentioned the, the relationship that, that imploded in the process of writing this book, how has writing this book and, and everything you've learned in the process, how has it affected your other relationship?

[00:26:54] Allison Raskin - USB: Oh, you know, my, my friends and family have just been so supportive of this entire pro process. And, you know, I think when my fiance left, I was so worried that this book wasn't going to be taken seriously because I felt like a failure. I was like, how can I be blindsided by my fiance leaving? And then anyone take dating advice from me.

[00:27:14] Like, I felt like. Fraud and that the whole conceit was out the door. , but my, my, my support system was really like, no, this is the stuff that happens. This, if anything is going to make the book stronger, because it's more true to life. And the fact that you went through this and still didn't give up and that, you know, I'm now in a new relationship.

[00:27:35] That's, that's great and wonderful. They're they, they really helped me see the value in that. Me getting left. Didn't discount the message of the book. If anything, it, it made it stronger. 

[00:27:47] Zach: I want to shift a little bit to online dating apps just like social media, right?

[00:27:52] It's so easy to hide behind a screen and be a different person on these digital mediums and for people who, who may have mental health issues, , online D. Can be. Overwhelming. It can be, uh, you know, uh, can trigger them in, in certain ways with the ghosting world of somebody who seems interesting and then they just disappear and you never hear from them again.

[00:28:16] So I'm curious what your, your context and tips are on, on, you know, online date. With a mental health issue because they can make it worse. 

[00:28:26] Allison Raskin - USB: Absolutely. And I also think in this world of online dating, it's somehow become okay to not treat each other as people like basic human decency has flown out the door and it's, it's very disconcerting to me.

[00:28:39] , and so I think, , It's really important to date productively or else you're going to have more negative experiences, which is going to make it even harder to motivate yourself, to engage in it. So by trying to lessen the amount of bad dates that you have and bad experiences that you have can be really helpful.

[00:28:57] And I think the way that you do that, Being very clear in what you are looking for, sitting down with yourself, figuring out what your values are, figuring out what your lifestyle is, figuring out what your plan is, you know, as best you can five years from now, in the sense of, do you want to have kids in the next five years or do you want to travel the world and not have to be settled in one place?

[00:29:20] Like. Those desires are going to match up with very different partners. And so it's important to know what kind of life you want to have. And then look for people who want a similar type of life. And that is different than just looking for someone you have chemistry with. You need to have a certain level of compatibility and chemistry and, you know, attraction, but you also just really kind of need the same wants.

[00:29:44] , and that can help a lot. And then also I would say. Working really hard to remember that when somebody goes see you, that is a reflection of them and not a reflection of you, it proves that they are not mature enough to have a healthy relationship and that they are not worthy of your time. And that there's no point in trying to fill in.

[00:30:06] Why did this happen? Because the fact that it happened is all that you need to know about them. , and that can hopefully save you a lot of rumination. And then I'd also say it's really important to have an initial phone call or FaceTime before you meet someone in person. Because if you're meeting everyone in person that you have 10 texts back and forth with, you're going to go on a lot of bad.

[00:30:30] And then you're going to go, I hate dating, but if you have like this extra level of screening or you have a phone call or FaceTime, and then you can determine, is this person worth me getting dressed, taking a shower, or maybe putting on makeup, taking a cab, like all the things that go into going on a first date, like it lowers the chances that, that dates I'm going to be a disaster and a waste of time.

[00:30:52] , so just being as productive about it as possible, and then the. Second part of trying not to take things personally by remembering that how are they even rejecting you? Because they don't know you. So if somebody is rejecting you that early on in the process, that is not about you, because how could it be?

[00:31:10] They don't know who you are.

[00:31:12] Jeremy: Absolutely. Lots of great advice here. Lots of great advice in the book and lots of other places to find you, tell us all about where we can find you and your work on.

[00:31:20] Allison Raskin - USB: Yeah, so you can order the book anywhere books are sold. And then, um, I also have a weekly podcast called just between us and I have a mental health focus, Instagram account called emotional support. Which is also a sub stack with a weekly blog and additional podcasts and an advice column. And then you can also listen to a weekly show.

[00:31:42] I have on an app called amp, called a nightmare to date, and each week a different guest joins me to share dating horror stories. But the twist is it's stories where they were the horror. So

[00:31:55] Jeremy: Zach, you might have to be a guest on that show. That's that sounds right up your

[00:31:58] Zach: and there might be a possibility. 

[00:32:01] Allison Raskin - USB: Look, we've all made mistakes that it's sort of just about taking accountability and what we've learned from them.

[00:32:06] Jeremy: Awesome. Alison it's important work. You're doing thanks for doing it and sharing some time with us today. We appreciate it. Uh, thank you so much. 

[00:32:12] Allison Raskin - USB: Amazing. Thank you so much for having me.

[00:32:14] Zach: thanks to Alison Raskin.

[00:32:16] author of overthinking about you navigating romantic relationships. When you have anxiety O CD and or depression, you can find links to her and her work in the show notes for this episode at the

[00:32:28] So the first takeaway I've got from this is that, , your mental health challenges, they're not a weakness and in some ways they kind of make you a better partner because you're , aware of them and you've done work on yourself. And that gives you the ability to have more empathy for your partners.

[00:32:41] Struggles. I know personally for myself, while I've been dating, as I. Disclosed my own personal struggles. The other side has disclosed as well. And it's become these like really open, vulnerable, , communications that got really deep, which was good for me. Right. And I don't like the, the small talk stuff.

[00:33:02] So we went like right to the deep stuff, but like being able to have that back and forth with somebody else was really reassuring to me that like, I would be going into this

[00:33:16] Jeremy: I think it's easy for people to feel like when a relationship ends that, that there's just no one else for. And they're doomed to be alone for the rest of their lives, and they're never gonna meet anybody. But in fact, the data will tell you the fact that you did have a relationship means that you're more likely to have another one because you were compatible with another human being.

[00:33:33] If you've never had a relationship, perhaps there's something to, to look into there as to, as to why other people don't wanna be around you. I I'm, I'm no psychologist, I don't know, but just know that a breakup is not the end of the world.

[00:33:45] Zach: Yeah, absolutely. As you know, my relationship with my. Wife of many, many years ended. . I kind of had that thought at the beginning that I wasn't gonna be able to have another relationship, but then that passed really quickly because there's a lot of evidence I'm just outta practice, little rusty, that's all.

[00:34:03] , but as I've been doing this, the question of whether or not you share this information about yourself, any mental illness that you have with the other person that was such a big one for me, because I've been so forward with. That I never really thought about withholding that information for a certain period of time.

[00:34:22] Um, and I guess that's, I don't, I don't know. That's just me. Maybe I'm making a huge mistake. Maybe I'm throwing it all out there. , a little too early, but I think it's really important to know that how the other person responds to you being vulnerable about that is really important if they just kind of blow it off.

[00:34:40] And move on or they don't reciprocate and like be vulnerable back like that. That might be a red flag for you.

[00:34:47] Jeremy: Yeah, lots of great points there. , and her work is awesome. You can read more about it in her book, overthinking about you and you can check out her podcast. just between us. It's available on podcast players everywhere. You can find links in the show notes for this episode@thefitmess.com, but don't let the conversation end there. Join us in our Facebook group, where you and fellow fit listeners can connect for monthly challenges, accountability to reach your goals. 

[00:35:07] Lots of cool people to hang out with online. That link is also on our website, the fit mess.com, where we will be back next week with a brand new episode. Thanks for listening.

[00:35:15] Zach: See everyone.




ALLISON RASKIN is a New York Times bestselling author. Her new book is called: OVERTHINKING ABOUT YOU; Navigating Romantic Relationships When You Have Anxiety, OCD, &/or Depression. Rasking is also the cohost of the popular podcast Just Between Us and cocreator of a YouTube channel by the same name. Allison has written and developed multiple TV shows and created the original scripted podcast Gossip. A vocal mental health advocate, Allison also runs the mental health–focused Instagram account @emotionalsupportlady.