I have longstanding depression. I live in a perpetual state of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm also somewhat pessimistic, though I generally believe that everything will be OK. I hasten to specify that I'm not the sort of person who dominates dinner conversation with my unhappiness. I generally try to avoid unhappy subject matter altogether, although I do have the gallows humour. I smile often, I laugh a lot, and I do enjoy some things.
The last person I dated had the philosophy that everything is NOT going to be OK. He didn't enjoy anything he did, either alone or with other people. He didn't see the point of ever getting another dog because no dog could ever be as good as his childhood dog, for example, and eventually revealed that he didn't want to have (or adopt) children because the world is such a horrible place. I literally never saw him smile in almost 5 years. As far as I'm concerned, he has depression a dozen times worse than mine, just undiagnosed and untreated despite my gentle nudging.
Now that I'm on the market again (sort of), I'm finding myself coming around to a rule about not d@ting anyone more pessimistic than myself. I obviously can't require anyone I date to be 100% sunshine and cotton candy optimist, as that would be both hypocritical and annoying for me, but I also don't want to date someone else so incredibly glum. However, upon discussion with a friend, I've been told that not wanting to date someone more pessimistic than myself is also hypocritical.
Opinions? I'm not saying that I'm closed to d@ting someone with clinical depression or other issues, or that whoever I date has to be in tip top emotional shape to clean up after me. It's just that d@ting someone who's gloomier about life than me sounds a lot like going Dumpster diving hoping for a Ritz-Carlton quality meal. If that analogy makes any sense.
ETA relevant details.