Being beautifully bipolar comes with its own set of challenges. But new romantic relationships are possible. Many people with bipolar disorder live in happy, healthy relationships. I know because I did for five years. Here are my personal tips on how to navigate falling for someone new.
- My rule of thumb is, if at all possible, wait until the fourth date to tell the man or woman that you live with bipolar disorder. By then they should know whether or not they dig you. If they do not like the crazy it is better to step back and do what is right for you.
- Do NOT lie. If the topic comes up and you are asked point blank if you have any mental illness in the family, take a deep breath and tell the truth. If there are others in your family you may mention them, but do not forget about yourself. You are mentally ill and it okay to own that.
- As crappy as living with bipolar disorder is sometimes, it really can be beautiful. We feel things deeply – both good and bad. Falling for someone is a big deal for both him or her as well. A therapist once told me that living with bipolar disorder can be a blessing because we feel things more passionately than the general population.. So put on those rose colored glasses, baby.
- We are on date four, what are we thinking? Do we like him or her? Are they worth our time and energy? Like all relationships you must figure out what our expectations are. Are we looking for someone who makes us laugh or someone who likes serious conversations? Before you speak up, know what you want.
- Please, please do not feel embarresed that you live with bipolar disorder. Do not feel like it is some big, bad dark secret. The only reason I wanted you to wait until date four was for him or her to fall into a thing without him or her not understanding your illness. Once you come out of the bipolar closet with him or her, explain. They, like myself in the beginning, may not understand what the highs and lows mean and how intense they are. If you are going to need their help sometimes you can ask for it. If they bulk, better now than later.
Dating can be an anxiety riddled thing, but you can do. Last summer I went on a few first dates and they never called me back and you know what, I was okay. Whether or not you make it to that fourth date, you will be okay, just remember you are beautifully bipolar.