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A little background: I was in a long term relationship with the father of my children for 10 years. He knew about my bipolar and stuck by my side through ups and downs....until I had a severe manic episode with psychosis. 

I've been single for 3.5 years now and I am kinda avoiding the dating scene because of my bipolar. 

 

Who dates? How do you approach the subject of having a mental illness? Should I just settle into spinsterhood? 

Edited by It's that manic dance
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I am in the same situation , I am 32 . Even tho i am not looking for a relationship .. i wonder how to bring it up to them or if it would make them feel differently about me.

I wish i married when i was younger or when i was stable so i wouldn't have to deal with talking about it haha. I had an online dating profile and it just felt soo intimidating to meet these people and telling them about your illness. I rather be alone sometimes. I am content. It can get lonely , Sometimes i wonder if dating someone who has mental illness would be a disaster or good? It does have it's benefits. Anyway.. 3.5 years isn't that bad, i haven't' had a relationship in 9 years :) haha  

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24 minutes ago, KnickNak said:

I am in the same situation , I am 32 . Even tho i am not looking for a relationship .. i wonder how to bring it up to them or if it would make them feel differently about me.

I wish i married when i was younger or when i was stable so i wouldn't have to deal with talking about it haha. I had an online dating profile and it just felt soo intimidating to meet these people and telling them about your illness. I rather be alone sometimes. I am content. It can get lonely , Sometimes i wonder if dating someone who has mental illness would be a disaster or good? It does have it's benefits. Anyway.. 3.5 years isn't that bad, i haven't' had a relationship in 9 years :) haha  

I'm also 32 and in the grand scheme of things being single in your early 30s isn't that bad. I think the problem is, I don't like being alone. I don't need a man but I'd like to have someone to come home to and experience things with. 

Hell, just a plus one for all these dumb wedding invites I get! 

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10 hours ago, It's that manic dance said:

I'm also 32 and in the grand scheme of things being single in your early 30s isn't that bad. I think the problem is, I don't like being alone. I don't need a man but I'd like to have someone to come home to and experience things with. 

Hell, just a plus one for all these dumb wedding invites I get! 

Yeah, I can understand that... i still live at home so there are people here, even tho i do tend to stick to myself in my room etc i can go out and talk to people and i am not alone in the house... and when i lived in an apartment with 3 crazy college girls i still was the same way.. i sort of did my own thing , maybe i am a one on one person.. ok i am getting off track , but yeah, I get it . Sometimes it's nice having a body next to you . And gosh those damn wedding invites... when they say will you be bringing your  significant other does your dog count?? Do you get asked a lot if you are single? or why you are still single? Or why haven't you tried? 

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37 minutes ago, KnickNak said:

Do you get asked a lot if you are single? or why you are still single? Or why haven't you tried? 

My mom's favorite thing to ask is "Isn't it lonely doing things all by yourself all the time?" Or "If you had a boyfriend he'd be able to help you with (insert whatever task she deems to be a man's job)" 

My sister says I need to try harder and I should lower my expectations. Because low standards are always the way to get a quality relationship ?

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Omg... my sister say's i am shallow sometimes, that isn't true.. she said i have passed many guys that have tried to get me to go out with them, she also said to lower my standards..but it's not about that.I also have been told that.  Yeah. and i am perfectly fine doing what a " man's job " is suppose to be. I like to turn the subject back to them , even tho it doesn't make sense haha. because my mom is married and my sister has had a boyfriend for over 12 years.. i usually ask her when they are getting married and that will shut her up. and not to be rude but... your sister sounds like she isn't giving the best advice , don't lower your standards or settle , because you are having a hard time right now. 

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30 minutes ago, KnickNak said:

 your sister sounds like she isn't giving the best advice , don't lower your standards or settle , because you are having a hard time right now. 

Oh, believe me, she's got her own crazy going on and her advice is never good. She thinks because she has settled for some douche guy but pretends to be happy, that what I should do. 

 

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I've been with my gf for 7 years. (We decided never to get married, even if we are allowed to now in the states for many reasons). It was hard finding a mate though to be honest. I'd have tumultuous relationships with gals and they wouldn't stick around long. At first I'd be a charmer, and 'another person' to them. Then once I had them, I would turn and be my normal bipolar crazy self which they couldn't handle. 

So I hope things last forever with me and my sweetie, because otherwise I'll end up alone and old in a hospice somewhere...

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I don't see the point in my mentioning my bipolar unless and until things get to a very serious stage, I don't mean as in sexual serious, I mean commitment serious. I'm a firm believer in not over sharing about anything early on. That said, I'm not in what I'd call a serious relationship but have a "friend ". When I was dating actively I never mentioned it but did say I'd had depressed times when the subject came up. I didn't go beyond that and never had a "talk" about it. But then, I'm older and divorced. Talking about my (incorrect) MI diagnoses put a strain on my marriage so I'm not too inclined to bring it up until I know someone will be around long enough to make explaining it worthwhile. 

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1 hour ago, sugarsugar said:

I don't see the point in my mentioning my bipolar unless and until things get to a very serious stage, I don't mean as in sexual serious, I mean commitment serious. I'm a firm believer in not over sharing about anything early on. That said, I'm not in what I'd call a serious relationship but have a "friend ". When I was dating actively I never mentioned it but did say I'd had depressed times when the subject came up. I didn't go beyond that and never had a "talk" about it. But then, I'm older and divorced. Talking about my (incorrect) MI diagnoses put a strain on my marriage so I'm not too inclined to bring it up until I know someone will be around long enough to make explaining it worthwhile. 

That's a good policy. WIth my current gal, I'd been coming down from a psychotic mixed state, and met her during that period. I wanted to explain right away any erratic behavior, so I told her. She was fine with it though, thank god.

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I've been with my SO for almost 7 years now and it's been hard over the years, with my mental and physical health issues (especially with my physical health worsening this year.) We've had our ups and down, but have managed to make it work thus far. I think the fact that my SO has his own mental and physical health issues has helped. There still is a lot of misunderstanding and frustration because of the different conditions between us (for example, I feel he has a hard time grasping the mood swings I experience because he has depression vs me having bipolar disorder, etc) but a lot of empathy too. We do couples counselling at times to help with communication and understanding. It's definitely a challenge, but there is so much good too. Some people can't handle the work that comes with dating someone who is mentally/physically ill. But there are those who can and do. I met my SO through a support group, so that eliminated the whole awkward conversation of "So, I have..." because we already had some knowledge of each other's struggles with MI. 

Edited by her-escape
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I was in a relationship of 5 years (2005-2010), and it was frankly a disaster. My own MI was not actually a factor; my now-ex knew about it the whole time, from the very start (I told her on our third date), but she never saw me at anywhere near my most severe. But it was quite abusive as a whole; I do not feel like getting into it - I hate even remembering it - except that I strongly suspect my ex has MI beyond the dx of some sort of depression that she ended up with. And it was all so traumatic that for years afterwards - I have been single for about 6.5 years - I felt I could not trust anyone in a new relationship and felt that being in a relationship at all would make me vulnerable in ways that I had to make sure I never, ever was again (I also came to be of the view that law enforcement and like were on the side of the abuser if the abuser was a woman, leaving one with no recourse in such a relationship) - and this is aside from that I have found it to have become over time quite hard for me to meet and connect with people again in the first place, making it hard for me to ever form new relationships even if I felt I could trust people. At the same time I am lonely, and my only friends live hundreds of miles away, whom I have not met in years. Furthermore, I love one of said friends (and while I am not sure what she feels, but she has made it clear that she feels closer to me than a normal friend, and has said things indicating that she is attracted to me), and have since long before I met my now-ex, but we are never going to be together (for reasons that go back to high school), so anyone else is going to be a replacement for her, as was my now-ex (whom I told that she had to tolerate my being friends with said friend), and I don't see how anyone can really take her place.

Edited by Closure
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  • 3 weeks later...

I can't really deal with dating. I find it hard to manage to drag myself from bed/home to hang out with someone I'm seeing. I'm often really late or cancelling all the time. I'm very independent and afraid of commitment too. Sex issues from meds and the MI make dating stressful. I doubt I'll ever have a long term relationship.

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Most of he time, I honestly feel pretty hopeless about the whole relationship thing. I'm hoping that, as I learn to manage bipolar better, relationships will be attainable. My relationships in the past were basically all manic flings and scandals, so my track record is pretty horrible thus far. For now, I've decided to not even consider dating because I have school and a lot of things to straighten out with myself. 

As an aside (because I was so irritated by this), the first person I dated after I knew about my MI also had one. He was super nervous to tell me about his severe anxiety and was really relieved when I wasn't at all bothered by it ... but then I told him I had BP 1, and he was totally freaked out ?. That incident certainly doesn't help with my hopefulness. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So my first post ever, and the topic that catches my eye is this one. Is that funny or sad? (I'm laughing)

I was married once. It was awful. I was in another long term relationship once. It was awful. Both before I was officially diagnosed. Then I dated a number of times.  The first two guys ghosted me right after I told them. Then the next say two or three relationships I was in I basically got as close to them as I could without telling them and then gently broke up with them. I haven't really dated in about three years now.

I have actually given up on the idea of a significant other. People tell me to not give up but I'm not as young as I look or feel. And I did get a great kid out of the marriage so there's that. Being lonely is NOT what will put me over the edge...

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So, funny thing happened since I first posted this....I met someone. I wasn't looking and had resigned myself to give up on dating to focus on remaining stable (a whole new cocktail of meds seems to be working) and just be healthier in general. 

Things are going well. We have a lot in common, same sarcastic sense of humor and we both have children from previous relationships so there's a nice level of understanding about schedules having to change last minute. I like him and I haven't liked anyone this way in a long time. That being said, I haven't told him about any of MIs. I'm stable now and am working hard to remain so, and I don't feel the need to tell him about having BP1. The only thing I am worried about is when our relationship becomes physical, and how to deal with not only medication side effects but also PTSD due to sexual assault. 

 

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Hey! I was wondering about you, I am happy to hear you met someone... and don't worry about it becoming physical that will just happen naturally, and he will understand as far as your concerns with your meds and PTSD.. just have to be honest with him. So how is everything else?

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Everything else is going pretty well. I've been on new meds and stable for 3 weeks now. Got diagnosed with celiac disease at the beginning of the year, cut out all gluten and am feeling much better physically. 

Been awhile since I've felt honestly good, mentally and physically. As much as I hated going back on meds, it has been a different experience this time and I have hope for long term stability. 

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I sort of have a crush with this girl I really like and we haven't been in a date but she came to my house party and it was like a date.

I think we both like each other but when it comes to the point of talking about mental illness...I wouldn't lie about it but I don't see the point that I should shout it out loud or wear it like a badge of honour in further dates. Bipolar has nothing to do with my personality or who I am. 

A lot of people will blame 'stigma' because I wouldn't talk about it like how I would answer 'what my favourite band is?'  but would someone that has been through cancer or a serious physical condition shout it out loud like it was nothing, no.

I've met people in the past who use it as a relationship tactic or as something to brag about and it makes me very cautious about how and when I talk about my MI problems or ex-problems with non-MI individuals because I do not like people who do that(brag or use it as a tactic) and I wouldn't dream of being like them.

Edited by The Right Honourable Jimmy
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