Dating With Mental Health Issues

So I’m very nervous at the moment, as I have ventured into the dating scene again. I’ve signed up for a couple of websites, and I will see how it goes.

Dating when you are challenged with mental health issues is a challenge in itself.

dating with mental health issues
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Mental Illness and Dating

When do you let the other person know about your problems, and what if you like them and puts them off? First off, my attitude is better they are put off at the beginning; before you realise, you cannot rely on them. Secondly, you have to let the other person know. They may not be able to handle someone with a mental health issue. It’s only fair.

To let you in on my current situation, I haven’t had a date in about four years. For no particular reason other than my last date did not go very well. And I couldn’t be bothered after that, and then my health went downhill, uphill and around the corner. Although lockdown took care of one year, four years is a long time, and who knows if another lockdown will scupper my plans.

I’m not the most reliable of people when dating as my memory is so bad. Keeping track of who’s who and what I’ve previously said in conversations means I cannot date more than one person at a time. So progress will be slow.

Unless I meet the right person the first time, which is highly unlikely, I have asked God to help me with this, and I must say He is pointing some nice people my way.

Photos

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I don’t trust photos, and I don’t think many people do these days. You can never tell what is real and what is not. I have also noticed many people my age; the men, in particular, don’t tend to smile in photos. They hold the phone, take a pic and post it. Some don’t even bother adjusting it. So it is horizontal rather than vertical. I even saw a picture of Vin Diesel as someone’s profile photo as though I would not recognise him 🙂

dating couple together

I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to photos. You can’t be wearing sunglasses; I need to see your eyes. And B, take time to make sure your photo is the right way up; otherwise, I get the sense you don’t really care.

I’ve spoken to several people so far, and my mind is a melting pot of small talk; I forgot how much effort it is to make conversation. Trying to suss out if the person is a potential date or not and their sense of humour in a message is a bit tricky.

I also have alarm bells ringing when they mention sex in the first three or four messages. Even just the word is off-putting and screams of desperation and the possibility they are just looking to hook up rather than be a potential dating match.

So far, I have one phone number, but he mentioned the sex word after I said I would phone him, so now I won’t and will politely decline any further communication in a message.

Potential Date

I also have a potential date in a couple of days. However, my gut is saying no, and my head is saying, listen to your gut. Even though there is nothing wrong with the guy, he was nice and polite, but I think it’s because he didn’t seem to get my little jokes; he was too serious.

As someone with mental health problems, I cannot be serious for too long; they need to see the brighter side of life. They need to be positive, not in your face, belly laughs all the time but good-humoured. As I really need that and if you take life too seriously it will not help me, I have to joke about things.

There is one who I am still talking to through messages, and he seems to have a good sense of humour. And he seems like a gentleman too. I know this is an old fashioned term, but I’m an old fashioned romantic at heart.

As someone who suffers from bipolar, I can get over-excited quite easily, and I have to reign myself in and not get too carried away.

going on a date, dating with mental health problems

How will I get around my bipolar excitement? I have to have a list of questions for me to answer before I even consider a date. I have in the past felt so low in self-confidence I went after the first person I found attractive, even though they were not suitable. I have been stuck in a couple of relationships because my mental health affected my confidence so bad, I did not have the strength to leave them. I do not want to go through this again.

So I follow my list. Now the date I have set up passed all of my questions, and I answered yes to them. But the last question of my gut’s judgement felt ok at the time and then appeared after I agreed to the date. Hence I will now cancel.

My Dating List is as follows:

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  • Are they wearing sunglasses?
  • Is their photo the right way up?
  • Are they smiling?
  • Do they have a beer in their hand? A no-no for me as I don’t drink, and if you have pictures with a drink, you may drink too much.
  • Are they taller than me? I’m 5′ 11″, so anyone a couple of inches shorter will look like my child.
  • Are they age-appropriate? If a 29-year-old contacts me, then my guess is they are after just one thing or they have mother issues.
  • Is their first message just one word?
  • Have they read my profile? I ask them something at the bottom of my profile to show they have read about me; then, I know they are genuinely interested. My current word is a frog, to show they have “reddit”.
  • Have they mentioned sex in the first four messages?
  • Have they laughed at one of my little jokes?
  • Have they passed the bipolar mention?
  • What is my gut telling me?

If they pass all of the questions I ask myself, then I will agree to a date. However, as I am out of practice, my excitement took over a bit, and I have agreed to a phone call and date. But I will cancel both of these tomorrow, which leaves one person at the moment who has to pass the bipolar test. I have yet to say to him about my illness so that we will see.

But as they say, there are plenty more fish in the sea. And, it has only been a short time since I joined the sites, so who knows what I’ll be doing a week from now, maybe going out on my first date in four years.

I will keep you updated about my foray into the world of online dating and will report back if I meet the person of my dreams. I’m realistic, but I hold out for someone who accepts me for who I am, mental ill-health and all.

Peace and Blessings x

Lou

Lou Farrell

Welcome to the mental health blog of Lou Farrell. I am a writer and copywriter who pens all manner of articles relating to mental wellness and mental illness. I write about my own experiences and the knowledge I have gained over the years as someone who has bipolar disorder. I hope you enjoy the website :-)

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