It only required a slight shift in my behavior, and made a big difference to him. More recently, when I started dating Q, I explained to xem that my anxiety is largely tied to my fear of abandonment and isolation. For example, a friend of mine is dating someone with borderline personality disorder BPD. All of the resources they could find about dating someone with BPD were written with this unspoken assumption that BPD is an awful, debilitating illness that makes healthy relationships impossible.
On the other hand, reading accounts by people with the same mental mental illness as your partner can be very insightful. You can learn more about their perspective on the world and the challenges they may face, and what they may need in a relationship. People with mental illness are people first. Trust your partner first and foremost, both about themselves and about their mental health.
Different people with the same mental illness may have different needs, and almost certainly have some different experiences. If you do, try to remind yourself of what you like about them and all the strong parts of your relationship. In many cases, getting a diagnosis is a good thing, not a bad thing; identifying mental illness can help people manage their illness and improve their quality of life.
As a society, we have a lot of assumptions about boundaries in relationships but rarely discuss them. In my personal experience, I sometimes need or want more support out of a romantic relationship than my partner may be willing or able to give. Ultimately, my emotional needs are my responsibility. If someone is being abusive, you do not owe them a relationship and you should prioritize getting out safely, regardless of whether they have mental illness or not.
Ultimately, you need to take care of yourself. While mental illness can make relationships tough, everyone comes into a relationship with some sort of baggage. Your partner needs to feel like you trust him or her, just as you would want to feel trusted by your partner. Be willing to take or at least share the blame, be willing to take criticism from your partner even though you are trying very hard because, yes, it is difficult to date someone with a mental illness and be willing to change and to compromise.
As much as we try sometimes a relationship is just too much and time spent apart would do everyone some good. Some mental illnesses and disorders are just too complex and debilitating for one person to handle alone. It is not uncommon for relationships to end—temporarily or permanently—so that one partner can seek the services he or she needs. The important thing to remember is that every mental illness—just like a physical one—requires patience, understanding, resilience and flexibility.
Advice for Dating Someone with a Mental Health Issue. Long-Term Relationships and Mental Health. Schedules and Significant Others: Tips for a Healthy Long Distance Relationship. Ade Ilesanmi was born in Dallas, TX to two Nigerian-born parents. She was raised for most of her life in NC but also spent a few years in Nigeria with extended family as a young child. She is recent graduate of Wake Forest University where she was a pre-med biology major with a strong interest in mental health, health communication, and mass communication.
What a fantastic article! I think this is such great advice. Not all our dates feel comfortable disclosing their status until they feel the relationship has promise—making it doubly difficult. This article does such a great job of bringing the topic into the public view. Thank you for a great read! Thank you for this article! I love him, but I feel I need to leave, due to him not wanting to help himself. Thanks so much for your comment.
Thank you so much for this article. This advice is incredibly helpful. As a person afflicted by illness, it is difficult sometimes to articulate your feelings in a way someone else can understand. This list is all we can ask for. Please be patient, hold our hands during the storm, let us live as adults. Your email address will not be published.
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