by John Santana
Every relationship has its highs and lows, some more than others. But when you are dating someone living with a mental illness, the relationship may be more turbulent. There are plenty of things to consider and watch out for.
First and foremost, you need to learn to protect yourself when it reaches the limit. Take notes on all the warning signs and how to build a healthy relationship with a bipolar man.
How to Date a Bipolar Man?
1. Educate yourself about bipolar disorder
Do not freak out and start thinking your man is insane. There are many layers to bipolar disorder. A lot of people are fully functioning while living with this mental illness. It does not make him less of a man.
Read more online about the symptoms, mood swings, treatments, and support for bipolar patients. Attend medical consultations with him and join seminars about it. It shows your man you are trying your best to understand what he is going through and are ready to support him.
2. Never use negative words such as “crazy” or “looney”
Using these words on a bipolar person is utterly disrespectful and disgusting. It undermines their effort to blend in with society. They have a condition that makes them unable to control their emotions sometimes.
Negative words can irritate him, making him reluctant to receive treatment so he is not seen as an outcast. No matter how upset you are, never use these demeaning words.
3. Encourage him to talk about it
Opening up to others about his experience may be difficult. He has to trust that you do not judge him. Encourage him to talk about it but do not force it. Wait until he is ready.
Ask questions on how he manages his mood swings. Learn from his experience so you can better deal with the situation. Tell him to come up with some solutions for you when you are overwhelmed. Calmly discuss and write down methods that will help your relationship.
4. Make sure they stick with their treatments
No matter how great he personally feels, never condone his behavior to go off meds without the doctor’s approval. He may be scared of the side effects of the treatments but avoiding them will lead to catastrophic results.
Whenever he shows intentions to stop seeing the doctor, talk it out with him but also be firm. Insist that he needs the treatments.
5. Give them time to recover
Same as any ordinary folk, a bipolar man needs some alone time to reason with himself. His request to be left alone for a few days does not mean he is unstable. He may need more time than others to process things and to face you again.
Give him reasonable time to take care of himself. If you are truly worried, ask his family and friends to take over and check on him. You do not have to be the hero all the time.
6. Give him a timeout if he does something bad
Having bipolar disorder does not excuse his bad behaviors. You have all the right to heal your wounds too. If he becomes aggressively vocal or does anything that upsetting, give him a timeout.
It is healthy for both of you to be apart from each other when that happens. He can cool down while you evaluate what is the right approach. Relationships should make each other happy. When things get too intense, exit the stage for a bit so you can see things rationally.
7. Be honest about your struggles
Supporting your partner does not mean blindly neglecting your own struggles. What you are feeling is completely valid and should be recognized. There is no need to hide your feelings to protect your man because honesty is the main element in every healthy relationship.
Sometimes, there will be down days for you. There will be times when you want to give up. Share your intimate thoughts with him. Let him know you are not saying this to intimidate him. Rather, you are sharing this so he can see your struggles too. He is not going through this alone. It impacts people around him. That is why it is crucial that you both work together on this.
What if You Are Bipolar Too?
A bipolar person dating another one is a double-edged blade. On one hand, you can comprehend and understand everything he is going through. You can give the support. On the other hand, when your conditions overlap, it will be like a volcanic eruption. Things can get ugly and there is no going back.
If you are bipolar like your partner, you need to remind each other to take the necessary medicines, attend treatment sessions, and keep notes about the things that can improve your relationships.
Most of the time, bipolar couples have the capacity to know what the other person needs, thus the relationship gets smoother because communication is easier. Your condition should not limit your romantic life. There will always be a solution so it works out well for you both.
Do bipolar relationships work?
Yes. Bipolar relationships will encounter more obstacles than others but they surely work as long as both sides can find a balance.
Bipolar men are perfectly capable of loving others. They are human beings that desire love and want to be loved back. Despite their uncontrollable behaviors sometimes, they can sustain a healthy relationship if given proper guidance and patience.
Mental disorders do not strip someone of the right to love and be loved. You may struggle to find some common ground to stand on at first but eventually, you will figure out the best thing to do for both of you.
What are some warning signs to be aware of?
Standing by your partner should not be at the expense of your own physical and mental health. When things get too exhausting, you need to consider your well-being and take a step back.
Most importantly, you need to realize that you are his partner, not his therapist. If his condition gets too out of control and you feel threatened, it is absolutely fine to leave. You should not risk your safety for anyone. Knowing it is time to leave is also a mature decision.
Oftentimes, his thoughts are too tangled up and he may guilt you into staying with him as if it is your responsibility. In this case, tell him firmly that he needs a doctor, not you. Guide him to get some professional help but do not feel the burden to stay with someone you no longer feel safe with.
Occasionally, some bipolar men with severe cases may even falsely accuse you of leaving because of the mental illness. This unsound claim is surely damaging to your image and you do not want to accept it. That being said, you know the real reason you are leaving is because of your own mental health. His false accusations cannot hurt who you truly are.
Talk to his family and friends if you cannot handle this alone, and you should not have to. It is not your fault if the stress becomes too much. A relationship should not be dangerous. When necessary, contact the hospital and let the professionals take it from there, even if that means committing him forcibly.
Dealing with a mental illness is an intricate knowledge. Although it may end up hurting people, it should not stop you from defending yourself and safeguarding your health.
Finally, should things escalate to physical assaults, contact the authority immediately. Do not shelter him thinking you are doing him any good. Indulging him in this behavior will only get him into bigger trouble. It is not your job to discipline him if all the healthcare professionals are struggling as well. Know your limits and keep a safe way out. Never let someone mistreat you believing it is how it is.
Best Online Dating Sites for Bipolar
- Ashley Madison – high data protection and secrecy allow you to feel safe and secure on this dating site.
- Adult FriendFinder – totally open and inclusive, anyone is welcome here are people will not feel sidelined for having a mental illness.
- Bang Locals – this one is great for hookups and attracts an open-minded crowd.
Dating a bipolar man is not easy. You will face many challenges but love will prevail after all. If he is the right person, you will find a way. When building a fruitful relationship with him, keep in mind that it should go both ways. Protect yourself first so you can have the energy to protect your romantic life.