How to Date With Bipolar Disorder

Couple smiling

Bipolar disorder can make a person reluctant to date people.

Asides from the anxiety that comes with putting yourself out there for a relationship, there is the fear of hurting the people you love because you feel like you're not in control of your emotions.

The bipolar disorder could have affected your past relationships, but be assured that you can have a healthy and long-lasting romantic relationship.

An effective way to date with bipolar disorder is to tell your partner about your condition.

It helps both of you to decide whether you'd have a committed relationship or not.

You need also to know what triggers your mood shifts so that your partner would know how to handle it when it happens or have a clear understanding of what you are going through at that period.

Managing your expectations concerning potential dates is another way to date with bipolar disorder.

As someone with bipolar disorder, ensure you stick to your treatment plan.

Also, be honest, and keep an open line of communication with your partner.

Read on to gain insights on how to date with bipolar disorder:

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Denise Itule, LPCC

Denise Itule, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Katherine Miller, LPCC

Katherine Miller, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Joseph Anders, LPCC

Joseph Anders, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Tell Your Partner About It

The golden rule of dating with bipolar disorder is to never hide your diagnosis from your partner or a potential partner.

Where you're single and just trying to date, always inform your potential dates of your condition.

You may be reluctant to tell them when you've only gone on a couple of dates, partly due to anxiety or not knowing their reaction.

It could be because you don't want to ruin the moment, don't feel comfortable sharing the information just yet, or are nervous and don't want to scare them away.

Regardless of your reason for holding back, do not hide your bipolar disorder.

Don't rush anything yet. Get to know the person first but pretending it does not exist would further complicate things, and they could lose their trust in you.

Tell them as soon as you notice things are getting serious before you commit to a long-term relationship or make life-long commitments such as moving in together, having a kid together, or planning to get married.

This helps them decide about dating you or being in a committed relationship with you.

Telling your potential partner about your bipolar disorder would also help them know how to support you.

Know Your Triggers

Knowing what triggers your mood shifts and how to manage them helps you to date with bipolar disorder.

It also helps you to avoid uncomfortable situations.

For instance, first dates are filled with anxiety, and you might be worried, hoping mood shifts don't happen.

When you know your triggers helps you to know the right kind of environment that would be comfortable for you to go on a date.

For instance, if staying up late would affect your sleep schedule and trigger an episode, politely decline to have a late-night date or meet at a bar if you're struggling with alcohol abuse.

Although your excitement at a first date would be high, avoid places or activities that would stress you.

Remember that your safety is very important.

Have a backup plan in case you become uncomfortable or things don't go as planned.

Have an emergency contact you can call to come to pick you up.

Manage Your Expectations

The dating pool for bipolar people can be filled with disappointments and heartbreaks.

Nevertheless, bipolar people can have successful romantic relationships.

When you date with bipolar disorder, you must manage your expectations from potential relationships.

Some people might be reluctant to enter into a committed relationship with you due to different reasons.

For some people, it's because they are unwilling or unable to cope with it.

For some, they have little understanding they have about bipolar or the stigma associated with it.

For others, it's a deal breaker because of past experiences with exes or relatives who had bipolar.

Being rejected by someone because of your bipolar sucks.

It's heartbreaking, especially if the relationship seemed to be going well until you mentioned your condition.

There are instances where the rejection isn't explicit, and you just get ghosted.

Whatever the case is, don't let it deter you from putting yourself out there or getting excited over a new relationship.

You'd eventually meet someone willing to deal with the illness with you.

Don't be too hard on yourself, and don't let your bipolar stop you from having amazing relationships.

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Denise Itule, LPCC

Denise Itule, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Katherine Miller, LPCC

Katherine Miller, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Joseph Anders, LPCC

Joseph Anders, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Stick to Your Treatment Plan

Sticking to your treatment plan is beneficial for you to date with bipolar disorder.

It removes undue stress from your relationship.

Medications and therapy are the two forms of treatment for bipolar disorder.

Medications are helpful mood stabilizers while therapy would teach you how to control your mood, as well as your behaviors and healthily process your emotions.

Let your partner know about your treatment plan and other lifestyle changes that help you manage your mood and the severity of your symptoms.

It is an opportunity for you to educate your partner about bipolar disorder.

Tell them about your specific diagnosis, what happens when you're having an episode, and your coping strategies such as regular sleep cycle, exercise, and a healthy diet.

Your partner can remind you to take your medications, your doctor's appointments, and therapy sessions.

Also have a contingency plan in the case of emergency, what you need, who to call, and how it can be managed.

Keep an Open Line of Communication

Be open and honest about your feelings with your partner.

This is vital when you date with bipolar disorder.

Keeping an open line of communication helps your partner to know how you're feeling.

It's understandable if you don't want them around; if you're having a bad day. Let them know about it, and explain to them how you're feeling and why you want to be alone.

Rather than makeup excuses, be honest with them about your struggles during an episode.

Instead of saying I don't want to hang out, let them know you're going through a depressive episode and you'd prefer staying in it.

Be open to your partner's feelings as well, how it's affecting them, or the impact on their lives.

Understand when they also need to take time to take care of themselves.

Conclusion

You can have a loving and committed relationship if you get the right support for bipolar disorder.

You can date with bipolar disorder by telling your partner about your bipolar disorder, knowing your triggers, managing your expectations, sticking to your treatment plan, and keeping an open line of communication.

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April 19th, 2024

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