The core aspects of human experience are sexuality, dating, and romance. This, it’s no wonder why each person thrives to experience a satisfying and meaningful relationship. However, what about people with mental issues? Is dating with mental illness possible? Do they find “the one” and do they experience true romance and the feeling that comes with it? Here are 5 steps that show how dating with a mental illness isn’t impossible.
The famous phrase “You are not able to love others if you don’t love yourself in the first place” is not just a silly phrase without actual meaning. This is completely true because even if you love someone and care about that person if you are not “in love” with yourself, all that “love” coming from you is not real and it’s not coming from a healthy and true place. When you care about someone without caring about yourself in the first place, you are becoming obsessed with that person and that isn’t true love. So, learn how to embrace and love yourself first if you want to give that love to others as well.
Take a walk through your past
This pretty much goes for every kind of relationship, with or without mental problems. Instead of entering a relationship and hoping for the best, and trying to figure out what the problem in the relationship is as it occurs, we should take some time to “take a walk” through our memory lane and see where the cause of the problem might be coming from. By knowing the issues from your past, you allow yourself to work on your problems in a healthy way, instead of blaming your partner for a bad relationship. Don’t get us wrong, it’s normal to have bad habits, we all accumulate them during our lives. However, knowing what your bad habits are and trying to become better is the first step in building a healthy relationship we all seek for.
Give yourself “ME” time and set healthy boundaries
Spending all the time with your partner is normal in the beginning. However, after a while, we need our freedom. This goes for everyone, not just for people that are either with a mental illness or dating someone who is. As much as we are social beings, each one of us needs some time alone to process feelings, experiences, and simply enjoy those “me” moments. Therefore, regardless of your or your partner’s mental health issues, setting some healthy boundaries and being able to enjoy your hobby or something you love doing alone is a completely normal thing and your partner should respect that.
Know what your partner is going through or try to explain what you are going through
One of the biggest problems that people with mental illness have is the fear of their partner not understanding what they are going through. For this reason, most of the people with such issues give up on dating and suffer in their loneliness. This is where they are wrong because explaining what you are going through to your partner can sometimes make the relationship and the bond even stronger. On the other hand, if your partner is the one with mental problems, you need to try and understand what they are going through so that you can help when they need help, and possibly learn to spot the warning signs. Either way, communication and being honest always helps, regardless of the type of relationship.
Take it slow
Don’t rush into a relationship just because you have a mental illness and are afraid of ending up alone. Before each relationship becomes serious and meaningful, we need time to get to know the other person. We need time to be sure that the other side is trustworthy so that we can allow them to enter our lives completely. When you move too fast in a relationship, you only risk becoming more vulnerable than you already are. Also, such situations create a false sense of intimacy, which is the last thing you need in your life. Therefore, give it time, get to know each other better. If it’s really worth it, it will become better and better and you will grow together as a couple over time.