Dating Tips: When Your Mate Has Manic Depression/ Bipolar Disorder

Sarah T. Connor is a successful dating advice guru and the publisher of Free Date dot net, a free datehookup and matching service for singles who are looking for that special someone. Sarah Connor has a B.S. Degree from the University of Maryland.
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The Challenges of Bipolar Disorder Dating

Dating certainly comes with its emotional highs and lows. You can be singing the praises of that new person in your life one minute and then stressing about something that was said or unsaid, or something that you did or failed to do the next minute. Even the most hardened of people will feel the emotional tug of love, jealousy, heartache, and the other spectrum of emotions that come with dating.

While dating in even the best of circumstances can be difficult to say the least, likely none of the relationships you have been in have fully prepared you for the relationship with someone suffering from bipolar disorder. When your new mate has manic depression/bipolar disorder symptoms, the ups and downs of a traditional relationship seem like a kiddie ride at an amusement park. The emotions of a relationship where manic depression/bipolar disorder is at play truly overshadows any other relationship you have been in when it comes to extreme ups and downs.

When You Suspect the Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

There are essentially two ways you can enter into a relationship with someone with manic depression/bipolar disorder. Either your new mate has been aware of the condition and has masked the symptoms from you, as many with this disorder are very adept at doing, or your new mate hasn’t yet been diagnosed with the condition.

The fact is that many people living with the bipolar disorder condition, whether it has been diagnosed or not, do not like to talk about their episodes. The condition is characterized by very distinct periods of blissful happiness known as mania as well as dark low points when depression is present, and while these periods of extreme highs and lows can last for days, the transition between the two can be sudden and dramatic.

If you suspect your new mate may have bipolar disorder, you should approach the subject tactfully and carefully, all the while trying to prevent having your mate feel like you are attacking them or targeting him or her. This is a very common condition, and it is entirely treatable with medication. However, the first step is getting your loved one in to see a doctor. You can learn more about bipolar disorder mania and depression by reading about the symptoms online.

When You Know the Diagnosis

Your new mate may be very aware of the mental illness he or she is living with, and may have been diagnosed months or years ago. If this is the case, you can help him or her out by ensuring medications are taken as directed and ensuring that he or she keeps all medical appointments. The medication will absolutely help to keep those extreme highs and lows that are characteristic of manic depression/bipolar disorder from being quite so extreme. This means that your relationship will not have to suffer through the intense roller coaster of emotions that it otherwise would.

Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder Dating

As you likely know all too well by now, dating someone with manic depression/bipolar disorder is a real challenge. The truth is that not everyone is cut out for being involved in this type of intense relationship. Upon learning the truth about what you are facing, you need to be truthful first with yourself and then with your partner about if you are ready to continue with the relationship.

You should be prepared for a relationship that is truly intense. Relationships where one of the partners has manic depression/bipolar disorder are often dictated by periods of intense fighting and emotionally charged arguments. Break-ups are usually frequent, but make-up sessions often follow shortly after and the make-up can be just as passionate, or more so, than the break-up.

You should be prepared to roll with the punches, so to speak, and you should know that most likely these break-ups are not the mark of the end of your relationship but rather a peak in your mate’s emotions. You should also do your best to remain calm during these episodes of fighting so that the fights and arguments do not escalate unnecessarily.

It is important that you are aware that both the highs and the lows of your partner’s emotional spectrum can have an impact on you. You may think that the high points, which are characterized by extreme happiness and even excitability, may be great for your relationship. However, these high points can also be dictated by the person wanting to try new things and live out an adventurous streak. For some, this may mean traveling to new and exciting places on a whim. For others, however, it may mean driving too fast and far too recklessly, experimenting with alcohol and drugs, and even adopting a promiscuous lifestyle for that period of time. As you can imagine, the high points can certainly have an impact on your relationship.

With the lows, you will generally find that your partner is down and exhibits symptoms that most people think about when depression comes to mind. They may cry often and for no apparent reason. They may pull away from social situations and become more reclusive. As far as your relationship goes, your mate may even pull away from you. This emotional distance can be difficult to live with, especially when you believed the relationship was on solid footing. Yet when you know that this emotional distance has been created because of the illness and not because of anything you have done, it is often easier to live with.

Your Future Together

As you can see, dating someone with manic depression/bipolar disorder is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. As much as you may love your new mate, this relationship will be taxing on you emotionally. Often, couples who are in such a relationship will benefit from seeking out couple’s therapy and attending regular sessions. This can help the two of you to stay on even ground and work through the complex and extreme emotions you both may feel throughout your relationship.

You may be wondering if there is hope for a relationship like yours that has to endure these incredible and intense emotions on a regular basis. The fact is that many couples who deal with bipolar disorder just like you two go on to enjoy very long, happy, and albeit emotional at times relationships.

Sound Off About Bipolar Disorder Dating In the Comments Section Below

Other Articles by Sarah Connor:

Why Is She Dating Him?
Internet Dating Site Safety Tips
What Everyone Ought to Know About Dating After Divorce
Should You Pay To Join A Dating Website?
How To Look And Act When Meeting His Parents

About The Author

Sarah T. Connor is a successful dating advice guru and the publisher of Free Date dot net, a datehookup and 100% totally free online dating and matching service for singles who are looking for that special someone. Sarah Connor has a B.S. Degree from the University of Maryland.

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  1. i just saw a movie silver linings playbook where i saw how a bipolar disorder can spoil the relationship…well it is great to know opposite of that also.
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  2. People with Bipolar disorder, just like any other disorder, need unconditional love and support as they did not ask it upon themselves. it may be a lot of had work, but not taking their condition too seriously and finding comfort in knowing that you are their pillar of strength and hope can go a long way i helping them get over the condition with the correct treatment. this is especially so if this is a person you love to bits! I however empathize with all those who are having a hard time with their bipolar partners, just don’t give up on them, you never know when the miracle time will be….

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for your thorough and VERY useful post.
    At first I suspected that my girlfriend had Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder, but now I completely undoubtedly realize I was true !

    You can’t imagine how hard it was getting for me to calm her down each time, and for myself to remain calm as well, specially when I found out that she would hurt herself whenever she got in a low mood and that once she threatened to commit suicide.

    Hopefully I talked to her therapist and he suggested that I should make myself, physically and morally unavailable to her over a long time, so that she would dump me at the end. Because if I even attempted to bring up the “breaking up” subject in the conversation, she would hurt herself.

    We finally broke up a week ago, after a month of “me being unavailable to her”. She’s been insulting me a few times since we broke up. She even said that I have a mental problem that I can’t help it and it can’t be cured !! She now has a boyfriend that she loves JUST LIKE SHE SAID THAT SHE LOVED ME !
    It’s unbelievable !

    I really feel sorry for her but I did WHATEVER I could for her. During and even after our relationship. I hope she would finally understand what her problem is and start thinking about an efficient treatment this time. Because I guess that therapist was either not capable of treating her, or she wouldn’t continue consuming her medicine (or maybe her family wouldn’t let).

  4. DO NOT EVER get involved in a relationship with a bipolar person.
    It does not matter if they are treated, take their medication, go for treatment etc…..they will still lie to you, dump you whenever it suits them and you will feel as if you are the one going insane!
    Couples counselling….forget it, they will say that you and the therapist are ” ganging up on them ”
    They are in total denial about their illness, hide behind it, use it to justify their bad behaviour and conveniently ” forget ” all the hurtful things they say and do to you.
    The drugs they take also have severe side effects and drugs or no drugs they will still have episodes ( which you will be blamed for) the episodes will be less severe but still hard to deal with.
    We keep on reading articles and websites all saying how to handle these people and how to be supportive but WHAT ABOUT US???? Do they care about the pain they inflict on us… they do not.

  5. garumfish says:

    Must say while article accurately describes dating someone with bipolar, it is overly optimistic. Check out the divorce stats before you start dreaming of happily ever after. I made it to the engagement phase in a 12 year relationship with my ex who has bpII. Over half that time we were broken up. He refused meds, took drugs, was narcissistic, slept around and lied for years because of the hyper sexuality phase, apologized and cried he doesn’t know how he will ever feel good about himself again, but hey, the betrayal and lies mean nothing to me right. He thought only of himself most of the time. Sadly, it was when he was depressed and more clear seeing that I liked him best. I finally kicked him out. He hooked up with a young girl so he can follow his dream of being a rock star. Poor girl probably doesn’t know what hit her. Especially after she found out the ex and I were still intimate because, surprise, I didn’t know she existed. For over a year. Untreated bipolar is beyond belief and the train wreck left in their wake is a sight to behold.

  6. Well that explains a lot….. here I thought she was just a bad person with daddy issues. Couldn’t have been more wrong. Thank you for this article.

  7. i too am in a a relationship lke this. Shes been my best friend for years and we have been together almost 11 months she is the Airforce and is away for training recently she just started hating me i even went to visit and still same treatment im not going to give up on her. Should i ignore or acknowledge when it happens?

  8. i have been in a relationship with someone for four years who i suspect has bipolar disorder…. I can honestly say this is the hardest thing that i have ever done the mood swings get so severe sometimes i honestly just want to give up…it can be the smallest thing that can set him off for instance we were in the drive thru of a fast food resteraunt preparing to order he ask what do you want me trying to center my order around his so that we don’t spend a bunch of money on food so i ask him what do you want………he flies off the handle about how i returned his question with a question!!! with a person with this disorder something as trivial as this usually is the tip of the iceberg so we got into a fight about everything from finances to house chores…..etc. I love him to death but sometimes i feel like i am fighting a losing battle constantly walking on eggshells so as to not set him off I’m trying my hardest to get him help i fear we will not make it if something dosent’t change soon.the stress from not knowing how he is feeling or what he will do next is killing me to top it all off we have a two yr old daughter in the midst of all this i just hope she dosen’t develop the disease.

  9. This was very helpful! My boyfriend did tell me he has bipolar but hasn’t been able to see a dr because he doesn’t have insurance. Out relationship has definitely had it’s struggles and challenges and I’m usually the one he pushes away first but we’ve always come out stronger and with more confidence in our relationship. Reading this article really helped me out. He had a little episode tonight and it made me have my doubts. But I feel much better after reading this. Thank you so much for writing and posting it :-)

  10. Beppe Micallef-Trigona says:

    From my experience as a psychiatrist, I believe one of the greatest difficulties involves the lack of insight, at least in the initial stages of Bipolar Affective Disorder (BPAD). Insight in this case refers to the lack of knowledge that one is actually ill. This usually makes treatment very difficult and in some cases the person suffering from BPAD will only start treatment if this is in some way ‘enforced’ upon them, usually after serious events such as self-harm or other impulsive/dangerous acts. However, lack of insight, especially in the manic phase of illness may be a long standing problem and therefore so will compliance with medications and other treatment. It is also important to understand that persons suffering from BPAD may have different severity of symptoms and different degrees of chronicity, so it would be wrong to place everyone with BPAD in one basket. On a positive note, with adequate medical and psychological treatment, BPAD can be controlled and many people lead a relatively stable and normal life.

  11. jut made my day..Thanks
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