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Breaking Expectations: Dating and Bipolar disorder

Shelby Bodine

“Breaking Expectations” is staff writer Shelby Bodine’s firsthand experience with living with mental illness.

When you live everyday with a mental illness, you live with the realization that at some point you will have to share that fun fact with others. Of course, you could keep it bottled inside, but as I’ve discussed before, that is a terrible idea.

So what happens when you meet the person who gives you butterflies and who you want to share everything with? Do you tell them or do you wait? The thing that makes this tough is that there is always a sense of the unknown stopping you from being upfront with them.

How will they react? Will they think I am unstable? Will they not want anything to do with me anymore?

The thing that makes this simple is that you have to learn to be honest with yourself before you can truly be honest in a

That rule doesn’t only pertain to those with mental illness; it’s a true fact across the board. However, if you are lucky enough to have a mental illness and find someone you want to share everything with, there is a balance you must find.

When I found someone I wanted to share this with, it was a complex idea to explain. On one part, I really didn’t want to lose what I had going, but on the other hand, the relationship wouldn’t be completely honest and I would also be constantly trying to keep a piece of who I am in the shadows.

When I came clean and shared that I was bipolar, I was expecting a lot more theatrics than what occurred. I was met with, “Okay. So explain what that means.”

I then explained how it just meant that sometimes I am hyper and don’t sleep and have all these ideas but other times I am dark and twisty.  I am still the person that I’d been the whole time since meeting.

If someone is scared and can’t understand something that is a part of you, why do you want to be with them anyway?

1 Comment on Breaking Expectations: Dating and Bipolar disorder

  1. bipolar2happiness // Apr 3, 2014 at 11:10 am //

    <div class="idc-message" id="idc-comment-msg-div-813525750"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(813525750)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(813525750)">Close MessageMy take on this is a bit different. While i am diagnosed bipolar, after my divorce and three years of not dating, I met a nice man and I never did tell him my diagnosis but I did explain when I was in a different mode and told him how to handle when I talked all the time and he couldn't follow me, I said look I do this sometimes and your best bet is let me talk and don't attempt to follow what I am saying.. know that I am in this mode and unable to stop it but that I am usually just jabbering away.. and I always explained that I had these different issue the aspect of being depressed etc but never did I label it. I never felt it necessary to label it for him. I figured if he liked me in all those moods we were doing well. I do have a pretty stable hold on my symptoms now and they are not severe as I am bipolar 2, but I was always open about my symptoms and explained them as they occurred. Had he ever said what is the diagnosis I would have told him.. no hesitation but he never asked. I am even on disability he knows that but never asked for what. Never should we be dishonest with someone but I still think do we have to label it??

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