Hope dated several men after she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II in 2004, but none of the relationships lasted long enough to make her mental health an issue.
When Hope, 45, developed feelings for a local restaurateur in 2009, she knew she would have to talk to him about her diagnosis before things got serious.
I’d always known he struggled with high and low moods.
But it wasn’t until the intimate aspect of our relationship fell apart that I realised, perhaps selfishly, that something else was wrong.
It’s about finding a relationship that will be able to weather the storm; an episode. There are many dangers out there that when hypomanic or hypersexual, some may not be competent enough to handle properly.
“I said, ‘I understand if you want to run out the door and never see me again, but I’d like to continue our date and tell you everything I can about my diagnosis and how I manage my illness,’” Hope recalls. He could not have been more positive and agreed to give our relationship a chance.” Dating is always fraught with expectations, anxiety and disappointment.
“I was excited about this blossoming relationship and enamored with this man,” recalls Hope, a freelance communications consultant in Denver, Colorado.
“But I remember thinking, ‘He’s going to freak out when I tell him I have bipolar disorder.’” The “when and how” decision was taken out of her hands when her new love dropped a bombshell: His soon-to-be ex had bipolar and her illness was one reason they were divorcing.
We got some interesting comments sharing that dating with bipolar…”What a nightmare that was”…
Daniel B.continues, “I found that the dating didn’t become enjoyable until I separated my moods from it”.