Dating Someone with Mental Illness (What I’ve Learned).

For over nine months now I have been in a romantic relationship with someone who struggles with mental illness. She has also been in a relationship with someone who deals with mental illness – myself. Through this, I have started learning what it means to truly love someone who struggles with this, as well as what it means to truly be loved with a mental illness. 

I will admit that I’m not an expert by any means. This is solely my opinion based on my experiences.

If you are dating someone with mental illness…

  1. Acknowledge what may seem like small victories and achievements. If your significant other (SO for short) has social anxiety and he or she makes it through a social event with an abundance of people he or she doesn’t know, be vocally and visibly proud of that. If your SO comes down from an anxiety attack, tell them how good he or she did while dealing with it and how proud you are of your SO for beating it.
  2. Remember that people with mental illness don’t choose their illness or how it affects them. You have to be patient and realize that sometimes your SO acting out is them reacting to stress from his or her mental illness. However…
  3. Don’t let your SO use their mental illness as an excuse. Have compassion and be understanding, but don’t let them get away with bad decisions consequence-free. As Pete Davidson said, “Being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jackass.” Hold your SO responsible for his or her actions.
  4. Mental Illness is not the same every day. Some days your SO will seem like they have never struggled a day in his or her life. However, some days it can be crippling. Recognize both types of days. If he or she has a good day, acknowledge it. You have no idea how encouraging that is. If your SO has a bad day, be there for them as much as you reasonably can. Every day is different. Be adaptable.
  5. You are not responsible for “fixing” your SO. Please DO NOT go into a relationship with someone that has a mental illness expecting to be able to “love the mental illness away.” You may make your SO’s mental illness better or easier to deal with, but don’t put the pressure on yourself to “fix” it. 
  • My final thought is this: love your SO. Never stop getting to know him or her. Make a real effort to love your SO in the way that he or she needs to be loved and don’t let the struggles outweigh the victories. Thank you.
  • Not Alone.

    October 16, 2018

    The lights in Bridgestone Arena were low and you could feel the anticipation among the thousands of excited fans. My mind went back to a little over a year ago when I saw my favorite band live for the first time. This time I had better seats, somewhat knew what to expect, and had three people that I love more than life itself sitting next to me. I felt as if nothing could top that night from over a year ago. I was wrong. Read More

    30 Seconds.

    Something in my life that I have always put near the top of my priority list is connecting with people. I love meeting new people, hearing their stories, and building a genuine relationship with them. I get my social prowess from my dad. My dad has never known a stranger. He and I disagree on things often, but this is definitely one of those cheesy things about my dad that growing up I witnessed and said, “Wow! I want to be just like that when I’m big.”  Read More

    Pierced.

    I have been going to church for literally longer than I can remember. I have sat in the pews of a Pentecostal sanctuary feeling under-dressed when wearing a tie and I have went to church where the vast majority of the attendees are wearing basketball shorts or sweatpants. I’ve listened to sermons condemning teenage boys wearing skinny jeans and having spikey haircuts and I’ve been a member of a church that calls jeans their “church clothes.” The conversation of “church appropriate” has always been a topic of discussion surrounding my life and I want to talk about it. Read More

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    A few weeks ago I got my first puppy. She isn’t the first pet I have ever had or anything, but she is the first dog that I have ever been the sole provider for. I don’t have siblings here to help me take her out, give her a bath, feed her, etc. It’s all me. Read More

    Drink Up.

    Inspired by my best friend

    when you get punched in the esophagus

    by a fistful of life

    Remember,

    every year

    two million people die of dehydration.

    So it doesn’t matter if

    the glass is half full or half empty.

    There’s water in the cup.

    Drink it and stop complaining.

    -Rudy Francisco, Complainers

    Read More