Dating a Person with Bipolar … How to know when to hold on, and realize when to let go.

Ive been going out with a young man that is bipolar.We have tried to be a couple but he has left me three times now, but he always comes back.

Its really hurtful going out with him because when he wants me he pressures till i fall again and after going out with him he emotionally disconnects as if he hated me.You either  love someone or you don’t, but you cant go behind then tell them you don’t love them, have sex with them and later not call in a week.

Ive arrived to the conclusion i must accept him as he is  or i will become mad.So the answer for me was to be friends with benefits that way when he didn’t call me i wouldn’t feel rejected.He just is unable to act as a normal boyfriend.

But i ask myself what is the best attitude in this cases:

-When he gets angry(really angry), must i tell him its irrational, to calm down or simply wait till it goes?Must we tell them the truth of their attitude or will they hate us forever.Sometimes he is irrational.

-When he decides to give me the cold treatment?Is it a good idea to send him a message to him, or is it better to wait till he comes  to me again?

-I don’t want to sound manipulative , but I’ve treated him well,I have been easy to him , i love him,…are there any psychological tactics to make his uneeded anger disappear, his periods of detachment be milder, that he stops being so egoistic and also sees my needs.I´m sure there must be a psychological way to combat his inadequate attitudes due to his illness.( For example as giving confidence to a shy person, or making someone with phobias confront them).I´m sure some attitudes of the other partner may aggravate it and others make them milder.

Will he treat me better if i´m difficult with him.Must i let him beg for sex…say today i´m busy i cant go ,…So that he values me.I´m not that way but that does function with bipolars, or do you loose them completely.

Even if we end up with our strange relationship, we are coworkers, I don’t have rage for him although he has touched my self-esteem.I want to learn how to deal with his illness so that no matter what if we end up being friends I am protected and know what to do in each case, whats the best.

I’ve surfed many web pages , but all of them give explanations for the bipolar person and none for the ones around them which could be of great help.

Thanks.

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I do not claim to know everything in the world or everything there is to know about bipolar, however, through my life experiences and through the stories of others, there are a few things I know for certain when it comes to dating someone with bipolar.

  1. We WILL love you like no other person possibly can. We will love you deeply, passionately, and with every molecule of our hearts.
  2. We WILL be almost impossible not to love. At first glance we have everything you could ever want in a partner … intelligence, humor, charisma, sensitivity, understanding … You will fall, and hard!

But a week or two later …

  1. We WILL leave you at least once (or possibly many more than we would like to admit).
  2. We WILL hate you, with no reason to support it other than the fact that you look or smell funny or the way you did your hair yesterday was unacceptable and there is no way we can be seen with you.

You’ll think you have it all figured out. The relationship is obviously over. Until …

  1. We WILL inevitable remember why we loved you so much and we will NEED you to come back. Life is not whole without you.
  2. We WILL, despite every reason you will have to decline, convince you that you NEED us too. We are meant for one another.

Rinse and repeat as needed … most likely till your hair falls out.

“We have tried to be a couple but he has left me three times now, then he always comes back.”

Of course he does. Sounds ridiculous, but even when he hates you, he still freaking loves you and just can’t process those emotions in the mind frame he is in. This can be managed however, but both parties must be aware of the cycle. Aware of what triggers the cycles. And aware of what it is that usually breaks the cycle and sends him running back into your arms.

“You either love someone or you don’t, but you can’t go behind then tell them you don’t love them, have sex with them and later not call in a week.”

This is a concept of which is incredibly difficult to understand. And when it comes to dealing with a person who has bipolar, it no doubt becomes a double standard of which would not fly when dating someone without a mental illness.

I learned all too late in life that the words “You either love someone, or you don’t” are actually made up of complete bull $h!t! Many a times did I use that line on my high school sweet heart. Always insisting that there was no way he could NOT know whether or not he loved me.

Now … 13 Years Later … I completely understand how he had no clue as to whether or not his feelings were that strong. At that time I was under the delusion that I had no control over who I did and didn’t love, so obviously neither should he.

This is VERY wrong.

Things I knew I had control over

  • Who I find attractive
  • Who I find humorous
  • Who can make me smile
  • Who is good for me and
  • Who is not

But love? No way.

I think we often confuse love and infatuation. Infatuation is definitely not something you can control. You are either infatuated with someone or you are not.

But love, love is a choice.

So yes, he can choose to love you one day, then choose not to the next. However, the ability to do so does not make it okay. Especially because not all his choices are rational at all times.

And all this gives you a choice. Do you choose to accept him for who he is, knowing he will inevitably come and go over and over again? Or do you choose to bring the relationship down to an easier sustained friendship? Then there is always the choice to just let go and stop letting his choices define your moments of happiness?

Which in these following questions seems to be what you are doing, so I believe it will be easier to answer them separately.

-When he gets angry(really angry), must i tell him its irrational, to calm down or simply wait till it goes?Must we tell them the truth of their attitude or will they hate us forever. Sometimes he is irrational.

That’s a tricky one. One that depends on the individual and where they are in the anger cycle. I myself prefer to know if I’ve hurt someone or caused them pain, but I also understand that confronting me may not be easy. I would definitely advise waiting till he is calm, but I don’t think you should bottle up your opinions about how he is treating you. Sometimes the only way we can know we are being irrational is for someone to pint it out.

-When he decides to give me the cold treatment?Is it a good idea to send him a message to him, or is it better to wait till he comes  to me again?

The cold treatment is just a passive aggressive way of saying “I’m pissed at you and I think that by not talking to you it will piss you off more. Which in turn will make me feel better about being pissed off.”

Needless to say, it solves nothing. So be blunt, clarify, is this a cold shoulder, or are you just not ready to talk to or see me? Then do an experiment. Try confronting him the first time, then the next time it happens ignore it. See which one gets the more positive result.

-I don’t want to sound manipulative , but I’ve treated him well,I have been easy to him , i love him,…are there any psychological tactics to make his uneeded anger disappear, his periods of detachment be milder, that he stops being so egoistic and also sees my needs. I´m sure there must be a psychological way to combat his inadequate attitudes due to his illness.( For example as giving confidence to a shy person, or making someone with phobias confront them).I´m sure some attitudes of the other partner may aggravate it and others make them milder.

Doing this is much easier said than done. The key is awareness and more on his part than on yours. He needs to be aware that he is being egotistical, angry and/or detached. He needs to see it because he truly is the only one who can combat it. That’s not to say awareness on your part will not be helpful. A lot of it is trial and error.

So he’s angry . You could …

Return the anger

Ignore the anger and walk away

Let the anger emerge, then calmly try to cool down the situation with an even, soothing voice

There are many other things that can work, it’s just a matter of finding the method that works the most And unfortunately only time can heal that one.

“Will he treat me better if I’m difficult with him? Must i let him beg for sex…say today I’m busy I can’t go…So that he values me. I´m not that way but that does function with bipolars, or do you lose them completely.”

Sex always complicates relationships … ALWAYS … In my own opinion, backed up by oodles of life experience, keeping someone around just for sex is a waste of time. Having said this, sure, he might treat you better if you play hard to get. Everyone love’s a good challenge. But will that make you happy? Will that really result in a healthy relationship? I’m confident I know the answers to those questions.

“I want to learn how to deal with his illness so that no matter what if we end up being friends I am protected and know what to do in each case, what’s the best.”

Having a relationship with a person suffering from bipolar, whether it’s sexual or purely just a friendship, is going to be difficult. The best way to protect your self is to learn more about bipolar. Read books, memoirs, articles, blogs. The more you can put yourself in the head of someone suffering from bipolar disorder, the easier it will be to handle each obstacle thrown your way.

There is also one thing I must mention. Just because we have bipolar, it does not mean we are all EXACTLY alike. All of our symptoms are different and all of our coping mechanisms are tailored to help us as individuals. So when it comes to giving relationship advice, it’s difficult just as giving any other relationship advice would be. We are still individuals. Some of us good, and some of us bad. Sure it’s easy to blame bipolar for many of our poor choices, hell, sometimes it IS to blame. But we choose how to react to the consequences of those choices. We choose to get the help that is needed. We choose to be better despite our illness, and he can too.

So, in conclusion of this novel length post, here is what I have to say in regards to “hold fast or let go”.

Ask yourself these questions –

  1. Is the person you are in the relationship with seeking help and getting the proper treatment?
  2. Are they taking their meds?
  3. Are they keeping active?
  4. Are they acknowledging their mood changes?
  5. Are they helping to keep YOU aware of their mood shifts?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, know that the person you are with is doing the very BEST they can to be a better/more stable person. In that case, I find it is important that this person has someone to support them and encourage them to continue, despite any episodes they may still encounter

If you answer no, you are going to find yourself in a relationship with someone who is consistently going to hurt you, consistently break your heart, and consistently make you question everything about your relationship. Is that what you really want?

“You don’t love them, have sex with them and later not call in a week.”

You are correct. You don’t. And if you do, you better have a damn good explanation that involves some sort of future plans to get help so that it doesn’t happen again, bipolar or not!

You may love a person with bipolar, but that does NOT mean you have to let them walk all over you. It is admirable to weather the storms with them, but it is foolish to let them always be the one under the umbrella, leaving no room for you.”

13 thoughts on “Dating a Person with Bipolar … How to know when to hold on, and realize when to let go.

  1. Thank you. This was one of the most helpful things I have read about bipolar relationships so far. Again, thank you.

  2. Hi..wow i literally feel like this post was written by me and my…i guess you could call him my bf…we’ve known each other since we were 13 (im now 27) we’ve been on and off (3 weeks at a time) for 3 years, he always gets mad and just leaves but the last 6 weeks we’ve really made a go of it, we’ve been together atleast 4-5 nights a week and he’s been telling me how in love with me he is…he made me feel safe. then suddenly he’s spitting mad and his bloods boiling and it isnt me but he cant disconnect his feelings. He hasnt been diagnosed with Bipolar yet (i havent managed to drag him to a drs yet) but im now confident that thats whats wrong and i cant believe i didnt see it earlier (my dad was diagnosed with fast cycling bipolar when i was a child so i should have seen the signs) and i dont know how he’s going to react when i bring it up.
    Right now i’m officially giving him time to sort his head out but ive made it clear how much i adore him and that im here if/when he wants to talk. I will never close the door entirely, i love him too much for that, but for me him getting treatment/a diagnosis will be a deal breaker.
    Thank you soooo much for the slap in the face i needed. 🙂

  3. I have been dating a guy for 6 months. He very intelligent, loving, sexual etc.
    Then he will get this crazy idea that we are not right, and find a way to disappear
    out of relationship. He has hurt my feelings tremendously.
    I personally cannot cope with someone like this, and have chosen to move on.

  4. Pingback:Dating Bipolar Girl | Dating Around Me

  5. I’m so glad I ran across this…thank you BOTH the original poster and the replier for this incredibly insightful post. The honesty with which you replied, as well as the knowledge that I am not the only one who asks myself, ‘is he just an asshole or is he really dealing with this right now?’ helps. It’s a mental illness, just like addiction, whether we choose to accept that they are diseases or not makes a huge difference in how we respond to the people who suffer from them. But, really, thank you both for this post and reply. You have been a huge help for a lot of people.

  6. Thank you. I’ve recently started seeing someone who may be a little bipolar and this helped a lot. I felt as if you both were talking about my situation. Very helpful.

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  8. Thank you so much…… Just wish I read it sooner. This definitely answered a lot of my question. I remember him saying one day I love you, the next I don’t, then the day after I live you even more. None of it made sense at that time, now it does. One thing he always did say I still don’t quite get is “you don’t get it I love you to death”. I’m not going to lie he did try, I always pointed it out and let him know I notice and that I’m grateful. Towards the end I did notice it became a one way relationship…his way. I no longer was able to hold on and I broke it off. This is where it hit the fan…..

    Please help me understand. When I said it was over and this time he will not be able to push my buttons and bring me back, this was the final straw. He became enraged, began to scream say vile things and even tried to twist the truth by saying he called it quits. I refused to argue and remained calm. That made him more furious. I was also dropping off his stuff and came to pick up my own…. He hated the fact I was there to get all my stuff… For one of my belongs he refused to return…. I did state that he was not going to control when he is ready to return what is mine. It’s over and I’m cutting all ties, so he has no choice in the matter. Last time he held on to my keys and refused to return them, which later he explained it was to have a reason to contact me. Not allowing me to cut ties.
    I’m a very independent female who is always in control, for him I let the reins go. Yet once it’s over it’s over and refused to be his pupet regardless of how much I love him.

    So my question is why did he go into a rage?
    Why does he twist the truth around?
    Why does he blame me, when all I did was love him unconditionally and never turned my back on him? Not even in the end.
    He even posts pics on FB with him and other females at places where we went all the time.
    I forgot to mention…. A week after him going into a rage I went for a physical and found out I was pregnant. I found no need to tell him and was advised by several people that I have to. Well in a very nice civil manner I did. Well he flipped out said I walked out on him during his troubled time and he doesn’t care what I do with the pregnancy but not to expect any type of help from him. I didn’t respond, since then I lost the pregnancy and keep my distance. I don’t say a word to anyone. I don’t speak of him nor do I post anything on FB.

    How can a person say they love you to death and blame you for things that you haven’t done, and be aware that you are carrying their seed and start posting pics with other females. How is this love or respect of any kind. Please help me understand. Thank you for any and all advise.

  9. You are taking exactly what I’m experiencing. My ex moved my city for me, afterwards there’s alwasy something new and disappoints/upset him every a few weeks, finally he broke up with me, but saying he loves so much, we got back together, and things were great for a month or so, then the next week, he said we should only be friends, then a week later, we’ve been like couples in love, talking about housing, kids, then the next week he’s saying it’s better for us to date other people. Now he’s moving to another city. But he still hates it when I say he doesn’t love me.

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