Here’s a good article if you’re spending your Saturday night on the Internet: Bipolar Disorder and Dating. Bipolar World offers some cautions and concerns for both the bipolar and non-bipolar partners, including this:

Another consideration for those with bipolar disorder and dating is when one …

157 Comments to
Bipolar Disorder and Dating

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  1. HJ – I truly feel for you. I have experienced a very similar situation. Unfortunately, the ups and downs begin to take a toll. I woke up feeling like there was something wrong with me one day. I realized that the constant “change” that goes along with being with someone that is bipolar can produce a PTSD like state. It is unfair for those that deal with them, and unfair for the bipolar patient as well. I think it is a matter of deciding how much you can take. If you aren’t sleeping, are losing friends and find your whole life being disrupted – maybe it is best to bow out gracefully. I do adore the man I was seeing, yet his inconsistencies are just too much to take.

    Make sure you think about your own sanity first and foremost!

  2. PTSD – Post-traumatic stress disorder! That sums it up PERFECTLY!!!!

  3. I met this really terrific guy with bipolar. We only went on a few dates but I was really starting to have feelings for him when he let me know he was bipolar. I took the news well and was still willing to see where the relationship could lead. Things seemed promising. A couple days later, he let me know he met someone else and dumped me.

    I can accept that things weren’t meant to be, but I still feel that I grew to care about him enough that I would still like very much to be friends. In my mind I think this is a great idea, but part of me thinks that it might be a terrible idea (maybe I’m still crushing on him?) I don’t want to make things weird for either of us. Any advice?

  4. Leslie, if I was you, I’d take a lesson from the book, “He’s Just No That Into You” and let it go. Given the fact that he has bipolar disorder, he did you a HUGE favor by finding someone else!

  5. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 7 months and have always known that he has Bipolar he’s always been totally honest with me (sometimes too honest!!). He is the most loving genuine man I’ve ever known but this doesn’t hide or disguise the awful pain and rejection I felt when I experienced my 1st ‘episode’ the feeling of hurt when your normally loving partner tells you that they don’t want you and all they want to do is lock themselves away is so hard to understand. One day you’re inseparable the next – nothing!! My partner couldn’t cope with the fact that he hasn’t got a job at the moment, he couldn’t cope with my moving house and then he said he couldn’t cope with being round me and the children. Obviously I was devasted he had promised everything and anything – I gave him space he’s back to how he was before: loving and caring but in the back of my mind it is so hard to forget everything he has said to me. It’s hard to think it’s jst an illness. I’m now on anti-depressants and had to take time off work but I think we will get through I have to believe that or what’s the point???

  6. The point as I see it, Julie, is that your boyfriend should also be on medication and seeking treatment for his condition, not just you. If he isn’t and/or won’t seek professional help, I’d get out of the relationship if I was you. After all, you’ve only been with him seven months, and he’s already got you to the point where you’re now on anti-depressants and missing work… Not good.

  7. I dated a guy for nearly 2 years that was bipolar. He was honest right from the very start. At first things were great, he was doting, generous, funny and very attentive towards me. Then after about a year his meds must have crapped out. He became very irritable and extremely self indulgent, spending large amounts of cash (that he didn’t have) on things he didn’t need. He went to the doctor and his doctor changed his med combo. They worked very well, but the side effects were pretty harsh. He couldn’t stay awake at his job and he put on about 25 pounds in a two month period. He went off the meds against his doctors orders and became a completely different person. I got out of there after her threw a shoe at my head. I broke up with him right at the time and never looked back.

    When it comes to physical abuse 2nd chances are NOT in my book. I don’t care if you have bipolar, cancer or you are the pope, physical violence and cheating are the deal breakers that I will NOT tolerate. I don’t care if you are in a manic phase “and know not what you do.” Get back on your pills or get out. After that experience I will think twice about being with someone who is bipolar. They can seem stable and ok at first, then something can change and all those wonderful qualities go out the window along with the relationship.

  8. FIRST-to all those who are afflicted each day by this difficult disease PLEASE HANG IN THERE.I wasn’t diagnosed with Bipolar1 until I was 48years young.There is a way to have a long,loving,lasting relationship.Don’t be intimidated,trust is the key element.There is an abundant amount of info available to everyone who feel’s that feeling when someon special come’s into your life.If it’s right u will struggle at time’s none of us are perfect.
    Imagine the victory though.

  9. Wow, after reading all of this, all I can say is: wow. I think a LOT of the things people have attributed to those with bipolar disorder are either actually a personality disorder (in my opinion) OR, someone who is untreated and not taking meds.

    I have bipolar disorder, but its under fairly good control. I probably have some other issues that arn’t related to BP, but recently I’ve decided- I’m going to work on those before I get into a relationship. However, I am thinking now, that I’m not going to tell someone I have bp until AFTER they get to know me a bit. I’d rather someone judge me for me, rather than something they read on the internet. I think it’s very unfair that people say “run run!” from bipolar people because, as long as the disoder is under control, we are like normal, everyday people. Other things like personality disorders, thats maybe not so much the case. And for women, doctors OFTEN misdiagnose people with borderline personality disorder as having bipolar disorder. (I’d say RUN RUN from a borderline personality person. Meds don’t help and it takes years and years and years to get rid of the symptoms. And they are abusive and manipulative- actual symptoms of Borderline Personality disorder, which are not symptoms of bipolar disorder at all. However the personality disorder can be managed/cure…after like, 10 years!) But bipolar- we will always have it, its like diabetes- you have to take meds to be stable.

    I think there is a lot of stereotyping going on. The only thing I would say is, if you are dating a bipolar person who thinks they can control the disorder WITHOUT medication…(I’ve met a number!)then yes, run. But if they are very good about it, (and they are on the right meds/dosages) then they will not be that different!

    As far as lacking money for the meds- thats no excuse. For me, I’d rather buy medication that food (thats how strongly I feel about it) because I don’t want to go back to hell.

    I realize now, as far as the couple of people I’ve dated recently- I shouldn’t have told them within the first couple of dates. I really prefer to be open, and I hate keeping secrets like that…but people are judging and generalizing so much it’s sad.

    I think a lot of the bad experiences people here have had is due to UNTREATED bipolar disorder.

  10. There are too many posts above to say I agree or disagree with any one of them in particular.

    I am a bipolar sufferer, I was open with my wife when I first met her, and her thoughts were “Everyone deserves to be loved.”

    We have been together over 10 years now, and I am not going to say it has all been good, for either of us. Yes, bipolar individuals tend to be emotionally abusive, but often do not see it that way. Just like how the illness makes emotions go up and down, so does the individuals picture of themselves, so often they do not realize the changes in their behavior towards their partner.

    Sometimes I feel as if I need to leave my wife and 2 children, that it would be better for them. I have even had my 8 year old daughter say something very similar to that effect to me.

    The scariest part, is that I passed my disease, either through genetics or learned behaviors to my children. My 8 year old daughter has been institutionalized twice, and transferred out of her school due to her behaviors.

    All that goes through my head is that this is all my fault. I not only caused my mother and my wife so much pain and suffering due to my illness, but now, I have inflicted my children with the same issues.

    I really do not know what to do anymore.

  11. Joe-I said the exact same thing to my boyfriend, who also has bpd, yesterday. Everyone deserves happiness and unconditional love. This is the first time I’ve experienced a “low” with him, and it’s heartbreaking. He’s pushing me away, telling me he doesn’t want to bring me down with him right now and that he doesn’t deserve me. He is so hard on himself…just like you are being, Joe. It sounds like you love your family the best way you can–and they’re lucky to have you just like you are lucky to have them. Your daughter may suffer from the same problems as you, but you and your wife are there to show her that she can get through it, with the unconditional love and support of her family.

    I really wish my boyfriend would let me help him get through his low right now. I know he’s trying to protect me and he’s scared of hurting me…but I just want to help him and stand by him. I don’t know what to do.

  12. GuitarHero says: ‘you last two can goto hell’

    That is an awfully sweet thing to say, Hero! Would you mind explaining why the comments made you feel so hostile?

    And Kelly, please think twice about continuing this relationship. Joe has two children who have this and I am so sorry about this, Joe.

    Before you have kids, and/or marry, these things seem to be not such a huge deal but they are bigger than huge, and you do need to think about this aside from your other feelings of love. I have no doubt that your boyfriend has a really good heart, and that he does none of this on purpose but that makes is no less dangerous.

    I have sons from two different fathers, and I also thought with the first one it did not matter. Well, it did, and he is not well. my second son is totally normal.

  13. I am writing on this blog to vent a little of my frustration and hurt; I’m currently dating someone with bipolar disorder and it has been one hell of a ride. I am deeply in love, but the episodes leave me emotionally damamged and deppresed. Its hard to simply let go of a relationship when there are so many good times and love there. But I feel like I’m reaching the end of the stick. I think it’s important for all people who are dating someone with this disorder to help their partners seek help. If they are unwilling to do so or they brush it off, then tragically the realtionship will only continue to emotionally destructive.

  14. Has anyone with BP on this list been treated with alternative/ companion medicine like acupuncture, meditation, rieke, etc? Are their any sites or blogs dedicated to this? Thanks and thanks to everyone for posting and sharing your feelings and insight.

  15. My ex-boyfriend was recently diagnosed with Bipolar even though he doesn’t think he is. He has been verbally and mentally abusive during the later part of our relationship because of this illness. To be very honest when he is not in his depressive stage he is one of the most respectful, humble and kind hearted person you could ever imagined. He is currently in the hospital undergoing treatment and my heart is yearing for him. I haven’t spoken to him since the three weeks he has been there because he is always accusing me of cheating and doing something to hurt him. I really love him and I want to be supportive of him, however it is very stressful to be supportive of someone who thinks you are up to no good. I would love to know now that he is taking his medication will he ever get to a point where he apologizes for the pain and suffering that he caused and will he be able to love me again? I have never cheated on him neither have I done any of the things he accused me of. Your response is greatly appreciated

  16. That’s a question only he can answer, Karen, sorry. I hope you get the apology you deserve.

  17. hello to everyone who reads and posts on this site

    reading the insights from peple who suffer bi polar disorder and from those in a relationship with someone with this disorder has shown me some understanding. i do not judge anyone who has posted on this site, and i admit i do have questions. i am fifteen years old and am in a reationship with a boy whom has this disorder. we have everything in common and when he mentioned he was bipolar it did not matter or affect me. we both have trust issues and he did tell me about his disorder but i do not question him about it. he does not take medication for BP . he has his ups and downs and so do i but im confused on something. how do i try to convince him to communicate with me? i have done research on this disorder and the disorder does not scare me but makes me question how i can meet him where he is standing in his head…i am very curious about this and only wish to understand . i understand i am young and he being seventeen is as well but i never want to hurt him if i can be the midpoint for his sanity how can i do that? i only wish to understand him and be able to decipherhis emotions…i love him very much and only wishto understand….so i was wondering if anyone has any advice?

  18. also we never argue but recently somebad things were said they were emotionally destuctive but i could only hold on to the fact i love him and i could only see the good things because therewas no bad……anyways things worked out and we vowed to never speak of what went dowm again but my question is will letting him dwell on it make an epiode arise again or will talking it out, letting him vent it off help? should i stay away and give him his space or should i grant the wishes he has when he ays he wants to see me?

  19. Hi Kyrene,

    It’s great that you want to be supportive and communicate better. I’d suggest asking questions about what it’s like for him, and what he would like from you when he’s in different phases. Listening skills are really important, too. There are some great books you could read (like “Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder”) that are mostly geared to married people but some things would be helpful for you also.

    I hope things work out for you both.

  20. thank you so much for your suggestions Sandra. i will check out that book you suggested
    thank you so much :)

  21. I’m reading these posts and it frustrates me. I am Bipolar and have had an extremely difficult time controling and treating it through the years. The instability of my life has made keeping a job and any kind of insurance coverage impossible. When in a relationship I strive so hard to be the rock and be able to be relyed upon. Being Bipolar this isn’t something that can last for too long. Rather than get my significant other involved in my mess I would leave them and lock myself away. So the people that say it is always about the illness have no clue what they are talking about and are probably just bitter from a failed relationship with someone diagnosed Bipolar. I was diagnosed at 18 I am 33 now, I have only had 6 serious relationships all ended poorly during a depressive state. I am seriously afraid of relationships yet I always crave someone to be close to me. Though inside I don’t feel I am worth the effort because of people like the earlier commenters. It must be nice to have a stable emotional base to work from, though I feel in a way those comments were not from stable individuals. I don’t want to drag someone else down with me, but at the same time I would like someone to stand next to me and understand who I am and that the good and the bad of a person are the things you love about them. Not just the good parts. I know I have an illness I am seeking treatment having found a program through the department of mental health so I don’t have to have insurance or money to recieve the treatment I need. I probably will never find that understanding of a woman and I am sure some reading this will feel I don’t deserve it since I have an illness that doesn’t make the relationship easier, but more complicated than relationships already are. Bottom line I am a very kind hearted caring person who would give you the shirt off his back even if it was all I had. I am just stuck with a difficult poker hand to play in life. The only advise I can give is this. Never judge a person no matter what the affliction until you’ve walked in thier shoes. The illness doesn’t define the character of the individual the symptoms may all be similar but the reactions of the afflicted vary from person to person. Anyone that would like to comment on this please feel free to email me and I will respond at MDixon9131@aol.com.

  22. I just got a relationship with someone that suffers from bipolar. Everything was fine, the sweetest person I have ever met. Than all of the sudden almost going to our 2 months, everything changed. She started to tell me that she still had feelings for her ex, and she will understand if I wanted to break up with her. But I didnt, than she told me that it went away and she reminded me about her having bipolar. Now, with finals, and writing her term paper, work and me. She didnt have enough time for me, and I seriously tried my hardest to be there whenever I could. But she broke up with me on my birthday, and nothing I would say or do would make her change. Than on the same day, she told me to give her two weeks after the finals were ever. I just don’t know what to do right now, I fell for her too fast. I just don’t want to loose her. Please some insight.

  23. I have currently just gotten out of a year relationship with a boy suffering from BP. He experienced traumatic family issues about 6 months into our relationship and it seemed to spark the Bipolar episodes. Going from a laidback genuinely happy person, he seemed to change before my eyes into an irritable, impatient, uptight person that I no longer recognized. Knowing he’s been bipolar for about 6 months now, he has been going to a psychiatrist for about 4, yet hasn’t looked into medication. What is your opinion on the medication? It seems that he has been unwilling to get help and it took me about to leave his life for him to decide to talk to a psychiatrist.

    I realize you cannot truly love someone and make them happy, if you don’t love yourself and aren’t happy yourself. But why the hesitation to get help? If you had been diagnosed as Bipolar wouldn’t you want to try everything possible? He told me he’s afraid to try different things because what if they don’t help him and then he has nothing left. This mentality frustrates me beyond belief. I love him with everything in me and know that this is the boy I’m supposed to be with in the long run but the constant up and down’s of our relationship started to take a negative toll in me as well. We are spending time apart so he can stop relying on me to be his “crutch” through the hard times and begin working to improve his life himself.

    Do you think medication is necessary for everyone suffering from BP? He says he’s scared of becoming a “zombie.” What are your thoughts?

  24. Wow/where do I begin.I lived with a b/p for over 6 yrs
    At first it was great–very supportive and loving.
    We bought a house together BIG mistake. The house was
    foreclosed on and he blamed me for it all. Said I only
    worked p/t made fun of it–knew that from the beggining of our relationship. He is on SS disability
    We moved into a rental and I got my own bank account
    which really made him angry. I had been signing over
    my paychecks to him (mistake) and when that stopped after we lost the house–he became very different. My
    trust was gone. 3 wks before our lease was up/he terminated the relationship blamed me for everthing
    and said I was emotionally ill & needed help. He lives in a nice apartment and I now live in a studio
    I do blame myself because I knew he was b/p but I did no research on this–now I read everything–I
    feel used and abused.. My children were leary of him
    and I did not listen to them. They are adults. What
    is so sad is that I really loved and cared for him I
    miss him and yes worry about him. He probably will end up in a group home and be fine with.It is sad the holidays are here and I feel like I am b/p now.
    He saw a therapist,know there are privacy laws but
    people who are involved with b/p should be informed on how quickly they change/He ruined my credit I was
    the one employed–did not even say he was sorry. Also said bizzare things to me was so cold emotionally did not even care where I was goi ng to live..It was bizzare. Got an unlisted # and then told people not to say where he was living. It probably was one of the most stressful things I ever had to endure. I hope I can find a meaningful
    relationship again/but I will never date a b/p again

  25. Hi there. I could use some insight. I dated a man for five months……the most deliriously happy months of my adult life. He said (and I believed him and agreed) that we were perfectly suited for each other and that we had a wonderful future. He loved me and told me that I was perfect and that every time he was with me, he felt as though he was in heaven. Within a few days, he went from adoring and doting to questioning the entire relationship and pulling back emotionally. He said that he was protecting himself. He went from calling or emailing me several times a day to distance. Four days after telling me that he was completely crazy for me and hated to be away from me, he broke up with me via instant messages. He has called once since then, but ended up telling me that he had fallen out of love with me and that he could probably pinpoint the moment it happened. His voice was different and he didn’t go out of his way to make things easier for me.

    He is extremely sexual and capable well beyond his 50 years. He is very productive and successful and sleeps very little – he admits that he has severe difficulty with sleep and I am aware that he is on several medications for it. I noticed Depakote in his overnight bag along with six other drugs that I looked up and found they treated sleep and seizure issues. When I asked, he told me that they were all for sleep. He admitted to a suicide attempt five years ago and told me that he could take medication to level him, but he stated that he hates feeling numb. He had never admitted to bi polar, but since we broke up and in this very strange and cruel way, I have been struggling with this and I am wondering if all the signs were there and I opted not to see them.

    He’s extremely intelligent and a very caring and empathetic prior to this recent experience. If he is manic, it is an impressive state for him – focused, productive, charming, talented, passionate, etc. He knows that I had been hurt previously by a bi polar husband and would choose not to deal with it again, so I wonder if he didn’t tell me, didn’t know, or knows, but is in denial.

    Or……am I reading too much into this and ‘he’s just not that into’ me?

  26. I have experinced being in a relationship with someone who is bipolar. It wasn’t unitl one month into dating that he told me. What I can say is that I do love him. I love him for who he is. I have to be honest though. It takes a lot of work and understanding. My ex was extremely unstable in his thoughts and actions. One minute he would call me every day and the next minute I wouldn’t hear from him in weeks. He broke up with me out of the blue. Till this day I really have no idea why. Occasionally I receive emails here and there. I’ve tried very hard to support him as a friend. Even that takes a lot of work. I have not seen him in over a year. Some days I’m confused about everything. I know that he is an amazing person. He is kind and loving. If you are thinking about getting into a relationship with someone who is bipolar, do your research. You may just be better off and I’m beginning to recognize that for myself. I was suffering along with him. I know his actions weren’t intentional but I nearly went through a breakdown because of his mixed messages and instability in his emotions.

  27. I can see both sides of this debate quite clearly. I recently became permanently separated from my wife of 5 years, the divorce is pending for early next year. My ex has been seeing a counselor for year and having back and forth symptoms of hypomania and depression and all of the other classic bipolar symptoms for most of the time I had known her. In the beginning I had no idea what it was and thought that it was just one of the normal obstacles that I would have to deal with and that it was not very serious. But over the years it got exponentially worse. Finally after she cheated on me and after her addiction to vicodin she got hooked on for back pain after her gastric bypass surgery, her counselor suggested she was bipolar. But no formal evaluations happened and any other suggestions regarding it that her counselor made were ignored by her and then her counselor did nothing else for her except constantly change her med and the last time I spoke with my ex, her meds still didnt seem to be working or she wasnt taking them.

    But my ex was very verbally and mentally abusive and her abuse got progressively worse over the years and eventually everything became my fault to her. Her moods, her anxiety, her miserable feelings in general. She became hyper paranoid, I got accused of cheating on her at least several times a day, when I never even touched another woman even when my ex was at her worst I still wanted and needed only her. FInally when she cheated and then spent the next year blaming me that when I had finally had enough. One day we had an argument where she told me she just didnt want to be married anymore, and after everything else she did to me, I didnt even try to discourage her from her statement, I just packed up my stuff and left, and I never went back and never will, even if she starts to get the treatment she really needs and even if she admits to her disorder and everything else I still wont go back to her, and its been almost a year now.

    That being said I agree with the whole descriptions of bipolar people having a tendency to be very cruel and abusive, because I have lived through it with my ex and I have been the victim of her abuse for so long that I may always have emotional scars from it that I may have to deal with for the rest of my life in one way or another.

    But with that being said as well, I can also sympathize to a point with bipolar sufferers who are in the middle of their disorder and feel like there is a demon inside them making them do horrible things to people who love them and who they love. But where my sympathy stops is when the bipolar sufferer is deep in denial and abusing those around them and then blaming their vitims and everyone else for their own behavior and actions. Those are the types of bipolar sufferers who are the stereotypical abusers and poisonous people.

    Sorry if my words on that offend those here who do suffer from bipolar disorder, but when it comes to people who are in denial about it when they have it thats how the rest of us become victims of it. But I do have all of the respect in the worl for those with bipolar disorder who not only have accepted their disorder but have also gotten on and are sticking to an appropriate treatment plan with meds and the applicable psychological therepy to accompany it. Those are the bipolar sufferers who are worthy of the respect and worth standing by and being supportive of, the ones in denial who are abusing, in my opinion are not.

  28. Since I cant edit my above post I must add a correction. My Ex has been seeing a counselor for year, not just a year. She began seeing a counselor in the late 90s and has continued with the same counselor ever since.

  29. I have been in a relationship with a man for 2 1/2 months now… He came on very strong and emotionally seductive… Meaning he was wonderful… But in the course of our short relationship, within in a month he said he had to move out of his place… So could he move his things into my place.. He is not living with me but he sleeps in another place that I rent, he said he would pay me rent but then treats it in a joking way like he is doing me the favor .. He had a stable job, one that he has had for 13 years.. Last Monday he lost his job. He has been trying to help me with my own business in a manic way, like he has an agenda to work together. Before we even met he told me in not so many words that he felt I was the one for him. He has only been married once and it was years ago… But he wants to marry me.

    He did not tell me he was BP I found his meds and then asked him to explIn what they were for and he came out and told me they were for depression, I said I thought he was BP… The next day he admitted it was BP II said that he was going to tell me but was just waiting for the right time… Now that I know I can look back and see when he was manic and when he would ‘switch’… I was very confused at the time but it makes complete sense to me now… I am now processing all the info and trying to see if it can work. Possitives … I am glad he goes to a therapist and takes his meds… He seems to really be proactive in getting the help he needs and he had recommended we go to couples counseling weeks before this came out… Like maybe he was trying to prepare me for what he was going to have to tell me. But I have felt the emotional and mental abuse already. It often comes as a joke to soften the blow but I recognize it for the abuse it is… He also has said some things that hurt my kids. Then he appologizes. I do not let these things slide I address them and let him know they are unacceptable… He agrees but then a few days later starts back up.

    In learning about his disorder I have come to realize that my mother suffers from BP, for my whole life I have tried to understand why she was the way she was and this explains it perfectly!!!!! So my boyfriends illness has brought me great understanding there.

    And having a mother who was BP helps me to have a keen awareness of him. One thing I know is that people with BP are VERY intellegent and seductive in the beginning they will try to entice you before their alter ego emerges. I am a strong outspoken person… Meaning when I believe in something I do not back down… This created many problems for me with my mother growing up, I don’t know if it will make my boyfriends condition worse too… I wonder if those who suffer from BP need someone who is a people pleaser and more accomidating. I am more outspoken now than ever have been.

    I do believe knowledge is power though… With my mother I never UNDERSTOOD what was going on and that was a living hell. Now that Im in this relationship with someone who does understand what is happening inside them I am wondering if that will make a difference in how to be with someone who has the illness.. Only time will tell.. But I have my eyes wide open! I will try to update our progress…

  30. I have a question to pose… If BP is out of someones control why is it that only their loved ones experience the abuse? How are they able to control it enough so they can hide it from most other people? Or do they just grow close to people who will tolerate their behaviour, where others would not?

    • Hi Heartbeat – the simple answer to your question (without knowing more background) is that bipolar doesn’t result in selective behaviours that one person sees. If abuse is only directed toward you, it’s abuse. Physical abusers (not necessarily bipolar) hit their victims in places where bruises will be hidden under clothing, which shows they know what they are doing is wrong and have control over their violence. Same idea. Abuse is abuse and mental health issues don’t excuse it or make it okay. I hope you’ll seek help. Check out the Hot Peach Pages international directory to find help in your area:
      http://hotpeachpages.net/

  31. I have been dating a guy for about a month now. Tonight, we had dinner and I could tell that something had definitely changed in his mood. He seemed withdrawn and distracted. I knew that he was under a lot of pressure at work, but this seemed like more than that.

    During dinner, he told me that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I had known that he was taking medication and seeing a therapist, but hadn’t known why.

    I value that he told me and appreciate the strength that it took for him to disclose this. While I know a little about the disorder, I am in no way well versed. Reading these forums and other on-line resources is helping to prepare me for dating someone with this disorder.

    He is a very nice man, with many wonderful qualities. While I can’t guarantee that this relationship will develop into something serious, I now feel prepared. Thank you.

  32. I am BP 2 and as far as dating relationship history, I have never been violent or verbally abusive! I have been the one on the recieving end of that. Yes, I was hit once (and no, I didn’t hit back). It was the last time too. I also had a stalker. I am sure being bipolar got rid of lots of men in the past 20 years.

    I am in a 2 year relationship that is ending but for other reasons than being bipolar. He’s 40 and lives with his parents and is showing no signs of moving out. I am 41 and I own my home.

    I’ve had my share of long term relationships where I’ve run guys off before by the usual method. It sounds like all of you judgemental people have never ignored someone, yelled at, cheated, or behaved badly in a relationship. I wish I wasn’t bipolar so I could be perfect like you!

    I am really apprehensive about revealing my BP. I was recently fired from a job I had for 4 years. A year ago I told my boss I was bipolar. This was a huge mistake. That’s when I went from excellent (definitely not perfect) 3 year employee to being tolerated. My other female colleage decided not to come back in December, and gave the reason that she was going to stay home with her baby. Three weeks later she posted how deleriously happy she was with her new job on facebook. LOL!

  33. First, I will also denounce the first couple posters, You suck at expressing your frustrations in an intelligent way. Now, I have a message for people who are dating someone with bipolar disorder. I do, don’t feel obligated to be there if it’s hurting you. Having bipolar disorder is not always a curse, it’s a gift. People w/ bipolar can and will be extremely charming, good lovers, they can make a mundane moment seem magical. That being said, untill someone with BP can help themselves, it’s really hard to help them. Having BP is never an excuse for Abuse, manipulation, cheating, lalala and so on. Although, I have cheated many times, feeling sexually compelled and unsatisfied with my relationship this was before I realized that the relationship wasn’t the problem, my compulsive actions where. Thus, the above mentioned serves as my example. It may seem as if your BP partner loves you more than anyone In the world, but this is because we can reach to the extremes of emotion on a regular basis. Sometimes I feel euphoric and other times I feel like my entire family just died infront of my face. This is hard, not only for me, but for those close. You may feel as if you caused it, or they are looking for cause so they blame you. If this is happening I suggest keeping enough distance so as not to become dissillutioned by our intense emotion and feelings. I have had to deal with many people falling in love with me b/c of my intense approach. A relationship with a bipolar person may hold vast rewards and untold adventure, as the non-bp you must resist the temptation to get sucked in to the ride. It will only make it worse, I feel like there is nothing worse in my dealing with BP than when a false emotion(a BP triggerred one) causes problems or hurts someone else bc they don’t understand that you are not actually upset and nothing is wrong you just feel like you want to die. Ten min later I could be ok and if the above happens I find regular humans don’t really recover as fast. So now I feel great and my partner is pissed or sad. In conclution, I would recommend staying synical about the relationship untill you really know each other well enough to talk openly and there is no fear of a discussion ending things( that goes for those dating a BP or a BP). Also, I find when it gets really bad I perfer to isolate instead of hurting others or bring them down. I think isolation is healthy for me, but sometimes I need help like being lifted out of it. If your BP girly or boytoy isolates don’t take it the wrong way, but also don’t let them be Alone too long. It could be they just need sometime then for someone to listen.

  34. I can’t even READ all of these. Are people really this stupid? (BTW, you’ll have *no* idea how overly-gentle a person I am by the posts I’ve made on this website, but I normally wouldn’t say “poop” if I had a mouthful of it.)

    Never mind, I’ll just leave the jerks here with this thought: The man who beat me for two years, ultimately shattering my leg, WAS NOT BIPOLAR. Maybe he was more like… you? Surely all YOUS WILL ABUSE THEIR PARTNERS?

    I gotta leave this site now… it makes *me* feel bipolar, how depressed I get from seeing just how smart people really are. Thank you for the fine work, though, Authoress.

    =).

  35. What a wonderful way to start a relationship – lie to the guy by omission. How honest of a relationship can you have if you start out with such blatant deciet. This is an unfair and selfish waste of a guys time.

  36. I think it’s a bit much to disclose on the first date, but should be discussed as early as possible in the dating process if it looks like the relationship has some potential. I don’t consider that a lie at all, I think it’s wisdom to disclose personal information at appropriate times.

    After all, we all have our flaws. We don’t lay out the laundry list of those flaws on the first or second date. We disclose them over time, one at a time, at appropriate moments.

    Bipolar disorder is, of course, not a flaw. But it is information that isn’t directly relevant to the initial dating process.

  37. I am 54 and have an untreatable bipolar II disorder. I have been seeing psyh and therapist since 79. I took every med they prescribed as prescribed.After 30 something years my nervous system is shot, No passion, no excitement,no pleasure even from sex etc etc. All the meds over the years has done me more harm than good and people wonder why people don’t want to take those meds. I have taken a lot of meds of all kinds but these are the most god awful meds there are. The side effects alone will make you more like a zombie than the bipolar. I took my meds faithfully and got no benefit what so ever. The damage has been done though and can’t be undone. Lithium is all that keeps me going. That brings up another reason people sometimes don’t take there meds. An artist of any kind, painter, musician, writer etc are not going to take lithium or a couple of others because it robs them of their creativity. 30 years of that stuff is why I can’t focus or concentrate. If many of the above had to take these drugs daily for their entire lives they would be singing a different tune.
    As far as abuse goes studies show that domestic violence is at an all time high and most aren’t bipolars !! So get off the abuse bull. I am not saying bipolars can’t be abusive but certainly no more than many many supposidly sane people ! I have never been abusive to my loved one and never could be. There are plenty of bigots on here and yes descriminating against us is no different than any other BIGOT !! No two bipolars are the same contrary to what so many idgets believe. Is all cancer patients the same ? How about heart disease patients. We are surrounded by narrow minded idots who, in most cases don’t know jack about bipolars or the disease or treatments !
    I’ll add one more piece of info. There is only ONE medication available specificaly for the treatment of bipolar disorder ! That would be Amblify. All the other crap on the market was designed to treat unipolar or generalized depression. the the FDA in all thier wisdom ok’d them for bipolar use which was a disaster for anyone suffering from mania. So they don’t even have meds available to treat us yet the uneducated above have no clue. Has anyone ever considered if the bipolar is acting erratic it could be the cocktail or meds they are on causing it because by-god they damn sure will do it. Only in American is the mentally ill treated as lepers or worse ! Yes, severe mania can very often cause sexually promiscuitiy to the danger point. This shows up in women more than men because they tend to have more mania where men depression. Whether you people want to believe it or not I have met and known as many or more people sicker, crazier, and deranged that were so called normal. So look at the other side and educatate yourself before spouting off about something you know nothing about !
    P.S. On average it takes seeing 7 doctors to get an accurite diagnoses. So a big part of bipolars are walking around with the wrong diagnoses and in turn getting the wrong meds and treatment !

  38. thank you! those of you who have spead the truth of myths about people with bi polar disorder.
    i have been diagnosed for the past 23 years with the same diagnosis: schitzo affective disorder bi polar type. i started showing signs of having behavior problems when i was 6. by the time i was 8 i started showing signs of a mental illness. by the time i was 14 i spent my first sint in a state psychatic hospital, which would be just one of many life time addmitions, for 4 straight months in the middle of the school year, and recieved a diagnosis that has followed me for about 23 years now.
    i have been on and off meds by choice during that time. i have currently be on meds for the last 12 years or so. this is the longest straight period of time i have taken meds. the next longest periods have been around 1 year.
    i have not found any kind of med regiment that worked for me until around 3 years ago. it seems as if every month i may have to change an anti depressant, or a mood stabilizer.
    i can be somewhat abusive as far as verbal abuse goes. when i get that way my thinking is very cloudy, and is just one of the many signs one or more of my meds are not working. i am fortunate enough to have people in my life that understand why i get that way at times. and i am fortunate enough that they are willing to try to get me help, as well as try to get me to help myself asap during those times. i do try and make a mends after the fact. i know to little too late.
    i know first hand how difficult it can be to live with and deal with people who have serious mental ilnesses, such as bi polar, on a daily basis. i have been on both sides of the fence. i have worked one on one with the criminally insane as much as 16 plus hours a day, sometimes 6-7 days a week for 8 straight years, as well as having a mental illness since at a very young age. psychotropics have litearally destroyed my life, as well has my illness.
    about 99.9% of women i talk to/first meet want nothing what so ever to do with me when they find out about my disorder. they would rather run like hell to get away from me, than get to know me for the kind sensitive person i am 99% of the time.
    i have been fortuneate enough to not let my illness control my life with much sucess. unfortuately i have been on disability for the past 4 1/2 years. there seems to be little to no hope among the “proffesionals” of me evr being able to go back to work. i have tried a couple of times in the past 4 1/2 years with disasteous results. i have even had supervisors tell me flat out that i was denied a promotion to others less qualified than myself simply because i had a mental illness. even so, i will not let that stand in my way of continuing to try.
    i could go on and on, but i am going to stop here. for those of you who think you are open minded, honest, caring, sympathetic of the under dogs, etc and you choose to treat and lable those with a mental illness the same way most of society as whole does, you all know who you are! i just want to say…..first of all wake up and quit lying to youself and others. we are just as human, if not more than everybody else in the world. secondly for those of you, such as my ex wife/in laws, who continue to treat people with a mental illness less than human, even after getting to know what gentle people they can be, and once again you know who you are. i just want to say……….well i will not say what i want, but rather just say i have more than a few choice words/phrases for you people.

  39. After a lifetime of ups and downs, It wasn’t until my 30s – 40 and after seeing many professionals to work out I have BP/OCD/ADHD amongst other co-existing disorders.
    I am a decent person with good values and morals I like to think. When you meet someone you want to spend the rest of your life with -how about referring to wedding vows – In sickness and in health and for better or worse.

    Mental illness can happen to anyone at anytime – If you made that choice to be with someone, show some empathy, compassion and love most of all.

    All you Anti-BP people go to your BP partners tonight and ask them ‘What is it they need from you that will be supportive and loving in your relationship and see what happens!?” (meanwhile putting all your anger, resentment and judgement aside)

    If you do not feel you can offer unconditional love, support and understanding – Ask yourself why are you really in that relationship!

  40. My partner of two years was diagnosed with ‘depression’. He didn’t add that it was Bipolar and I only found out when we had to go for emergency medication whilst he was visiting me.

    I was concerned about some of his behaviour. He would wander off and leave me (forget about me) sometimes, broke off the relationship just to want to restart it again a few days later.

    He chased other women then denied it and finally just dumped me in a 5 minute conversation with no explanation, and went off with someone else within a day. He will never admit he is wrong about anything, but was one of the nicest, kindest and sweetest guys sometimes, which is why I rode out the problems.

    I offered love, support and tried really hard to understand him, but it just was not enough.

    If you are in a long term relationship then I really do think that it is important to tell a partner about the diagnosis. I knew he saw a psychiatrist regularly and had a lot of meds, was unable to work due to the illness, but he never once told me about the diagnosis. If he had, maybe I could have been more aware of how to handle his down periods.

  41. Katya 19 Jul 2010 – 10/10 for your love, support and understanding – as hard as it may seem – its a case of constant reassurance and perserverance, if you truly love your partner. My partner would also have experienced all the things you have said about yours – mental illness is very complex.

    I look at it this way, some people like my partners ex wife – who does not have mental illness, behaves selfish, greedy, unpredictable, demanding and has used his two lovely children as bait – now whos mental..!!??

    People with mental illness are usually well traveled if you understand what I mean..So please take in to consideration they are generally more prone to triggers etc…but generally sensitive nice people who just need someone to love and trust 110%

  42. I have been with my current girlfriend for almost three months. Our relationship started out very quickly and within a month 1/2 we each professed our love for one another. For the past month and a half however I have began to notice that she has extreme mood swings, is tired, and sleeps quite a bit. For 2 weeks she will be an upbeat, loving, perfect girlfriend. Then for a week or two she becomes very irritable, calls or texts less and snaps and screams at me and her family over absolutely nothing. This is always seems to be accompanied by or induced by stress even though I don’t find the stress she claims to be under very “stressful”. She told me she takes meds for anxiety/depression but has never told me she has bipolar disorder. Does this sound like Bipolar Disorder???

  43. John, sounds like your girlfriend hasn’t had a clear diagnosis, as it is often difficult to put all the symptoms in one box with one label. I suffer as above and have great insight and do my best to manage my mental health. Stress is usually one of the big triggers and please understand we all experience stress at different levels etc.. I am struggling to maintain my relationship of nearly 3 years which I think may be over shortly. During this time I have loved and supported my non BP partner through his redundancy/abusive ex wife/child support/legal battles/ill health/and new job. Now I am on the verge of a breakdown, due to the strain of his situation, but mainly his lack of reciprocated support. It seems he never took my symptoms seriously, I feel badly let down. Maybe you need to put yourself in her shoes and ask yourself can you handle this relationship before any damage is done. Never say never mental illness can happen to anyone – its also a poor society if we keep abandoning sick people, especially the ones we love. Please refer if need to my blog 16th Jul 2010.

  44. Hello I was reading most of this post and it makes me think where is the line between Bi-polar and other very similar “diseases”. I myself am bi-polar and am 27 I have been dealing with this since I was 12 and the question I just asked is one I often wondered.

  45. For all the posters angry at bi polar ex lovers warnings. Get back on your own meds! I am comming out of 4 months of depressive hell since I discovered my soul mate and wife to be was bi polar and what she really was. After a year and 1/2 of her flooding me with love, affection, sex and morals of how people should be honest, she sent me a letter saying she was marrying another guy instead (lie?). Then I found out there was a 3rd guy who was heart broken who she was dating longer then me. Who knows how many others. I had helped her through a panic attack once but discovering she was a total lying fraud gave me one for a week. I bawled like a baby for two months and depressed for two more. Reading other horror stories is pulling me out of it. She prayed on my sympathy with childhood abuse stories and life trageties. Built my trust with affection and promises. Reasured my doubts and suspicions with vows of her honesty. Lifted me up with passion, love and the most sincere eyes of affection then smashed me into a thousand pieces at the last minute. You cant trust anything they say. They actually believe it. It’s all real when your there but behind your back… You don’t want to know. They can and will cause you psychlogical harm. Sure they are sick and some can maintain maybe but run like your hair is on fire because you will hurt so bad for so long that you will truly understand what it feels like to be manic depressive. Its not your fault and you can do better. Trust your intuition because they’re lying.

  46. Once they make their minds up you can’t reason or use logic. If you think they are lying, they are. You can never show weakness or worry. You can trigger them. They can be so normal for a long time and pop at any minute. They are getting what they need from you but if you are in trouble maintaining that comfort they will look elsewhere or walk. When they do, your best bet is to never call them again. It’s the attention they want and will show up again when they need it. I want to marry a bi polar ex spouse they must be real angels.

  47. Oh dear poor Broken you….You have put all BP people in one box with one big label and I cannot deny there are common traits! Maybe its time to take responsibility for your depression and feelings – you are obviously angry. I bet you liked all the nice fun bits and did not complain at the time intuitively knowing something was wrong????

    Like I have advised before learn some empathy and sympathy!

    Before I discovered I had mental illness – I use to work for lawyers, top criminal barristers and judges in London, which involved rape, fraud and murder and i instinctly knew the clients were not bad people, its just what they did was maybe bad, but generally circumstancial.

  48. I’m getting to know a friend with bipolar disorder. She’s someone I’m considering a deeper relationship with, but we’re both taking it easy and getting to know each other. She told me the first time I asked her out. I really appreciated that. I’m the kind of person who respects that kind of honesty. Just wanted to encourage you that when to reveal that is based on the person. I’m also doing a lot of research and taking things slowly. I want to see how she is when she struggles most as well as the good times.

  49. I am writing this because I am so deeply upset and have been feeling suicidal – if it were not for my hard earned home which is my the place of safety I would of topped myself by now. My now ex – partner has badly let me down as he could no longer handle my reactive behaviour to his circumstances (see my previous conversations) Yet he put up with bad behaviour from his employers and his ex wife which was just as difficult just different.

    He knew about my BP etc… very early on and did not take the time to understand, he loved the fun bits for better – but did not want to do the bits that were for worse. I stuck by him through thick and thin and he wasn’t the easiest person to live with either- how stupid of me not to put my needs first. I would welcome any comments?

  50. As was previously mentioned, the bad experiences in relationships come from dealing with someone with untreated bipolar disorder. With people who have learned to manage the disorder, it needs to be understood by the partner that for someone with bipolar it is like our emotions are magnified, but we are no more likely than the so called “normals” to be abusive. I was not correctly diagnosed with Bipolar II until I was nearly 40. Before I was diagnosed and began taking Lithium, I sometimes was verbally abusive to my family members, and I regret it terribly.
    My relationship with my family members has improved drastically. However, I took myself “off the market” many years ago because I attract bad men to me who abuse me either emotionally or physically. I believe in monogamy but I tend to draw to me guys who believe in cheating. Because I also suffer from borderline personality disorder with self-injury (this was also improved by taking Lithium) I become suicidal when someone I’m attached to deeply cheats on me or tells me I’m not good enough for him to be with. So I stopped looking for love because all I ever found was abuse. In my case it was NOT the bipolar person who was doing the abusing–I was the one being abused!
    I can understand being cautious after being burned by being in a relationship with someone with an untreated mental illness, but it is erroneous to put us all into the same basket.

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