Before we even discuss any of this be aware that I am not a therapists or clinical psychiatrist. Also, remember that if you suffer from a mental illness or disability in anyway you should speak to a therapist for help. None the less know that you DO deserve love. You are more than good enough. We know, that there are moments where your insecurities can take over and make your life and mind chaotic but, you deserve love and happiness.
Tips for Dating disabled love interests
you’ll need it for the person your dating and society
-people will stare, people will be rude
*you can’t cause drama everytime that happens. That can make the individual with the disibility feel bad and at fault and you’re taking away the attention from them to “fight for them”. Though it may be a noble pursuit. You should be focused on the pursuit of a strong connection.
They need to know that you are just as confident with them as you would be with any other beautiful person on earth.
-it takes a special confidence to feel that way with a person with a disability because its a golden confidence that communicates “you know they are beautiful and the world just needs to catch up”.
Don’t date someone with a disability out of sympathy.
-some people don’t know how to say no or reject someone.
-don’t get deeper into the dating process when you wanted to leave a long time ago. It’s wasting everyone’s time aswell as tearing away at someones emotional stability and confidence.
Just because you are disabled and/or dating a disabled person doesnt mean you are religated to only being in the house.
-go out places
-enjoy life TOGETHER
– you are a couple/unit, so act like one.
Do not treat someone with a disability as if they are helpless or less than.
Do not fear their disability because when you do you are stigmatizing sterotypes and not supporting them at all but rather holding them down and seeing them as their disability.
BEWARE THE DEVOTEES:
Devotees: Attraction to disability or a sexualised interest in the appearance, sensation and experience of disability. It may extend from normal human sexuality into a type of sexual fetishism.
-Devotees can objectify a disabled individual.
-Some devotees may go as far as having munchausen’s. Meaning they may enjoy the attention from being with a person with disabilities. The empathy they receive from others can be extremely self validating.
Some do fetishize/objectify a person with a disability and that can be bad because it will prevent them from building a genuine loving, caring, and mutually satisfying relationship.
The conversation: A honest, judgement free, open dialog where you ask the questions you need to about their disability. Find answers to what you are unclear with and/or afraid of. Remmebr that fear of the unknown is only there until whatever it is becomes known. Knowledge is power, and stregth. Once you KNOW what you are afraid of, you don’t have to remain in fear.
Have the conversation at sometime because if you don’t it can drive a wedge between you and them.
Do not sacrifice your house for company.
-Don’t settle for someone just to avoid being alone. Learn to embrace being alone. It isnt always a bad thing.
-But on the other hand, many people that suffer from a mental illness or disability will push someone away and become a martyr thinking that they are protecting their love interest.
I feel that is actually unfare to both individuals. Let both of you decide if you need protection and if sonething may be too much and have an open channel of communication to truly discuss if the feeling is valid and something to be observed. Maybe the person is strong enough and willing to be that help, and support. And they don’t care about the momentary hurt the mental illness or disability may cause because they are here for their love interest. And relationships are ultimately about caring for someone and their best interests, regardless of how you feel. And showing through actions and gestures that you care.
Tips for being in a relationship when you have a mental illness
1) Take care of yourself first
-you cant love someone of you dont first love yourself.
-it doesnt mean you cant love someone else. But if it isnt coming from a happy, stable foundation. You can start fights and disagreements where there shouldn’t be any. You can inadvertently use the relationship to work through your own issues.
And TBH you should consider being single while you do work through some issues because you may not recognize what your doing and find yourself in a bad relationship or going through a cycle of the same type of relationships.
2) Process your past
Recognize what behaviors are detrimental to relationships and to yourself.
-See that things go in cycles. Even toxic relationships. If not you’ll find yourself having the same type of relationships you’ve had before or even experiencing the one maybe your parents had (if it was unhealthy)
– that is carrying baggage.
3) work on communication
-its best to allow your Love interest the time needed to educate themselves and understand what your illness is, and appreciate your strength while living with the illness.
-(for example when your bipolar) they can be more aware and understand the signals and symptoms before you go into mania. And map your hypo-manic symptoms and notice them and get you help. They can be a support team.
4) go slow
Allow them to prove that they are trust worthy and deserve to be in your life.
Rushing into a relationship can promote a sense of false intimacy. And that can make you far more vulnerable than you may actually be ready for.
-relationships do not happen over night and they are not supposed to.
*there’s a reason friendships last longer than romantic ones and thats because friendships build over time.
5) Identify whats happening
-Do not allow them to conflate all of your emotions as “suffering from mental illness”
*they are at fault too. Bipolar just exemplifies relationship problems. When someone does this it can make you think that all your emotions are invalid. And that they are never wrong and its just your brain that is the problem.
*people who are bipolar happen to be very intuitive and in touch with their feelings and those of their love interests. You usually can see problems in the relationship that your love interest can not see (yet).
Should a person with mental illnesses have to disclose their illness with someone they are dating?
-I suggest they should. It will help their love interest form better opinions about the relationship, and their significant other.
*it is still up to the individual, if they are taking their meds and have their tools to manage the disibility. It may feel like the hardest thing to do as far as having the conversation.
*the question does arise, “what if we want children and you suffer from a chemical imbalance” this can be hereditary and if so that is something you should let your partner know. Remember, When “i” is replaced by “we”, illness becomes wellness.
So this is just my advice when navigating the dating world with mental illness and disabilities. It may not be the best but it is what I know from research and speaking with therapists and professionals concerning relationships, intamacy, and the life that is the outcome of its amalgamation. So I may not be perfect, I may not be the best person to refer to but this is info and it may help a few people.