Online dating mental
That’s why people like me wonder whether – when it comes to dating – there’s much hope, even though one in four people suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.
A survey by mental health charity Time to Change found that three-quarters (75 per cent) of people living with a mental health problem would feel scared telling their partner about it for the first time.
‘ve decided that it might be time to venture back into the dating zoo.
I immediately thought, ‘Well, this one isn’t going to have legs’ and made a mental note to see it as a bit of fun and nothing more.The friend who I filled the form out with suggested not saying anything about my condition until I really know the person.Trouble is I’ve written about it widely so that with just a few pointers (my email address, for example) any cover would be blown.(I also couldn’t think where you arrange to go on a date with a man with agoraphobia when tells you he has trouble leaving his house.) Another time I went on a date with someone with the same condition as me.We spent the whole date talking about medication on some kind of loop.One in 10 respondents said it took them over a year to finally tell a new partner about their mental illness.Perhaps that’s why websites like No Longer (an ‘online social community for adults with mental illness’) exist. Although it represented an immediate place of acceptance, it also made me feel that I was having to define myself by my illness.I met a friend of a friend who is a London socialite and party arranger who said to me, ‘Why is a woman like you single?! You should come to one of my dinner parties.’ When I told her about my condition, the invitation evaporated and instead she said: ‘It’s going to be hard for you to find someone, but when you do they’ll be a real gem.’ In some senses her ‘there-there’ attitude was absolutely spot-on.In the same way that I decided not to give that date a chance five years ago because he was honest enough to tell me he had bipolar, I can only assume that the world is full of cautious (even judgemental) people with just a smattering of open-hearted good ‘uns.Another friend suggested that it’d be no worse than telling a potential date that I had heart disease. If your heart isn’t functioning properly, it isn’t seen as your fault (even if you’ve smoked 40 a day for 40 years).But if your brain chemistry is letting you down, people struggle to work out how to be sympathetic and not downright scared (mental health campaigners are in a constant battle to get mental health parity of esteem with physical health; there’s still a long way to go).