Romance can be found despite mental disorders | Community
Today’s episode is the final installment in our series on dating a mental health disorder, which we’ve been reviewing for four weeks. As this series draws to a close, we think it’s important to briefly review the topics we’ve covered and leave our readers with one final point.
Week 1: Our discussion in the first week of this series focused on the benefits of forming a friendship with the person you’re interested in before embarking on a romantic relationship. While there’s nothing wrong with starting to date the person you like right away, developing a friendship with them first can be a good way for both of you to gradually get to grips with the intimate details of each other’s lives without having to navigate the unique pressures of a romantic relationship.
Week 2: During the second week, we emphasized the importance of processing your past and working on self-improvement before entering the dating scene. No one is perfect, and you certainly don’t need to wait until you feel “perfect” before pursuing a romantic relationship, but giving yourself time to reflect on your past experiences and heal emotional wounds is imperative to the process of recovering from any mental health crisis. Working toward mental and emotional well-being in conjunction with a therapist and devoting time to self-improvement will ultimately set you up for success in future relationships.
Week 3: The third week of the series focused on fostering self-disclosure and emotional intimacy in a new relationship. While we made it clear that secrecy and deception are never allowed, we encouraged those struggling with mental health issues to be mindful of how and when they decide to share the details of their story with a new romantic interest. Vulnerability is powerful and essential to the strength of any relationship, but some level of trust in the relationship must be established before exploring its depths.
Week 4: Finally, in week four, we discussed the process of having an open and honest conversation with your partner about your mental health issues when the time is right. As has been explained in detail, this requires taking a leap of faith and allowing yourself to be fully seen by the person with whom you wish to cultivate a lasting love. Achieving this level of transparency is necessary for a meaningful and truthful relationship to take root, but how you choose to communicate the details of your situation to your partner is up to you and a highly individualized process.
Conclusion: Having a mental health problem does not necessarily have to lead to romantic rejection.
If there’s one key point we hope our readers take away from this series, it’s that battling mental health issues shouldn’t stop anyone from dating and developing long-term relationships. Hard work, patience and responsibility will inevitably be part of the process, so actively commit to engaging in personal therapy and self-development above all else. Many changes and adaptations will be necessary, but if you believe in your ability to take positive steps in the right direction, the right people will notice.
Next week we plan to publish the first installment of our next series, which will address the effects of excessive internet/digital use on user well-being.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Email him at [email protected] To learn more about Dr. Robert Wallace, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.