Explaining Your Mental Illness to Your Date

The hardest part of dating isn't saying hello for the first time. It's not thinking up topics of conversation, choosing a restaurant, or even staying safe when you meet in person for the first time. When you have an oft- misunderstood mental illness (or two or three), the hardest part of getting to know anyone is explaining it-- and hoping they understand.

Last month I met up with a New Guy (yep, the one I had a 14 hour phone conversation with!), and everything seemed great. We had lots in common, he was fun to talk to and he laughed at all my jokes. But I was terrified that none of that would matter when he found out about my Panic Disorder and emetaphobia.

I believe in full disclosure when I start talking to someone new, whether a potential friend or date. It's less painful for both of us if the "eeeew I can't date a crazy girl!" conversation happens right at the beginning, rather than after a few dates. So when we first start talking and it feels like things might be going somewhere, I say, "I feel I should let you know that I'm dealing with [insert illnesses here]. They do [sometimes] impact my day-to-day life, but I am actively working on treatment for them and don't consider them an obstacle to having a happy relationship". Either he'll flee, or he'll be understanding. I've had some people run, of course, but multiple people have told me coming out like that takes guts, and still others have said they have an anxiety disorder (or two), too. 

So this new guy knew about my health issues in advance. I just wasn't sure what would happen when he encountered a panic attack or a borderline episode.

Our first date, like our first phone call, wasn't typical, even though it started out that way. We were going to go out for coffee, and met right near a Tim's, but decided we liked each other enough, felt safe with each other, (and wanted to spend enough time together) that going to his place made sense. So we did. And we ended up talking for hours on end, about silly things, important things, things we're passionate about. We made out. We snuggled. And at some point, I started sobbing uncontrollably. Hello, anxiety. Thanks for dropping by, borderline.

Did New Guy call me crazy? Did he kick me out? Nope. He held me close and told me everything was fine. And now we've been happily together for over a month.

Moral of the story? Don't be ashamed to disclose the fact that you're dealing with (an) illness(es) to potential new beaux. If they're too immature to deal with that, they don't deserve you. Not even close.

Over to you: How has your mental illness impacted your love life?

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Things I Love Friday & Link Love 11.4.2014

Happy Friday, Sparklers! It's finally starting to feel like Spring here in Toronto, and I couldn't be happier. I'm more than ready to ditch my heavy winter coat and suede boots for sun dresses and sandals.

Next to New Year's, spring seems to be a time when many people make big changes in their lives. It's a time of rebirth, and we see that as inspiration, whether consciously or subconsciously. So I've been paying close attention to my own choices, and finding that I'm definitely on the bandwagon. A new beau (about whom I'm ecstatic!), renewed commitment to being the healthiest spoonie I can be, renewed ambition.

Little things that made my week:

♥ This "rare and beautiful sight"! Haha. Spearmint gum. Lots and lots of it. 14 hour phone conversations with someone special. ♥ Rocking the grunge look. ♥ Raisin bread with peanut butter. So simple, so healthy, so yummy. Skyping with David. ♥ This Pinterest board.

Link Love:

♥ I had no idea you could make this many desserts in a slow cooker.

♥ More deliciousness: This garlic butter spaghetti with herbs pasta looks amazing.

Sometimes reading about how successful businesspeople got started can serve as inspiration for budding entrepreneurs. If you're looking for a longer read, Entrepreneurs Turn Their Passions Into Profits is a good one.

50 fun, cheap dates (that aren't Netflix).

Kristen Bell's live rendition of "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" is adorable. She sings all three Annas' parts!

I love movie lists, and this is a good one. 

You probably won't make as much freelancing-- but you won't care.

So what's new with you? Tweet me or comment below; I'd love to know! 

Music Saturday: Love Buzz

Tonight is the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. Since he's a major influence of mine, tonight is incredibly melancholy, but also inspiring. After all, Kurt was an innovative writer, an unforgettable performer, an intersectional feminist and a style icon.

Today I'm motivated anew to use my time on earth wisely: to inspire, to create, to love and to be happy-- and to listen to amazing music.

So I hereby resurrect Music Monday... A little early (late?) in the week, but nonetheless... It lives on. Just like Kurt.

Listen to "Love Buzz" by Nirvana here, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

P.S. If you need a laugh today... "Smells like..."! And check out this Kurt Cobain paper doll. Adorable!
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