Making the First Move   2 comments

One of the many things I am not an authority on are relationships.  I probably should watch more Dr. Phil and spend less time blogging.  Then I will have an answer for everything.

Actually, I have had so many failed relationships in my life, it pains me to say, but most of these ruined souffles have been my own fault.   Not because I was insensitive, cheated or put on a beer stained undershirt and slapped anyone around, but because it was a mismatch and I still got involved.

Before my marriage at 29, I never had the courage to approach the girl I really  found interesting and attractive.  I didn’t think I stood a chance.  I always felt like the ugliest guy in the room.  And I felt if a girl I really liked did go out with me, sooner or later we’d sleep together and she’d see my Zip-Lock Baggie with all the pills in my shaving kit and the gig would be up.  I was sure girls did not want to get involved with bipolar guys.  So I saved myself the embarrassment and always went for the second tier girls.  After all, I was a second or third tier guy.

Once I was talking to a low hanging piece of fruit I was trying to date and she told me straight out she won’t go with guys who live at home or have any kind of mental illness.   I was shocked she even thought about this in advance.  Now I was in the category with some 25 year old guy named Maynard whose mother probably still buys his underwear.

So I got involved with a woman who had an under-bite like a 1954 Buick.  And a women so overly impressed with herself that I basically became her butler.  And, one with a voice so shrill I suggested we take up silent meditation.  All because I didn’t think I could do any better.  I was bipolar.  Damaged goods.  At best I was an “open box” sale.  I was lucky to have someone at all.

I think we as bipolar sufferers tend to do this with relationships because we are embarrassed we take so many pills, or that we have spent time in a mental hospital or ward, or that our hands shake sometimes and we can’t even drink a glass of wine without our meds making us a little too relaxed.  It will suddenly be obvious we are different and the eye of our affection won’t want to deal with the baggage.

But we are not different.  Bipolars can be as attractive as anyone else in the population.  So we can not let our insecurities about an illness nobody can see cheat us out of meeting the people we’d really like to get to know.   Thankfully we do not have to wear green fluorescent placards across our chests like crossing guards warning little children to stay away.

In my opinion we ofter underestimate the object of our fancy.  If we can get the courage to approach them, we might find they would like to spend time with us.  And the first thing you say doesn’t have to be a disclaimer that you are bipolar and once flipped out and kicked a hole in the wall.  This is conversation for a later date.  And, you might be surprised how well he or she handles it.  It isn’t the dark ages anymore where you were labeled manic depressive and given a lobotomy as regular course of treatment, then spent the rest of your life walking around fascinated with parking meters.

I was married for 13 years.  The wonderful woman I finally summoned up the courage to approach did not care about me being bipolar.  As a matter of fact, she took an active interest in helping me manage it.  It was completely unexpected and I’m extremely grateful.  Unfortunately we did get divorced, but it was not due to bipolar issues.  I had found other creative ways to ruin my marriage.

Don’t let the self-consciousness of being bipolar be what is holding you back from getting the person you really want.  Remember, bipolar sufferers usually have lived more complicated and sometimes tragic lives with dramatic ups and downs a lot of other people can’t even begin to imagine.  If we can get through that, we can definitely go for the person we really want rather than settle for second or third best.  We have thicker skins.

It only took me 46 years to figure this one out.  If I had only paid more attention to Dr. Phil!  Did I mention he has an answer for everything?

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2 responses to “Making the First Move

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  1. Thank you! Especially to this part “Don’t let the self-consciousness of being bipolar be what is holding you back.” It truly is my label holding me back from being the best Mommy in the world. I know, it has nothing to do with your topic, but it touched me there the most.

  2. Actually it does. Self-confidence applies to everything we do in our lives. Not just socializing. You probably are a great mom and are selling yourself short. As bipolars we often to sell ourselves short.

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