what it's like to date with bipolar disorder

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At a cute Italian restaurant, over candlelight and red wine, a man once told me he could never trust or love someone with a mental illness. He knew I lived with bipolar disorder. “That’s a deal-breaker for me,” I said, trying to take the power back and reject him, rather than the other way around. We argued and I sobbed, wondering whether I’d ever be loved, chemical imbalance and all.

A bit of patience, luck and cheap vodka in a plastic cup later, I met a young man who would love me more than I’ve ever been loved. He knew from the first time we met that I had bipolar disorder – it was the very first conversation we had. Eighteen months into our relationship, living together with a ridiculous small dog, he is so good to me when I’m unwell that my therapist thinks I make him up. We survived a pretty gnarly depressive episode of mine together, during which he just held me, kept me company, fed me fresh dinners and tolerated my state of unshowered, pyjama-clad mess.

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