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Fear of dating/relationships

For sharing your experiences and feelings about mental illness
emloja
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Fear of dating/relationships

Postby emloja » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:16 pm

Hi
I have been suffering with anxiety and depression. I am currently feeling better than i have in a long time (mainly due to a high dose of AD and quite a bit of work i have done on myself). Anyways, I just wanted to know if anyone has any tips on dating whilst experiencing difficulties?
I hate dating anyway as i feel it is a massive rollercoaster of emotions and is energy intensive. I also struggle because i never know when i should reveal- if i should etc. I wear a mask generally in life and so i find it difficult when dating as i feel that the mask is there and i then worry i am misleading the guy. I also find talking about any of my difficulties really tough and so the thought of being close to someone who knows me inside out and all about my thoughts and difficulties is absolutely terrifying. I think i want to have and be in a relationship. I haven't been on a date now for a few years and as i am feeling better i feel that this is the next step (already while typing this the negative thoughts about myself are jumping in!). I also worry that i am feeling better as i am avoiding certain things, such as the dating- and i worry about my resilience to date. So any advice or reflections on my waffle would be much appreciated!
Thanks
Em

missflowers
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:14 am

Re: Fear of dating/relationships

Postby missflowers » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:44 pm

hi
i just wanted to welcome you to the forum
i don't really have any advise i am afraid x

i would love a relationship too but am incapable ,probably forever because of my mental health issues

im sure somebody with more experience of relationships will be along to help soon
love Lu x
I used to be Lucretia on here
much love Lu xxxx

mihaela
Posts: 1073
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:42 am
Location: Lancashire and Moldova

Re: Fear of dating/relationships

Postby mihaela » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:08 pm

Hi mloja, and welcome!

Just as I was reading your post my best friend was waiting for a blind date after a lot of texting. She was feeling just the same as you, nervous, uncertain of herself, desperate to make a good impression. I'm sure she will, and hope he's good enough for her, for she's made too many mistakes so far.

Due to my autism dating has never been a successful part of my life, so I can't really advise you apart from saying just be yourself. Don't try too hard to impress him or be perfect. The feelings you're having are just like mine would be in that situation. But after much confusion and role-playing I realised that it was causing me too much stress and decided I was happier living alone with my cats. I don't get lonely at all, for I have friends.

missflowers wrote:i would love a relationship too but am incapable ,probably forever because of my mental health issues


Same here, Lu, and the physical side would put me off too. It's just not for me, yet I'm very loving and romantic! :)

emloja
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Fear of dating/relationships

Postby emloja » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:21 pm

Thanks Lu and Mihaela,
I guess we are all fighting our own battles. It does make me feel sad when you say that you are 'incapable, probably forever'. I know from reading the posts that many people on here are in relationships and families- so I do hope this can be a possibility for me. Otherwise i worry it will always be a source of unhappiness/lonliness?!?
I can understand how Autism could complicate romantic relationships further, but i am glad that your cats and friends make you happy and that you don't get lonely.
I do love my pup but i also think i would like a relationship. When i am feeling particularly low one of my strong negative thoughts is despair that i never thought my life would be like this and that i am unworthy and not a real adult as i am single. I do challenge this, but am aware that it is always lurking there.
Hey ho, thanks for the reply x

kittypae
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:57 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA
Contact:

Re: Fear of dating/relationships

Postby kittypae » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:14 am

Hey -
I'm sorry but happy that I'm not alone here! I'm almost 31 years old, and hear voices and have other symptoms. In the past, I have felt insecure in the dating world and understand as I also tried so hard to find the right time in sharing or having to explain this.

I love mihaela's quote:

mihaela wrote: Don't try too hard to impress him or be perfect. The feelings you're having are just like mine would be in that situation. But after much confusion and role-playing I realized that it was causing me too much stress and decided I was happier living alone with my cats.


I just recently decided to become public about my voice hearing and shared it on facebook, etc. and surprisingly it was really invigorating! Then, oddly, it was also scary because I didn't know what to expect and how people would react.

Somebody told me not to worry about what other people think and to just be yourself. In my opinion, the right time to share is when you are comfortable in sharing it with your date, your partner, your friend. Similarly like, it feel's good when you are in control of your future, the outcomes, etc. etc., right? And if the person is unable to accept what you shared, then perhaps it's time to rethink whats important...I mean why shouldn't you be with someone who accept you for you? The answer is you should be with someone who accepts you for who you are. Have fun, and don't take life too seriously :) P.S. I know - easier said than done. You're not alone, do not fear :)

Kitty Pae
Kind Regards,
Kitty Pae

http://www.kittypaemusic.com

mihaela
Posts: 1073
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:42 am
Location: Lancashire and Moldova

Re: Fear of dating/relationships

Postby mihaela » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:40 am

Hi, Kitty, and welcome!

I'm glad you liked what I said. It's interesting about the voices. I've never mentioned this on here before, for I see it as a very minor problem for me. I very occasionally hear voices when I'm in that state between sleeping and waking (hypnogogic/hypnopompic?), but I know they're not real. I'm on the autism spectrum and there's a strong link between female-type Asperger's and schizophrenia. My cousin has both (she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but has long been stable thanks to medication). Badcock's diametric theory of autism places Asperger's syndrome (extreme male brain) at one end of a spectrum and schizophrenia (extreme female brain) at the other. It's not that simple, for he doesn't take account of the female presentation. There's some truth in it though, and it relates to the classic 'EMB' systemised thinking style (highly focussed) and the 'EFB' divergent thinking mode. People (mainly females) with female-type autism disprove the EMB theory, and we are more prone to hearing voices and having mystical experiences. We're also more likely to be artists, poets, musicians, etc. It's all very fascinating.

My voices are many and they're all trying to compete, but one of them is dominant at any one time and as I hear the words, they're so very odd, such as a few weeks ago when someone called Tommy was being thanked by someone else for his 'sterling work at the hospital'! :roll: So much is said that I can only remember little snatches.

Because of the time when this happens I associate it with lucid dreaming - which I have about once a month. I really love those dreams for I can guide the events wherever I like and don't want to wake up although at the same time I am awake - but they don't involve all those random voices. I also very rarely have what I can only call mystical experiences with visual hallucinations, where everything becomes one and I understand everything. Very strange...

kittypae
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:57 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA
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Re: Fear of dating/relationships

Postby kittypae » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:08 pm

mihaela wrote:Hi, Kitty, and welcome!

I'm glad you liked what I said. It's interesting about the voices. I've never mentioned this on here before, for I see it as a very minor problem for me. I very occasionally hear voices when I'm in that state between sleeping and waking (hypnogogic/hypnopompic?), but I know they're not real. ....It's all very fascinating...

Because of the time when this happens I associate it with lucid dreaming - which I have about once a month. I really love those dreams for I can guide the events wherever I like and don't want to wake up although at the same time I am awake - but they don't involve all those random voices. I also very rarely have what I can only call mystical experiences with visual hallucinations, where everything becomes one and I understand everything. Very strange...



Thanks for sharing mihaela. I can relate to all of this as well.

There have been times when i associate it and its beautiful, but also there have been experiences of very horrifying things as well. It takes someone really "special" to be able to share these things and how I like to describe as almost "spiritual" moments.

I tried sharing with my best friend, but she couldn't understand and it kind of ruined how special the experience was to me. So for those moments (beautiful, sorrowful, and horrible), I journal or write and express it through other ways, like music and songwriting, or collaging pictures or coloring. Thanks for sharing - I don't know a lot about autism and schizophrenia. Heck, i couldn't event spell it right.

I just know I have "auditory, visual and tactile psychosis" as those are the terms my psychiatrist uses. Thanks for explaining some of its relationships; I really appreciate this dialogue and being informed. :)
Kind Regards,
Kitty Pae

http://www.kittypaemusic.com

emloja
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Fear of dating/relationships

Postby emloja » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:50 pm

And if the person is unable to accept what you shared, then perhaps it's time to rethink whats important...I mean why shouldn't you be with someone who accept you for you? The answer is you should be with someone who accepts you for who you are. Have fun, and don't take life too seriously :) P.S. I know - easier said than done. You're not alone, do not fear :)

Well i think that is it- i struggle so much to accept my MH issues myself- so the idea of being so close to someone that they are aware and accept me- perhaps accept and love me more than i do myself is really scary. I know people say you need to love yourself first blah blah but i am not getting any younger. I sometimes feel a bit trapped as my desire for a relationship (and fear nothing will change if i stay single forever) is strong, however not strong enough to overcome my fear of getting close to someone and being vulnerable. If that makes any sense. Before i formally recognised my MH issues (i was fully in denial for years) i always struggled with people loving me and seeing in me things i didn't - a kind of suffocating feeling.

mihaela
Posts: 1073
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:42 am
Location: Lancashire and Moldova

Re: Fear of dating/relationships

Postby mihaela » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:19 am

I'll reply to both of you in this post.

kittypae wrote:It takes someone really "special" to be able to share these things and how I like to describe as almost "spiritual" moments.


Yes, I agree. Most people would have no idea what we mean by this, and think we were mad. These 'spiritual' moments can be the source of great inspiration, and humanity would be a lot worse off if there weren't people who experienced these. There have always been shamans and mystics, and there always will be, but modern society has little time for them. I don't havethe horrible experiences that you do - at worst they're neutral, but then the same applies to my dreams. I never have nightmares - only beautiful of neutral dreams (disturbing at times, but never terrifying), so I suspect that my dreams are in some way linked to those occasional voices and visions.

I tried sharing with my best friend, but she couldn't understand and it kind of ruined how special the experience was to me.


Much if not most of the world's great art, music, poetry and literature is inspired from psychotic and visionary experiences. Maybe your friend would understand it better if she saw it in that way. Your experience should remain special to you and you alone, for no matter how hard you try to put it into words, nobody else will share that experience or understand it as uniquely as you did.

So for those moments (beautiful, sorrowful, and horrible), I journal or write and express it through other ways, like music and songwriting, or collaging pictures or coloring. Thanks for sharing - I don't know a lot about autism and schizophrenia.


Exactly! And this is what people have been doing for thousands of years - using those experiences to be creative. Creativity is life-affirming and therefore good. The connection has been known ever since the times of ancient Greece when Aristotle said that no great genius was without a little insanity. In many ways I see the mainstream world in which we live as a world that longago lost its way and is truly insane. If we use our inspired art, music and writings to help make a more caring and less cruel, less greedy world, our difficulties are a small price to pay.

I just know I have "auditory, visual and tactile psychosis" as those are the terms my psychiatrist uses.


Yes, in other words, non-paranoid schizophrenia.

******

emloja wrote:The answer is you should be with someone who accepts you for who you are. Have fun, and don't take life too seriously :) P.S. I know - easier said than done. You're not alone, do not fear :)


Very true. If they don't accept you, then they aren't good enough for you.

...the idea of being so close to someone that they are aware and accept me- perhaps accept and love me more than i do myself is really scary. I know people say you need to love yourself first blah blah but i am not getting any younger.


This applies to me too. Does it matter that you're not getting any younger? After all, none of us are. What matters to me is that I'm making the most out of life, and doing the most good. Even if I don't get what I feel I want myself, others benefit from me being on this earth - so I'm not wasting my life as so many do... making money or struggling to make money... so they can buy all those unnecessary things that they believe they need, or seeking impossibly perfect partners.

I sometimes feel a bit trapped as my desire for a relationship (and fear nothing will change if i stay single forever) is strong, however not strong enough to overcome my fear of getting close to someone and being vulnerable.


I had that desire too, for many years, but I now realise that it only came out of a desire to appear 'normal'. Being trapped within a relationship is far worse than that feeling of being trapped that you speak of. Entering into a close relationship, especially for people with MH difficulties is a big gamble, and may not be worth the risk. I'm much more content now, living alone with my cats - but never lonely - for I don't have that constant worry of feeling that I have to conform to being 'normal'. I have many friends who keep me busy, and one special friend, and I feel liberated from any 'attachments' that could one day become shackles, for it takes a very special person living under the same roof to accept us as we are in the long term.

Before i formally recognised my MH issues (i was fully in denial for years) i always struggled with people loving me and seeing in me things i didn't - a kind of suffocating feeling.


I was never in denial, maybe because no-one had told me. I suspected but didn't know or understand. Now that I do, I fully accept myself and have no desire to change. :)

kittypae
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:57 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA
Contact:

Re: Fear of dating/relationships

Postby kittypae » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:55 pm

Wow, thanks for taking the time to write this. This is what i need to see and read and hear. I read the second time around out loud :D

I wish there is a way of saving your favorite posts so you can reflect on it. New Idea of SANE!
Kind Regards,
Kitty Pae

http://www.kittypaemusic.com


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