Dating with Mental Health Issues

“Do you think you deliberately try to sabotage your own relationships?” my therapist asked me the other day.
I think about it. I tend to find a reason and leave pretty early on. The past few years I’ve only dated people for 2, maybe 3 months and then it ends.

When I’m in a particularly low mood I don’t even try to find someone, and tell myself I can’t possibly inflict myself on someone else because I’d just be a burden. I tell myself that I’ve got nothing to offer. I tell myself that no one would ever put up with me. My first boyfriend told me that, and I guess it stuck.

As my relationships have typically been so short-lived, I’ve been on and off dating sites over the years. I got this lovely message the other day which played on a long-held fear:


I asked myself for years why I couldn’t find someone. I didn’t date til I was 20. ‘There must be something wrong with me,’ I thought. I got into a relationship and eventually he came to hate me, told me that I was f*cked up and that no one else would ever put up with me. I remember him picking fights all the time and me just pathetically crying and begging him to stop being like this. I remember the first time we broke up, crying so hard I thought I’d stop breathing. I remember wishing I actually would. I remember being so pathetic, that no one could have loved me then. I remember thinking I probably deserved to feel like this.

My therapist asked whether I let myself actually get emotionally involved with the people I date. I realise that recently, I haven’t. And truthfully, for as long as I can remember there’s been a kind of disconnect because I just don’t trust people.

There’s nothing more terrifying than making a person your entire world, and then having them throw you away like you’re nothing. It makes you feel like all there’s left to do is die. I can’t feel like that again. I wouldn’t survive it. I just do what I need to do to survive. Does anyone even love as openly and fully as I once did? Surely no one with any sense.

I don’t know. I think that’s why I leave. I date people I’m not really into and I get bored quickly because I miss that very same intensity that I’m so terrified of. Because if I actually like them I’ll lose my inhibitions, lose my senses and get hurt. That’s how it goes.


3 thoughts on “Dating with Mental Health Issues

  1. I can identify so much with this post. Like you, I never got intimately involved with people until I was 20, and now I avoid such relationships like the plague for the same reasons as you.

    I find that to even let family/friends into the chaotic place that is my mind tremendously hard, never mind someone who is meant to be more than that. This is the one topic I really can’t write much about when it comes to mental issues because of my lack of experience with it.

    Out of interest does therapy actually help you adjust to the idea of dating at all? If you don’t mind me asking of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey 🙂 it makes me feel a little better that someone else at least understands, I feel like it’s so hard to try to explain to my friends etc. It all just seems so easy and natural for them that they struggle to see why I have the problems I do with it.

      Honestly it’s probably too early to tell, we kind of have a *lot* of work to do! Haha. For now, I’m still afraid of relationships and intimacy, and tend to sabotage things if someone starts getting too close. I still feel like I’ll never have a ‘normal’, fully functional relationship but my therapist is less pessimistic. I guess time will tell! 🙂


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