Dating bipolar tips

Sara was twenty-seven, and what people used to call a wag: smart, quick-witted, encyclopedic.

She could recount every failed Everest expedition in mesmerizing detail -- the sort of a talent I would expect of a rock climber, not someone who'd never gone camping. Then I found out."There's something you should know about me," she said, a couple of hours into the date. I tried to remember if I'd sipped from her drink."I'm bipolar," she said."Good," I replied.

"I hope it doesn't scare you off."Panicked thoughts raced through my mind. This was the odd humor Sara and I had already established, but I wasn't entirely joking.

I'd had several close bipolar friends, and had once been in a long-term relationship with a bipolar woman, Nyla, whom I still consider the smartest person I'd ever met.

I, who have never liked TV, started watching hours of it with her every night.

Infatuated with cleaning products, Sara taught me the joys of repetitive household maintenance.

It took her all day to clean the bathroom, and when she was done, she would begin all over again. " she'd say, as if these predictable tasks were the only options.

Our relationship became defined by obsessive routine, something that might normally have made me feel antsy and restless.

While most of us are bored by too much routine, Sara was obsessive about hers, and as her boyfriend, I found myself joining her in it.

It's easy to confuse love with mania, Jamison says. Most of us may have been unhappy enough at one time or another to recognize a fit of depression, but the other half of the disease (the mania that leads to everything from religious fervor to shopaholism to insatiable libido) is much harder to fathom.

For instance, hypomania, which is a mild form of mania characterized by enviable productivity, can lead to what is called a "mixed state," in which the bipolar individual is both miserable and energetic enough to do something about it.

The most obvious problem is the wild swings in libido: one week your partner wants sex all the time -- maybe too often -- and the next they've got the sexual impulses of a Buddhist monk.

With both Nyla and Sara, I never knew what sort of response my advances would receive.

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