Thursday, September 23, 2010

But People Who Don't Realize They Are Nuts Date All The Time!

Along with the New York Times' mental health coverage, I also like Jezebel's. Their articles spark more personal revelations, like this one on dating and mental illness.

I do agree with the commentators that eating disorders and straight mental illness are not quite the same thing--we live in the same neighborhood, but our paths really only cross at Cafe Low Self-Esteem. Which is a great place to go looking for dates, by the way. You don't know who you'll meet. Plus, the joint is filled with people who secretly think they are unloveable and have a hard time remembering their good points in order to sell themselves on dates. And sometimes they drink a lot when nervous!

I have been on 2 dates in 6 years of being single. They were not successful. I don't know how much of my issue is raw depression versus the fact that I wasn't raised to date and form relationships, and so am very anxious about trying. Plus the whole really fucking smart thing acts as a barrier too, as well as my tendency to see red flags where ever I go (although I would assert that the red flags are actually there, I'm not imagining them, and I'm doing myself a favor by not ignoring them.) And my weight. And my desire for invisibility. So yes, barrel of fun over here.


Cookbook said...

"wasn't raised to date and form relationships..."

This is very interesting to me because while I guess I wasn't ever really discouraged from dating by my family -- in fact, I was encouraged and they couldn't understand why I didn't get interested in middle school -- there was definitely something in my socialization that made me lag behind everyone else.

It was low self-esteem, some social isolation as a nerdy only child, but something else too. I like dating and I have enjoyed being in almost every relationship I've ever been in (you know, until they turn out to be insane, or I do, or whatever) but underneath it all having a boyfriend or a husband has never seemed all that important to me.

When I was in college, an English professor asked for a show of hands of students who thought they'd get married and have kids some day. I was the only one who didn't raise my hand. Because I had never actually even thought of it and it seemed impossible to imagine. It still does.

LOJO said...

once, when I was on a date I went into his bathroom and looked at his medicine cabinet. Lithium. Many other meds I didn't know what they were for right away, but I did know what Lithium was for.

I know, not very respectful of his privacy and all.. but I don't want to date someone with a mental issue that doesn't disclose it either....

Kerry said...

LOJO, how many dates had you been on with him? Bipolar on meds doesn't scare me, as I was raised by The Don who was an unmedicated bipolar most of his life. However, shame about mental illness does scare me as I didn't know until I was 32 that my dad actually had a diagnosis. But I also don't feel the need to tell my life story to people I just met (like one of the dates I was on, it was like like "oh hey, here's my relationship resume.")

Cookbook, it was just awful in my family. I had my mom driving us kids around ranting, "Don't ever get married; don't ever have children" and I also got a distinct impression I was being groomed to take care of my dad in his old age. My sister and I agree that we got the same message--and that in her case, it's sort of transgressive that she's gotten married and is a mom at home with the baby and her business instead of trying to be an executive or something.