Why I’m still single

I was married once. Technically for 12 years. We divorced 8 years ago. And I’m still single. I am 48 years old.

When my marriage was breaking up I fully believed that I would remarry in about 2 years. I have dated, but did not have a real relationship with a man until just 6 months ago. I was completely single for 7 and a half years.

I love my boyfriend but don’t see us getting married. We may be together, but not marry. I have no idea. Why did it take me 7 and a half years to find a boyfriend?

I have bipolar II. And ADHD. And anxiety. I am self aware enough to know that I am not always easy to be around. Although I take meds, I still can have sudden mood swings or just get extremely emotional.

I never know what wil trigger it. It maybe a scene in a movie. It maybe someone saying something to me that hurts my feelings. I can burst into tears or yell. Usually, I’m very laid back and not so sensitive. I really am. Sometimes I will just snap.

So I have trouble with romantic relationships. Many times, I have met a perfectly good man and impulsively dismissed him because of a text that he sent that I didn’t like. Then later upon reflection I’ll regret my rash dismissal of him.

Other times I’ll meet a guy, like him, but he end up dismissing me. I’ll be very hurt. Then I’ll realize I’d done or said something very over-dramatic. Or angry. Or crazy. Most men don’t want to date a woman who is normal most of the time, then without warning or reason, behaves in a very bipolar way.

Finally, last New Year’s Eve I met Shannon. He is so incredibly laid back that he’s usually okay with my erratic behavior. Oh we fight. Then we make up. We love each other. He just “gets” me. I don’t have to fake it around him.

I believe that people who have mental illnesses generally have more relationship problems than others because our “normal” partners just don’t understand us. And let’s face it, people tend to run from someone who can be moody, irrational, impulsive…

So long ago, I accepted the fact that I may not ever remarry. I may grow old alone. The thought of that does make me feel sad. I hope I don’t grow old alone. But if it happens, it happens. I honestly enjoy being alone. I have lots of friends. I’ll be okay.

Mental illness and relationships

My top 2 main wants in a relationship are sexual attraction and nurturing.

I think most people understand the need to feel attracted to your partner. But when I say that I “want to be taken care of”, or nurtured, I get a lot of push back.

As women, we’re taught to be independent. We don’t need no man! And I’m fine with that. After my divorce, I’ve been single for 8 years and happy.

But whenever I am dating a man, I like for him to do traditional gentlemen things. Be romantic. Show concern for me. Help me with things. I don’t expect money. Would be nice but no.

And I would take care of him too. I love doing that! Nurturing.

Mental people tend to have more divorces, more relationship problems with partners, family, coworkers, etc. Is my desire to be nurtured a symptom of my illness?

Smurfette

My boyfriend and I had a great time last night. We went to the Squeeze concert (80s British pop) and in the parking lot were approached by a homeless man. He gave me his story about how he just got out of the hospital and didn’t have money to eat. Normally, I’m in too much of a hurry for this sort of thing. But I ended up giving him $7 and a big hug and told him “God bless you”.

My boyfriend made fun of me for that. But I just laughed. It’s $7…who cares? Later as I was singing and dancing my ass of in the concert my boyfriend was trying to tell me something. All I heard was “smurfette” over the loud music.

He was saying that I reminded him of Smurfette, the cartoon character. Why, I asked? He said, because I’m just so whimsical! And he was laughing as he said it.

The old me would have been hurt by his remark. Whimsical? When I first received the label “bipolar” I felt like a freak. I wanted to be “normal”. One of the greatest blessings about growing older is that you don’t care anymore about what people think. Labels don’t hurt anymore. In fact, I took this as a compliment, laughed along with him and said thank you!

It really was a wonderful night 😀