|When is the right time to break the news?|
I have read your column for a long time and always admire the advice you give your readers. I am a 32 year old male that has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. I have been on medication for the illness since I was a teenager and my symptoms are well controlled. I would like to begin dating but I do not know when the right time to tell a woman about my condition would be. Do I tell her on the first date?
Do I tell her after a month? Do I wait until we are in a committed relationship? I do not want to hide my condition but I also know the social stigma related to bi-polar disorder. I am concerned that if I tell the women I date right away I will be automatically dismissed however I would not want them to feel deceived finding out later on in the relationship. How do you suggest I approach such a sensitive subject?
Thanks for your help.
The situation you are in is a difficult one.
I would not tell a woman on a first date or even a second date. I would only sit down with her and explain your situation if you knew that this was a relationship you would want to pursue long term.
At some point the two of you will become closer and closer and it will feel comfortable for you to be open. Since it is a delicate subject that can at times be misunderstood be prepared to explain exactly what bi-polar disorder is, and how it is being treated.
Only you know the extent of your condition and how it is being managed so even when you are assuring her it is under control be honest and forthcoming in regards to any issues it might cause the relationship.
The right woman will understand and love you for you.