Mental health and relationships

photo: drgarybrowntherapy.com

Going on a date and meeting someone to start a romance is always beautiful. We can be sometimes factual and direct with our desires to our new-found lover, but most often, the butterflies in the stomach restrain us from thinking coherently. The smiles, giggles, finger twisting, posture adjustments, eye contacts, mumblings, displaced sentences, rumbling stomachs, flirting, etc.  all naturally create the atmosphere for a positive uncertainty. Once the chemistry is unconsciously magnetic, it is a match and a bond is created, Fokumlah Nchungong writes.
 
One step back – shouldn’t we reevaluate the dating before the bond is created? Why do we always avoid asking about the mental state of a person that we are about to indulge in a partnership with?
 
Every relationship starts differently. You might have been from a long or short term partnership with someone, maybe have been single for a long time or just recently ended a relationship. Our states of mind or intents are always different. 
 
It is but normal to talk about common hobbies and preferences like sports, dressing patterns, cuisine, etc. Religion and political views might also be on the menu for discussions. Physical appearance is already visible for likeness, thus compliments are automatic.
 
But shouldn’t we be able to ask if our partner-to-be has or had any mental issues? 
 
Protecting ourselves from STDs is our mutual responsibility. Partners talk about it before intercourse. Some go as far as explaining what works for them in bed. It is a joyful moment. Love is blind they say, so is our vision to immediately question our sanity.
 
Depression is rampant and common nowadays – ADHD, Bi-Polar and all forms of manic tendencies could be drastically reduced and could be almost unnoticeable with the right amount of love provided at a particular moment. The beginning of a beautiful relationship can absolutely cover/hide an important aspect of an individual’s character. 
 
Unfortunately, psychological imbalances have a tendency of re-emerging. It is unethical to leave a partner if they get sick or handicap physically, or mentally when you are in a relationship; but is it not their responsibility to tell you about their mental history? Phrases such as: “I have been feeling like this for the last 6 months”, “I have been taking medications since I was ten but stopped recently”, “I was abused by… when I was…”, “My ex put me through…” , “I don’t feel good right now”, “I think I should be alone for a while”, “You remind me of…”, “I need my medication.” PTSD…. are frequent when the reality of daily struggles becomes evident. It might sometimes take a week or years for it to be apparent.
 
Could it not have been better if their “mental issue” dialogue was the first thing to be on the conversation menu? It is obviously a shocker when realism kicks in. Sadly, the other partner is now caught up in a conscious battle whether to hang around or not. 
 
I have been faced with this dilemma in several instances and still couldn’t figure out how to introduce the topic on the first date. I had to sometimes sneak-peak into the bedroom drawers and bathroom cupboards just to see if there were any medications I needed to know about. I have been saved a couple of times and walked out of the situation without having to explain myself, but that was quite infantile when I rethink of that.
 
Negative energy transfer is generally immediate. It affects the entire relationship and some people might cry out: “What a waste of time!, If I knew…” Some just basically walk away from the saga without saying a word. I think it should be an obligation to ask. We might just need some tips on how to go about it without sounding like jerks. We might be wrong about the assertions, but aren’t we supposed to know?
 

Nchungong is a Cameroonian-born writer residing in Sweden.  He is the author of a trilogy of e-books that discusses bi-racial relationship in Sweden 

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