Medically Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on May 10, 2022
Wait Until Your Schizophrenia Is Stable

Wait Until Your Schizophrenia Is Stable

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Dating can be difficult under the best of circumstances, but many people with schizophrenia have loving, supportive relationships. A good relationship can provide you with support and care that can improve your schizophrenia, but a bad one can make it worse. Following your treatment plan to take care of your health is one of the most important parts of building a healthy relationship. 

Think About What You Want in a Partner

Think About What You Want in a Partner

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Before you start dating, take some time to think about what qualities you want in a partner. You don't have to settle for less because you have a mental health condition. When you know what you want in a partner, try to display those qualities yourself. This will help you attract the type of partner you're looking for. 

Take It Slow

Take It Slow

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Jumping into the wrong relationship can make your schizophrenia worse. When you're getting to know someone, take your time and continue to self-monitor your schizophrenia. You'll be able to see if your budding relationship is negatively affecting your schizophrenia. You'll also be able to gauge whether they're supportive or likely to use your schizophrenia against you.

Continue Your Self-Care

Continue Your Self-Care

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Make sure you don't forego your self-care plan. Continue to do the activities that help you have a positive outlook on life and cope with stress. Keep in close contact with the people you care about. Don't get so caught up in your new relationship that you forget about your goals, hobbies, and other commitments. 

Tell Your Partner at the Right Time

Tell Your Partner at the Right Time

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Choosing when to tell your partner can be tricky. You don't have to disclose, and probably shouldn't, on the first date. However, if you wait too long, your partner may feel you're being dishonest. If the relationship is getting serious, at some point you'll have to tell your partner.

Use the Sandwich Strategy

Use the Sandwich Strategy

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Sandwiching your disclosure between two pieces of more reassuring news can make it easier to talk about. Try telling your partner something positive about your relationship such as you feel cared for and supported. Then tell them about your schizophrenia. Follow up by telling them about the treatment plan you're following and its effectiveness. 

Don't Let Your Treatment Plan Slide

Don't Let Your Treatment Plan Slide

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Dating can be a lot of fun, or it can be stressful and frustrating. Either way, make sure you continue to prioritize your mental health. Stay focused on your treatment plan. Continue the medication, strategies, and therapies that have been working for you. 

Include Dating Issues in Your Action Plan

Include Dating Issues in Your Action Plan

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If you notice any stressors related to dating, make sure to include them, as well as how you can cope with them, in your action plan. Alternatively, if you discover a new activity that helps you manage stress or cope with difficulties while you're dating, update your plan to include that as well. 

Discuss Sexual Side Effects

Discuss Sexual Side Effects

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Many schizophrenia medications have sexual side effects. Discuss this openly with your partner. Discuss it with your doctor as well, since there may be a treatment that can help. However, don't discontinue your medication without discussing it with your doctor. In the meantime, continue to express your love and affection for your partner in non-sexual ways. 

Don't Get Discouraged

Don't Get Discouraged

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Many people with mental health conditions have healthy, thriving romantic relationships.  It may be difficult at times, but don't get discouraged. Everyone struggles with something, and you deserve a loving, supportive relationship regardless of your health history.