a micro-idea about handling mood swings with a romantic partner – “it’s not you”


I posted a brand new YSN video on YouTube, which you can find below.  If you prefer to read content, then follow along with this blog!

While I was planning a video with several tidbits about dating with mental illness, I ended up narrowing my thoughts into a single idea: ‘It’s not you’ in terms of if you and your partner are in a fight or misunderstanding, instead of the ‘It’s not you’ classic breakup.

So say you’re on a date or hanging out with someone you are dating.  Say you had a mood swing or you seem suddenly angry.  I’ll tell you a lot of times the other person probably thinks that they did something.  Many people, especially those without mental illness or without a in-depth understanding of mental illness, do not understand that it is not them who made you feel this way.  The other person had no control over your emotions.  It’s not them.  It wasn’t their actions.  It’s not them who made you feel this way.  It was a mood swing.  Instead, the other person almost wants to own how you’re feeling… so that they can try to fix it.  (Obviously not everyone is this way; some people understand mood swings, but you get the point of this post.)

The best thing for you to do is not say “it’s not you.”  That’s because they want it to be them so they can try to fix it.  If you say it’s nothing, it’s nothing, it’s nothing, I’m fine, they’re going to feel helpless.

Here’s my solution: give the other person an action step.  Something that they can do that will make them feel better about you not feeling good (?).  

Action step examples:

  • can you call me tomorrow 
  • can you bring me some coffee later 
  • can we can we talk in a couple days 
  • can you send me some pictures of dogs

Simply put, give them something to do.  Even if it doesn’t help your mood, it could help the other person in the relationship.



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