Health and dating service
My approach needs an upgrade: I’m going to add a little controversy going forward. I leave feeling confident, but have to wait for feedback next week to find out if my self-belief is justified.
(Related: a lunch date with the most exciting woman in food - Gizzi Erskine) I spend Sunday evening with F, a petite Spanish peasant from Lovestruck.
The artwork—that’s an area that didn’t take off as much as I thought it would. A sizeable percentage of those probably haven’t been on the site for a while. The big stat is the amount of marriages that I’ve had with the site. I think professionals in the field discount the importance of relationships. I don’t think they work nearly as well as they advertise them to. Robert Whitaker shows that you need drugs in the short term to medicate somebody and bring them back to reality and stuff, but the long-term use of these things creates chronic conditions. Do you think that people with mental illnesses can only have a true bond with someone else who has a mental illness? ’ and I was like, ‘Wow, I guess there are people out there who are understanding.’ Are you still together? But you wouldn’t say it was because of your mental illness?
There are a lot of talented people with mental illness that have great creative potential and I thought that would be an important way to let people connect and share on that level. I do occasional purges to get rid of older profiles. And these are only the ones that I’ve been told of, but there’s been more than 30. No, but I kinda’ thought in the back of my mind that if I’m with a woman who’s experienced similar things I can talk about it freely whenever I want.
It’s been ten years since James Leftwich first created No Longer Lonely, a dating website exclusively for people with mental illnesses. No Longer Lonely has chat rooms, forums, and places for people to post their art. I did model it after the major dating sites, but I added certain categories too, like housing options for Section 8 or ‘I live with my parents’ or ‘I live in a halfway house.’ I thought it was important to have a category for ‘Do you own your own transportation? I’ve had very few people that come on there as a joke or prey on the users, at least that I know of. Do you mind saying what you’ve been diagnosed with? After I was hospitalized, I went to a halfway kind of house. It’s kind of like in prison, where the child molesters are this and the rapists are that and the murderers are that. I don’t want to hang out with him.” That was the main thing of the site, to defeat the stigmas. Connect with people that are experiencing the same thing as you.’ I think that’s equally as important as all those other things.
Leftwich spoke with me about the challenges of running the site and about why he believes forming loving relationships should be recommended more frequently than pills. It was one of those things where I looked for something and it didn’t exist. ’ because that can be a big deal among people that are mentally ill. I was diagnosed with what’s called it falls under a schizophrenia spectrum disorder…you’re blessed with both a psychotic disorder and a depressive disorder so it’s one of the more chronic diagnoses. That’s my only hospitalization, but I was there for about two months. By going on the site, you don’t have to worry about disclosing it to anybody. What are your feelings on treating mental illnesses? She didn’t know much about mental illness, but she accepted me.
She’s furious about the amount of tax she pays in the UK; I pick up the bill for her three large Merlots and head home alone.
I wasn’t making any new friends that were not mentally ill at the time. Feeling worthy of love is something I really struggle with. I don’t like who I am when I get anxiety attacks, so why would I think that someone else would love that? When I turn inward, I don’t want to pollute people with what’s going on. There’s this part of me that thinks that life is supposed to be enjoyed, it’s this wonderful gift and everything, and yet I’m completely depressed so it’s like I’m a bad person for feeling that way. There’s stigma involved and everything, but once you put the word “schiz-“ in front of something, there’s a lack of education. I still had psychotic features for several years after that, still thinking that all the stuff was true and everybody were idiots and they just didn’t believe me. On No Longer Lonely, do people have to say on their profile what mental illness they have? ” And often enough I usually err on the side of, if they’re struggling with something and they think they can benefit from this and maybe they can connect to these people, you know, I’m fine with that.
For the next month, I’m going to date as many women as possible. I’m met by E at a Tube station on a freezing Sunday night. She’s from Lovestruck, originally from Riga, and works in Mayfair for an oil company. I suspect she would put out if we met over wine, rather than coffee and cake. Sublime planning means I only have to walk 100m to my next date, B from Lovestruck, who sadly hasn’t walked 100m herself in quite some time. Delightfully dim but, that apart, she’s not my type.
If it works, I’ll be cruising through meet-ups on a kind of irresistible autopilot. My four o’clock, J from Lovestruck, is an attractive career woman in her forties. Arranging dates in a small geographical area is vital if you’re stacking, but timing is a minefield. I dribble out the same chat and by the fourth date, I just want to go home.
Match also allows you to be as specific as you want about your preferences when browsing profiles and filling out your profile.
Through online dating, social networking, and group events, Healthdate serves as an online and offline community to connect health conscious people with friends, training partners, healthy eating supporters, and fulfilling relationships.