preface to what I am going to say- I am in complete remission on medication, appear healthy and function very highly. I have only been like this for a year, I was not myself for almost two years from 18 1/2 to 20 1/2. I got a lot better by 20 1/2 though. That’s when I began dating people a lot.
I suggest asking a therapist.
It involves having things to talk about, and doing well is obvious by the things you talk about- for example, I met a guy online - well two guys online who live out of town. One I have met in person, he lives out of town and I communicated very well with him for a month and a half then he came to visit. We are sort of dating but not official. How on Earth that happened was through a mutual attraction, similar interests and effective communication. He knows about my diagnosis and recovery and also knows other things about me. I am talking to a different guy who lives out of town too, he wants to meet in a while but to talk and skype first. I have successfully dated other people who live in town, but to illustrate my point I am referring to the long-distance people.
You have to just be happy to talk to them. Have good things to report, do well in an occupation, whether its work, student, volunteer worker, whatever, something good to say is where I go from. I meet people and ask them how it’s going, can honestly say that I am doing well, and then ask them what they do, then tell them that I am a student. Conversations have gone all over the place from there. If I am interested in dating someone, I ask them if they would like to get a coffee sometime. It’s that simple. Then I get a yes or no, if yes then I ask for their phone number. If I am just looking for friendship, I often just make small talk and ask them if they would like to hangout, usually I bring them around my friends, I say something like “Hey some friends of mine are getting together this weekend, you wanna come?” and then if they say yes, I actually do get my existing friends together and invite the new person.
That is how I make social connections. Online dating is different, people dont have to reply, some do with success, I have went on dates with people online and even became friends with benefits with a girl I met online, hell a guy from another town is coming to visit me for the second time on Thursday and we met online. I just message everyone “Hey, how’s it going?” and always say that I am doing well, not good. That’s a grammatical error and people who went to college know that I do well, superman does good.
You will get used to it. I have been texting for hours a night with a really cute and nice guy who lives in another town, for a week we’ve been talking now, we talked about meeting in person and he wants to talk on skype for a week then meet.
Now there is a catch- I am attractive, I am a 5ft7in 180lb bodybuilder. I am clean shaven when I am around people I want to look good for and keep my hair buzzed very short, military style. I was also very popular in high school when the illness struck me, so I just had to rebuild social skills, not make them from scratch. Whenever I am at a bar or club, at a restaurant, at a party, whatever, there is only one person there who is as nearly as muscular, ever, at all, and usually never anyone more built than I am. I stand out from a crowd.
I drink protein shakes and tons of water and eat lot. Being clinically overweight with a 29 inch waist doesnt happen on accident. Go look for my videos of me training in the creativity section, I was a powerlifter for a couple years and ■■■■ my pants training, tore a lower abdomen, got dizzy and almost fainted, ect. I lifted over three times my weight six times once. I am talking serious effort. I did powerlifting to prove to myself that I can do what I put my mind to, and it helped me recover from schizophrenia. But that sport is bad for you, it’s a great way to get hurt. I transferred my willpower from the gym into other areas of my life. Now I am bodybuilding, which is a lot easier.
I have a lot of friends. It takes time and effort to make friends or get dates. Just like with lifting weights, you have to fail to succeed, you need to get rejected in order to get the courage up to approach more people. In lifting weights, if you have to drop the weight, it is called failure, but it means that your muscles were worked to their maximum effort and will get stronger because of it.
I hope that helped. It takes baby steps. Like ask people what their names are and introduce yourself. I went for a really attractive girl when I wasnt fully recovered and probably looked like an idiot, I had no business doing that. She cancelled the coffee date…twice…yeah.
And try not to tell people you have schizophrenia unless they seem like they already like you enough or if they are psychology students. Or if they are schizophrenic themselves. Everyone in the honors psych program at my school knows me as the recovered schizophrenic. I still had sex with a fellow student in the program. Multiple times. Ha.