Ask Marwa: Dating someone who is Suicidal

Date posted: January 10, 2013



Published in Identity Magazine – December 2012

Dear Marwa

I'm seeing a girl who recently confessed to me her attempt to commit suicide when her previous relationship fell apart. Now I'm worried, what if, for whatever reason, our relationship doesn't work out; she might go for round two with this horrible thought of life taking. What do I do? How do I act or even react?


Dear M

Dalida's first suicide attempt was in 1967 when her fiancé shot himself in the head and died. At least five of her close friends and lovers ended their lives! Then in 1985 she spoke of suicide again on a TV show, and in 1987 Dalida took her own life. Her suicide note said that life has become too unbearable for her and asked people to forgive her!

When it comes to suicide a lot of theories suggest that the purpose of attempting suicide is gaining attention or trying to communicate with those who insist on ignoring you! Other theories say that when people are clinically depressed and their brains no longer produce the correct amount of chemicals to keep them balanced, they could commit suicide to silence voices in their heads or to find peace and serenity.

That girl you are seeing, has she seen a therapist? Has she been evaluated by a psychiatrist? Is she on medication? Is she aware of her condition? Does she talk about her feelings and thoughts? Is she able to express clearly how she feels or what she wants?

This is a very risky situation and my advice would be: take your time getting to know her as a person, do not make her any promises, do not slip into the boyfriend shoes, explain to her clearly that you like her but you do not like to rush into relationships, and make sure she understands that you are not an item and that the two of you are not exclusive yet!

During this time you will find out for yourself how stable or unstable she is; monitor her mood swings, reactions, and demands. Only time will tell if that previous suicide attempt was just a mistake and that she outgrew that kind of behavior, or she really lacks balance in her life and she might make another attempt on her life!

Avoid intense situations until you know what you are getting yourself into; for example, highly charged emotional moments and physical intimacy. Also avoid any acts of extravagance intended to blow her off her feet; like gifts, surprises, and romantic getaways.

I would also like you to look into other aspects of her life; career, family, friends, hobbies, etc. If you realize that you as a boyfriend or husband will be the main and only serious event in her life, then this girl is too much for you to handle! Her demands are bound to exhaust you! If you spot areas of weaknesses, do not attempt to fix her life for her! You are not a savior; you are just a man who is getting to know her! Do not get her too dependent on you and if you decide that she is not the one for you, do not cut her out of your life! Whatever you do, do it slowly! If you get close, get close bit by bit and if you leave, leave gradually!

Bookmark and Share