Dating with a Chronic Illness

by Krissy Ward

     Dating is weird in general, the whole getting to know a stranger thing. Dating with a chronic illness... now that’s just a whole different ballgame. Dating never seemed easy; dating while having a chronic illness is especially challenging.

     There are so many different factors that can make dating with a chronic illness difficult and sometimes even scary. When do I tell them? How do I tell them? How much do I tell? How will they respond? Will they “get it”? Will it change the way they see me?

     What I have learned is:

Communication Is Key

     Feel the friendship out, I wouldn’t necessarily say to bring it up on the first date, if it’s obvious the there won’t be a second date, no need to share.

     I’m a straight to the point type of dater. Having a chronic illness has taught me not to waste my time;I’d rather get all of the hard questions out of the way, this may or may not include my chronic illness.

     On occasion I’ve mentioned my illness, the reaction I get determines if conversation around the subject will continue. If they ask questions, I’ll go into more detail, but if not, I’ll table it.
I may bring it up again if Im unable to do a planned activity or attend an event.
If after a while, you see that the relationship may have potential and staying power , share more about your illness and how they can help make the relationship doable. Be honest and unafraid about what you need and what works for you. Always revisit and be willing to make necessary adjustments to the “needs” list. It takes two to make a thing go right.

     Please don’t forget to remember you are all of that and then some! You deserve happiness and you are worthy of good love. Don’t let physical limitations barricade you from a healthy loving relationship.

     I used to think (I still have my moments) when I think “why would anyone want to be with me? I struggle with doing for myself, can I handle the weight of a relationship!?”

     When those ridiculous thoughts threaten to consume me I have to remember to talk to myself the way I would a friend. I get in the mirror with good lighting and say “Girl, look at you. You are fine as hell. You’re funny and your illness has made you the most empathetic, passionate and caring individual and anyone would be LUCKY to have you!”

     Keep telling yourself how bomb you are...cause it’s true Eventually, you’ll start to believe what the rest of us already know.