What It’s Really Like To Date While Managing A Chronic Illness

My mom lightly shook my shoulders. Groggy, I sat up and looked down at the catheter bag hanging below me. I checked my phone: No notifications. He knew I was recovering, but I hadn’t filled him in on too many details. I texted him earlier to say that, save for a last-minute hiccup, all was going well. I got up, emptied my catheter bag and returned to the couch. His name lit up on my phone. I read his casual response about his weekend and his work schedule, void of any inquiry into how I was feeling.

The Struggles of Dating with a Chronic Illness

Will she still go out with me when she finds out I live with three roommates? The logic goes that by creating apps for people with health conditions, singles can find like-minded people who get your health challenges. Plus, meeting someone with similar health challenges can be pretty awesome. You already have a huge part of your lives in common.

Of course, these apps are not without controversy.

What you get when you date a girl with a chronic illness. When it was proposed to me that I write about dating again I initially cringed at the idea.

On a Friday night last summer, I stood in front of my bathroom mirror attempting to put on makeup. My hands were shaking as I gripped the counter, and black spots weaved in and out of my vision. I was getting ready for my fourth date with Kaylyn, and my stomach was in knots. I felt dizzy, nauseous, and achy, my finger too swollen to put my ring on. Though I had considered canceling our date, I opted not to. Dizziness , nausea, chronic fatigue , fainting, brain fog, and pain are just a few of the possible symptoms.

Luckily, she turned out to be amazing. She just wanted to spend time together. I nearly cried. Never had a date treated me with such kindness. POTS is a disorder that causes my heartbeat to increase 30 beats or more per minute or exceed beats per minute within 10 minutes of standing, causing my blood pressure to drop. Blood pools in my legs, making them feel heavy.

Love in the Time of Chronic Illness

Think about how you view yourself and remember to lead with your best characteristics. Do you see yourself as independent? Skip to main content. In many situations, talking about a health or personal issue can feel challenging or cause anxiety.

That being said, today I want to discuss some topics that come up in almost every discussion I’ve ever had about dating and chronic illness.

My health has always served as an extra filter for my relationships, romantic or otherwise. One man asked me to be his girlfriend on a Friday night and then broke up with me on Sunday, citing his desire for biological children as the sticking point. At 19, starting a family was far from my mind, but I had opened up to him about my inability to bear children while sharing more about my disease.

Other PH patients had told me similar stories of rejection due to life expectancy, childbearing, and health maintenance issues. One patient shared that his teenaged girlfriend broke up with him because she thought it would be too difficult to be more than friends when he died. Soon after my heart-lung transplant, I asked my nurse practitioner how long I had to wait before kissing someone on the lips.

Six months?! And even then just a discussion? In my pained and drugged state, I felt hopeless. I resolved to be a cat lady. I was listing my hobbies — making art, cooking, playing board games — when my date interjected.

Dating with a chronic illness: When do I disclose? What if it changes the way they see me?

Follow our live coverage for the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. Dating is nerve-wracking for most people, but when you have an invisible and often debilitating illness, things can get really tricky. How soon is too soon — or too late — to open up about your health struggles? And how do you bring it up?

Enter the online dating profile. A lot of people with chronic illnesses put their conditions front and center, making sure anyone who’s interested in them knows​.

Let me start out by saying that before I had AS, dating was already a struggle for me. It only got harder once I was diagnosed with it. In the age of Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid etc. I know that every girl, regardless of chronic illness, goes through this too. Would anyone ever ask this to my face after just meeting me? Probably not, and if they did, I would immediately walk away. These two screenshots are from a person I went on a few dates with.

I was very upfront about having AS, chronic depression, and social anxiety. At first, he was seemingly very supportive and caring about my conditions. As we started talking more, the real him came out, and it was quite honestly disgusting. He started accusing me of being lazy when the most common symptom of both AS and depression is chronic fatigue , even when I defended myself over and over again.

Guess what? And it was, for someone who only took me on a few dates.

What Do I Do When Dating with a Chronic Illness?

Being single and navigating the world of dating is challenging for everyone, but it can be especially difficult when your life comes with complications like needing to pack medication every time you leave home for more than a few hours. Whether you choose dating sites , singles events, clubs or meetups, putting yourself out there will help you find that special person who will love you unconditionally—even on your worst days.

If you are single with a chronic illness, follow these tips to make your dating journey a little easier. Deciding when to disclose your illness to a potential romantic connection is entirely up to you but consider telling them about it at the beginning of your interaction. If you are anxious about discussing your illness with a date, why not use technology to your advantage?

Tell them about it over an email, text message or phone call.

As the number of chronic conditions continues to rise, it’s important for people in relationships where one or both partners has a chronic disease.

A little less than five years ago, those symptoms intensified and I woke up one morning with a headache that has never gone away. My life now revolves around medical appointments, and the chore of daily life with constant pain and other symptoms. Still, I get lonely, probably lonelier now than ever before. And the social media divide makes it increasingly more difficult to get out there and meet someone face to face. When you have limited stores of energy, everything has to be carefully planned, activities prioritized so that you can complete the most important tasks.

Just the idea of going out on a Saturday night makes me want to crawl under my covers and take a nap. So meeting someone the old-fashioned way is difficult, to say the least.

Should You Disclose Your Chronic Illness When Dating?

Four years later, they are engaged. He never backed out. Her conditions? On more ordinary days, she experiences stomach issues and a chronic cough, among other non-terminal-but-annoying symptoms caused by medicines that suppress her illnesses. According to a report published by the National Health Council, nearly half of Americans have at least one chronic illness, with that number expected to grow in coming years. One major issue chronically ill people face in dating is disclosure.

Those who live with rare and serious diseases wonder when to “When someone is living with a chronic illness, dating can be very difficult.

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms. Eight years ago, video producer Kate Milliken was 35, single, and living in Manhattan—”a deadly combination,” she jokes. On the day she was anticipating a third date with a guy she was really beginning to like, she noticed that the fatigue and tingling in her hands that had been nagging her for a week had spiraled into something much worse. By the time I got to the doctor, I couldn’t keep my balance.

A neurologist immediately ordered a magnetic resonance imaging MRI scan, which revealed a spinal cord lesion in her neck. You need to be in the hospital right now. From her hospital bed, where she was receiving high doses of intravenous steroids to calm the inflammation in her spinal cord, Milliken wrote an email to the guy she’d been dating.

Episode 55- Love/Romance/Dating with MS-Chronic Health Challenges-part 2