Dating can be hard enough, without any outside interference. But, having a medical condition can make it that much harder. Now, you’re trying to get to know someone; be open and vulnerable. Now, you’re trying to have fun and enjoy your time with someone. But, you also have to deal with your body and how it feels. Maybe you want to spend the day out, but don’t have the energy. Maybe you are excited about dinner, but have been nauseated. Or it could just be that you are worried about how the date will go if you have to keep running to the restroom. All of these are very real possibilities, with IBS. Not only are they possibilities, in many cases they are more likely than we would like.
There are plenty of questions about when you should tell someone and how. Should you tell someone when you start seeing them? Should you wait until you know that you’re going to commit or get serious before you say something? And how are you going to have that conversation? Unfortunately, I can’t give you that answer. But, I can tell you about my experiences and give you some advice from my perspective.
I have always been a fan of transparency. I think that it is especially important when you are forming a relationship with someone, because that honesty has to be there. And it’s best established from the start. And I think that this type of conversation can be hard to have, but it is equally necessary. So, it is one that I like to start off with. When I create a dating profile on websites, I am very clear about the fact that I have IBS and if someone doesn’t think they can deal with that, they should move on. As is with most things on dating profiles, people tend to not pay attention to it or tend to be jerks. I’m always ready for that and in those cases, I’m more than happy to block them.
As you can see from some messages I get, it isn’t always easy. Sometimes you start talking to someone who has questions and genuinely cares and wants to know more. But, I’ve learned that people who make jokes about it tend to be the ones who can’t deal with it or don’t take it seriously. And that isn’t something I need in my life.
Knowing what you want in a relationship is pretty important. But, knowing what you need in a partner is more important. You should have an idea of the person you’re looking for. And maybe you’ll find someone who will change your mind. But, something like your health isn’t a compromise that you should have to make. Someone who really cares about you will understand the problems your body has. And if they don’t they aren’t worth your time. And certainly not your health!