Hopefully, by this time they’ll have let it settle in their mind a bit and will be able to ask you some appropriate questions about how your disease affects your life. Lead by example, and don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder that you leave in plain view. You need someone who is going to be there for you ALL the time. So why not start off this date making a mental list of how you’re going to improve life?
The only thing more awkward than meeting your ex on a blind date-is having someone tell you something on a first date like “I have ass cancer,” and then having them STARE at you while a single, silent tear slips down their cheek. (or guy.) People are going to follow your lead when it comes to the state of your disease. I’m not saying you have to hug your fibromyalgia lovingly in your arms every night, but you at least have to be able to get through a flare in public without openly weeping. Partners of those with chronic illnesses are probably the closest things to super heroes.
If they don’t want to go out with you after learning you have Crohn’s, Lupus, whatever–then that’s that. You have to be understanding of people when it comes to your chronic disease.
Understand that their first reaction probably will be “what the fuck? People can sense your uneasiness about your disease.
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are unpredictable.
It was not lost on me that this was the first time we were both single at the same time :-). He called to reschedule it (definitely not a date), then an email note from him that seemed flirty (definitely a date), then he was 45 minutes late (definitely not a date), then his arm leaned against mine as we looked at the photos (definitely a date), then he didn't call for a week (definitely not a date).
Over the next 6 months we emailed each other from time to time. Slowly we discovered we were more than just friends and slowly we've built this marriage.
It seemed a little flirty to me but nothing I could really put my finger on. Then he suggested he stop by (we lived about 45 minutes apart) to show me photos of his recent hiking trip with his son. It doesn't look like the romanticized ideal of a marriage because of my illnesses, but none of my friends' marriages look like the ideal either.
With both of my husbands we became friends before we began to be romantically involved. keeping an open heart (when I'm not terrified of rejection) and trying to be creative in working around my limitations.
It's been challenging to make and maintain friendships in general but I do my best. My second husband and I have known each other for a long time but with infrequent contact.
” So allow them the courtesy of saying it (to themselves) in the privacy of their own bedroom while staring at their laptop. Feel comforted in the fact that you can’t see their hands flittering over the keyboard trying to come up with a supportive/appropriate/charming response. If you haven’t come to terms with it yet and are still in a phase of mourning your old life–you probably aren’t ready to date anyway.
And let them have the ability to untangle this information before you sit down to your first date. You’ve got to love yourself–with or without the disease, if you’re going to expect someone new in your life to do the same. –but slamming your fist down on the table every time you decree a new amendment on how you will be treated as a partner is not going to win you any suitors. Remember that relationships are a two way street and you’ve got be willing to put out just as much as you need to take in.
Official estimates indicate that only about 20% of the population of CFS sufferers nationwide have been diagnosed.
Information and Support for CFS Sufferers Centers for Disease Control: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Detailed information from the Centers for Disease Control that includes the latest information on diagnosis, symptoms, risk factors, prevalence, and other facts related to CFS.
I know that by doing this I run the risk of looking through rose-colored glasses and of minimizing the agony of our limitations. I'm a big proponent of looking our limits square in the face and of making space in our lives to grieve, over and over again, our ongoing losses in order to free ourselves up to be truly alive.
It's been important for me to try to let go of the traditional idea of "dating." I was single when I got sick and since then I have married twice and been in a couple other serious relationships.