Types of People You Encounter When Online Dating With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome


Let’s be honest here, dating can kinda suck. I mean, it is really hard to find that perfect someone when you are in college like me. I know that miracles do happen, but when you have a chronic illness it becomes a million times harder. There are a lot of things that make this more difficult. Dating is already hard enough, so when you combine chronic illness with trying to find a decent human being, you have a bit more trouble than the average person. Here I’ve decided to discuss my dating/lack of dating life. Because I know from experience that it is super hard to find someone when you are chronically ill. Let’s just say that while I hope to find someone one day who can see my good qualities, I know that may not happen.

For many people with chronic illness it can be difficult to leave the house. This leaves online dating. Just like any “normal”/healthy person, you can find some creeps while dating online. Let’s just say that I have met quite a few of those online. Obviously, I did not go to meet any of these people in person, but I did get some creepy messages. Here are some of the highlights…and yes, these are real (I honestly cannot make this up).

“I looked up Ehlers-Danlos. Are you really that flexible, will you show me?”

“So can you bend over backwards?”

“Just how flexible are you?”

“Can you put your legs behind your head?”

“So you have a talent, what have you done?”

“Are you really that flexible? How do you feel about a costume?”

“So you can dislocate…how do you feel about pain?”

There are also those people who cannot handle the fact that you are sick. While many people tell us that there is no way someone would ever do this, it does happen, kind of a lot. If I am being honest, these people probably are never going to change. This is why I have a hard time dating. While many have tried to reassure me, saying that the right person will come, I cannot help but think, “When?” Again, some highlights of the rudest people…

“You’re really pretty but there is just too much wrong with you. I just can’t handle that.”

“Why are you on a dating site?” (*reveals medical conditions*) “Oh I get it, yeah good luck with that.”

“No way that is true, you are too pretty to be this sick.”

“So are you dying?”

“Wait so does that mean you can’t have sex?”

“So are you like bed-bound or something? I’m just asking to see if I am wasting my time.”

There are also the cheesy people who think that their pickup lines will win over my heart. Let’s just say that these lines (hopefully) do not work on anyone. And if they do, I am a little bit concerned.

“You only have half a heart because I stole the other half.”

“I bet I am more flexible than you, let’s have a contest and see.”

This is one reason why I do not have an active dating life. When you live in and out of the hospital and other clinics, that makes it a little hard to go out and start dating. I can understand how people would not understand our medical conditions, but it is no reason to be downright mean. I am a person too, and like anybody I just want to find someone who is nice and understanding, but apparently that is too much to ask. This is why I decided to disclose that I have medical problems early on. It helps to weed out what kind of person you are dealing with. You find the creepy people, the rude people, the cheesy people and just a handful of decent human beings.

Now, there are some decent human beings on these dating websites – one is now a good friend. He may not have been boyfriend material, but he has become a good friend. Instead of being creepy, rude or cheesy, he actually asked questions about me. He wanted to know more about who I am outside of my medical conditions. Of course he did have a few questions, but they were asked politely. He also talked to me as if I was a real human being. He asked about favorite foods and favorite movies. He asked questions about what I wanted to do after college, and asked how a test went. I was a real person in his eyes, and while we may not have started dating, I would rather make a true friend than get a “just OK” boyfriend.

I hope that all who read this who have a chronic illness do not lose all hope. While not all people are great, there are still some good people out there. To those of you who do not have a chronic illness, please know that I am human. I want to be able to find love. Please do not treat me as if I am less than human – I have feelings too.

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Thinkstock photo via demaerre.

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