couple on date in a coffee shop

When Do You Tell the Person You're Dating You Have a Chronic Illness?


A few years back, shortly after my lupus diagnosis, I met this guy who was a friend of a friend. At the time I didn’t think much of it. You meet new people every day, right? We ended up in the same friend group a few times and that’s when we started to talk.

Now at the time I was extremely reserved about telling anyone about my illness, aside from family and close friends. But as time went on and our friendship grew, it was pretty obvious we had feelings for each other. And that’s when I kind of started to freak out. You see, when I was diagnosed I was pretty much under the assumption that no guy could want someone like me with such an unpredictable illness. I thought I’d be too much of a gamble for someone. I wanted to tell him but I felt I missed my window – like I should have told him when I first started getting to know him. Now I was at the point where I was afraid if I was right, and I was too much of a gamble, it would hurt too much to face that. I let these feelings plague me for way too long.

 

It was only months after realizing our personalities didn’t quite mesh and we were better as friends that I told him. And you know what? The world didn’t go up in flames! It was just him casually asking how I was, and I was actually completely honest and told him I had been sick as a result of lupus, and actually this person was pretty awesome about it. It opened the way for a good conversation about what lupus is and what it meant for me and my future.

What have I learned from this? It’s not good to hide things like this that are such a part of who you are and affect your everyday life. I had built it up to be such a huge thing in my mind when it didn’t have to be! Had he reacted how I was afraid he would react, then I would have gotten over it and known for sure it was for the better. But sometimes people will surprise you.

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Thinkstock photo via ArthurHidden.

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