3 Hacks for Dating With a Chronic Illness
One of the topics that I see constantly posted and discussed on Facebook support pages has to do with dating after being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Keep in mind that the dating world is getting even more complicated and down-right scary the more time goes by. This only makes things even more difficult and stressful when one partner’s health is not at optimum levels.
Instead of stressing out and getting yourself all worked up, here are some helpful tips that you can consider if you decide to begin dating again.
1. Don’t let stress overtake your mind.
Better said than actually done, right? Well, try to keep this in mind. Stress can have some serious effects on your body, such as: headaches, nausea or upset stomachs, and complications with sleep. The very last thing an individual with a chronic illness needs is to add on these symptoms stress causes in addition to the symptoms they already fight on an everyday basis. Stress can often lead to panic attacks, massive amounts of anxiety, and bathroom complications.
So, saying all this, the best thing to do before entering the dating world, or even going on a scheduled date, would be to get your thoughts under control. You are your own worst critic, and often times you find that your brain cannot be quiet long enough to get a positive thought in edgewise. You struggle with the “what if” questions as you attempt to get yourself ready for the evening, which only elevates your stress level.
Take some time well before the date to relax. Practice meditation, listen to some calming music, read your favorite book, or put on a funny movie. Do what you can to get your mind off the “what if” questions and focus more or positive affirmations. Think about things you can do for future reference when the date goes well.
2. Be honest.
One thing that I personally believe that is essential even before a date is established is allowing time for you and your special someone to get to know each other before the romance begins. Call me old fashioned, but I believe that this method creates a stronger foundation for the next step in dating. Upon taking some time to get to know each other before considering going out on a date, this will allow you to know some important facts about the other person, both good and bad.
Doing this allows you to establish a pros and cons list of what you do and do not like about the other person, but more importantly, it provides you with an excellent opportunity to tell them about your health. As friends, if this person accepts the truth about your chronic illness, then this would be an even better indication that they are worth your time. Unfortunately, if they do not, then you will save yourself the trouble and any further heartache.
It’s important to not simply be honest with the other person, but also to be honest with yourself. It’s not easy, nor should it be necessary, for you to fake your way through a date. Yes, you are sick, and because of it, you have had to develop a “new norm.” The important thing to remember is that you don’t try to fool yourself into believing anything besides reality. You know the truth because you live it each day. Therefore, why should it be necessary if you are wanting a happy and healthy relationship to feel as though you must fool your partner?
3. Be prepared for sidewinders.
This is a phrase that is often used to describe “out of nowhere” events. It’s still important to think positively in order to fight off stress, but we also need to acknowledge the fact that the date or even your partner might turn out to be different than what you thought. So, while focusing on believing the evening will go as planned, it’s also important to prepare for the unexpected. In order to avoid embarrassment, being hurt, or having an argument, it’s best to plan ahead.
Ensure that you do not allow your date to make you feel less than amazing. Make sure you take nothing less than full respect. Anything else, and they shouldn’t be considered worth your time. Your life is hectic enough than to have to worry about someone who will only drag you and your confidence down. You’re already a warrior, and you deserve to be appreciated and respected for simply being you.
Speaking from my own experience, I’m excessively hard on myself. I often try to do more than what my body is currently capable of because I’m so used to living 25 of my 27 years of life in the fast lane. I fought hard to get to where I am, and I’d never allow another individual to be harder on me than I already am. Utilizing these little tips that I used will help get others ready to re-enter the world of dating with a clear mind and greater discernment.
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