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So You Want to Date Someone With Chronic Illness?

Here are some words of wisdom from a sassy someone diagnosed with autonomic dysfunction, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, asthma and benign joint hypermobility syndrome. I felt inspired to write this list after dealing with the pain after a few relationships ended due to a misunderstanding of chronic illness. I’m constantly seeing this frequent occurrence in support groups for chronic illness and it’s devastating.

1. Please don’t ever tell us we’re being lazy. Just don’t do it. When you have a chronic illness, you’re like an older cell phone that can’t hold a charge for very long. The sad part is I don’t have a rescue energy source. I have to sit down or take a nap. Wherever. 

2. You’re going to need to prepare yourself for your significant other visiting the doctor, emergency room and pharmacy far more than you’d ever imagine. 

3. There are going to be days when I am the grouchiest person ever. This should be taken with a grain of salt. Pain is a constant factor and when you’re hurting all the time it’s hard to be a Pollyanna. 

4. Even though I’ve been through a lot and have established a tough cookie routine, sometimes I grow weary of the poking, prodding and pain and just want someone to cry on. Yes, I kept my cool when they brought in the 10-inch needle. No, this doesn’t mean I’m peachy keen on the inside. 

5. I am a huge cuddler. The great part of being sedentary at times is our desire to cuddle is through the roof, because some days, that’s all we can do.

6. Netflix, blankets and cozy pajamas are the way to our heart. 

7. I will not let my illness define me. I still have dreams and aspirations. I will still accomplish them. On those good days, you need to be prepared for adventures because if I have the energy, there’s nothing that will stop me. 

8. I will still take care of you. I will be your rock (slightly unstable rock, but still) and do my absolute best to make sure the relationship is taken care of.

The Mighty is asking the following: What do you want your past, current or future partner to know about being with someone with your disability, disease or mental illness? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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