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19 Things You've Thought While Dating With a Chronic Illness

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Chronic illness impacts many aspects of one’s everyday life…and that includes dating! Considering that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 11 and celiac disease at age 17, chronic illness has always been part of my dating history. And if I’ve learned one lesson so far, it’s that chronic illness adds a variety of challenges and blessings to the dating game… and today, I want to share 19 things you’ve almost definitely thought if you’re dating with a chronic illness!

If you have a chronic illness and are currently dating, I hope this post makes you feel a little less alone or even helps you laugh at some of the “quirks” chronic illness may add to your dating life. And if you’re dating someone with chronic illness, I hope this post gives you insight into what your partner may be thinking or experiencing on a regular basis.

1. “A dinner date at 10 p.m.? Who is up and functioning at that time?!?”

2. “Please let there be something I can eat, please let there be something I can eat…”

This is why I typically eat before my dates. or make sure I choose the restaurant and pick one that would be tasty for me and my date!

3. “How can I say, ‘Please stop accidentally touching ALL of my trigger points’ without sounding ridiculous?”

4. “She got five hours of sleep and feels fine? How can people DO THAT?”

5. “Dang, he’s good at giving massages. He’s a keeper.”

6. “Should I say I’m canceling our date because I’m sick, or be real about my flare-up?”

My suggestion? Be real! It can be embarrassing or awkward to open up about struggling at first, but you’ll need to tell them eventually, so why not now?

7. “He knows someone with fibro? And asks how my pain is each day? Now that’s what gives me butterflies.”

8. “Chronic illness isn’t all I am…but it is part of it. And if she can’t handle that, she’s not right for me.”

Mic drop.

9. “Where’s the closest bathroom? Just in case…”

10. “Will his family like me? Or will they think I’m overly dramatic or high-maintenance?”

If you’ve ever been called high-maintenance or accused of exaggerating your chronic illness, this post was written for you.

11. “Wait…*insert behavior/trait here* ISN’T normal?”

12. “I’ve officially just vomited/farted/*insert your most embarrassing chronically ill quirk* in front of the cutest person ever…they must really like me if they’re still here.”

13. “What would it even be like to have enough energy to go on late-night dates multiple days of the week?”

If you’ve ever felt guilty for not being able to “show up” as your best self more often, know you’re not alone!

14. “Please don’t say let them say, ‘you don’t look sick‘ or ‘you’re too young to be sick!'”

15. “They researched my condition just to understand me better? That’s so sweet.”

16. “Did they really just say invisible illnesses are a joke? Look at the time, it’s time for me to goooooo.”

Red flag much?

17. “Am I enough?”

The short answer: yes! For the long answer, read this post.

18. “Do I talk about my body or my flare-ups too often?”

19. “Thank goodness I have a supporter for my good and bad days.”

And if you don’t yet, don’t give up looking. And know you always have an online group of support too, including me!

The Bottom Line of Dating With Chronic Illness:

While dating with chronic illness certainly isn’t impossible, it’s not always easy or effortless. So if you’ve ever felt frustrated with your chronic illness’s role in your dating life, I hope this post helped you feel less alone. Just like I hope that whether you’re happily married or single and trying to mingle, at least one of these thoughts resonated.

This post first appeared on Casey the College Celiac.

Getty image by nicoletaionescu

Originally published: February 14, 2021
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