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20 (Gentle) Date Ideas for People With Chronic Illness

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Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or any invisible illness definitely strains relationships, so it is important to keep the flame alive. Communication is essential between couples. Often we do not appreciate what a good talk to the one we love will achieve.

If you met your partner before your diagnosis you may go through a period of bereavement. You are mourning the old you. This will be a huge test on the both of you, so communication is essential.

Just because you’re now ill doesn’t mean date night should go out the window. I actually think it’s more important to make sure to keep it up as chronic illness is so cruel and takes so much from us. It’s all too easy for chronic illness to get in the way of romance and to forget just how wonderful spending time together is.

Sometimes even the sun is too loud when you have an invisible illness, so please understand that huge grand gestures involving wearing a bra, sexy suspenders, heels and getting dressed up may sound like hell for some people, so bring the romance to the same level of the illness — gentle hugs, tender kisses and lots and lots and lots of talking about each other’s emotions may be better than any prescription.

Here are 20 fun date night ideas for all you sweethearts.

1. Bring the spa to your home. You can either book a mobile therapist or do it yourself. Afterwards, snuggle up close in your dressing gowns with candlelight, the TV off and gentle music playing.

2. Have an at-home movie night. Pull the couch up close to the TV and get big snuggle blanket, popcorn and fizzy drinks. Kissing in the back row…

3. Get all the old photos out and together make a happiness book. It will be an amazing boost when you’re feeling sad. We often keep past happiness locked away in boxes — celebrate all the happiness.

4. Listen to classical music at home, with candles and a glass of wine.

5. Go to a museum or gallery. You can hire a wheelchair if mobility is a problem.

6. Make something together, even if it is out of Legos. The key is to turn the TV off and do it together.

7. Picnic in the living room. Lay a tablecloth out and make a picnic of all traditional picnic delights.

8. Take a theater trip. Plan well in advance and store your spoons!

9. Have breakfast in bed together, then snuggle all day watching DVDs.

10. Remember a beautiful meal you once had together and recreate that moment. Even if one of you has to stay in bed or on the couch. You may not be able to squeeze into the beautiful frock you wore that night but the same meal served on a tray with a pretty napkin, a little vase with a flower in and a card saying how much you love your partner will work wonders.

11. Cloud-watch together. When was the last time you lay on a blanket in the park and just watched clouds? Take some drinks and enjoy each other’s company and the magic of clouds.

12. Play a board game together.

13. Go to the beach, park the car and get a bag of chips. Hot water bottle on your back and a warm blanket even take a flask of tea. You and you loved one and the sound of the waves.

14. If the medication has made you lose your libido, have an evening of sensual massage. Human touch by the one you love has amazing healing powers.

15. Watch the sunrise together with a glass of bubbly and pancakes and fresh fruit.

16. Find the best local ice cream shop and go for a drive.

17. Have a naked night chatting in bed.

18. Write a love letter to each other, put a stamp on it and post it.

19. Have mocktail (if on medication) or cocktail night. Make them together.

20. Go for a coffee date and bring the coffee to you. Get a takeaway coffee and cake and enjoy it at home in bed together.

We all have different symptoms and our illness affects us differently. Some continue to work while some of have to stay in bed. No matter what, you deserve something to look forward to each week — a day or night that is your date.

Loneliness is so difficult when you become ill. If you are single, then “date” a friend or a family member. Next time they ask, “Are you OK?” ask them if they will help you make a special date on your calendar to look forward to.

If you paddle the single boat like me, then do not despair. Who said a date has to have a sexual attraction? Why not “date” a family member, a son, daughter or best friend?

Also, there is nothing at all wrong with making a date with yourself. Something so simple like a date on the calendar to have a nice pamper evening alone, some nice food and a glass of wine. You are special so you deserve to be treated that way.

Ask your doctor if there are any groups in your area to meet new people.

Always make time for yourself and loved ones. Even silly simple gestures are worth it.

Follow this journey on The Girl With the Five Lads.

 20 (Gentle) Date Ideas for People With Chronic Illness

Originally published: July 9, 2016
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