“Don’t even tempt me.”That was Ashley Pierce’s response when her friend Tammi tried to set her up with Walter.
Having spent a good portion of the last 10 years in a Las Vegas hospital bed, Pierce didn’t even want to entertain the thought of dating. He never backed out.“I never thought someone would marry me with my conditions,” 26-year-old Pierce recently wrote in a Facebook status. Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis—chronic inflammatory conditions that affect the gastrointestinal and digestive tracts and include complications ranging from abdominal cramps to malnutrition.
The more extreme physical chronic illnesses can make dating seem unrealistic or especially difficult, causing people like Pierce to think, “don’t even tempt me.”One major issue chronically ill people face in dating is disclosure.
The question of when to share the illness with a prospective partner fills online forums, videos, articles, blogs, conferences, and discussions.
Over the past five years, several sitessuch as Prescription4love.com, Nolongerlonely.com, and Cisforcupid.comhave launched to serve the needs of people with conditions ranging from bipolar disorder to Crohn's disease.
And let them have the ability to untangle this information before you sit down to your first date. You’ve got to love yourself–with or without the disease, if you’re going to expect someone new in your life to do the same. –but slamming your fist down on the table every time you decree a new amendment on how you will be treated as a partner is not going to win you any suitors. Remember that relationships are a two way street and you’ve got be willing to put out just as much as you need to take in.Besides, if he was anything like other guys she had pursued, she didn’t think he’d be able to handle it. For Pierce, the most extreme cases were when the doctor told her parents she wouldn’t make it through the night, either because she had stopped breathing or was dangerously anemic, weighing in at 63 pounds.On more ordinary days, she experiences stomach issues and a chronic cough, among other non-terminal-but-annoying symptoms caused by medicines that suppress her illnesses.Hopefully, by this time they’ll have let it settle in their mind a bit and will be able to ask you some appropriate questions about how your disease affects your life. Lead by example, and don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder that you leave in plain view. You need someone who is going to be there for you ALL the time. So why not start off this date making a mental list of how you’re going to improve life?The only thing more awkward than meeting your ex on a blind date-is having someone tell you something on a first date like “I have ass cancer,” and then having them STARE at you while a single, silent tear slips down their cheek. (or guy.) People are going to follow your lead when it comes to the state of your disease. I’m not saying you have to hug your fibromyalgia lovingly in your arms every night, but you at least have to be able to get through a flare in public without openly weeping. Partners of those with chronic illnesses are probably the closest things to super heroes.