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Rayna45

549d

Here’s something I would love to hear from y’all on - how it goes mentioning you have a chronic illness to new people you start seeing…it’s so exhausting trying to figure out how to word it and even more so getting ghosted for it. Don’t want to seek whiny for this but it’s heavy on my mind

Top reply
    • Raphia

      549d

      @Raphia It is incredibly hard and sometimes painful, but it is a necessary evil for those of us who struggle in these ways. I hope this was helpful to you in some way! And I hope you (and all of us!) find someone to do life with and ease some of the burdens of a chronically ill life!!

    • Raphia

      549d

      I completely understand this, Rayna45!! I have experienced this pretty consistently in my dating life and it can be so discouraging and hard!! I have created a little “system,” you could say, if how I share my health story with them. I’ve split up the story of my health journey (including symptoms I experience, medications + side effects, and future potential issues, such as possible infertility, the complicated feelings and emotions that inevitably come with chronic illness, etc.) into several different conversations (I call them “exit ramp conversations) and then have a general idea of at what point in a relationship I would initiate that conversation. Up front, I will share that I have some chronic illnesses that I live with, but I won’t share specifics (and if they ask, I will usually say something like, “I would love to tell you about it one day! But if it’s ok, I’d rather not dive into all of that right now” if they don’t respect this boundary, it’s not a great sign that they would be a helpful/sympathetic partner during flare ups, so it might not be a great match!) beyond that, I have exit ramp convos as they come up. The key to the exit ramp convo is that you let them know that you want to tell them another part of your health journey and that it’s a hard part about your life. You also want to give them the opportunity to be honest and say that they don’t think they can walk through these things with you (as painful and hard as this is, it’s better to know that up front than to find out down the road. This helps with ghosting, too, because they don’t feel like they have to just disappear. They can either tell you they can’t handle it, or they say that it doesn’t bother them.) also, these convos are better in person!!!!! If at all possible, I don’t recommend these happening over the phone! But, you just keep sharing bits and pieces at a time. I think what happens to scare people from our complicated health stories is that they get years worth of symptoms, diagnoses, Dr visits, etc., within the span of 30 minutes or so and it can be completely overwhelming. When we walk through our health journeys, we find out bits and pieces over a span of months and years, so it doesn’t seem as overwhelming. If we are honest up front about the chronic nature of our illnesses, but save some of the more personal details for later, it can help with that!! So, for example, after my first chronic illness convo, I’ll have another, usually around date 2 or 3 because I have a lot of dietary restrictions (like, a lot) and I can usually keep them from surfacing for a couple dates by requesting that we do something other than go out to eat. But, after about 2 or 3 dates, it feels weird to keep requesting a change of plan, so I will ask if I can share something kind of personal (gives them a heads up that it’s a serious topic that might be hard ti discuss) and then tell them that I have some autoimmune disorders that strictly restrict what I can eat. I tell them that it would take way too long to list it all out right now (implies that you don’t want to talk about specifics until you’re ready!) but that I thought they should know for the future. And if it’s a really hard topic (like potential inability to have biological children) I will tell them that they don’t have to respond to anything I’ve said right away, but they should take some time to think about it and make sure that’s something that they are ok with being in their future. The key to all of this is: you deserve to have someone in your life who genuinely cares for YOU and is not afraid of your health, but will partner WITH YOU to fight those battles. The sucky thing is, it might be a little harder for us to find those people. But! The exit ramp conversations aren’t just to give them a chance to back out if it’s too much for them. It really is there to protect you from someone who only has conditional love to offer or just doesn’t have the capacity to support you in your situation.

      • Raphia

        549d

        @Raphia It is incredibly hard and sometimes painful, but it is a necessary evil for those of us who struggle in these ways. I hope this was helpful to you in some way! And I hope you (and all of us!) find someone to do life with and ease some of the burdens of a chronically ill life!!

    • Khara

      549d

      I just had this conversation yesterday, most people are understanding I think we put more pressure on the thought of it because we deal with the actual conditions on a day to day. I just mention that I have this condition and that condition and it can be a lot to deal with sometimes just by dating me. Most people want to be compassionate I can't say I've ever had a bad response in the beginning. My ex would just feel bad at times for not being able to help me get rid of the pain.

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

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