Relationships With Health Issues- Dating

My partner, our little boy, our dog, and myself, in the summer of 2022!

A popular topic often spoken of on social media, websites, blogs, and in Facebook groups is Dating, Friendships, Work Colleagues, and Family. In this blog, I’ll be talking about Dating, falling in love, sexuality, and all Dating related topics.

So, how do you begin? Firstly, it’s really helpful to begin by being upfront and honest at the VERY start, before a connection is made. Why, you might ask? I have sadly seen too many people I know and don’t know, not tell someone they are forming a connection with, about their illness or ostomy and soon after, be ghosted, blocked, or the person breaks their heart by their not so pleasant opinion. If you’re A-Sexual then this won’t really matter too much but still to take into consideration if you want to experiment in love/relationships or simply a platonic relationship which can be really comforting. Having a friend of any gender to confide in and support you and feel a strong non sexual relationship with, again as A-Sexual, you may or may not want that.

Dating with a chronic illness, as an ostomate, mental health conditon(s), and/or complex health is a fear so many struggle with. Fear of not knowing how another person may take your ‘baggage’ that comes hand in hand with you, the judgement they may have, being ghosted, family and fertility, your insecurities and perhaps having not had much luck in love or having not had great relationships prior. It is hard getting out there! Then there are other things like sexuality,for example, you are a gay man/trans/non binary/female without a butt hole..how can you tell someone that things in the bedroom isn’t exactly what they expected? Of course, not everyone is interested in your back end but again, you don’t know in advance, we aren’t exactly capable of being mind readers!

I also should tell you that sometimes when you are broken and feel that nobody wants you or you can only find happiness when you get attention from another person or can only be happy when in a relationship, you should work on yourself first. Sometimes, it works out great, but jumping in and out of relationships constantly is not good for your mental health. It’s totally individual, but I was once someone who did this in my younger days, as I didn’t know why I couldn’t fill an empty void. I later realised I had some unsolved and undiagnosed mental health conditions,which made me feel that way and, as time went on, I worked on myself, started to find happiness within myself and really enjoyed life before I settled down again.

It’s so easy to put up a brick wall or “high guard” when you have been hurt so many times in previous relationships, however, when the right person comes along, that won’t matter to them. They will be patient, kind, compassionate, and love you either way! You can start off by going on dates, video calling dates if you feel too anxious/nervous, phone calls, meeting the other person with your friends or a family member. Sometimes, meeting someone for the first time with a friend or someone you trust can help break the ice! It also can keep you safe and avoid anything happening to you. Or perhaps going to a very public place together with lots of people (if your mental health is capable of coping, of course) can not only help you break the ice but again, keep you safe.

If having a family is something you are really keen on, it’s a little helpful but not essential to let your potential partner know this and vice versa if it’s something you really don’t want. It helps you both know where you stand with your potential future together. However, that being said, I have myself been in a similar situation and seen many others who strongly never wanted children, go on to have a family, and be really happy! Time and the right person can change anyone.

At the end of the day, make it fun, take your time to get to know someone, be upfront and don’t take it personally when someone ghosts you, dumps you unexpectedly etc, sometimes it isn’t you and they need to work on themselves. No matter if we have chronic illness(es), mental health, or an ostomy (or two!), we all have some baggage that we carry. Any good-hearted person will be compassionate to you, whether they want to date you or not.

Having unsolved or undiagnosed mental health can either make you stronger as a couple or totally toxic and its also really helpful to look at red flags and what you are subjecting yourself to, if you find yourself in that situation. A toxic relationship is never healthy, whether its simply a kink for the bedroom or that you feel you don’t deserve better, you 100% deserve better if you know there are signs that it’s not a healthy relationship and choose to ignore them! Always know your worth.

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