If they don’t want to go out with you after learning you have Crohn’s, Lupus, whatever–then that’s that. You have to be understanding of people when it comes to your chronic disease.Understand that their first reaction probably will be “what the fuck? People can sense your uneasiness about your disease.“If I’m feeling well on the date and nothing comes up that makes explaining necessary, I don’t bring it up.” But sometimes, you don’t have a choice but to spill it all, and shouldn’t be afraid to do so. “[Living with chronic illness] often come up on a first date because it affects many parts that make up the totality of who I am.If we order food, the fact that I have Celiac and will vomit profusely if I eat dairy often leads to conversations about why I can’t eat those things,” says Raposo.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.“Don’t even tempt me.”That was Ashley Pierce’s response when her friend Tammi tried to set her up with Walter.
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.According to a report published by the National Health Council, nearly half of Americans have at least one chronic illness, with that number expected to grow in coming years.If this number sounds high, it’s worth noting that the category of “chronic illness” can include minor cases of asthma or oral herpes or major conditions like Crohn’s.Community member Andrea Mamun says: “Meeting online takes the inhibition out of the mix.It’s easier putting it out in writing than in person.” Nancy Hunt-Mc Donald agrees that sharing online is a great option and suggests telling a potential date right away: “If they can’t accept you the way you are, then you haven’t really invested too much of yourself in the relationship.” Mary Ellen Rotolo puts her health status in her online profile, noting that RA is not something she could hide in person.Health advocate and blogger Leslie Rott has a three-date rule: “I think it gets harder to tell the longer you wait, and, in reality, you don’t want to be with someone who can’t accept or handle your illness.” Author, TV personality, and children’s advocate Christine Schwab recommends holding off, saying it is a discussion for a serious relationship: “I am not saying ignore your RA; talk to your doctor or your therapist, but not your date.