"It's not you, its me...Scratch that.Dating with Crohn's"
I receive countless emails and messages asking me all types of questions about Crohns since my blog and I love it, so keep it coming! One topic area that always comes up is dating! “Do you think I will find love again? ““How do you deal with dating? ““I am afraid he won’t like me if he finds out”. My response is to just be yourself and if he doesn’t accept you for who you are, to the left, to the left! Lol! I know easier said than done, trust me I know. Historically, I have been a serial monogamist (as my sister calls it). So dating is new to me and quite frankly I have forgotten how “to date”. Dating is awkward, uncomfortable, and hilarious all at the same time. Dating is tricky for regular people, so when you have another HUGE factor that makes it even trickier, so I tend to stray away from it. Crohns and/or Ulcerative Colitis is not a glamorous disease. It is uncomfortable talking about bowel habits with your doctor, so just imagine how uncomfortable it is talking to someone you don’t know and/or are getting to know about your colon or lack thereof. I wouldn’t say I hide the fact that I have Crohns (because clearly it is out there), I just don’t announce it immediately unless they ask. Despite my blog, I am probably not as open as you think when it comes to these things. So much so, I told one guy to read my blog and if he had any questions he can ask. Lol! Horrible I now know, but it sounded like a plan to me at the time. Anyway…I was talking to a friend and I told him I met this guy and that we had been out a few times. He said “great!” Have you told him yet? I said… I told him I had Crohns. My friend said “Oh, okay….so you haven’t really told him much”…Umm.. Touché bff, touché!! Lol! So the big question ensues…WHEN do you drop the bomb? When do you tell a person of interest that a) you have Crohns, and in my case, b) an ostomy? Do you tell them immediately or do you wait awhile? There are pros and cons to each. Telling them upfront gets it out the way and leaves room for situations that may arise. Telling them upfront can weed a person out early and feelings won’t be too involved if they decide to flee. In this day and age with the way technology is at the tip of our fingers, the person will more than likely google “Crohns” and/or “Ostomy’ and one of the first things you will see when googling Crohns is diarrhea, rectum, anus, just a few KEY words to throw out there. Ha Ha! Those key words are either going to freak somebody out or the person could have an array of questions, which is a-okay with me. And of course if you opt to tell them, because of the fact that you look “Glamorous”, they don’t really grasp the severity of the condition anyway. So then it becomes you can load them up with facts all you want but unless they stick around for a while they won’t understand what it really means anyway. And then after they have been around for a while, they can still decide to leave. So it still becomes when/what do you tell them and does it really even matter when? I went out on a few dates with this guy. He seemed pretty cool. The last time we hung out he almost grazed my ostomy with his hand/arm. I said almost because I saw it coming and did this crazy kung fu dodge move to avoid this awkward encounter. In my attempt to avoid an awkward situation I in turn created a much more awkward situation. Lol! After my spastic moves we said our goodbyes. The next day he texted me and said “So are you going to tell me what was going on with you or what?” I of course was like whatsoever do you mean? (tried to play it off). Unfortunately, there was no getting around what happened. I am not sure what came over me, but my next reply was “I have an ostomy”. I couldn’t believe that I text him that. Please keep in mind this is all within maybe 2 weeks of meeting this guy. I have NEVER done that. I generally never tell until it is absolutely necessary like I go missing for a few days because I am in the hospital necessary. Haha. But something came over me and I was like what the heck. So I text him and then waited, the longest 2 minutes EVER! He asked if it was permanent? I said yep. He asked why I had one? So I told him. He said “You cope very well, amazingly well”. I said “thanks”. Then I waited…nothing. Next day…nothing. The next day…nothing still. I didn’t hear from that joker again for about a month. (Sorry if you thought that was going to be a happy ending). I tell that particular story because it taught me a few things. I did not know this guy, he did not know me. We had only just met. I told him I had an ostomy. He didn’t respond how I wanted him to and yes it hurt my feelings but it was hardly the end of the world. And yes, I may actually use that “matter of fact” approach again. I stepped out of my comfort zone and put it all out there and it was thrown back in my face or so I thought. About a month later he text me out the blue “I just want you to know you are one of the strongest women I know and I admire your strength more than you know”. I was taken aback to say the least. It was a surprise but a nice surprise and made me think. No matter how many times I tell a young girl/woman if he doesn’t understand then it is not meant to be, although true, it doesn’t take away the fact that if someone doesn’t understand it can and may hurt your feelings. I have learned that not everybody is meant to understand and or even care about what you have going on. Try not to take it personal. Everybody is not built for it. It takes a special person to be and stay with someone dealing with a chronic illness. I say that because it takes a special person to live with a chronic illness. I am so worried about the fact that somebody can’t handle my ostomy or the fact that I have Crohns. But maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe, just maybe somebody recognizes the fact that you possess super human powers of strength, courage, perseverance, resiliency and determination. And perhaps some people can’t handle that either.