Halp! I'm dating again!

Warning, this is probably WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION but it's a serious issue for me right now.

Dating. RIGHT??? Wow, I'm so out of practice, it's scary. I'm stumbling about in the dating world after (mumble-mumble) years of being single, and it's taking its toll, but I've actually met Someone Rather Nice, and now a whole new set of issues is cropping up, namely of when to have The Talk.

We're both pretty candid people with wicked senses of humour and he's already aware I struggle with walking, but he doesn't really know the full extent of my issues, and I'm wondering if I'm being disingenuous or whether too much information would scare him off. I'm actually sitting here laid up and trying to fight off pain after our first date which involved entirely too much walking on my part. Nowadays I'm getting assessed to rent a powerchair with Motability as walking is very much off the cards, and I've explained it to my date, who takes everything in stride in a way that makes me wonder if he's actually from the planet. Aren't people supposed to run a mile away from a crip as they're 'too much responsibility/too dependent'? At least that's been my experience. That he hasn't react like a deer in headlights at my having to beg off the second date for a day or two as I'm trying to recover from a wildly optimistic amount of walking is surprising, but now I'm starting to worry.

I rather like the guy and I suspect if things Go That Way (wink wink nudge nudge) I'm not entirely certain how to work The Talk into the conversation - it's not exactly sexy to have to explain that my post-coital bliss may involve a lot of pain and the need to take copious amounts of opiates. Forgive my bluntness, but how exactly am I going to strip down and be ever so blasé about the presence of my continence pads? (yeah, sorry, but you see the dilemma here). What if the bed is one of those bachelor-beds that sags in the middle with springs that hits every single pressure point in my body? Or how about the fact I really kind of need to kick people out of my bed so I can sleep on my own because of the night sweats, painsomnia, or sometimes just waking up in so much pain all I can do is cry until it eases up?

Wow, I remember when this used to be so easy, but back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth (approximately the last time I had a relationship, I think), I wasn't this ill. Now I have no idea what to say or do or how to approach things. I don't want to dwell on my illness, but it's kind of the elephant in the room. And, let's face it, I may be ill, but I also sort of want a shag sometime before I'm 80.

The struggle is real. *sigh*

14 Replies

  • i really hope it goes ok for u as know what u mean been single for 7yr now wonder if i will ever meet any one but like every one says there is some one for every one out there and we are not defined as people just because we have this crippling disease, if he what u think he is he will be fine with things good luck

  • Well so far he hasn't really batted an eyelash - I'm used to people running as soon as the word 'disabled' is spoken, so it's a new experience for me! I guess we will see how it rolls as he wants to see me again and we've made another date. I'm still ridiculously nervous but I'm just trying to take it chilled.

  • Hi Silvergilt, I feel your dilemma. End of 2014, a guy I'd liked for a yr confessed his interest in me. I'd just finished 5mths chemo successfully & felt so alive. I decided to date him, confess the fact I'd had chemo & why, he's response was "Are you ok now?" "Well that's the main thing". Sadly it didn't work out as I think he wanted a casual connection. At the age of 40, I've decided that if I'm going to date, I want to be with someone who will be supportive, caring, stable & reliable.

    Silvergilt, if you want it, go have some fun but before you explain your health issues to your interest, why not spend time getting to know him. What does he want out of it? What do you want out of it? If it's just a sex thing no need to explain & don't expect much more. If you want more, don't settle as the stress of disappointment can trigger more health issues. Either way, it's great to make a stimulating connection with the opposite sex. When seriously dating, always carry a couple of condoms (just in case), I prefer to take responsibility for my own health & STDs are on the increase.

    When dating, I'd prefer for my interest to know me not my illnesses & enjoy the 'well' moments with him. In general, I don't like people seeing me ill but I'm learning to reach out more. I live with 8 health conditions & since they've been active in the last 5 yrs, a lot of new friends have only known me to be unwell a lot when for most of my life I was active & healthy. To have someone appreciate me regardless of health will be a true blessing, I pray that you & others find this too.

    Ask for the I continent pads, do they come in smaller sizes? Can you take it off before foreplay, put it in your bag & put it back on after sex. Maybe wear it with some cycling shorts? Make an excuse about you're expecting your period?

    Where there's will, there's a way. I hope this connection fulfils you. Pls keep me posted. I haven't dated for over 1yr as I need to work on keeping my health stable, trauma etc but I'm always looking for inspiration x

  • Thanks for this - we're both in a space where we're looking for something more serious; one night stands were fun a few decades ago (gods, can't believe I typed that), so I know where he's at and I'm in a similar space.

    As far as all the continence and stuff goes...I don't really want to hide it as that's not going to be something I can hide for long, and I don't think dishonesty would go over very well in any event. I mean, if he ends up at my house at some point in the future, all the adaptations I have/modifications to bathroom/sharps boxes and injection pens in the fridge/antibacterial soap is going to kind of difficult to hide! I don't know whether I play it casual and don't draw attention to it or if I let the awkward questions sit unspoken but looming large. Argh.

    And I totally get the 'see me at my best' thing - I've always had a qualm letting anyone in my house precisely because it's so adapted to my needs, and is being more so as time goes by. It's impossible to hide my illness here, even though I tried for a while (and it made life miserable for me for a long time). But so far, my date is pretty understanding - I had to beg off meeting him sooner because I had to recover from the last bit of walking I did on Thursday. He has taken it with good grace and has let me pick the next place to meet, and the day. So far, he seems to kind of 'get it', and I suppose we will have to have a Talk about everything if things go well, but for now we're still learning about each other. But the talk won't just be about Getting Our Groove On, but about the times when I'm poorly, and the times when I'm in pain and hate everyone and everything because my body sucks, and so on.

    For the most part I've found being upfront is the best course; when I placed the personals on the online dating site, I said upfront I have chronic illness, I walk with a cane, sometimes use a powerchair. It winnows out the chaff pretty quickly although there's always people who just don't read anything at all so I am kind of blunt about it at first - maybe a bit TOO blunt, as I find myself wanting to see how much I can push before they cut and run. I'm trying to kerb that particular form of self-punishment however.

    I guess since he didn't beg off and we arranged a second date within 24 hours of the last one, I may be trippin' for no reason, but I guess we will see.


  • Silver gilt! Hope it works out for you! If it's only your 2nd date with him seems a bit early to be chatting about Lupus, etc in too much detail. I don't see not talking about it as being dishonest but about protecting self. Trust, there are plenty who will try to take advantage of someone who is vulnerable. Having been the giver & receiver of such news before I've even got to know the true being is a passion killer. My health is complicated so once I start talking about it, I can't stop (I live with 8 health conditions). It's made me a lot more conscious of how I communicate with others. Remember comm is two way. Talking intensely on 1st/2nd date about illness, addiction, death, exes, abuse etc without any laughs, fun, passion, inspiration is not my thing. But each to their own. THIS IS ABOUT YOU finding out what works for you & what doesn't. Seems like you're identifying that more so that's a great start. Enjoy! Be in the moment! Live & Learn! Love & Laugh! Take care! x

  • i agree with u be careful as some just wont a nitch in bedposts sorry to say so have fun before u say to much maybe in a few weeks after a few dates,

    sorry to be off putting do hope it does work just enjoy each moment u can

  • heh, well deities knows I've had a fair few notches myself back in the day! However, if the guy wanted to scratch an itch, heaven knows he could find someone a lot more healthy and a fair bit less problematic! but thanks for that.

  • Go girl!

    I think you should ,,as I know you can,keep the sense of humour and fun in "the talk" .

    Phrases such as "you know when folk roll over after enjoying each ither for a cigarette in the film's?Well I will need something a little stronger.A tott of morphine.I really thinkk youre amazing and wtprth it but well out of practice exercise and all that means i will ache more than most."

    Let him know the actual fun won't hurt you and that decorating would have the same after effect but you just wanted to make him aware.

    Then If he is still ok give a very simple explanation of lupus and its up,down nature.

    If he's worth the time and energy he should hope full understand.

    Good luck x

  • Bless, that's a good idea, thank you. It has been in the back of my mind, as when he offered to take my hand to help me over my old adversary (STAIRS), he held it SO gently, like he was afraid my fingers would break. I thought 'Oh, man, you're going to panic every time one of my joints pop.' So being the crass, tactless hag I am, I'll probably tell him it may hurt, but I'll be enjoying it immensely and won't care.

    Hehe, thanks!

  • He is a grown man he wants to be with you .

    He made need a period of adjustment or not

    I had a stoma which had problems leaks woke up in Poo more times than I care to say in the end the hernia toon and strangulation resulted in me being in the bath most of the time has bag was not an option my partner still loved me and I was covered in Poo most of the time.

    When I came off fentanyl I was in nappies .

    I had a breakdown as well .

    If you can stand outside yourself and say this is my condition and this is me and part of being with me is accepting what limitations that the condition makes on my life and my bodily functions ,don't apologise for these .

    Sex is a messy business if you are doing it right there are lots of bodily fluids .

    Hey there are loads of people who are seriously into them.

    I think it's brilliant that you are going for it .

    Mood lighting may help you to cope better .

    Be proud of you.

    Perhaps deal with stuff as it comes ,be up front ,joke even.

    I've had some dreadful operations too my body it is possible to want and have more I certainly do so all the best and let us know how you get on .

    Make the best of being in the moment with him.

  • Also and this is me being up front it may hurt after but if you can come than the seratonin would help counteract this ,maybe being in touch with what works for you now which you very well maybe might be more confidence inducing .

    Perhaps asking him what he likes .

    You could take it slowly and get to know each other intimately gradually so there isn't too much pressure or singular expectation and then you are in control of what does and doesn't work perhaps it will increase pleasure ,hope this doesn't sound patronising .

    It hurts me when I even receive a cuddle because of the pressure and not knowing wher I'm going to be touched but if I give the cuddle I can control the stimulus more and then the experience is one of pleasure .

    I have also got to know me more what works and what doesn't and lupus aside good sex can hurt emotionally and physically because it's a release of tension.

    I don't have lupus but I ended up on this sight through medication query but I have fentanyl induced hyperalgesia etc everything hurts , but there is the want for normality and pleasure as well are there any low impact exercises that would help you with tolerance and strength .all the best.

  • Hi Silvergilt. Your post well conveys your dilemma, and also managed to give me a good laugh. I, too, would fancy a shag sometime before I'm 80! (And I'm married! Or perhaps it's because I'm married??) Ongoing gynae woes have ruled out any fun in the bedroom here for MANY months. But that's in no small part because I can't face having to 'perform' on a very large Tena bed pad! However I think I've been too cautious; life is probably too short to worry too much about such things. There's generally always a way around challenges, I'm thinking. A dimmed room i.e. low lights or curtains pulled largely to if during the day, for example. Might also work for you and divesting yourself of your incontinence pads too? Of course, it's easy for me to say: I'm with someone I know very well and who knows me very well. But why not have a timely 'before chat' about one or two of the really major issues that are worrying you to see if this man's reaction is reassuring enough for you to feel comfortable go ahead, but then leave the rest to pan out? Hope it goes well, and have fun!!

  • What an interesting post. Good for you. I read it and reread it to my husband. He said be honest. He felt that we all have things we would rather not share, your new friend may have some too. Maybe he would like a shag before he's 80 with you in or out of mobility scooter (interesting) and opiates are made for such an occasion. All the best.

  • Welp, just so you all know, I needn't have worried. I now have the best boyfriend ever. So that's all good! And...ahem...other things are good to :D

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