I want to start dating again but I don't even know where or how to start

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I want to start dating again but I don't even know where or how to start

Post by inertia on Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:25 pm

Hi all, its been a while. I am back.

I have a lot on my plate.   I am in a bit of a problem I thought I didn't have to worry about this.  I thought I was okay being by myself because my problems are a lot to drop on other people.  I had people in my life aka.  familit and friends that I got a sense of social inertaction and social intimacy from.  Now all of a sudden I have this feeling that I would life to have someone special with and I don't know how to do it.

So anyways let me proceed to drop my problems here.

I have been living with chronic illnesses (both autoimmune/autoinflammatory).  I have ulcerative colitis which is a digestive track condition and it effects what I can eat because over the years (7 since I have been diagnose I have made certain dietary changes that have helped keep my gut less annoyed with me.  I had 6 years of chronic pain where the doctors I have been seeing pretty much ignored me and didn't listen to me when I was saying something wasn't right until I finally screamed at one of then and he finally reffered me to a rheumatologist and I finally got a diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis.  which is a conition that attacks the muscular sceletal system.  I am actually getting treatment and I am feeling at least more control over my life and I feel like I have both conditions (which neither have a cure)  under control and I have figured out things that help and some of the things that make my body hate me.  

the last date i have been on was 4 years ago.  I didn't know the guy very well and I didn't want to explain the pain away and I didn't expect him to get very sexually agressive with me. He wasnt listening to me when I gave verbal and non verbal nos... or was taking them as push harder. I was terrfied that I was going to do something to fight off the guy I was going to set the pain off and it was still going to happen. The only way I got out of that situation without feeling completely violated is he went to get a condom and it gave me a little time to leave.

Since then I have gotten better about actually being a little more open about my problems. Working that with friends and what not.  Its hard sometimes because It is the type of thing a lot of people just don't understand.  Its not something that you can't truly fully understand the extent of the realites of living with chronic illnesses until you find yourself in that situation.  I have people act like the accomodations you need is too much to ask for and other people are really good about it.  I don't feel as bad about it with friends because usually I see them when I have better periods and on my worse days I foccus on self care.

I just feel like with a significant other you are piling a lot more of the problem on them.  Unfortunately  I am afraid of scaring them off but it is something I know I have to disclose earlier rather than later and hope they like me enough to want to be there.

I don't know if this is a rant or what.  Or if I just need commiserating because I just don't know how to deal with me all of a sudden wanting to find a significant other.

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Re: I want to start dating again but I don't even know where or how to start

Post by Enail on Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:28 pm

Inertia, this sounds so hard! I've got a chronic pain condition too, and something that's been really hard is suddenly feeling so much more vulnerable knowing how costly physical self-defense would be on my body; your experience with that guy sounds awful and terrifying enough without that kind of extra impact, and I'm so sorry you went through that.

Also, much commiseration about people in your life who don't get it or who give you a hard time about accommodations. I hear you, and it sucks, and I wish I had more useful to say about it. :/  

I can't speak to dating, but wrt significant others, sharing your problems with each other doesn't have to be burdening or a bad thing. My wife and I both have chronic health problems, and while things can be really hard and there are a lot of practical ways it would be easier for each of us if our partner was healthy, it's absolutely worth it; we come through for each other in the ways that we can and do our best to make each other's life easier, and I couldn't imagine a better partner, problems or no.

Of course, some people aren't up for taking on the challenges of dating someone with a chronic illness, but that doesn't mean that no one is, or that it's inherently putting too much on someone to date them, and I hope you won't hold yourself back from trying dating if you want to because of it. Everyone has problems of one kind or another, and no one knows what problems they'll have in the future when they start dating, so it's not like there's anyone out there who can guarantee to never have health issues or other things that will affect their significant others -  if you're doing your best to be kind and considerate with your dates about the problems you have, you're doing as well as anyone can.
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Re: I want to start dating again but I don't even know where or how to start

Post by inertia on Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:34 am

Thanks.

I don't think I knew what I wanted out of the post when I first posted it. I think I just needed to say my feelings and apprehensions and feel understood and thank you for that.

I am sorry about having to have the burden of chronic pain too. its not something I would wish on anyone.

Vulnerable is a good word to feel in relationship to my body. I think that would probably dictate how I go about finding someone. It's not like I am expecting them to know. just hope that they would be willing to ask the questions I guess. I think it might be a question of what methods to use going about it. I will have to figure on that.

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Re: I want to start dating again but I don't even know where or how to start

Post by BlackBart on Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:45 am

First of all, I'm so sorry that you had to go through that horrible situation. I can't even imagine how terrible it must've felt, especially since on top of abuse you had your condition to worry about.

I can speak from experience that chronic conditions can screw up lmost everything when it comes to social life, be it dating or just hanging out with people. Since birth i've been dealing with epilepsy and it really restricts my options as to what I can do. What's worse, peoples awareness of it is absolutely horrible. I've recently talked with a woman whosw daughter has epilepsy, and she said that instead of taking medical mesures, they are just going to wait - maybe it goes away on its own? Ugh...if only it was so simple.

Also, when it comes to people who are healthy, they just don't understand, or don't care to understand. I mean, with epilepsy I can't drink alcohol, and I had to explain time and time again why I stick with sodas and juice, while others chug booze. After a while I just stopped going out and separated myself from people altogether to avoid another round of "Come one, a little sip won't hurt you!"

I wish I had a helpful advice for you, inertia, but, unfortunately, I don't. The best I can say is, try to surround yourself with peopl who understand you. And know when to back away when they become to invasive.

Best of luck  Smile

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Re: I want to start dating again but I don't even know where or how to start

Post by inertia on Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:55 pm

My in-depth knowledge of epilepsy isn't as great as yours, plus there are several different types. My sister has a type of nocturnal epilepsy (she obnly gets them when she is sleeping) I don't remember the exact name for it, but she was flagged for having epilepsy and she has had such a hard time being able to get the her drivers licenses because even with the evaluation from the neurologist that she the type she has only occurs when she is sleeping (and there are bigger problems if you are sleeping and driving at the same time).

It seems to blow my mind the way some people mistrust the medical field... mind you I am Canadian and not American, which I am so grateful so I don't have to worry about if I would able to afford to see all the doctors. Life style changes and choices are necessary to make to keep as much of your life functional, but that doesn't mean forgoing medication and treatment. Without it there would be many many days where I wouldn't be able to physically move myself out of bed.

I think I just needed a place to say how I was feeling and I really appreciate the empathy. I am sorry people can be kinda shitty and ignorant when it comes to this stuff. You are right I don't think it is something you can fully know the extent of unless you are living with it. the severe pain started about 6 years ago. I was about 25/26 and it still annoys the hell out of me If I am going about my business and I am in pain people who are much older than me say well wait until you're my age. Or people know you have dietary issues but they want to go out to eat but don't want to consult you. All you can do really is try to spend your time and energy on the people who make the effort to try to be understanding.

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Re: I want to start dating again but I don't even know where or how to start

Post by Enail on Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:27 pm

Yes! The "wait till you're my age" thing fills me with rage! I'm always half-tempted to tell them at least they got the time when they were my age to be healthy, whereas when I'm old, I'll be like this plus whatever problems of old age I get.  Angry
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Re: I want to start dating again but I don't even know where or how to start

Post by jcorozza on Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:20 am

Ugh, inertia, that whole scenario from your "date" sounds like a shit sandwich served with shit dipping sauce. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, but glad to see that you've been able to get more comfortable opening up about the tough stuff.

I agree with Enail that sharing your burdens with a partner doesn't have to weight them down, especially if you make it clear that you are also there to listen to theirs.

While I don't understand anti-vaxxer types, I do see why many people, especially women, PoC, LGBTQ folks, etc. would have trouble trusting doctors. We tend to get told that we're exaggerating our pain when we have problems (sounds like you went through this as well), or that we're making it up entirely. I went through several years of OGBYNs trying to give me extremely painful exams until one finally realized that I wasn't just bad with pain, but that I had an actual condition. A friend of mine was in a car accident, and every time she goes to doctors for follow ups, and tells them about her dizzyness/nausea/etc., they dismiss her symptoms. And, hey, if you're a fat person, most doctors will absolutely blame any sort of health problem you encounter on your fatness. My sister once had a doctor basically tell her she could "man up" her way out of depression. So while I trust that the science behind the medical field is usually pretty sound, doctors themselves are biased, and that can sow distrust.
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