Dating With a Chronic Illness
Let me start out by saying that before I had AS, dating was already a struggle for me. It only got harder once I was diagnosed with it. In the age of Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid etc., no one really takes the time to try and understand each other, or really care about the person’s feelings behind the screen.
So let’s start out with this. Now, I try to be super upfront about my illness, I tend to let people know right off the bat that this is what I’m going through, and they can take it or leave it. To be fair, I’d say the majority of the guys I’ve told about my AS take it well. That being said though, the conversations don’t tend to last long after I “come out” with it. At first, this would upset me, but now I’m so open with everyone about my illness that I honestly don’t care. If they can’t handle it, they can get out of my life. It sounds harsh, but that’s kind of how I’ve learned to be with people about my illness. I go through enough on a daily basis just being me that I don’t need anyone else’s opinions if they can’t take it.
So one thing I’ve noticed with dating apps is that if you don’t respond to people, some of them take it so personally that they then choose to insult you. I know that every girl, regardless of chronic illness, goes through this too. And to be honest, it’s pathetic. A person would probably never act like that in a public setting, but because they’re behind a screen, they feel like they can say whatever they want with no repercussions.
Here’s another example. Would anyone ever ask this to my face after just meeting me? Probably not, and if they did, I would immediately walk away. Guys on dating apps think they can just get away with anything like it’s no big deal. This question is just so gross to me, and I can’t even imagine what girls with endometriosis go through.
These two screenshots are from a person I went on a few dates with. I was very upfront about having AS, chronic depression, and social anxiety. At first, he was seemingly very supportive and caring about my conditions. As we started talking more, the real him came out, and it was quite honestly disgusting. He started accusing me of being lazy (when the most common symptom of both AS and depression is chronic fatigue), even when I defended myself over and over again. He would also tell me to “just think of a time when I was happy” when I was feeling depressed, and when I said that’s not how things work, he would tell me I’m not trying hard enough, and tell me that he wanted me to be happy so that’s why he was being so harsh. Guess what? That’s called manipulation. When we finally ended whatever the hell that was, he told me that he was too “mentally strong” (who says that?) to understand why I couldn’t snap out of my depression. I remember talking to my psych about this conversation and her just going “what the hell? That’s so personal!”. And it was, for someone who only took me on a few dates. Needless to say, I’m extremely cautious with everyone I meet, because this was probably the worst case I had to deal with while dating.
If you have a chronic illness and are wrapped up in the dating world, let me just say that I feel for you and I can relate. Dating apps, in general, are the worst, but I know that when you have your own stuff going on, it makes dating and meeting people so much harder. Just know that you’re worth more than whatever these people say to you, and please don’t let them get to you. Your health and well-being are way more important than putting up with trash.