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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender » Have you come across someone who could not understand you when revealing your disease on a date?


05-01-2013, 12:29 PM   #1
WadeszWorld
 
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Have you come across someone who could not understand you when revealing your disease on a date?

I always think about this as well. How do you cope with this? I hate not knowing if someone can handle being with someone with Crohn's or Colitis. I am referencing people who are not compassionate because sadly I have run across them and I am sure a lot of you have on here as well. Just want to hear some of your stories on here with dating and having the other person give a negative response or reaction because I know others out there can relate to me here. So what have been your experiences?
05-01-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
Inwe
 
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I've been pretty fortunate with people understanding. My first boyfriend was Ok with it but the way I had to tell him was MOST embarrassing, let's just say it involved me getting sick at a party with his friends and then just blurting out that I had a chronic illness. Sigh*

Though, I really get nervous on what I'm going to do when I start dating again (currently single) and have to tell new fellas. I've mostly come to this thread to see what others have to say and how they deal with negative responses. Hopefully I can learn a thing or two
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05-01-2013, 04:55 PM   #3
nogutsnoglory
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I think most people are compassionate but not "understanding". I say this because I think you need to be cruel and heartless not to care about another fellow human being whom is suffering but at the same time it's hard to truly understand what this disease is like unless you live with it or are with someone who has it and by proxy suffer as a caretaker.

I was going out with one guy and things were going really well, we were close to defining ourselves as being boyfriends. It was at this point that I knew I had to be honest about my disease and when I told him about it his entire mood shifted, he became distant and unfriendly and was unresponsive to future calls and texts. I never saw him again and think he may have responded to me with some bogus excuse about how he was really busy and suddenly couldn't make time for anyone else in his life. I know two words are what changed everything and it was "crohn's disease". This guy happened to work in a hospital, albeit not in a clinical capacity but he knew what crohn's was and I didn't even need to go into detail. All I said was I need to be careful with what I eat. I didn't say I am on meds, I didn't say I have diarrhea, blood, pain or that surgery can be involved multiple times in ones lifespan. Maybe if I said all that, he would have jumped out of the chair and ran to the door before our date ended!

I haven't done much serious dating because I was in a relationship and my disease wasn't as bad before that relationship. It now totally controls my life and anyone who will be part of it will need to accept and deal with the ups and downs of this illness.

I'm sorry you have had a few bad experiences. Care to share? Maybe through brainstorming we can all learn to improve our game while still being honest about this serious and uncomfortable issue.
06-04-2013, 12:53 PM   #4
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Not just a date but I have lost two long-term partners due to Crohns because they couldn't handle it. The first was a woman I had been with for ten years during the time I was diagnosed, and the second partner I was with for three years before she decided the load was too heavy to bear. Unfortunately I don't think this is an uncommon experience for people -- gay or straight -- with chronic illnesses. Frankly, if I could walk away from this disease, I might do the same.

It's hard to know when to divulge to a new person you are seeing. While I think it's important to be up front early on, you also don't want Crohns to define who you are to another person, even if it dictates so much of what you do on a daily basis. I find it works best to be matter-of-fact, not overly dramatic, e.g. Oh, yeah, I inject this stuff, and No, I can't eat that, and Sorry, I've gotta go (and it's not going to be pretty!) Humor helps, too, if you can muster it.

As a lesbian, I've faced some challenges finding a partner who doesn't want to "fix" me. I've been told that if I'd just go on a macrobiotic diet, that if I turned vegan, that if I'd avoid exhaust fumes, etc. the Crohns would go away. I even dated one woman who insisted I didn't have Crohns at all but had celiac disease. (Thank you, Dr. Rainbowomon!)

I believe there are a lot of people out there who can't handle being with someone who has a long-term illness with no cure. You don't want to be with them because you'll either end up lying about symptoms or how you are feeling to protect them, or they will make it all about them, as if they are the one bearing a huge burden. Having Crohns is exhausting enough; you don't need added grief from a partner who can't handle it.

Happily I have been with the same partner now for nearly 12 years and we've been through enough together that I know she's in it for the long haul..
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06-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
nogutsnoglory
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Not just a date but I have lost two long-term partners due to Crohns because they couldn't handle it. The first was a woman I had been with for ten years during the time I was diagnosed, and the second partner I was with for three years before she decided the load was too heavy to bear. Unfortunately I don't think this is an uncommon experience for people -- gay or straight -- with chronic illnesses. Frankly, if I could walk away from this disease, I might do the same.

It's hard to know when to divulge to a new person you are seeing. While I think it's important to be up front early on, you also don't want Crohns to define who you are to another person, even if it dictates so much of what you do on a daily basis. I find it works best to be matter-of-fact, not overly dramatic, e.g. Oh, yeah, I inject this stuff, and No, I can't eat that, and Sorry, I've gotta go (and it's not going to be pretty!) Humor helps, too, if you can muster it.

As a lesbian, I've faced some challenges finding a partner who doesn't want to "fix" me. I've been told that if I'd just go on a macrobiotic diet, that if I turned vegan, that if I'd avoid exhaust fumes, etc. the Crohns would go away. I even dated one woman who insisted I didn't have Crohns at all but had celiac disease. (Thank you, Dr. Rainbowomon!)

I believe there are a lot of people out there who can't handle being with someone who has a long-term illness with no cure. You don't want to be with them because you'll either end up lying about symptoms or how you are feeling to protect them, or they will make it all about them, as if they are the one bearing a huge burden. Having Crohns is exhausting enough; you don't need added grief from a partner who can't handle it.

Happily I have been with the same partner now for nearly 12 years and we've been through enough together that I know she's in it for the long haul..
I'm sorry that your experiences in the past were so harsh and that you lost partners over this disease. Obviously they weren't right for you if they couldn't see past it.

I definitely agree its hard to know when to tell a mate but earlier is better, why invest time if they are going to leave upon hearing the news. I also think being humorous about a subject like this that isn't funny makes it more digestible.

It's funny you say that most lesbians would tell you that you need to change your diet. Most of my lesbian friends are vegetarian or vegan for health or animal rights reasons. I think as a whole though lesbians tend to be less judge mental and more open to dealing with hardships in life than gay men. I could be wrong but it seems like women are more compassionate and can see the whole picture whereas men are more narrow minded.

I'm happy to hear you found a partner who has stuck it through, it is really nice to hear about so many on this forum with supportive partners. It gives me hope that one day I can join that club.

Anyways, welcome to the LGBT forum and feel free to also join our support group http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=47953
06-05-2013, 09:29 AM   #6
Samboi
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I dated somebody recently for about three months. Initially she was ok with it.
Our second date was in hospital - so she was under no illusions about my ill health.
As it transpired - I discovered after we broke up - that she didn't want to partner with a "sick" person. It was a blessing in disguise.

All of my other previous long term partners have been absolutely ok with it - very supportive and it has in no way impacted on the relationship. I have enjoyed very long periods of remission though - so there have not really been any problems until recently. And to be honest - I am glad I have been single during my most recent flare. It was brutal and I am not sure a relationship would have survived it.
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06-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #7
kiltubrid
 
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My experience, NGNG, has been that many lesbians are extremely judgmental about what other people eat. It may be a generational thing -- I'm in my mid 50s. Younger lesbians may be much more open-minded. Other than food, most lesbians do tend to be fairly open-minded and embracing of differences.

I went to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival once and it was a nightmare when it came to food. But there was actually a Crohns Disease support group there which was great. Nine people came to the meeting, but only three of us had Crohns. The others wanted to offer their opinions. All the Crohnies wanted to talk about was what the hell we were finding that we could eat. Bananas and hard boiled eggs were about it.
06-05-2013, 10:46 AM   #8
Samboi
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You know Kiltubrid - you are spot on!
The last woman I went out with was extremely forthright about telling me what I should and should not be eating.
She did not understand the nuances of things like paleo and low res.
She was extremely bossy about putting me on a gluten free diet and banning all kinds of foods.
It was actually a bit of a nightmare. She had no idea what she was talking about.
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