chronic illness · dating · disability · disabled · relationships

My Nonexistent Dating Life

Guess what! I am 25 years old and have never been on a date! Yes, that is 100% true. Sure, I’ve been asked out on dates, but for one reason or another, they just never happened.

Dating in general is difficult, for many, many reasons. For one thing, its really hard to meet someone. I don’t go very many places. Just concerts, hospitals…there’s my social life! I don’t go out as much as I used to, partially due to my health, and partially because my friends all have jobs that wear them out. I doubt I’ll ever meet a guy while I’m out. Does anyone just randomly meet anyone else like that anymore? What ever happened to falling in love picking out produce in the grocery store? Since meeting someone while out and about isn’t going to happen, I do online dating. Its proved successful for quite a few people I know. Maybe it will be for me? Who knows. I’ve been trying online dating on and off since I was 18. I have been asked out on dates by some of these guys, but the dates have never really happened.

The first guy to ever ask me out ended up getting upset over the fact that I kept rescheduling our date. I was 18, in my first semester of college, and I had a urinary tract infection, ear infection, and sinus infection all at the same time. This was before my chronic illnesses got worse, but my immune system has always been a hot mess. He thought I was just making up being sick to avoid going out with him. It wasn’t true, I really was sick.

There have been some other notable guys to ask me out over the years. One that really sticks out is the one that had a fetish for disabled women. I didn’t figure it out right off the bat, but I did figure it out. I wasn’t open about my illnesses yet, but I was open about my deafness. I still am really open about my deafness. This guy was OBSESSED with the fact that I’m Deaf. Its all he wanted to talk about. The whole situation was weird. He was borderline harassing me, and I unfortunately couldn’t change my phone number at the time. Eventually a friend’s boyfriend got involved and told the guy to leave me alone, since the guy wouldn’t listen to me.

I have been asked out by other guys, but its usually in such a manner that I ignore it. When the first sentence from a guy you’ve never met before is “let’s go out tonight”, my first instinct is to say no. Online dating can be a truly strange place, and I like to proceed with a lot of caution. If you have ever used OkCupid, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Something I have trouble with is telling potential dates that I’m sick and disabled. Talking about my deafness is not a problem. Its the whole “my health sucks and I’m never going to get better, in fact, things could get worse” thing that I have trouble talking about. Do I put it in my profile? Do I tell them once we’ve been talking for a while? Or maybe after they’ve asked me out? Should I tell them on our first date? I know I need to tell a potential date a some point, its just finding that right moment that I’m having trouble with. I’d like to think that its best to tell them before we go out, before we meet in person. The problem with that, because I have done it, is that they just stop talking to me. What if I told them on the first date, would they just get up and leave? Its such a sticky situation that I can’t seem to figure out.

I know that dating a sick woman isn’t ideal. But, being sick isn’t ideal either. Things will definitely be different, and a challenge, but I’d like to think that I’m worth it. I may have to cancel dates, we may have to Google restaurants to see if the place we want to eat at has food I can eat, we may have to change plans last minute out of realization that where we’re going isn’t accessible. But I want to make the best of it.

There are days when I really think that I will never meet that someone that accepts the fact that I am ill and will never get better. I do need to get rid of that mentality. I’m in quite a few chronic illness groups here on the internet, and so many people share their stories about meeting that person. I like to think that will happen for me someday too.

I still imagine getting married, buying a house, and possibly adopting some kids someday. Being sick doesn’t change that for me. I still want everything I wanted before. Things just have to happen a bit differently, that’s all. And I hope that someday I can meet a guy that realizes that too.

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