Are you in a relationship with someone with Crohn's disease? Or are you even interested in someone that has a chronic illness and you're not sure what to expect when it comes to dating that person? Well stay tuned because I will give you the do's and don'ts of dating someone with a chronic illness.
Now before we dive in what you have to remember is that having a chronic condition can affect each individual differently and how it can affect that individual can vary from day to day so let me take you through the do's and don'ts of dating someone with Crohn's or Colitis.
1: Communication is key. Let them know that you are there for them ask them if they want you involved in hospital appointments for support or in helping them with taking medications. Some medications like biologics require them to be injecting themselves so they may require some assistance if you both are living together. It can be worth asking them how comfortable they are in discussing their disease with you they may not be that comfortable if the relationship is early but give them time to become more and more comfortable with you.
2: You may become the main person for them to vent to. They will no doubt need multiple Hospital tests and be prodded and poked all the time and can become frustrated of being sick all the time this can cause them to make you their number one person to go to vent to. Just make sure you're there for them showing your support it can go such a long way.
3: Don't get so focused on their condition that you don't live your life your partner has a chronic illness and you don't so it's important to live your own life as well in order to avoid feeling trapped which can essentially cause you to resent the relationship and cause it to break down.
4: Talk about intimacy believe it or not Crohn's disease and other chronic conditions can affect intimacy and sometimes can put strains on relationships because some people may not feel comfortable being intimate with their partners because of the physical symptoms that they of their Crohn's disease you also have to remember the combination of fatigue symptoms and side effects of medications can impact things on things like sex drive and cause a negative body image which can cause your partner to close up and not be as comfortable showing their full selves to you. Intimacy is a key part of helping us connect with the other person but intimacy doesn't just have to be physical it can be emotional as well.
5: Don't dismiss their condition this can make them feel like it's their fault for having Crohn's disease or other conditions which in reality they had no choice in having it's just the luck of the draw for them never use their condition against them as this can do serious damage to not only their self-esteem but to the relationship as well.
6: Don't take everything so personally there are some things that no matter how open you are about having Crohn's disease can still be very embarrassing to talk about some people can be a literal open book and disclose all but some still may want to keep some things private if this is the case don't take it personally it takes time to open up about some intimate intricacies of Crohn's disease and once they're at the stage where they feel comfortable with you then you'll find they'll start to open up a bit more.
7: Try and understand their disease do what you can to read up on it and find out how it can affect them even their medications learning about their condition can be one of the biggest signs of support because it shows them you're putting in the effort to understand what they're going through.
8: Don't pity them yes it is tough having Crohn's disease and a lot of people do end up pitying or feeling sorry for us but we are not fragile we're not made out of glass we don't need to be wrapped up in bubble wrap out of fear we're going to break we can live perfectly normal lives with a few adjustments so don't try and overdo things by trying to do everything for them and essentially mummy them.
9: Don't underestimate the effects of a flare with Crohn's disease it can seem that there are more bad days than good ones especially when you're going through a flare if your partner is going through a flare one of the best things you can do is just be there like the previous points I've made don't try and overdo things but just let them know that you are there for them if they need anything also be prepared to speak up as many of us under play our flares and we don't see how bad we can get if you feel that your partner is under playing things then you may need to be the one that makes that decision to say enough is enough you're going to hospital.
There you have it my top nine tips on how to date someone with inflammatory bowel disease. Hope that has helped.