Why would anyone want to date me?

I wasn’t going to write this post because it is too painful, but then I remembered that it’s because this is so painful that it needs to be written.  It’s the tough stuff that we don’t talk about, that we try to ignore, that we bury deep down, which we most need to talk about.

Today I was listening to someone talk about her cousin and how he has a new girlfriend.  The other person was surprised.  “Good luck to her!”  “Why would anyone want to date him, with all of his [health] problems?”  I quickly changed the subject.  I don’t think they knew how I heard their comments, how I related them to me and to my situation.

Before I go further, I should be honest and say that my health issues are just one reason I don’t open up to people dating-wise.  I also have trust issues.  I know this, I just haven’t figured out how to move past it.  I have been in love twice.  The first time, we were together 2 years when he told me he didn’t love me anymore.  The second time, we were together almost 3 years, had rented an apartment together, had bought furniture together, had shopped for engagement rings, and had discussed how many kids we wanted to have, when he walked out.  So even if someone says they love me, how can I believe they mean it and will stick around?  So yeah, there’s that.

Now, when it comes to the health stuff, I often find myself wondering why anyone would want to date me once they know about it.  The big relationships I had were before I was so sick.  I believe a relationship may be possible now, but how can I get to that point?  After all, there are plenty of not-so-sick people out there who they could be dating.  And yes, I know I have plenty of great qualities to offer.  And I’m not just saying that, I really do know that I have some terrific qualities.  The problem is, my dates won’t know that!  It takes some time to get to know someone, and in the meantime, while they’re still learning about my odd sense of humor and my desire to help everyone I know, they’ve already seen my limp, observed my odd eating, noticed that I don’t do many fun activities like hiking or skiing, and been cancelled on twice.  I am a pretty fantastic person in so many ways, but I don’t expect anyone to learn that until, or unless, they’re willing to look past all of the health crap.

I see other CI folks with spouses and I wonder how they do it.  Obviously some of them met before the CIs set in, but some of them didn’t.  Some of them met and fell in love knowing full well what they were getting in to.  I suppose I could meet someone like that.  I just can’t imagine how it could possibly happen.  And if I do meet someone that’s willing to look past the health crap and see me for me?  I guess that’s someone worth holding on to.

And maybe that will be a person worth trusting.

How do you handle dating?  I’m on a dating hiatus while I focus on health treatments, but I hope to be dating again within the year.  How do you get past the fear?

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14 Responses to Why would anyone want to date me?

  1. Tony says:

    I don’t have a “chronic” illness, but I do have an autoimmune disease that kills off the pigment of my skin, called vitiligo, and I can understand.
    It’s not contagious or anything, but people always look at me funny and are afraid of me because I got these big white patches on your skin. Dating becomes a big problem when you always expect the worst to happen when you meet anyone. That’s probably why I haven’t dated anyone in many years now.
    Sorry there’s so many people out there that can’t see past illnesses and notice the wonderful person that’s behind it.
    I wish you all the best, and hopefully you’ll find someone that truly deserves you and will love you forever, no matter what.

    • chronicrants says:

      Thanks, Tony, for your kind wishes. And I wish the same for you. It’s so infuriating when people focus on visible conditions and don’t look past them. I hope you find someone who doesn’t focus on your skin but on what’s beneath it.

  2. Margaret Ann Mryer says:

    I have many health issues including, Cerebral Palsy, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, had, Kidney Cancer, just got cleared of it. I had big tumors on my Ovary & back, Bladder issues, & I’m in a wheelchair.
    But I have the most loving fiance I could ever want. I am truly blessed. I hope you find someone special for you.

    • chronicrants says:

      Margaret, thank you for sharing your situation. I find those stories inspiring. I need to keep getting those reminders that, yes, there are people out there who can look past the illnesses and love us for who we are. Congratulations getting cleared! And congratulations on your engagement! And thanks also for your kind wishes 🙂

  3. Lorna says:

    You are such a positive, optimistic lady!
    If I were single I don’t think I would have the courage to open myself up at all to a new person. I would definitely be afraid of being judged. I know you haven’t dated for a while but you are still willing to try and that itself is wonderful. Don’t ever give up there has got to bee someone out there for you, that will love you no matter what is thrown your way.
    I think sometimes we CI people are very critical and hard on ourselves – we are what we are – and it is just working round issues that arise without seeming standoffish.
    My partner and I have been together for twenty years and he has seen me deterioate and found it hard at first. specially of what I could or couldn’t do. After three years of CI he now gets it and we try to have a date day/night once a week as itis very easy to loose the romance and just focus on the CI.
    Oh and by the way .there are a lot of people who don;t think skiing or hiking is fun and love other more sedate,safe,fun activities. (including me)
    Hugs
    Lorna x

    • chronicrants says:

      Lorna, I’m happy for your that you have such a wonderful, supportive partner. It sounds like he really “gets it.” Regular dates are a good idea – I’ll keep that in mind in case I’m ever in a relationship 🙂 And yes, I guess I need to find someone who is more interested in board games than in hiking.

  4. ranton2011 says:

    I can say that as the spouse of the one with “CI” that love comes when you are not looking, I know that sounds so awfully cliche, but that is only because it is. It is however true. Your CI will change you time and time again, It will alter all your relationships, for good or bad. Mostly good though, because its sort of like a reallllly good weeding for a garden, the bad goes, the good stays, and the beautiful flowers, will grow. (Man I had no idea I was so deep!)

    But when you find that ONE. who is out there for everyone, illness, chronic or acute, terminal or curable it won’t matter. Love conquers ALL of that. I know, I have been through hell and back and back again and again and again with my CIer for a LOOOOOONGGG time. I was 14 when I started to love him, I am 41 now, he has been a member of the CI club for 18 years now. Two days before thanksgiving of this year a “OOPS” while he was being treated for his CI nearly killed him. I did not even know there even for sure was a god before this event happened and he LIVED (there is NO other explanation other than miracle, no joke) but it makes you KNOW the power of who is meant for you. When he was in the CCU after the “oops” and I was somehow driving to get to him for what I thought was goodbye, I cannot tell you what a mess, I was thinking I would be without him. As much as I bitch too about his CI, I love the big blockhead. You will get that. I assure you. When the time is right.

    There are those that see past the ILL and to the person. You have to believe me too, know why? I am a nurse.

    • chronicrants says:

      Ranton, thank you so much for sharing your situation. Sometimes I feel jealous and bitter, but usually I find it reassuring, and your message was definitely reassuring. I am very happy for you both that you found each other, and I hope to one day find someone who will see all of the great things about me and not be put off by my health problems, just like you and your partner. Thanks for reminding me of the possibilities.

  5. migraineuse says:

    Hey, thanks for posting and for the comments. I swing between the cynical/bitter, the denial/naive and very occasionally get glimpses of a realistic and workable future featuring Another Human…..I’ve had a period of self imposed ‘just me’ time recently (see post below – it has echoes of your own above so I thought I’d share). I’ve just needed all my energy for recovering for a while and new relationships, while they can be intoxicating and amazing, can be risky and destabilising too (as I found to my cost). But I think I – like you – seem to be ready to move on now so…..hope the dating goes well…..!! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts x

    http://openlettersonmigraine.com/2013/07/17/an-appeal-to-humans/

    • chronicrants says:

      I’m actually pulling away from the idea of dating again. Like you said in your post, we only have so much energy. I think I need to prioritize, and right now, dating is just a lower priority. That doesn’t have to be permanent, but it’s what’s best for me right now, and that’s ok. I hope you’re doing well with dating!

      • migraineuse says:

        That’s totally fair. And positive to make that kind of space for oneself I think 🙂 For me……um, slow progress I guess. But that too is intentional and deliberate!

        I really felt so isolated before talking through these kinds of issues online and with friends (easier now, very difficult to express at the start). I felt like it somehow cut to the heart of what my condition was actually taking away from me. So thanks again for writing with such openness.

      • chronicrants says:

        I’m glad you’ve found a way to do this that works for you. Slow progress is just fine if that’s what works for you. Congratulations and good luck! I think talking about it is always so much better than feeling isolated 🙂

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  7. […] and I didn’t always feel up to doing things with the ones who were local. I wondered “Why would anyone want to date me?” even while I knew that was a horrible frame of […]

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