Dating is tough in general, but when you have ulcerative colitis, it can be even tougher. All hope is not lost. Many people with UC date successfully, enter marriage, and have children successfully. Below, I will discuss the importance of not being a whiner, being confident and honest, partnering with a nurturer, and focusing on gratitude.
Don’t Be a Whiner
Take it from me; nobody is going to completely understand your predicament with UC except for others who suffer from the same malady. Nobody wants to be around a whiner no matter the circumstances. Try to remember this when you really want to whine about your current suffering. Instead of complaining to your partner consistently, you can go to an online forum or call a friend who also has UC. They will understand and may have a larger tolerance for current complaints. Many people in general are simply not aware about their complaining because it is second nature and its been utilized as a coping method most of their lives. How about you? Are you aware about your level of complaining with your partner? This isn’t a reason to feel guilty or beat yourself up; it’s simply a new level of awareness that can help you become healthier while developing effective relationship skills.
Be Confident and Honest
My experience is that most people are very tolerant and non-judgmental about ulcerative colitis as long as you present yourself as a capable, nice individual who offers a lot of attributes. People quickly look past UC if they see positive attributes, which resonate with them. Consider that you “look normal” on the outside for the most part so visually people have no reason to judge you negatively. I don’t like hiding the fact very long from someone I am dating. I let them know relatively soon that I’ve had surgery and I’m healthy most of the time. I usually say something like “I used the bathroom a little more frequently than most people.” Again, I’ve never felt judged unfairly. If anything, I’ve probably always judged myself more harshly than others. This is a wonderful reality that others can be so tolerant and I’m grateful for this kindness in the world, which I sometimes overlook.
Find a Nurturer
Some people are naturally nurturers and some people don’t want to be bothered. Now, you have to be careful when considering this idea because you don’t want to enter a relationship with a co-dependent caretaker. This sort of dynamic creates difficulty for both individuals and there are many therapeutic modalities and recovery groups that address this type of caretaking.
A nurturer is someone capable of empathy. They care when you are having a flare up or when you’re in pain. They offer to do simple things or just listen when you need to express your current health. There are many people in the world who possess this wonderful, natural quality. How about you? Do you tend to gravitate towards nurturers or people who abandon you when you need them most? Journal about your past relationships and notice a pattern. Do you need to raise self-esteem and begin attracting people who can give and receive with equanimity? I hope some of this makes sense. As someone with ulcerative colitis, you deserve to date someone with natural compassion, who can possibly become a long-term partner in marriage or another arrangement.
Focusing on Gratitude
Life is about attitude. Even though you have ulcerative colitis, think of the ways you are incredibly blessed. What have you noticed today that is wonderful and worthy of gratitude? There are so many small things. Right now it is July and there is one tree near my home that recently has a bird singing amazingly beautiful songs every day. I stand there and lookup at this bird and can’t believe the songs it composes. I swell with gratitude when I pay attention because it feels like heaven on Earth. This is just an example of slowing down and realizing all the miracles, which fosters gratitude. Your dating partner will sense this gratitude in you. Why? You are not needy. You are already abundant with gratitude and blessings so people naturally want to be around you.