How to Date with Endometriosis

Last updated: March 2019

Romantic partners, especially guys, can be skittish when it comes to talking about a host of woman’s health concerns, but especially our periods. There are several diamonds in the rough that are completely comfortable with these kinds of conversations, but what I have found is, generally speaking, it’s a topic they would prefer to avoid.

It’s foreign to them, and let’s be honest, it’s not the most romantic topic. That said, if you’re living with endometriosis, it’s a significant part of your life and it’s important your significant other be aware of it. The reality is that, sometimes, it’s inevitable for the discussion to happen, because if you struggle to get out of bed somedays, they’re going to wonder what’s going on. So, having the conversation is bound to happen one way or another.

When to talk about it

I’m not, by any means, suggesting that this is a first date topic, or something that you dive into even your first month. However, if you’re advancing to a committed relationship, it’s important that your partner can understand and support you.

So, the discernment on timing is the first step and that’s something that only you can decide. Some relationships move faster than others, so it’s less about the physical time that’s passed and more where you are emotionally in your relationship.

The bottom line, if a person is worth dating, they will care enough and be mature enough to have the conversation.

How to talk about it

Personally, I have had to talk with guys that I’ve dated about major medical issues I was dealing with at the time. Here’s what I found to be helpful in navigating those waters.

Keep the first conversation light

Plant the seed by letting them know what’s going on. If you get severe cramps, nausea, or fatigue, let them know that you’re not exaggerating pain, you have endometriosis, and how you’re managing it. Your partner doesn’t need to know details, just plant the seed, see if they have questions and then move on.

Let them know if you need their support and how they can help you

Once the person knows what’s going on, they're in a far better position to be able to support you. So, if there is anything specific you need or want support on, ask for it.

I kept the first conversation light and surface level, but I did end by saying that one of the ways I manage my health is through diet, so I’ll likely be asking for allergy-friendly menus at restaurants. Committing to this diet has made a big difference in how I feel, so it’s important to me. That way, I felt he understood what and why I was doing certain things when we went out on a date.

The same could be said if sleep is a big healing component for you. You could share that you tend to crash pretty early in the evenings, so if the person texts later at night, just know I’ll respond in the morning.

Have a follow up conversation if/when needed

If things change in your health, or if your partner doesn’t seem to be supporting you the way you need it, it might be time for a follow-up conversation.

What have been your best strategies for navigating the dating world with endometriosis?

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