Planning Date Night During An Endo Flare-Up
Does endometriosis interfere with date nights and romance?
Jessica: It does to a degree, but that doesn’t mean date nights aren’t possible! I find that often I’m a bit too tired most week nights, and by Friday, I’m usually ready for my bed! So we don’t really have ‘date nights’, but tend to go for brunches together or cinema showings on a Sunday afternoon. The closest we get to a date night is on a Saturday night, as I know I have the option of sleeping in on a Sunday morning, so we can stay out a bit later.
Chris: It definitely has some impact. Some of the most common romantic/date activities revolve around food and alcohol, with also can be big triggers for people with ensue and best avoided during a flare-up. Plus, these activities often take place later in the evening, and someone fatigued from endometriosis may find it difficult to be up and engaged at that time. For us, these are the two factors that affect our romantic plans the most.
How do you plan romantic time while also dealing with endometriosis?
Jessica: It’s about finding activities to do that are a bit more endo-friendly than others and also, tailoring date nights to the phase of my cycle that I’m in. For example, if we’re celebrating something and want a glass of wine, then it’s better we do that during my ovulatory phase as it’s then that I’ll feel the least impact from sugar and alcohol on my pain levels. Towards my period, we’re focusing on restful activities like gentle walks, movie nights in with sugar-free snacks or cinema trips, opting for salted popcorn over sweet (because sugar makes my pain levels worse).
Chris: We are quite ritualistic and habitual with our time together as well. We know what restaurants we like and Jess is able to eat at, I know when she can and can’t drink alcohol, we know what movies we like if we’re staying in, or what we want to see at a cinema. We have a list (mental, not physical - although writing it down could be very helpful) of safe places to go and activities to do. We sacrifice spontaneity, but get back health and happiness, which is far more important.
What tips do you have for other couples?
Jessica: I think it’s about being really proactive to seek out new places that cater for your needs, such as gluten-free restaurants or dairy-free supper clubs or pop-ups. There are so many events and interesting new activities these days; Get on websites like Airbnb to find out about ones in your area or seek out workshops or talks you could attend together.
Chris: I’d advise always having a plan B - a back up plan in case endo rears it’s head and you have to cancel drinks with another couple or a fancy dinner reservation. Just because the original plan has changed and the person with endo may be in pain or struggling in another way, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still take the opportunity to spend quality time together, however that may be.
Has intimacy with your partner been affected because of endometriosis symptoms?