Dating With Endometriosis: Rejected Due to My Illness
I have only recently gone back into the dating game. It has been everything I had expected to be: entertaining, a bizarre social experiment, and a crash course in ghosting.
Some weeks ago, it became a brutal, harsh experience.
I got "matched" with an, initially, lovely person. Yet, after seeing them for a short while, they put an end to our relationship because of my disease.
Talking about endometriosis while dating
I write about this disease and advocate whenever I can. Anyone that googles me, will easily find my columns.
In the case of the person I was dating, I didn't plan to tell them that early but made no effort to conceal my illness. The conversation just came up, and I mentioned how I lived in chronic pain.
Because of the under-researched nature of this disease, they had some questions. I explained how the disease worked, and how I managed my flare-ups.
They then mentioned a friend of theirs with a long-term disease, and how others treated them. This is when I made a massive mistake.
Innocently, I forwarded one of my articles.
Sharing my personal endo experiences
I sent them a column on how to navigate conversations when living with a chronic illness. It explained how frustrating it was when others saw us as "permanently ill".
I thought the article would help illustrate the conversation we were having. What I didn’t expect was that they would proceed to read every single piece I’ve ever written on the disease.
After some hours of silence, I got an upsetting phone call.
Chronic illness stigma while dating
They spent hours reading my entire catalog of endometriosis musings and had found it all shocking. I was accused of hiding my disease and the fact that endometriosis is an invisible disease made no difference.
From then, the conversation became quite surreal and a tad cruel. I felt bullied by their questions and evaluations of my own body.
Sobbing, I expressed how unfair it all was. The following morning a brief text message told me I was not worth dating.
Feeling like damaged goods
I felt like a faulty human being. Broken, I cried for hours.
My mind replayed the trauma of losing others I loved and went over every single time someone had treated me like garbage because my symptoms got in “their way”. I felt so alone.
It would be really easy for me to hate my body, my insides, my malfunctioning ovaries, and believe that I am, in fact, undateable. When someone points at you and tells you your disease is what makes you unattractive, or they look at you through some skewed-up lenses made out of complete ignorance, it takes a lot of strength not to hate oneself.
In hindsight, I should have stopped this person from saying anything about my disease. Their views were so narrow and so limited.
They may have read everything I wrote about the disease, but they still knew nothing about life with endometriosis.
I live my best life with endo
I am someone who loves to dance, run long distances, eat out, have deep conversations, and go to live concerts. Despite having a sometimes debilitating disease, I live my life fully.
And no, I don't hide my endometriosis. I shine so brightly, anyone who does not know me, will never suspect I suffer from chronic pain.
I have arms like Madonna and a relentless sense of humor. I possess a heart the size of a small city.
I love deeply and so, so hard. I am the best thing they never had.
Stand up for yourself
So are each and every one of you, dearest readers and fellow endometriosis humans. No one should look at you like you're nothing more than a disease.
If they do, throw your TENS at them, and walk away, as fast as you can.
Personally, I'm glad I dodged that bullet.
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