Dating With Endometriosis - Can We Not Talk About my Chronic Illness?

It finally happened. I like someone. For what seemed like the longest of time, I thought I'd never look at another human being and feel something akin to attraction. I firmly believed my heart had dried up like a prune and grown thorns. Yet, while I still have all of my defences firmly up… I'm really into someone. I want to get to know them, and allow them into my life. So I asked them out, and they said yes.

It’s still a few days before the first date, and already my mind is in overdrive over a particular subject: how not to spill the beans about my endometriosis.

Right now, I don't want them to know about my chronic illness.

My last relationship had a lot to say about my disease. I was told I had become a burden, something that was too much to handle. While I tried everything to make them stay, they walked away from me, and the disease.

They move on with their life, free from me. I had to invest money I barely had into lengthy therapy sessions, to realise that endometriosis does not define me. It took some time, but I now know that anybody worth welcoming into my life, will not see my disease as a flaw, or use it as the reason not to be with me.

But still, I am fearful of speaking my truth to any potential new "friend".

Talking about my chronic illness, means talking about miscarriages.

At the moment, I only have the strength to discuss this side of my life with a very close friend. If anyone I date is hoping to create humans with me, they are bound to look at me funny when I tell them that it is out of the cards.

It also means admitting that sometimes I have no control over my body.

Hello IBS-like symptoms! I don’t wish to explain why I hate going camping, or being far away from my own home without access to the tools that ease my discomfort. Any conversation around my symptoms with someone new, simply feels embarrassing.

Deep down, I don’t want to be rejected again.

I don’t want to feel like damaged goods. The thought of feeling like an imperfect package someone ordered, something worth returning, is too much to take.

I never want to see another look of pity, or disdain. Anger in someone's eyes when I’m bleeding buckets and can’t go on a planned outing, is a big red flag. Never again do I want to experience being shunned by the people around my partner, because I am in too much pain to smile.

Dating is such a fraught road for anyone with a chronic illness.

We know that whatever we share about our disease will come as a sad surprise, and how does one get ready to share something so disarming, so raw?

I don’t have the answers. All I know is, I want to feel like endometriosis is not part of my life, for a date or two. And until I go on that first date, I can indulge my brain into thinking I have no IBS-like symptoms. I can ignore the fact that I live with malfunctioning ovaries, and extremely painful periods.

I know I am so much more than my disease, I just want others to see that too. Is not too much to ask, right?

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