The Continued Struggles of Dating With a Disease

If you’ve been around here a bit, you’ve probably seen me post about my dating life and the impact that living with multiple sclerosis has had on it. I figured it’s time for a bit of an update!

Maybe not surprising, I am still single and without any real prospects. I think in my last update, I was hunkering down and hiding a bit as it was the middle of a super sweltering summer. Like the reverse of a bear hibernating for the winter, I tried to sit out the warm months content with my lonely little self. As the cold air started showing up, I felt rejuvenated a bit, so I reinstalled some apps and once again stuck my toes into the dating pool.

It's hard to meet people

The bottom line is that it’s difficult to meet people, whether you have an illness or not. Obviously being in the middle of a pandemic does not help the situation, but I think even without that, finding the right one (or anyone) can be extremely difficult. So when you have the added issues that come along with a chronic illness, it can be downright daunting to try to date.

I’ve tried the apps, I’ve approached people in public, and I have definitely thought outside of the box when it comes to trying to meet people. All of that has actually led to some minor success; I’ve met some folks, gone on some dates, and had numerous times where things seemed pretty promising. That’s when issues related to my illness decided to strike.

Dating with MS: Chronic complications

Despite the cooler months making me feel much better, I’ve still suffered from illness getting in the way of finding love (and yes, I get it, I know if they were the right one...blah blah blah).

Unpredictability

The unpredictability (particularly when it comes to pain and fatigue) of my body has been one of the biggest issues as it’s led to me having to cancel multiple dates, often at the last minute. That’s a really great way to look pretty shady to someone and no matter how much you explain it, no matter how genuine it sounds, it’s hard to get past canceling plans so early on after meeting someone.

Transportation

Another of my biggest issues has revolved around transportation. As I’ve mentioned before, my situation with regards to driving is complicated. I’m not really supposed to drive much. I do have a car and will go short distances, particularly to places that are familiar, but longer distances or even new places can present some issues for me. So if I meet someone nearby, I can drive or use a rideshare company (like Uber or Lyft), but as the distance increases, most of my options fall by the wayside. Now, of course, some of the people I’ve met that I really clicked with have ended up being just a bit too far.

One issue for me is that in the beginning, these distances don’t seem all that far. Years ago, I’d have had no issue with them, but I tend to forget that my body has changed and degraded a bit over the years and my sense of distance really needs to be readjusted. I’ve now ended up having things seemingly go well to only have it end because the distance wouldn’t work. So transportation and distance have become a huge issue when it comes to dating. Come to think of it, the last time I was really in a serious relationship was when I was in an urban area, where I could get around more easily.

Having something to offer

I keep looking for love. I don’t need it, I am content and have a very good life with some amazing friends and my dog. It would be nice to have someone to share that with though. I think one reason I keep seeking it out is that I feel it’s one place where I still have something to offer. MS has taken a lot from me, including my career and many ways that I can contribute to the world.

I think that one place I still have something to offer though is as a companion. The tough blows I’ve experienced over my life have given me so much perspective. They’ve shown me how to get through almost anything, and I like to think that could be beneficial to someone. I like to think that my love, companionship, and experience in life could be just what someone needs. I’m sure that sounds silly to many, but I have to imagine there are plenty of people with chronic illnesses out there that feel the same way.

Thanks so much for reading and feel free to share! As always, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!

Devin

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