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Navigating Dating and Relationships with Chronic Illness

We are diving into the intricate world of dating and relationships. Is dating a minefield or a walk in the park for someone with a chronic illness? Let’s explore the complexities, the joys, and the unique challenges that come with it.


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Dating: The Universal Roller Coaster

First and foremost, dating is complex for everyone, not just those with chronic illnesses. It’s easy to believe that others have it easier, but the reality is that dating is a challenging and confusing experience for all. Understanding this can help alleviate some of the pressure you might feel about your chronic illness complicating your dating life.

Finding Fun in Dating

Dating should be fun! Reflecting on my own experiences, I realise how easy it is to get caught up in stress and worry. It’s crucial to remember that dating isn’t a test you need to pass. It’s about enjoying the moment and the journey, not about reaching a destination. If dating starts feeling like a chore, it’s a signal to reassess and possibly take a break.

The Question of Disclosure

One of the biggest concerns for those with chronic illness is how much to share about their condition. The key is comfort. There’s no right or wrong answer, and you don’t owe anyone your full story right away. Early dates are about presenting the best version of yourself, just like anyone else. As trust builds, you can decide what to share and when.

Sex and Intimacy

Sex is an integral part of dating and relationships, for those with chronic illnesses, it can come with additional challenges. The most important thing is to prioritise your well-being. Whether you’re seeking casual encounters or committed relationships, your body, your life, and your choice are paramount, ensure that any sexual activity is consensual, safe, and fulfilling for you.

Embracing the Journey

A common piece of advice is to focus on the journey, not the destination, this is particularly relevant in dating. Enjoy the new experiences, the excitement, and the small moments as time is on your side, regardless of age or situation. Being present and appreciating the process can transform your dating life into a more fulfilling experience.

Relationships: Knowing When It’s Right

When it comes to relationships, you often hear, "You will know when you know", while it may sound cliché, there’s truth to it. Meeting someone special often comes with a physical and emotional response that feels instinctively right. It’s about finding someone who makes you feel good about yourself and enhances your life.

Adapting Over Time

Your needs and desires in relationships will evolve. It’s important to acknowledge this and be open to change. Whether you’re looking for something casual or serious, what matters is that it aligns with your well-being and happiness.

Dating and relationships are inherently complex, but adding a chronic illness to the mix introduces additional layers. However, by focusing on what makes you comfortable, enjoying the process, and being true to yourself, you can navigate the dating world with confidence and find fulfilling relationships.


The Chronic Illness Coach Podcast

The Chronic Illness Coach Podcast challenges listeners to believe that all chronic illnesses can be put into remission. Alex is on a mission to engage, educate and empower those living with a chronic illness who want to change their life for the better. Join your host as she shares her journey of living with a chronic illness and invites expert guests to break down complex niches of health, science and wellness. Each episode is a lifeline for listeners, offering practical strategies, emotional support, and a sense of community. 

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