I always knew I would find the right person for me. That all changed when I met the woman of my dreams, Margaret. We keep wishing we would find the love of our lives, only to be disappointed with bad dates and even worse breakups.From the day we met, I knew she was something special. You get a feeling in your gut that there is just something right about being around that person.Here are some tips I’ve learned about dating with a chronic illness: 1. People struggle with telling others about their chronic illness.What if they don’t want to be with me because I am sick?What if I ruin our relationship because I can’t do all the things he/she wants to do? We all need change our mindset and stop being afraid to share our feelings with the ones we love.I do not necessarily advocate for opening up to someone you have just met; however, after you feel comfortable with them, share your thoughts, fears, feelings and emotions. Some of the hardest yet most fulfilling conversations I have ever had came during moments with my fiancé. Tell them how you worry you will burden them in the relationship.Ask them if they are OK with knowing the worst that can come from your illness. Ever since I was a child, the only rule I had with my mother is that I would tell the truth.
If you find the right person, they will accept your illness and love you for who you are. I would be given the biggest guilt trip of my life.Luckily, this rule has become a huge part of who I am today. The worst thing you can do in a relationship is lie. With a chronic illness, being honest can be tough, like when you are out shopping and suddenly feel as though you cannot walk any longer, or when you are emotionally distraught because you are having a flare-up and all of your extremities tingle with numbness. They have friends, family, online dating sites and cheap pick-up lines available for selecting the perfect match.I have been there, and being honest in those moments is extremely tough. They want to help you get through your tough times. Chronic illness fighters have one more layer to get through. Wow, that is a tough question for them to answer – but maybe they don’t have to answer it.Once you find the right person, your honesty will only build their trust. Just maybe, they can show you they care without saying a thing. Maybe that is why I went through so much trouble proposing to my fiancé.It may take time, but we need to find the right person who will be there in sickness and in health.They have to be OK with how your illness affects you, and they have to be ready for the best as well as the worst.They have to love you for who you are, but nothing says they have to love your illness. Just because your partner has come to terms with your illness today does not mean they will feel the same way tomorrow.They just have to love you enough to be OK with your illness. Your symptoms change, and so do your partner’s feelings.Checking in with them about your illness is not just a suggestion; it should be a priority. You should expect your partner to open up to you about their reactions to your illness.On the days you are feeling healthy, your partner is most likely not thinking about your illness at all.On the days you have a flare-up, worry is a natural reaction that anyone who loves you will have.