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Dating seems so much harder now..

My ex-boyfriend was with me when I got diagnosed with Crohn's and he was very supportive, of my med rituals, my fatigue, and well my running to the bathroom. Anyways, now I am single and as a gay man I find that a lot of people seem to run the other way when I mention I have crohn's. They never say it is because of the disease, but I am pretty sure people get scared. They haven't heard of it, I assure them it's not contagious but I think people are weirded out.

Does anyone else find that it is harder to date and be open about crohn's. It is funny because coming out as gay for me was hard because of societies lack of understanding and lack of acceptance but now I find myself in a new coming out scenario, being open about the fact that I have crohn's. I still want to date and find a boyfriend, maybe I should withhold the information until I am closer with the person so they don't run away after the first date or two.

Anyone else face this problem with dating? Not to mention my own issue with dating is I am so damn tired, I barely want to move nevermind go out with anyone. I am trying though, I have a date tomorrow, hopefully I don't fall asleep while we have coffee LOL.
hey Hippie - forgive me, but for some reason i thought you were a girl hippie till just now ;)

i think you just need to view this as in any relationship, whether it be straight or gay - it comes down to a trust thing. and i wouldn't confide in a possible new partner with my gory details until we had moved onto a mutually trusting phase of the relationship. if someone loves you - they will accept everything about you, and not blink an eye.

i think possibly its going to change one's perspective of dating a bit.. i'd probably be a lot more choosy, and one night stands would be out of the question for me.

good luck with the date :)
ding i am def with you, i believe if someone loves you they will look past your faults, in this case CD being the fault. I would love to find someone for a long-term relationship and so I think if they get to know me and like me, than i guess i can admit the crohn's part. It seems scary telling people about crohn's, they are just like wuuuuut.

Thanks ;)
Thanks guys, it is really comforting to have a supportive system here. Even people who claim to sympathize with crohn's can't truly comprehend how it effects all of our lives on a day to day basis in so many arenas. I am glad to hear though that many of you have supportive partners, I am sure it makes it much easier to cope when there is someone there for you. I have my family there for me and friends which is great.

I totally agree with both of you that people who are ignorant suck, and we need to get the info about crohn's out there so more people understand and hopefully more research will be conducted.

My Butt Hurts

Gay male? Wow - count me one who also thought you were female. Your style of writing must be a little more soft than the average guy on here.
Gay or straight, dating must be hard for any Crohn's patient. I would not think that it is a first date type of subject though. Like any other serious topic, I would wait to address it until I felt comfortable with the person. If there is a spark on the 2nd or 3rd date, that might be the time. To each their own though, go for it when you feel the time is right. It doesn't have to be on the first date.
Good luck with your date!
lol why did everyone think i was female? haha, im actually a masculine regular dude. just an open minded kumbaya singing hippie.

i think if i have to take meds around someone and i dont feel comfy saying i have crohn's i just like saying i have stomach issues, inflammation, etc... that usually shuts them up.
I didn't think you were a female hippie. I'm weird like that though.

Anyway, having a serious illness like crohn's means that it's going to be very hard for you to find someone who will work out. I suggest you just tell them as soon as it comes up and give them all the gory detail if they're interested. If you have to hide it at the beginning it's definitely going to be an issue later. Face it, 90% of people will not be able to handle being with someone in our condition so the relationship is doomed from the start, deceit or not. Just frighten them away early and avoid the messy breakup later.
colt that is so depressing, but thanks for the honesty. I like to have a little more faith in people, im a hopeless romantic but yeah most people are pretentious, self righteous and wouldn't want to be bothered being with someone who has problems. oh well, i guess you just gotta find the right one, and when you do, don't let go haha.
When I first met my husband I told him that I had Crohns. He wasn't sure exactely what it was but he was very understanding I also do not believe the 90% thing. Yes I have Crohns but I am more then just that. I tend not to dwell on it. I am a wife a mother a sister a daughter a basketball coach a medical secretary I am many more things then just a person with Crohns. My husband feel in love with me I don't think he loves the disease very much but he sees past it. I am not Crohns disease I am a person who 19 years ago got some bad news and when you find the right person they will see that too. I think the hardest part of dating when you have Crohns is that you assume people aren't going to take the news very well but how come so many people on here are married and have been for many years and if their relationships didn't work, yes maybe the Crohns was used as an excuse but then that wasn't the right person for them and it probably wasn't just the Crohns disease.
If someone really loves you, it shouldn't matter to them that you have Crohn's. If they leave you because of your disease, I'd say you're better off without them! It's horribly judgmental and narrow-minded to break a relationship over something like that. It's too bad that lots of people are like that!


Mr. Hippie dude (and yes I thought you were a girl too but anyway)

I really really doubt it is the disease that is putting these guys off. Who in the beginning wants to be dosed with a heavy hit of reality. In the beginning of any relationship the focus should be on each other and the interaction of the two. Once you invite reality, hardship, and problems before the relationship is ready the feelings peter out. You would get the same exact effect if you went on a first date with a guy and yammered on about how you don't want to bother dating around, that you are only interested in marriage and building a life / family with someone. Relationships are built on levels of reciprocated disclosures, this is what builds intimacy. If you are dropping a level F's(Crohns) and they are only disclosing say level B's - it is like the scales tip.

Life happens naturally, and love does too. But once you put these demands - whether real or just perceived - on another it puts too much pressure on the other person. 60% of the people you meet will not need what you give and will not give what you need in return. 30% of the ones that are left are matches but will not be able to give what you need when you need it and will not receive what they need from you when they need it - the timing is just off. But in that rare 10% you will finally get what you need when you need it and will find that you give exactly what the other needs as well.

But on another note is it wrong to not choose another because of the possibility of medical hardship, is it any less wrong not to choose someone because you are not attracted to them? There are many many reasons why one person does not want to be with another - they have an ugly nose, they don't hang out with the kind of people you like, they have a poor attitude, they were rude to your mother, they have bad gas, they don't say I love you enough, they don't pick up the dry cleaning. The list could go on and on of the why's but just because they seem harsh or ridiculous to *you* doesn't mean that they are not valid reasons for *them*.

Would you really want someone who didn't love and respect you as much as you did of them, regardless of their reason why? Love openly and freely but never give more than you get and never expect more then someone can give.

Finally I end this long winded passionate post with.... don't worry be happy now!


mum with a dogdy tum
i too thought you was a lady, but then i fault dingbat was a man!!
i did a lot of internet dating last year, and before id meet the man i would send him a"crohns letter" which explained my illness and pouch. some men were honest and said it scared them, some just ignored the email but others i did meet, i believe its better to be honest from the start and not hide anything. regards sharon x


One Badass Dude
I gave up a long time ago on finding a partner. I've always kept a pretty low profile as far as the social scene went (not because I'm anti-social or anything). I'm quite comfortable with a quiet lifestyle even if it means I've limited my opportunities.

I guess the key is just to accept myself as I am. I'm told I'm a very caring and generous person (probably to a fault) and that suits me just fine. Pretty low-maintenance -- I'd probably make a better spouse than a boyfriend, but alas, that's the big hurdle. What I don't need is to find myself in a bad relationship because lets face it -- that too has its inherent stresses.

Guess everyone is different though. For me it's not that big a deal.


Heheh, I knew you were a guy, no worries.

I've found myself single lately and am having the same problems. People have no clue, and I've become disenchanted with the whole scene. Count me as one who stays home and games too much :p


Senior Member
Yeah. don't let the gender confusion throw you... until I grew the beard, I was always being mistaken for a woman.... the mustache alone just wasn't enough.


Hahahaha good one! You know - for a disease ridden community we joke, laugh, and smile a lot. I think it is a good thing!
Think about it. You're offering someone them the opportunity to be stuck with someone who is often a complete burden and who stands a good chance of dragging them through long periods of hospital time and maybe even an early death, all while they watch a rather painful and humiliating downfall of their loved one. Then there's issues like: 'what do I and the kids do once you're dead or even just bedridden for year or two?' So then you get to plan your life around the idea that your family will be able to continue uninterrupted without you. It doesn't always work out that way but just the threat of it is too much for 90% of people. Even if they are okay with it at first they're not going to be okay once things get more serious. I've certainly seen it in past relationships. My girlfriend during my diagnostic period ended up taking advantage of my bedridden state to turn herself into the town whore.

10% still leaves a lot of people though. About 600 million of them, in fact. My wife does okay. She started off being immensely supportive and sympathetic. She took care of me all the time and nursed me back to health when I was flaring. As time has gone on (6 years so far) she's slowly ignored my disease more and more. It depresses her too much and her life is too busy for my disease to drag her down too (it really is, that's not an insult). She's being the responsible one at this point making sure we survive day to day. Anyway, I'd put her in the 10%. We're not fighting or headed for a break-up or anything. We just don't get as much time and energy to spend on each other as we used to and would really like to.


Well I have been "sick" with something since I was born. I have never had a significant other leave me because I was sick, nor have I had a significant other ever take advantage of a sickness. But I have had my share that have left me or cheated on me because of my selfish and depressed attitude toward my own illnesses. When you think you are unlovable, you are unlovable. When you wallow in self-pity, your partner begins to pity themselves. If you start putting all your focus on yourself and your disease, your partner will refocus on their self and their problems.

I don't think it is a big deal to be "sick" in any circumstance. You work with what you have and work around what you don't. If people think a disease has taken away too much from their life I say they have forgotten all the things they still have and what they have yet to obtain.

The balancing act:
Selfishness = Selfishness
Worry = Worry
Gratitude = Gratitude

Unless people are being brainwashed or mind-controlled they have a lot more control over their destinies then they care to be accountable for. We sometimes forget that we pick the people in our lives and we are picking them for a reason. If people continually pick others who are unsupportive - then they are picking these partners on purpose. It isn't by luck they keep getting the "bad apples." Good people are all around us -

just look through this forum - mostly good apples 'round here!


Specific reply to Colt's most recent post -

I offer hours upon hours of telling goofy and silly jokes / stories. I offer excellent meals, most of which are store bought! I offer someone the chance to play wheelchair bowling and decorating urine hat's. I offer someone A LOT of communication time and lots and lots of snuggle time. I have the ability to lay around in bed with them for hours and give them the chance to go on long and sometimes frequent drives. I offer them organizational challenges of dolling out all my medications. I offer them the opportunity to be a cheerleader and a coach (costumes are optional.) I offer them the opportunity to watch someone face adversity with ingenuity and gratitude. I offer quality time spent at home playing games or just relaxing. I offer them all my geeky and creative knowledge to help them further themselves and their careers. I offer empathy for everything they must go through, as I am no better or no worse then them. I offer them midgetized fun for taller people. Finally I offer to make space for them in my very full and hectic life.

All that I can offer is in part to my illnesses, without them I would not be me. I have just as much if not more to offer someone all because of who and what I am. So all in all I think I am one hell of a catch!
Colt - do you and your wife both have crohn's? It seems that way through various posts I have read but I could be wrong. If so is that just a coincidence or did you meet at a Crohn's support group?
I have to agree with Isla, but I still disagree with Colt. Sometimes when we dwell on a disease or are depressed we tend to blame everything on our disease. I try not to do that. Even when I'm not feeling well I do not dwell on it. My husband always tells people that he thought he was a tough person but he doesn't even compare to me. There have been times that I have gone from playing basketball to the doctor who says with everything the way it is how do you get out of bed. I think some people let this disease run their lives then in turn it does ruin relationships. I'm not down playing Crohns because mine has been pretty severe from the day I was diagnosed. I guess I'm lucky having been diagnosed when I was 10 it's all I really know, so I guess I can manage it no matter what the situation. I think sometimes when we hear Crohns we never really get out of the depression stage which can cause us to almost want to give up but you can't you have to force yourself to continue to do the things that you love and be with the people that you love. Having Crohns isn't a death sentence for us or for the people that we love it's just a few changes that we have to make to manage it.
hippie4lyfe said:
Colt - do you and your wife both have crohn's? It seems that way through various posts I have read but I could be wrong. If so is that just a coincidence or did you meet at a Crohn's support group?
No, she's relatively healthy at this point. She's had issues in the past though. Before she got pregnant she had rather bad hypoglycemia (seizures even) but somehow my son seems to have fixed that. Her blood sugar still bounces around a bit but it's not really a problem like it used to be. It may come back after she stops nursing, I don't know. She also has asthma which has only had 2 or 3 bad flare-ups in her life.

Her main problem right now is just being stretched too thin. Her mother left her dad and now she's living with us and constantly nagging and pestering her as you would expect with a live-in-mother-in-law kind of situation, we have my son Ingram who is basically a 'high needs baby' so he needs non-stop attention and care, and she's a poor 20 year old woman with the maturity level and life experiences of a 25 year old going to a huge college full of rich 18 year old sorority girls in a strange new city. That and we've got tons of financial juggling going on to make up for living off of one income of 8.75/hr. She's exhausted.

Lucky for me I just started getting treatment again so I'm suddenly not the burden I used to be. I have energy now! Granted it's pessimistic, grumbling, roid-rage energy but I'll take what I can get considering I couldn't hold my son for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time before this.


I have no problems admitting I have crohns I just get annoyed explaining what it is every time I mention I have it.Dating is so much harder though.Its embarassing when at a restaurant when I get up about 5 times in an hour to use the bathroom or visiting his house and praying to god he doesnt hear all the noise I'm making in the bathroom.Thank god my last boyfriend was very understanding.Even if I didn't make it to the bathroom on time and had quite a mess to take care of.My fiance is pretty understanding but doesn't quite understand.When I complain about being in pain he sometimes thinks I'm lieing because it happens so often and he finds it difficult to believe anyone could be in pain as much as I claim to be.He thinks I'm just being lazy but honest to god I'm in pain.Now that I'm pregnant he goes crazy over my daily amount of pills for fear they will harm the baby but I keep trying to get it through to him that they are all neccesary.
For some reason or another, my personality type (hopeless romantic like Hippie, who btw, I always knew was a male from one of his earlier posts, no worries Hip) has me predisposed to wanting long term situations, ie: I wrote romantic poems to girls to ask them to a dance in my mid-teens, and gave it to them with a bouquet. Stupid. I mean to say I sought after a wife when I should have first started with finding a girlfriend back then. Chances are it was confidence and looks that they wanted, back then as a chubby introvert, I had neither. Took lots of "no's" to learn things, along with immense amounts of rejection and heartache. Really, does a cheerleader want a poem to ask her to homecoming? Why did I even think I was a match for such a shallow creature in the first place? She seemed reserved and smart, initially...

Anyways, what I mean to relay is that I did a lot of stumbling in the dating game, not officially having a girlfriend until the current one I have now. I fit that character in the movies that was always the girl's friend, but never got her as a girlfriend, kinda like the way Clark Kent was in Superman 1. My gf as of now is in an odd and harsh position, she has dated me for about double the time I've been diagnosed (BC, Before Crohns time about 1.8 years; AD, After Diagnosis time about 1.8 years), and it'll be 4 years this November. I started out with mild disease, and it progressed more or less in the last 2 years almost. So, she knows the healthy, happy me, she's had a taste for the alternate Benson, which I really don't know if that makes it harder or easier, because she has hopes I'll be that again, but may feel she's lost "him" too. She's stuck it out through it all so far, and has a hard duty to do so I guess, and honestly I don't know how long she can take it. I met her online on Yahoo personals, actually.

I feel somewhere between Colt and the rest, I feel this disease is like a satanic bacteria, infecting all facets and aspects in its proximity, growing and taking over things like a parasite. And you'd see it's true if you make a web chart like I did (out of anger and sorrow)...it starts in the middle with bad health and diagnosis...then grows to money...you get thousands in debt and lose thousands in income from it. That right there should tell you where this is going...you lose the ability to go anywhere in life when you're broke, your life is stagnant. You can't get re-educated, you can't go places, do things, pay old debt (in the thousands from school), your health decides what you're capable of. You can't do simple tasks anymore because you'll sh*t yourself in the middle of it. In the winter I couldn't even go to the gas station to put gas in my car without soiling myself. That is NOT control. I'm on disability and know my company is probably watching me, so that is the disease in control, not me. I'm afraid if they see me outside getting the mail they'll claim I'm healthy again. I can't move out on my own, again money. I can't give my gf all the things she deserves, go on vacations with her, try to propose to her, take her out, give her jewelry and gifts, etc...again, money. $, $, $, and oh yeah, more $...$$$$$$$$$$$$......it affects your potential career choices. So nobody can tell me it's MY choice, its the f-ing disease that says I can't be a cop or possibly a firefighter when 2 years ago I could have. You can't go interview for someplace new either if you're wearing a dirty diaper. It's the f-ing disease that may take away my relationship(s) because of the above not being able to be normal.

My gf says so many of her friends ask her why she doesn't leave me, how can she stand it all. Just sitting around on a couch every Saturday night watching movies instead of LIVING LIFE, I watch it happen. How can she put up with it they ask, and tell her they'd have left me long ago had I been with them. I know there's those out there who will put up with it no matter what, but I can't even take care of myself. Week after week, I have to let my girlfriend down...can we go to a movie..nope, can't sit through it without getting up 4 times. Can we go out to eat or go shopping? Can we go to a party or gathering? Can we go to a festival or camping? The answers are obvious, how could someone live doing NONE of this, EVER, for months or even years on end? I couldn't even kiss my gf for 4 months because the Oral Thrush was so bad. My Milia grossed her out so she was turned off by my face. Money problems can cause a divorce alone, throw in an incurable disease.....and...??? When it's devastating EVERYTHING like that, you can't do much but watch it like a NASCAR wreck happening. The idea of control is laughable. How attractive is a FORMERLY FIT, mid 20's guy in a Depends?

How can this all be negligible in the outcome of a relationship? Hopefully because it's temporary. If it's permenant, I wouldn't expect anyone to endure it.

Think of it like this, if you go to pick out a new puppy, and you look up and down the prospects and see one in the corner crapping all over the floor and looking up with these agonizing eyes, and then glance over at the 6 others in the litter, jumping up and down, in perfect health...what's your choice? Least I can still optimistically state I'm hellbent on being a "healthy puppy" once again.
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Actually the more I think about it, if you replace your disease with "poverty stricken single mother" I have been going through almost all those things you mentioned for 5 years now. To blame YOUR unhappiness (which is internal) on external circumstances it just goes to show that you are not happy on the inside. I am not judging you for it, I am making the observation in regards to anyone with that type of MO. There are A LOT more rotten things that could happen in my life and it wouldn't even make me teeter. I have been through Hell and back many times warmed over and luckily, the worse things became the closer I got to finding true happiness.

The last guy I dated spent half of his life in a wheelchair, he suffers from debilitating spasms off and on all day long. He has had more surgeries than most people on here combined. He has titanium in his leg and has a heavily curved spine. He has cerebral palsy and the medical problems that will occur when he ages can only get worse. Did I say "oh you are not worth loving because you are sick?" That seems totally illogical and I am so glad I found him, because now he is one of the bestest friends I have ever had.

I also was married when I was wheelchair bound. My husband didn't get up one day and say "wow, you are totally unlovable because you are sick." If you honestly think most people think like that, you are bound to find those people. Again it comes down to the bad apple analogy. If people were so horrible and unaccepting why haven't I met any??? If people don't want sick people why are most of the people on here married or engaged or have SO's. I am friends with, and have known people that are pretty severely handicapped....

all of them are happily married. Because people love us for how we make them feel about themselves and how we feel about them. If you have nothing to offer but negativity, cynicism, and mistrust - guess what, they will start feeling the same way too. Show them love, compassion, and kindness and they will start feeling the same way too.
Perhaps I view happiness as a "Crohns-less" life again, and that is the root of my unhappiness. I cannot feel like I'm not creating a sham and pulling wool over my eyes if I pretend nothing's wrong. I enjoy mind over matter concepts, but I have limits of what I'll "lie" about. It's very concrete and almost mathematical to me..."happiness = a+b+c+d+e+....." It's either/or, black and white. I have goals in life, and those goals are what total happiness is to me, and if I "pretend" to have complete happiness prior to reaching those goals and just say "well, I could just be happy with what I've got now, and settle" that I would be conceding and admitting defeat. That, I cannot do. I won't lower my expectations, I will NOT settle, and will not lose.

Ask Katie Sue about Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy, the top is Self Actualization (which you are probably aware of). What is in that triangle shaped section? Each of us fills it subjectively.

I'm well aware I'm far from the worst, and like I said I'm aware there are those out there who will put up with virtually anything, and thus far my gf has put up with everything, I just don't know how much more she could put up with. And should she leave me, I don't think I'd want to go through all the "apple-picking" it'd take to find someone who would dig through any surface to find the "lovable me", regardless of my MO. This sounds strange and naive, but maybe it's the environments we have or people we know, but I don't think I know anyone accepting to the degree you speak of except for the people here or from those other rare stories (or hell, even movies). That isn't to say there aren't others out there (it'd be illogical to think all of them have gathered on this forum), but I don't feel I could sustain the rejections necessary to sift through society- with the way it is and the stigmas on health- to find others, at least that's my current outlook. Just thinking about people I've met in real life and everyone I know, and hearing the "testimonies" of my gf's friends and all, has me thinking, "damn, should she leave me, that's it, game over". Almost like the rejections would outweigh the potential payoff because I fear rejection in such a monumental way... again, my current outlook at the moment. I'm also well aware of the victim/survivor concept, that we should strive for the latter in the face of trials and certain defeat, but maybe it is with me, that I cannot call myself a survivor until I've survived this and earned my happiness, until then, I'm neither.

You speak of feeding someone love, and they'll reciprocate with love, give them cynicism, and get it back; I feel it's not that simple nor so cut and dry, else more relationships would work. Too many are one sided, and you've got the whole "It's me, not you" stuff.

I already know I don't love me on the inside, although I love aspects of me and "the future me", the "whole package" is lacking as of now. Then again, I'm a perfectionist at heart, yearning for a bit more than is humanly common or likely attainable for myself. I feel like the fact that my gf has stuck by me this far- and told me she's not leaving, and that if we can make it through this we could make it through anything- makes me want to hold on that much tighter. I feel like floating in the void of space would be less alone than taking on this challenge without her, because rejection is all I know after that. /semi-romantic rambling
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The friends urging your girlfriend to dump you are extremely familiar to me. It's especially bad coming from their parents. The typical don't ruin your life with him speech occurs many times and eventually becomes a 'tough-love' issue where they start trying to cause a break up by force. I think one of the few reasons I still have my wife is that while she had her parents around to hate me that was in good part nullified by teenage defiance and she doesn't really have any friends to tell her that.

In fact I'm honestly shocked that I'm married and have a baby right now. I just got lucky. Hell, I absolutely didn't expect to live to 24. I keep reaching my assumed life expectancy again and again. At this point I'm going to be optimistic and say 40. Seeing old people every day I know without a doubt that barring new medical discoveries I would not be alive with their problems plus crohn's. I'd just suddenly die without a doubt of a GI bleed like my great grandmother did at about 70. I can't imagine being one of those few still able to walk in their 70s considering my joint pain in my 20s. I'd end up like the people I take care of, contracted and speechless unable to feed myself or change my own diaper, but with a good 25 year head start.

That reminds me, I need to write a will so they'll let me die when I can no longer push a call light.
your pessimism makes my posting sound like cupcakes on a sunny birthday....although I give you lots of respect for enduring it physically, even if you've given up emotionally or mentally (I couldn't say, don't know you well enough). You've got it far worse than me, and are supporting your son. Props man. I kinda feel like a spoiled ass now that I think about it.

Hopefully your "barring" portion comes through, a cure or breakthrough treatment, that is...