I am NO Carrie Bradshaw.
First of all my parents got creative & dropped the extra R & E (Cari… that hasn’t made people spelling my name correctly a problem at all throughout my life! Thanks Mom & Dad!) But beyond the missing letters (or giant flowers she wore that I could never pull off with a straight face) I could never keep up with the rotating door of men Carrie had. Heck, I want to take a nap just at the thought of a (fictitious) character’s dating life!
1. SHOULD I DATE A HEALTHY PERSON?
The first healthy person I really considered dating, I decided to be honest with right off the bat. I told him fairly quickly about my life. He said all the right things, in fact his answers were actually amazing. But were there warning signs it was a bad idea? Yes. Did I ignore them? Yes. Did I ignore them bc he seemed completely fine w/ my health situation? Um… YES. In retrospect, that was a huge mistake. After pursuing me for 2 solid months, saying all the right things but often doing the wrong things (admitting what the wrong things were is way too embarrassing). As the first blog said: “Hi Mom!” (but let’s just say huge flags should have gone up!)
When he showed up for the date 30 min late, that didn’t look good. (The waiter was hot, so I didn’t mind too much). The fact that the waiter seemed to want to talk to me more than he did, wasn’t a good sign either. But when he wouldn’t speak (he had warned me he was shy & I would need to do the talking) & then he yawned all through out the dinner (& not just a subtle, I didn’t sleep much last night yawn or I am nervous yawn which I don’t even think causes yawning but no, it wasn’t even that!) He literally threw his arms up over his head & full on did a stretch yawn no less than 20x. Could I have been boring? NO! I wasn’t. Hell even if I was, I wasn’t that boring!
Verdict: Just bc they are healthy & willing to fully accept your life, doesn’t mean they are a prize!
At this moment in my life, I can’t imagine doing anything but casual dating with someone that is healthy & even that feels an impossible dream some days (especially if a guy likes to be really active). Long term, unless I was highly functional, it’s just too hard to keep up and that becomes pretty depressing. When they get serious & keep asking to go out & you have to keep saying no, for me it was a constant reminder I am sick. That actually made me feel worse and it made me eventually pull away from a guy I initially liked. None of that is fun, which dating is supposed to be!
2. SHOULD I TRY ONLINE DATING?
Yes. Should I move on & answer the next question? Meeting people out in the world is tough, especially if you mostly frequent labs, Drs office’s or Starbucks at the moment. Online dating lets you decide what you want to tell, when. It lets you like someone first & have them like you, before you have to go into all the nitty gritty (which includes them seeing you on your grittiest of pale days). The internet lets you email or flirt with someone you like while requiring very little effort. That is FUN and can make a bad day, a little easier & it’s something we all deserve!
Verdict: Here’s the thing I learned: it’s okay just to meet someone online & talk to them & see what happens. I feared online dating bc I really thought it might be unfair to the other person. But not everything has to lead to walking down the aisle. If you are honest fairly quickly, the guy can decide for himself. The worst that happens is you have a few laughs, feel good about yourself for awhile (or you wind up with a really great story about a guy yawning through your entire date, for a future blog!)
3. SHOULD I KEEP WEARING THE SKIRT?
For guys that are sick, the question becomes about “wearing the pants” in the relationship; can I ask her to drive if I’m too tired or can I tell her I am too tired for sex & still seem like a stud? For women it becomes about “wearing the skirt”. Look in the mirror right now ladies. Imagine you have to do your nails, get a shower, do your hair, put on make-up, find a nice outfit, wash it and iron it! If you aren’t in the fetal position yet awesome! That’s a good sign. If you are, you have to decide pretty quickly when to show up as is & see if he is okay with that. No nail polish, no fancy outfit or makeup, possibly pale as a ghost = as is some days. Guys care what we look like (of course!) but a little effort can go a long way. We are our harshest critics & will have to show our real selves at some point.
Verdict: Showing up for the first several dates looking really nice is worth the effort. But at some point you might have to choose between; only showing up when you look like you want to or showing up more often as is. As women, we are often far harder on ourselves & our appearance than guys are on us. Okay, that’s not true for all guys but it is for the good ones. Any good guy I have ever known, would rather I show up than make sure I look perfect.
4. SHOULD I DATE ANOTHER PATIENT?
The thought of dating someone that completely “gets” my life is pretty amazing. Imagine not having to give a 20min explanation every time you have to cancel last minute? But I think to honestly answer this question you have to ask yourself: “Would I do long distance dating?” Is it possible you will find another patient that you not only like but you have that ¨spark¨ with AND they live around the corner from you? Yes. But if you do, you have hit some kind of patient lottery.
I personally would do long distance dating. I actually think it’s pretty conducive to our life style & let’s face it: phone calls, emails, texting, sexting (yup, I said it! Never underestimate the fun of a good sexting session!) and Skyping (don’t pretend you haven’t thought sex Skyping a boyfriend/girlfriend wouldn’t be a HOT way to stay in touch after all the normal Skyping first of course!). They all lead to a lot of options on how to stay in touch in pretty intimate ways. It is also a lot less physically demanding than having to go out to the movies or out for a long dinner.
Verdict: I would date another patient, absolutely. But a word of caution; it’s easy to talk differently to another patient. We talk about our bad guts & embarrassing medical problems & many other things that (as I learned the hard way) can quickly put you in the “friend zone”. So if there is another patient you kind of like, avoid the “friend zone” at all costs & save the icky gut chats for later!