Dating Somebody With IBD
Hey, My Gorgeous Pelican Lovers,
I hope all is well? I also hope that the ones of you who have had to return back into the office and feeling safe about it. I know it can be a scary process as we have been used to our homes for 4 months and anxiety can be a big pain at times. For those of you who are like me and shielding still, keep using this time to work on you.
So, this month I really wanted to touch on relationships with IBD. I read an article in the NY times where a lady has said she wanted to break up with her boyfriend because he has Crohn’s Disease. This, in my opinion, was a horrible thing to say. It made me want to write a blog to show that not everybody has her mentality.
I have a lot of IBD followers who do at times find it hard to find a relationship or are scared of dating somebody if they do not yet know they have a stoma bag. I have been with Oliver for 8 months now and I can honestly say he is the most kindhearted and supportive man – I literally love him so much. I actually at times find myself wondering how I got so lucky; he is genuinely such a beautiful person. I never have to feel embarrassed with him. He has such a warm energy that I feel so safe to be able to be myself and not be embarrassed when I have little accidents. We can laugh about it and he doesn’t think of me differently.
I sat him down for an interview for this blog to see what his view on certain things were. Here is what he had to say:
What did you know about Crohn’s disease before I met you?
“I had never heard of the disease until I met you. My nan has Diverticulitis, but no stoma and I didn’t really know what that was either.”
What do you know about Crohn’s Disease and what a Stoma bag is?
“I now know a lot more as you have educated me along with my research. I know Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the small bowel that reacts in certain environments or may be triggered by certain foods and stress. I also know that Colitis is ulcers. A stoma is a bag that keeps hold of your excess waste that you dispose of in the toilet.”
How is dating somebody with Crohn’s disease as I know there have been times where I have had little accidents when you’ve been there?
“It hasn’t changed anything, however, I have to be cautious with foods I cook when you are at my house and I am getting used to knowing the foods you can and cannot eat.”
If I ever had to have a stoma in the future would that scare you or make you feel uncomfortable with things, for example, if you had to help change the bag?
“No, it wouldn’t scare me at all or make me feel uncomfortable, my main thing is as long as you are happy so am I. I wouldn’t mind learning and I would want to learn. The only thing I would be scared about was getting something wrong.”
A lady in The NY Times broke up with her boyfriend for having Crohn’s Disease, and she isn’t the only person to ever do this. What kind of message would you say to people like this?
“That they clearly didn’t love their partner in the first place. To me, it just sounds like an excuse to break up with somebody. Imagine if your parents had Crohn’s Disease you wouldn’t be like ‘Oh you can’t be my parents anymore’. It’s very shallow.”
As you know, having Crohn’s Disease and having gone through something traumatic has affected my mental health. Do you ever find it draining or get put off when I have low days?
“I wouldn’t say it’s draining, everyone has their low days. It’s just about how we work together to get high again.”
I know for me and a lot of others with scars or stomas meeting somebody new is scary. I am scared of what people are going to say or think about them. I also get insecure from past things said to me that nobody would want to be with me with this huge Scar down my belly. My stomach isn’t exactly the ‘Instagram Girl’ stomach. So, my question is when you first ever saw my scars in my photos online did you ever re-think about maybe talking to me?
“That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I can’t even believe somebody would even say that. If anything, that’s what attracted me to you. The way you are so confident and inspiring to others. It is what makes you unique.”
What advice do you have for men out there who are dating a woman with IBD or have Scars and Stomas and are not sure how to act or are worried about dating somebody like this?
“Just treat it like any other relationship – be conscious of her feelings, support her and always be there if she needs anything. If you’re worried about dating her then you are not the right person for her.”
So, I was really grateful Ollie answered these questions and even though I am not surprised by his answers. It is always such a warm feeling to have him say these things and be so supportive.
I just want to say to you all: if you are dating, or about to start speaking to somebody new, my advice for you is to be straight up with them. Do not hide the fact you have scars or stomas tell them and be proud and confident with it. Remember for most of us without these we wouldn’t be alive today. If they don’t like what you have to say then that is fine, it’s actually a blessing because that little red flag has helped you escape somebody not worthy of your time or energy.
If you’re with a partner (male or female) who criticise your body or make fun of your condition in any way again walk away. You are so much better than that. Never lose hope. Just because your dating life has not been very successful it doesn’t mean your King or Queen is not out there because they are. I would also say, I understand with IBD our mental health does have up and down days but honesty is the best policy, just explain to your partner on the hard days you are feeling low, and need space or reassurance and again the right one will be fully understanding of this.
I want you all to understand that having scars or stomas does not make you less of a person or less worthy of dating. I know there are so many ignorant, Shallow people out there but just as there are Shallow there are Genuine, Kind People too. Do not let the bad ones put you off venturing out and finding your soul mate. Remember, you need to work on yourself first and be accepting of your body and loving it before you are ready to date, you need to be accepting as you are your own protection. you need to be so accepting and at peace with your body that if you do get the bad comments you can simply say thank you next and walk away smiling because you know they are not the person you would want a committed thing with.
I would love to hear from any of you if you have had any bad and good experiences with dating with IBD, Scars or Stomas. You can find my Instagram here and give me a private message with your experiences.
Until Next Month my pretty’s
Love Natalie-Amber x