Dating with Cerebral Palsy (My Personal Experience)

Dating with Cerebral Palsy (My Personal Experience)

One of the biggest misconceptions about people with disabilities is that we have no desire to date or have no understanding of what a relationship consists of. I can tell you first hand that this is false. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamt about the day I will finally get married. I dream of having a ceremony in the smoky mountains of Tennessee, and getting to ride off afterwards in a red 1978 Ford Truck with my future husband. 

What I’ve Learned About Dating with Cerebral Palsy

Dating has been one of the most difficult parts of my life. Ever since I hit puberty in middle school, I had an interest in dating and having a boyfriend, like many young 13-year-olds would be. However, I often had trouble with this because boys wouldn’t dare to give me the time of day. This was mainly because of my Cerebral palsy, they just didn’t want to deal with the judgement and stigmas related to dating someone like me, and I can’t blame them for thinking that way.

Love Yourself First

All of this taught me that the first step of meeting and getting to know someone is being in love with yourself first, while accepting your circumstances and your situation. Once you accomplish this, then you can meet someone who will look past your disability and love you for you. Loving yourself when you have a disability may not be the easiest task for some people, but it helps you to move forward when you’re single and want to put yourself out there into the dating scene as someone with a disability.

What I’ve Learned About Dating with Cerebral Palsy
Picture of the Author: Tylia Flores

If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect other people to gravitate towards you and want to get to know you? Self-confidence is magnetic. If you don’t love yourself and accept that you are who you are and acknowledge that you were made this way, then others may find it difficult to love and accept you as well.

It all starts with you and whether you are willing to try loving yourself, including the way your medical condition shapes you, as well as how you perceive your life as a person with a disability.

I’ve also learned that not everyone you have a romantic interest in is going to return those feelings, and that’s okay. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or the person that you are. You just have to accept their feelings and move on from it, while remembering that you’ll find to love you no matter what struggles you experience and what situation you’re in.

The importance of self love when dating with a disability

Dating May Be Hard, But It’s Worth It

All throughout my experience with dating with a disability, I’ve realized that while it isn’t an easy process, it is a worthwhile one. It is essential that no matter where you are in your journey, you take time out and learn to embrace yourself and your situation. In my case, I need to acknowledge my wheels, the adventures I get to go on because of my Cerebral palsy, and all the things that having Cerebral palsy has taught me over the years. I have learned a lot about myself during the experience of finding love with Cerebral palsy.

Although my life hasn’t been the easiest, I have learned that loving myself and my disability come first are foremost.

About the author:

Tylia Flores is a 24-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world. Through her many life challenges and obstacles, she discovered her passion for writing. Tylia’s goal in life is to share her stories with the world.

Sex With A Disability (My Experience With Cerebral Palsy)

Trigger Warning, this post contains adult themes and may not be suitable for everyone.

Sexual relationships and curiosity is a natural human instinct that many consenting adults participate in, the disabled and chronically ill included. The act itself can be fraught with obstacles but enjoyable for all involved.  Today we are sharing Tylia’s experience with sex and Cerebral Palsy.

The difference between sex and love is that sex relieves tension and love causes it.” 

– Woody Allen

Sex is something of love and compassion, but what happens if you have condition/disability like Cerebral Palsy and you have to negate through your body that makes it harder for us to find ways to have sex but also it makes us more curious to enter that world of sex. 

Where My Curiosity Started

I was a late bloomer when it came to wanting to have sex or have the desire to have sex as a teenager. If you want me, to be honest, I thought that the idea of sex was “gross”.  This was before my parents enrolled me in sex education class. The class was broken down for young teenagers with disabilities which I attended throughout middle school. I had the same mindset about sex up until my senior year of high school when I started to date my then boyfriend at 18 years old. 

From the beginning of our relationship my curiosity began.  It gradually happened from one day to next and the more and more we saw each other via FaceTime, the more we had fallen in love and it was the first time I would say that I've felt that emotion towards someone.

From the beginning of our relationship my curiosity began. It gradually happened from one day to next and the more and more we saw each other via FaceTime, the more we had fallen in love and it was the first time I would say that I’ve felt that emotion towards someone.

The more curious I became about sex and what it would feel like to have sex, eventually I started to catch feeling in that” area! At first I was in denial but then I learned to expect that I was growing up and become an adult and it was okay for me to become interested in sex and it was okay for me to want to explore that area as a young woman with a disability has long as I remember one thing: – Treat your body with respect and never let anyone take advantage of your body regardless of your disability treat your body with the most upbringing respect and always be curious about it . 

My First Sexual Encounter 

After dating my ex-boyfriend for about six months, we started to talk about having cybersex. At first, I was reluctant, although I was curious about it and what it would be like to be intimate together. Eventually, I finally become used to the idea of cybersex and for me, I enjoyed the rush of it and the ability to be sexually intimate although it was through technology and I think for someone who has cerebral palsy it caused me to be naive in some areas because I wasn’t able to be exposed to things early on like some people are. 

What I Learned

Looking back at my experience with being sexually active with a disability is that it’s OK to be curious about something especially if you never experienced it before but never get to carried away with something just because it’s something new and you hadn’t experience that part of life don’t let curiosity influence your choices and your decisions. 

As I grow I realize that sex is something I want to wait for and enjoy when the right time comes and when i’m less curious about it 

About The Author

Tylia Flores is a 24-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world. Through her many life challenges and obstacles, she discovered her passion for writing. Tylia’s goal in life is to share her stories with the world.

I Swiped Right to Finding Love with Chronic Illness

Dating with Disability and Chronic Illness

The idea of putting yourself out into the dating world when you’re single and you have a visible disability can be horrifying. What if you can’t find the right person for you who is able to look past your condition and your additional needs? As a young 23-year old woman with Cerebral palsy, as well as chronic illnesses and anxiety, online dating for me has been an adventure, to say the least.

What I’ve Learnt

If I’m honest, dating for me as always been an adventure in general; from the time I entered middle school and had gone through the normal things young ladies go through. While in middle school, I really had a desire to have an able-bodied boyfriend. This was because I felt that maybe, if I had a boyfriend, then I would be able to fit in with the rest of the girls in my grade. Needless to say, looking back, if I could tell my younger self anything it would be to not worry about rushing into relationships. I would have told her that once you learn to love yourself above anything else, then the love of your life will come along.

Self love and Confidence is important to have when dating with Disability and Chronic Illness

That’s one of the main takeaways that I want you guys to gain from this article. In order to put yourself out there in the dating scene, you must have confidence in yourself. Only then will the person you are dating be able to see you past all your disabilities and chronic illness. This being said, I think it’s very important that you be open and honest about your conditions.

Online Dating

For example, when I was single and was on Tinder, I made sure that when I was setting up my profile I wrote in my “about me” section that I’m a 23-year old with Cerebral palsy and chronic illness. I wanted any young man that was interested in getting to know me to know that I did have these conditions and that I’m not ashamed of it. Most of the young men that messaged me were okay about it, while some were complete jerks about it. These negative experiences, however, didn’t take away from my experience of online dating and learning about how it works.

Know What You’re Looking For

The truth of the matter is that dating with chronic illness can be difficult, but as long as you know your boundaries and what qualities you’re looking for in a person that you may potentially date, it then becomes easier.

I personally look for someone who is from a good family, who has a life plan and a stable career. I also look for someone who is excited to explore the world and try new things. Positivity is an especially important characteristic for a partner to have in my opinion because when you have a condition such as mine, I think it’s important to date someone who is going to simultaneously push you and support you.

Positivity is important to look for when dating with Disability and Chronic Illness

The most important thing I have learnt about dating with disability and chronic illness is that when it comes to the dating process, it all starts with you.

Tylia Flores is a 24-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world. Through her many life challenges and obstacles, she discovered her passion for writing. Tylia’s goal in life is to share her stories with the world.

How Soon Is ‘Too Soon’ to Disclose Your Illness?

How Soon is 'Too Soon' to Disclose Your Ilness to Friends or Dates? Tips for spoonies and people with chronic illness

So you have decided to get to know someone new. Whether it’s through a dating website, a mutual friend, or something of the like, it often raises the question of how soon is too soon to tell the other person that you have a chronic illness. Tell them too soon and they might back away before you can get to know them, but if you tell them too late they might get upset with you for not disclosing the information sooner.  So when is the best time to tell someone about your illness?  

One of the things that makes this topic so tough to discuss with new people is the fact that everyone is different, and therefore there is no perfect formula that will work every time when opening up initially. Lord knows how many times I’ve sat in the car before a first date and wondered whether or not I should use my crutches or walker to get into the restaurant. It’s not every day a 23-year-old shows up to a first date using a mobility aid. I’ve been on dates where I’ve shown up using my crutches, and next thing I know the guy is telling me that he doesn’t see a future with me because he doesn’t want to be a one income family. On a first date! But there are times where I’ve pretended to be normal and healthy, and then on the fourth or fifth date talked about my disabilities and completely overwhelmed the other person, which effectively cuts them off or closes them up. It took a lot of trial and error for me to figure out what works best in my situation. 

Online Dating Tips

How soon is too soon to disclose your chronic illness when dating or online dating

When it comes to my online dating profile, I disclose right off the bat that I do struggle with physical disabilities and mental health issues. I don’t go into any detail further than that and usually let them make the first move on approaching me about it. People who have a bigger concern about being with someone who has a physical disability will usually ask questions within the first few messages, whereas the people who don’t seem as concerned about it will wait until much later to bring it up. When people do come to me asking questions, I do my best to answer their questions directly and as efficiently as possible (without giving so much information that it overwhelms them). If someone asks me about how much activity I’m able to do during the day, I’m usually honest about the fact that there are some days that I can do more than others. I like to let them know that I do have a gym membership and enjoy being active when I can, but if I’m too active on any given day, then I might be out of commission for the next few days to recover. I like to tell them that I do love going on walks or going to events like Comic-Con or the Renaissance Faire. I also tell them that there are some days I can barely get out of bed and have to use my walker just to get to and from the bathroom. I do my best to emphasize the fact that I am an independent person who is not looking for a caretaker that doubles as a girlfriend or boyfriend. 

New Friends

When I’m meeting new friends and don’t have the luxury of being able to state on an online profile that I have disabilities, I usually end up being very upfront about my disabilities. A quote that I have taken to heart when it comes to this was said by the late, great Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” I have been through a lot of ups and downs in my life, and I have learned that this saying really is true. The people who have stuck by me when I’ve been sick and struggling are the people who didn’t mind in the first place that I had disabilities. And the people who had issues with me being disabled when we first started out getting to know each other ended up not being there for me when I needed them most. As discouraging as it is to see these red flags of unsupportiveness from people when you get to know them, it’s better to know early on than to put the energy into the relationship and end up getting hurt. At the end of the day, it’s important that you stay true to yourself and do what you are comfortable with. Healthy relationships rarely grow from crossed boundaries.  

How soon is too soon to disclose your chronic illness to your friends?

Whether we like it or not, are chronic illnesses or a part of who we are. There’s no way to ignore them or hide them forever. It’s important that you take your time easing people into the reality of your life if they have not had experiences with people who have chronic illnesses before. The life that we are forced to leave because of our chronic illnesses is very overwhelming, especially for new people. It’s often upsetting to hear just how rough we have it. But slowly, piece by piece, strangers can turn into friends when they realize that your chronic illness is just a part of who you are and that you are a fabulous person no matter what. You’re not defined by your illnesses or your disabilities, and the people who truly matter will see that shine through.

Written by: Ren Kaspar. She is a spoonie struggling with POTS, hEDS, and gastroparesis, among others. She writes her own blog ( and is an outspoken activist on Instagram (@ungluing_stigma). When she’s not managing her illnesses full time, you can find her volunteering with Crisis Text Line or working at build-a-bear. 

5 Tips For Managing Relationships With Celiac Disease

Tip for managing relationship with celiac disease - support

Tip number 1 is probably the hardest but most important. Don’t accept anything but support. 

Only Accept Support

This is something that can be difficult. Especially if you have close family and friends who just don’t seem to get it. 

Honestly, if they cared, they’d get with the program.

I’m not talking about the people who mean well but accidentally slip up. I’m talking about the people who introduce you as “one of those gluten-free people” or who don’t apologize when they accidentally serve you non-gluten-free food. 

When even the smallest crumb can determine if you’re going to be a slave to the porcelain throne for the next few days, you have to take things seriously.

Now sometimes you need to “earn” support. Despite having a pretty serious diagnosis behind you, sometimes people need convincing of how real this disease is.

My top convincing statements:

  • My body literally attacks itself when I eat gluten
  • I’m at higher risk for stomach cancer when I eat gluten
  • I’m at higher risk for osteoporosis 
  • I’m sick for days after eating gluten

Try anything that conveys the severity.

If they still don’t get it, distance is your friend and when you do run into these people, make it clear whenever possible that this is not just some fad diet you’re following for a few months, this is for life.


While support is vital to managing relationships with Celiac Disease, you can’t just expect everyone to learn about your condition themselves.

Celiac disease is tricky, and you can share as much or as little as you want with people. It’s important, however, that people understand that this condition is a lifelong condition. This means you aren’t going gluten-free temporarily. This diet is for life.

Basically, managing your relationships with Celiac means everyone including yourself being fully aware of what this condition entails.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Being gluten-free with Celiac Disease can be exhausting. Watching for ways people can contaminate your things and food (like when your friend eats a sandwich and then grabs your notes) is time-consuming and energy draining. I swear I wash my hands almost every hour out of fear.

tip for relationship with celiac - ask for help

Being aware and advocating for yourself can be overwhelming so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Personally, I ask my friends to act as buffers for me when I order at restaurants like Chipotle. I know I am the most unpopular person in the building when I ask the line to change their gloves and serving utensils in support of my allergy. Having people in front and behind you to prevent hearing what people are saying under their breath can be the world of difference. Even just knowing you have 2 people in the building who support this whole effort is helpful.

I’ve also had friends ask for their meals to be served separately from mine to prevent the potential of cross-contamination when delivering plates.

Get creative and let your friends and family be allies. 

Be Clear

Make it easy for people to support you by laying out your needs for them. Whether it’s your friends, family, or significant other, be clear on what it is that you need from them.

My friend’s, for instance, know that I get severely ill when I eat gluten, so they are all aware that if we go out for dinner, we have to go somewhere I can eat.

My boyfriend, on the other hand, knows that if we want to share a kiss, he needs to brush his teeth and rinse with mouthwash in order not to transfer gluten to my mouth.

gluten free tip for relationship with celiac disease Alpha Stock Images, 
Original Author: Nick Youngson

You might need your partner to be gluten-free around you, or be gluten-free in the house. Whatever you need, make sure you are clear on those needs and the consequences if those needs aren’t met.

For instance, my boyfriend knows if he doesn’t brush his teeth and rinse with mouthwash, I will break out in a horrible rash and feel sick. Who wants to be the cause of their loved one getting sick? Not a partner worth any of your time.

Know Your Worth

Friendships, family, significant others, all of these relationships can be tough to maintain. For a long time, I used to think no one would want to date me.

Comments like “you’re special” and “wow, that’s a lot” plagued my social circle for a long time. People used to say that it was a sacrifice dating me, but despite my Celiac Disease, I grew to practice self-love and compassion. I grew to understand I am worthy.

I am worthy of respect, effort, and consideration, and so are you.

The world is a dangerous place for Celiacs, dramatic but true. I don’t need anyone who isn’t on my side traveling it with me. 

Written by Tayler Silfverduk. She is a Dietetic Technician Registered (DTR) with Celiac Disease. She’s been living with Celiac Disease since high school and it is her mission to help other thrive on a gluten-free diet.

How to Know When It Is Time to Start Dating

Am I Ready to Date with a Chronic Illness?

Dating with Chronic Illness


Being single and looking for a relationship at 24 can be difficult enough, but add a chronic illness into the mix and it can really throw a spanner in the works. It seems like everyone and their dog are moving in, getting engaged and married or they’re having babies, and you are just there trying to get through the day without being in immense pain from pushing yourself too far the day before. I became single around the same time I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia – cue the onslaught of panic thinking that I would be alone forever because my life was over right then and there. Newsflash: it definitely was not. I found it way too easy to fall into the trap of thinking I could not progress with my life, but after some amazing sessions and the Pain Management Programme I have a completely new way of looking at my future. I thought I would put together a little list of the main things I am focusing on right now to help me get ready to ‘get back out there’.

It Is Time to Date Yourself!

I do not need to explain how important it is to practice self-love. It is the age-old lesson of learning to love yourself before you go on to start exploring relationships again. For anyone this is a hugely important thing, but I think it is especially important for those living with a chronic illness. I know for me, I started to question everything about myself. So ‘dating’ yourself can really help when it comes to getting ready to get back on the horse! Learn all about yourself again, your likes and dislikes, and all your hobbies, too. How can you tell someone all about yourself if you don’t even know anymore? This is the perfect excuse to indulge in some lush food, watch any film you want (without someone judging your film choices) and just enjoy your ‘me time’ before that becomes a distance memory.

Dating with Chronic Illness

What are you looking for?

In this day and age it can be difficult to find someone you like who is looking for all the same things as you. In the days of Tinder, and all the other dating apps out there, it is a lot easier to get lost in the crowds of people looking for just a quick fling. For me personally, I just do not have the interest, time, or effort for all of that.  I’m ready to ‘settle down’ in some form. No, I’m not expecting marriage within the year; but, I am done with the casual dating where you end up catching feelings while the other person is talking to five other people. Done that, got the t-shirt and it just was not worth it. It is good to decide what kind of person you are when it comes to your love life. I am 100% a relationship kind of gal. I am terrible at ‘being single.’ I’ve spent the time to find exactly what I want out of a relationship and it’s a good idea for you to do the same.

Are You Ready?

This is the most important thing. Chronic illnesses can take a lot out of you.  You might have experienced a relationship breakdown lately or maybe you are just enjoying being ‘just you’ right now. No use rushing into relationships if you are not mentally or physically ready for it. It is hard to remember that sometimes when you are single you end up having people asking you on a regular basis if you are seeing anyone new. There is absolutely no need to rush into any relationship. You have enough on your plate! It is also good to think about whether you are ready to be sharing your chronic illness with someone. I went a few months never bringing it up but at the end of the day it is something I have to live with so now I don’t hide it. It is good to figure out if you are ready for this, too.

Dating with Chronic Illness

Put Your Health First

Do I really need to explain this one? I am sure a lot of you out there have experienced a time where you have put another person’s feelings before your own physical or mental health. Chronic illnesses can impact every single aspect of your life. Your body and your mind work as one, so when you start to feel down or stressed, your pain, fatigue and any other symptom may increase with it. Do not put yourself through any unnecessary stress out in the dating world. It is not worth it and I can guarantee you will find someone who will make living with a chronic illness easier, not harder.

At the end of the day relationships are not the be all and end all. That does not mean you are a terrible person for wanting one. I am still stuck on point three. I can not be sure if I am 100% ready yet, but that’s okay. I’m enjoying my life, working really hard on managing my chronic pain, and that takes up enough of my time!

There is a new solution, the new dating app Lemonayde. It is a dating app especially made for people with health challenges. You can check it out here!

About the Author

Fit Fibro Girl

Abbey is a 24-year-old Scientist with Fibromyalgia. She spent her University life fighting for a diagnosis so now she is trying to reclaim her social life. You can follow Abbey’s blog at Diary of a Fibro Girl.




5 Ways To Reduce Stress When Dating With Mental Illness

5 Ways to Reduce Stress When Dating with Mental Illness

There are a lot of people in this world who find dating absolutely terrifying. Let’s face it: most of us have had the broccoli-in-the-teeth moment at a fancy restaurant.

Many who suffer with mental illness endure dating nerves over double the intensity of those without mental illness. The reality is, mental illness can impact human relationships in general, whether platonic or romantic.

It’s not always easy to navigate social settings. That being said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

5 Ways to Reeuce Stress When Dating with Mental IllnessThis world can be a pretty lonely place. Having loved ones to share it with is definitely one of the perks of being human. Yet something a lot of us struggle with is expressing ourselves. Figuring out how to explain difficult, often sensitive, topics to others can be an overwhelming, daunting process.

I have compiled a list of why people with mental health issues may struggle with dating. Now whenever your Gran starts nagging you to find your future spouse, I’ve got your back! You can literally just thrust this article in her face then frogmarch out of there like a boss.

Sadly, I can’t promise it will stop the nagging, but it may at least make her think twice.

Why might people with mental health issues struggle with dating?

You don’t feel good enough.

If you suffer with a mental illness, especially depression, you will know exactly what I’m referring to. The mind monsters come out to play, causing you to have negative thoughts and low opinions of yourself. It’s very easy to let your mental illness trick you into believing that you are unloveable.

A common worry for those dating with mental illness is that they have too much baggage. They begin to wonder whether anyone would ever want to take them on when they could find someone without mental health issues.

It feels like too much effort.

It doesn’t matter what mental illness(es) you suffer from: there is no “one size fits all.” You could find two people unusually identical in every way, suffering from the same illness. Even then, it’s still highly unlikely that the symptoms they experience will be the same.

However, it’s very common to feel fed up and worn out. The process of arranging and actually participating in dating is a lot of effort. Not to mention the prospect of feelings getting involved can be terrifying. The whole thing can seem like a mammoth task when suffering with mental illness.

You are scared of it impacting your mental illness and making it worse.

It’s a well known fact that our emotions in general can wreak havoc on our mental health issues. Inviting others into our lives and giving them the power to impact our thoughts and feelings can be panic-inducing. Why would you want to give someone the power and ability to hurt you?

You don’t know how to express yourself or explain your mental illness.

It can be difficult to express yourself when dating with mental illness.It can be difficult to express yourself. That’s a worry for a lot of people. When you have a mental illness that you have to try and explain? Well, it’s a whole new ballgame. How do you explain something you can’t fully understand yourself, am I right? Trying to figure out how to put into words something so complex seems impossible. It’s not as simple as asking a sketch artist to draw your description.

You panic yourself out of it.

I have lost count of the number of social situations I have talked myself out of over the years! It’s way too easy to think of justifiable reasons for why you shouldn’t do something. Even people without mental illness often let the fear of the unknown hold them back.

The real question is, what do you do? Well, I may be able to help you there.

5 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress When Dating

  • Choose a date idea that you are comfortable with. For example, if you are worried about eating in public, go bowling instead.
  • If you are concerned about your conversational skills, watch a movie; it gives you a topic to discuss.
  • Ask to be involved in the planning. Your input will be used when deciding the venue and the activity.
  • To ensure you will get along, arrange a video call before the date. It’s basically a face-to-face chat, but with the safety of the “end call” button.
  • Wear clothes you are comfortable in, especially shoes. It’s tempting to wear those killer heels, right? The trouble is, your feet hurting before you even reach the destination? Instant black cloud over your mood.

There are ways to overcome the challenges of dating with mental illness.At the end of the day, dating can be tough. Especially when you suffer with mental health issues.

The good news is when you meet someone who is perfect for you and your quirks, none of it will matter.

The truth is, as cliché as it sounds, it’s important to always follow your heart. If you are uncomfortable on a date then say so. If you are nervous, be honest about that.

It’s important that you never let anyone put you into a situation you are unhappy with. Anyone who is into you for the right reasons will be understanding and happy to follow your lead.

Just remember, life is way too short to let your mental illness take control of it.

Dating is not for everyone. There’s no question that dating while also trying to handle chronic illness can present some significant and unique challenges.

But what if you could get to know someone before you even meet in person? If you have a chronic illness and are looking to meet new people, check out this promising new dating app Lemonayde. Made for people with health challenges, it allows you to connect with others with chronic illnesses just like you from the comfort of home!

About the Author:

Sarah Jenna Jayne write about dating with mental illness at The Unchargeables.Sarah is a blogger who focuses primarily on chronic illness and mental health. Sarah also shares some of the embarrassing parts of her personal life when she’s feeling brave!

Managing the Challenges of Dating With Chronic Illness

Being chronically ill and single comes with its own unique set of challenges. First and most important: I don’t have energy to socialize or go out much, so how will I ever meet someone?

Being a Chargie (someone with a chronic illness, invisible illness, and/or chronic pain) is hard enough. Now add the stress of dating onto that and we feel like we will always stay single. Although it is hard to date as a Chargie, it is certainly not impossible!

How can I date with chronic illness?

We asked our Twitter community what they wanted to share about this topic. This is what they had to say!

Many Chargies feel that they are “not good enough” because they can’t do “healthy people” activities.

Dating Tip: Don’t try and go somewhere where you know you will have to use too much energy. Go see a movie or have dinner. Sit in the park. Skip mini-golf or other more active dates.

It’s hard to plan when you are chronically ill. Today you may feel fine, but you never know what tomorrow brings.

Dating Tip: Make sure to rest as much as possible before your date so you can use your energy on the actual date itself. Don’t overdo it prepping yourself. Do you wear your hair and make up like that every day? I didn’t think so. Less is more.

Explain to the other party that you have to take it slow. When you’ve just started dating someone, it’s hard to talk about health challenges. You don’t have to throw it all out there before or on the first date if it makes you uncomfortable!

Dating Tip: If you feel uncomfortable telling your date all the ins and outs of your health right from the start, keep it vague. Just say that you get tired easily. It’s a start.



How I Feel About Chargie Dating Challenges

Wouldn’t it be great if we could meet new people from the comfort and safety of our own homes? Even when we feel bad, having contact with others can make us feel better.

Spoiler alert: At the end of the article I’ll tell you how this is possible! Can’t wait? Check it out here!

It’s important to understand that your illness is not your fault. Others don’t blame you for your symptoms, and if they do, you don’t need those people in your life. Living with a chronic illness is a full time job.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. You can only do what your body allows you to do. The other person needs to understand. If they can’t, they are not the right person for you.

An understanding partner is very important. Be open and find someone who accepts you for who you are.

Dating Tip: If you find yourself ready to be intimate with someone, take the time to explain what limitations your condition may cause before you get to the moment of intimacy.

We can often feel that having a chronic illness robs us of that “youthful vitality” that permeates the typical dating scene. You don’t have to only be in your 20s or 30s to be able to date! If you’re in your 30s and your illness makes you feel like you’re 70, dare to date anyway!

Dating Tip: You don’t need to skip along the beach in a maxi dress to have fun on a date. Low-key activities can be just as enjoyable and fulfilling.

I’m a warrior; I need a partner, not a caretaker!

In some cases people will think you need help all the time, when you are not looking for a caretaker but for a partner. Make it clear to them that you can do things yourself and would love the emotional support, but are looking for an equal partnership.

Dating tip: Don’t bring this up until you are sure you want to start a relationship with this person.

Show them your character and how fun you are. Talk about your hopes and dreams for your life despite being disabled. When you don’t focus on your disability, neither will they.









If you’re dating someone who is unfamiliar with the needs of individuals with disabilities, they will likely be unsure of where the boundaries are. They may be eager to show they care by trying to help you. While frustrating for those with disabilities, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Be sure to explain that you will ask for help if you need it.

Dating Tip: If you sense that they may be using you, or not listening to your wishes, get away! If they don’t understand basic needs after telling them once, maybe twice, they will never get it.

To date or not to date with chronic illness?

Opinions are divided on that front, but one thing is clear. Dating with a chronic illness is even more work than dating without one. Wouldn’t it be great if you could skip over the part where you need to tell them about your health challenges?

There is a solution, the new dating app Lemonayde. It is a dating app especially made for people with health challenges. You can check it out here!

Graphics by T.J. Madden

Compiled and edited by Natalie van Scheltinga and Laura Tietz

Dating with Chronic Pain: Long Distance Love

My boyfriend and I have been in a long-distance relationship for a little over three years now. While that has its own challenges, what other couples typically don’t have to factor into the equation are “pain days.”My boyfriend and I share many things in common, we have lived semi-parallel lives, and one thing we completely relate to is the chronic pain that comes with our disability, Cerebral Palsy. The most ironic things I have learned about having, living, and dealing with chronic pain is that can be just as unpredictable as anything else in life. 

I remember when I had my first Facetime call with my boyfriend, it was a month after we met on Facebook, and I had absolutely no idea how it was going to go. You meet all kinds of colorful personalities when it comes to the internet, and I honestly didn’t know whether or not he was going to be someone who I would know instantly had to go. He turned out to be a very happy and unexpected part of my life. When it comes to me having a bad pain day, while I do feel bad I know he understands and becomes generally concerned for me. It’s one of our running jokes, really, giving one another tips on what could elevate our aches and pains. 

“Did you try ICY Hot?”
“How about BenGay?” 
‘Hey, babe, have you tried this?” 

It sucks, too, that on days when the pain is really bad and one of us may not have slept the greatest the night before we will most likely have to call for a raincheck on our upcoming Facetime date. But I know that even if I don’t get to see his face or hear his voice that he’s always there for me and I am always there for him. Call me the ultimate sap, but if I could pick one positive thing about dating and chronic pain it’s that I never feel ashamed or embarrassed or self-conscious because of it. 

Having a partner who lives with the same struggles and concerns as wedo, day in and day out, is one less worry for both of us. Neither of us has to worry about how the other will react to our pain. And sometimes it’s nice to have someone to manage and count spoons with. We can lean on one another for support, push one another when either one of us needs to push through the pain and get through the day’s activities. There is always someone there to cheer you on and push you through to the other side of your pain. 

Chronic pain is not a pleasant experience, but if you can find someone who relates to you and understands that part of your lifeit can make any bad pain day bearable. And even though I would give anything for my boyfriend to be here to hold me in the midst of those unbearable moments, I know I could have it much worse as others who deal and live with chronic pain do. The kind of pain where you just wish you could bend all those spoons and toss them out the damn window. It’s because I know there are some who are in worse situations than the one we’re in that we both try to make a decent attempt at counting our blessings instead of being zeroed in on the bad all the time.

My boyfriend and I both feel extremely fortunate to have one another to lean on. We also believe that no matter what God gives we will get through it together. Chronic pain doesn’t go away, but if there is another bright side to sharing this struggle with your partner, it’s that we can come up with ways to cope and manage our pain together. Over time, we’ve become pros at coping, just like we have with adjusting, adapting, and living ourlives with cerebral palsy.

Looking for connection online?

With all the new technologies and applications out there, it’s easier to come across someone with whom you connect who could possibly end up changing your life in the best possible way. One of the newest applications focuses on those with chronic conditions. The app, available for Apple and Android, is called Lemonyade ( You never know what lies ahead until you take the chance to get to know someone who shares something as personal and life-changing as a chronic condition. 


About the Author

Jessica Niziolek writes about cluster headaches for The Unchargeables.Jessica is a blogger, disability activist, writer, poet, and podcast host.


Two Sides of Dating With Chronic Illness

Dating has never been a simple task since the beginning of time. Whether a fine lady being wooed by a noble in the Middle Ages, breaking convention and marrying for love in the 19th century, or swiping right in the 21st century, meeting the right person can be a challenge.

Insert chronic illness into the picture and suddenly there’s a whole slew of unique issues to manage. Upon posting a question about dating on our Facebook page, it was clear as day that there seem to be two sides to dating with chronic illness.

Dating? Go For It!

Many of our fellow Chargies who commented on the Facebook post are comfortable with dating while having chronic illness.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

“I agree honesty is the best policy. So when you’re dating someone or you meet someone on the Internet and there is an interest between two people, be honest. They will respect you more.” Elissa

“Put it all out there when you first meet them. Don’t try to hide it. They will find out later anyway. If you are upfront about it and they stay, they are a keeper.” Heather

“I am honest and open about everything from the get-go. When I met my current spouse on the Internet, I told him my issues, warned him I would never be fully healthy and would probably get worse, and went from there. I had to make it clear what he would be dealing with.” Amanda

“I am honest right away about my illnesses. No sense in hiding it because it will come out. I’ve also found it helps weed the wrong ones out. If they disappear, they’re not worth my time.“ Dawnique

“Make it clear up front that all plans are subject to change at any moment; it is not personal.” Gwendolyn

“I told my high school love after not seeing him for 22 years, ‘I have to be honest. I have MS.’ He said, ‘No, you don’t. We do.’ We are married 6 years now.” Eileen

Try Not to Make Things Too Complicated

“I don’t have the energy to play games or tip-toe around anything or make my life more complicated. Don’t make it harder for yourself by doing so and don’t feel like you need to be something you aren’t. If you lie or pretend or fake in the beginning, you can’t fully blame them when they are surprised or taken aback by the truth. Remember, if things get serious, they will be sharing your burden.” Amanda

“Just be yourself. Don’t overwhelm them right off the bat. Let them fall for you, not your physicality.” Liz

“When we got married, he knew I was sick and wanted to take care of me. Then he got sick and I took care of him. I briefly dated someone before my husband and he didn’t understand illness at all; he thought I just needed to try harder. Don’t waste emotional energy trying to change them. Just move on.” Linda

“Date another spoonie and spend your days watching Netflix and snuggling.” Bronwyn

Don’t Give Up!

“Don’t push yourself or over exert yourself. Find people who enjoy the same music, movies, books, and hobbies. Find someone with core likes and enjoyments. Connect on other levels than the physical. Find someone who isn’t looking to fix you or push you to be who you aren’t. Find someone who supports you and cares about you. Don’t settle for a rough situation out of self-pity or self-deprecation. You matter. You are a person with feelings and heart and dreams. Never lose yourself. And don’t force yourself on someone not ready or sure if they can handle what you deal with. That will be a constant uphill battle.” Amanda

“If they run, then they don’t deserve you. Any man/woman won’t care what is wrong or what is right. No one is ever perfect. Everyone has an imperfection. If they want to judge you over something like that, all I can say is they are a pathetic excuse for a human. Keep going and never give up hope. Please, guys and girls, don’t ever give up. Don’t let your worries hold you back. Your prince/princess won’t give a damn what is wrong or what is right. They will love you for you and nothing else.” Tonie

“I would suggest connecting in online groups or pages that are about your favorite hobbies, things, etc. Be wary, but be strong and be proud of who you are. Focus on your strengths. Talk about yourself in a positive light when you can. Although you should be honest, constantly complaining and always being negative will drive people away. Don’t lay it on heavy or always make it about you.” Amanda

Dating? No Way!

While many of our fellow Chargies encourage dating, others have a different view.

“Just don’t. It’s been 10+ years and just less stress this way. There is no room for any more stress or caregiving of another person.” Jamie

“No dating here, either. I used to have summer flings. But men cannot handle this. They try to cure me and then get frustrated when love doesn’t magically make my illness go away.” Anne

“See someone cute, walk tall, and smile. Then keep walking because it probably isn’t worth it!” Sam

”How can I let someone know I have a colostomy bag and just pray they won’t run the other way?” Elissa

“It doesn’t work. My body creates its own schedule. I have other medical issues so I am done dating. I definitely have too much baggage. I am ok with it, though.” Becky

“Please do NOT tell me to change my lifestyle to suit your preferences or to ‘fix’ me. My daily activities, diet, and medical treatments have developed over *years* of working with professionals, and they HAVE to revolve around my illnesses for my survival. As much as I’d love to do spontaneous and fun things, I physically cannot…and I will not tolerate being teased, pressured, or shamed for things beyond my control.” Grace

How Do You Meet Someone When You Barely Leave the House?

Dating is not for everyone. There’s no question that dating while also trying to handle chronic illness can present some significant and unique challenges.

But what if you could get to know someone before you even meet in person? If you have a chronic illness and are looking to meet new people, check out this promising new dating app Lemonayde. Made for people with health challenges, it allows you to connect with others with chronic illnesses just like you from the comfort of home!

Compiled and edited by Laura Tietz