Dating can be difficult even under the best of circumstances. When you throw inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) into the mix, it can become very daunting. But this doesn’t mean that you need to refrain from dating. With a little preparation, there is no reason why you can’t have a lovely time with that someone special.
Choose the location and time carefully
When you first start dating, it’s a good idea to keep the dates short and sweet. Choose an activity that isn’t intensely physical and where bathrooms are available. Catching a movie or dinner at a place where you have eaten before could make for a good start.
While it may be difficult to plan for every possible scenario, it’s a good idea to keep a few things that you deem essential on you (e.g. toilet paper, seat covers or a change of clothes). Additionally, if you are going somewhere new, call in advance to check if they have restrooms on site.
It’s okay to reschedule
If you experience a flare-up close to the big day and your symptoms become erratic, dating will probably be the last thing on your mind. You are likely to spend most of the time worrying about your symptoms rather than focusing on the other person, especially if it’s a first date. Consider postponing your date until you are feeling better.
When to disclose
There is no right or wrong answer for this. You may wish to tell the other person early on, before you get too involved, or you may choose to wait until you feel a little more comfortable with the person. You are ultimately the best person to decide when the time is right.