Love. It's a topic that I don't have much experience with. I didn't date when I was a teenager. I didn't go to prom. I didn't have a boyfriend until college. I've had my heart broken, and I've broken hearts. I've never been married. So I certainly don't have much advice to give on this topic.
What I can tell you is that this is a hard topic for me to write about, because it forces me to face my insecurities. Like the fact that I think I might be too flawed for anyone to love for the next 65 years. And wonder if a man could love a woman in her 30s who has 3 auto-immune diseases; two of which are guaranteed to impact his life daily. Would a man commit to never-again-in-his-life have a gluten-laden pizza at home? Or bread? Or anything breaded? Could he be happy knowing he could never grab fast food with his lady? Or drink a regular ol' beer with her? Or have a normal holiday meal? And the whammy to the gluten-free-for-the-rest-of-your-life lifestyle, is the life-altering, hourly-managed disease like type 1. Could I be someone that someone else could be proud of?
I am afraid that these traits (not sure if that's the best word) would scare someone away in the long run. Maybe in the short run it would be okay, but for life? Well, that's a long time. Sometimes I think that maybe if I only had one disease, maybe I'd be a more attractive package. Anyone that is going to love me - or anyone else with a chronic illness- for life, is going to have extra responsibilities on their plate. But for my situation, your going to need two plates.
And on top of that, I still have normal-person flaws. Like that I watch way too many crime tv shows, bite my nails, hate the History Channel, and have a dog that I talk to daily like she's human.
What I do know about love, is that I love loving someone else, I love being loved, and I love the idea of loving one person for life. I just wish I could have gotten married before getting sick, because I wonder now if I'm loveable.
And then on the other side of the coin, I know I'm a good catch. I'm loyal, passionate, kind-hearted, reliable, smart, happy, and a great cook. But will anyone be able to see those qualities before they see my flaws?
I do not normally sit around and stress about this situation. I'm really only stressed about it when I am writing a blog about it and throwing it out to the universe to read.
But I'm curious about whether others have input. Were you already married when you got diagnosed with your illness? If you were young when you were diagnosed, was it ever an issue when you were dating? Do you feel it limited you at all in the dating pool? Were you self conscious about it?