Dear Future Partner,
My chronic illness journey has provided many valuable lessons over the years. Above all, I have learned about the healing power of unconditional love through family and friends. While I’m looking forward to sharing an exquisite life with you in the future, I want to be upfront about some challenges that come with dating a person who battles chronic illness.
First, I will sometimes cancel plans at the last minute. This isn’t because I don’t want to see you or I don’t respect our important plans together. I just experience flare-ups at the most inconvenient times. The pain and fatigue will debilitate me so much that I will need to reschedule our plans.
When this happens, it will be great if you come over with a Jamba Juice and a soft hug. Maybe we can binge-watch our favorite Netflix show that evening or catch up on a podcast we both enjoy. I might ask you to throw in a load of laundry for me or give my dogs some extra love and attention.
Another important thing to know about dating me is that staying out late won’t work well for my body. Because I’m chronically ill, I need 8 to 10 hours of sleep nearly every night. I love you and want to be with you, but I must fall asleep at a decent hour so that I can be the best version of myself for our relationship.
When I’ve had a good night’s rest, I’ll be able to keep up with our activities much better. We can take nature walks, play board games, go swimming, volunteer for a cause we are passionate about, or any number of other adventures. At the end of those days, I can’t wait to hold you in my arms and remind you how grateful I am to have such a wonderful person in my life.
Another thought: although romantic dinners out sound amazing, my food allergies make eating out at restaurants extremely difficult. I must be extremely cautious about cross-contamination because even trace amounts of allergens can make me very ill.
On the bright side, I am becoming a better cook and would love to make you dinner all the time! I will learn to cook some of your favorite dishes. We can also have nights where we prepare meals together; I’ll be sure to provide music and candles for special occasions.
I am a fantastic conversationalist who loves to listen and share. I can’t wait to learn more about your family, friends, work, stressors, hopes, dreams, embarrassing moments, and childhood stories. Of course, I’ll be happy to share mine with you as well! We can talk openly about our strengths, goals, and ways to improve our relationship. I look forward to lots of pillow talk!
On the days when I experience more severe symptoms, I will be more quiet than my usual self. Please don’t mistake my more reserved days as a lack of interest. Truth be told, I will likely need a kiss on the forehead and extra care on these days. I hope you can love me through it. I promise that after I recuperate with a lengthy nap, we can continue our conversations.
Lastly, you beautiful soul, I need you to understand that stress triggers many of my symptoms. I understand that stressful moments are inevitable in most relationships. However, I have learned from experience that regular, high levels of stress are extremely detrimental because I’m chronically ill. Let’s please prioritize strong communication skills so that we can avoid misunderstandings.
Despite any challenges that we may face together, I believe that we can share a lovely, fulfilling life. I look forward to meeting you and showering you in my endless, unconditional love! I can’t wait to meet your lovely soul.
All my best,
Your Chronically Ill, Chronically in Love (With You!) Partner