You’ve got the job, the home and the friends now it’s time to turn your attention to your love life. But having a condition like endometriosis can make finding a partner seem like an obstacle course. Not only does endo impact your day-to-day life, it also has an effect on your body confidence, sexuality and self-esteem. So how do you overcome all that to find love?
If you have endometriosis, dating is probably the last thing on your mind. It’s important to take care of yourself, physically and mentally. But when you’re ready to get back into the swing of things, I’ve got some tips for making it easier to navigate your way through the dating landscape.
Even if you have endometriosis, you can still find love. The condition won’t stop you from being attractive or a good partner, parent, friend or person (duh!).
In fact, having endo is likely to make people even more attracted to you because of your strength of character and determination not to let it get in the way of living life to its fullest.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way… how do we go about finding love? And how to navigate having a partner while having endometriosis? How can we combine these two and what about sex? We’ll talk all about it. And if you’ve more questions regarding dating & endometriosis, make sure to leave a comment with your question and I’ll answer it here!
Finding a partner if you have endometriosis
When it comes to finding a partner, you shouldn’t have to settle. But when you’re dealing with a chronic illness like endometriosis, it can be difficult to find someone who is patient enough to understand your condition.
Finding someone who is open-minded and willing to talk through your concerns will make all the difference in being able to enjoy dating. If they don’t support your journey in treatment, that’s not the person for you!
Remember: You deserve someone who will listen and accept what’s going on as part of your life right now.
Everyone is looking for love, and endometriosis patients are no exception. While online dating may seem impersonal and cold, it can be a good place to start if you want to meet people who share your interests. If you’re not comfortable with that kind of connection, there are many other possibilities—here are some ideas:
- Join an organization like Meetup or local Facebook Groups where you can find common ground with people.
- Look for support groups in your area. This will help both people who have endometriosis and their partners understand the disease better and give them an opportunity to talk about it openly—and maybe even learn how they can help each other deal with this condition better!
- Set up a profile on OKCupid or Match so that you can search through profiles of others who might be interested in getting together through similar means (like attending concerts). This will give both parties some time before making any commitments; however, if one person seems really interested right away then he/she might try calling instead of using e-mailing software because phone calls tend to build intimacy more quickly than text messages do–which could lead into having more intimate discussions later down the road when they meet face-to-face once again!
- Try dating apps where the woman has to start the conversation first, like Bumble. You’ll feel more in control and I find the guys on apps like Bumble more understandable for woman in general than other dating apps.
Download our 12-page free endometriosis self-care tracker down below:
Let your partner know about endo
There are some things you can do to make sure your partner understands what’s going on. Talk about your endometriosis early on, maybe not the first date or conversation but soon-ish. If you’re really open about it you can even add it in your profile to tell them what’s going on to save time on guys that aren’t willing to date endo warriors.
Give them a little background info on endometriosis: it’s not contagious, it’s not an STD, and it’s not a choice.
Then explain that this isn’t about how attractive or feminine they are—your relationship is about more than that. Endo doesn’t change the way people feel about each other; it just changes the type of symptoms we experience at different times in our lives.
Be prepared for some probing questions
You may be asked about your condition, symptoms, treatment and fertility.
You can expect that your partner will want to know how you manage the pain of endometriosis. They may not realize that you need special consideration at times—such as avoiding certain physical activities or being aware of the impact of an illness flare-up on your energy levels.
Your partner might also ask how long it’s been since you had surgery to remove endometriosis growths from areas such as the ovaries. They may be curious about what caused their development in the first place, and if there is a genetic link among family members who have it too.
It’s important for them to understand what kind of support system exists for someone with this condition (if there is one at all).
Be open about your womanhood
Endometriosis isn’t a dirty word! You should be proud of your body, and sharing that pride with others is an important part of getting to know them. It’s a great way to let them know who you are and what you’ve overcome. It really shows how strong you are.
It’s also important to share how endo affects your sexuality and relationship with your partner(s). Whether they’re familiar with the condition or not, they need to understand that there are things that may affect how you move through life together: safe sex practices, birth control methods (or lack thereof), possible emotional trauma due to pain or bleeding during intercourse or menstruation… these are all things people should be open about when considering whether or not they want a partner on their team for life.
In the end I often found myself thinking, if a man’s not into talking about this HUGE part of my life, he’s not the man for me. That’s certainly a man I don’t WANT or need in my life. I need a support system and that’s what I deserve. A sweet, caring and gentle man who understands me and my illness.
Don’t let fear ruin your fun
Dating and opening up to someone can be scary, but don’t let fear ruin the fun. Getting in a new relationship can take up a lot of energy and time. Things you probably don’t have with endometriosis. So maybe you’re not looking for a serious relationship at this time but just for some fun. One-night stands might not be your thing as sex can be quite hurtful with endometriosis, but maybe finding a friend with benefits is more your thing. There are more options than you think!
Sex and endometriosis
When you have a chronic illness like endometriosis, sex can be painful, uncomfortable and may feel embarrassing. In addition to the physical issues that are often associated with endometriosis such as pain during intercourse or bleeding between periods, it can also be difficult to explain or communicate why you might not want to have sex at certain times in your cycle.
It can be difficult for partners to understand what exactly is happening when you’re in pain or experiencing other symptoms of this condition.
While there are many people who don’t mind having sex on their period (and there is nothing wrong with that), some women may feel more confident if they wait until after their period has passed before having sex again due to pain caused by endometriosis.
If you do decide to wait until after your period has passed until resuming intimate activities with your partner, make sure that your partner understands why this is important for YOU and YOUR BODY!
Dating someone with a chronic illness may require patience, but it can be rewarding.
We may feel like our bodies are betraying us, but we can choose to see that as an opportunity. The pain and exhaustion of endometriosis might make it hard for you to get out and meet people, but if you do find someone who understands what you’re going through and is willing to put up with all the complications that come with dating a person who has a chronic illness, then maybe that person could be your future partner in life. And that may make your life easier.
You may not have started your journey looking for love, but you can’t control who enters your life, and if that person happens to be a good match for you, then why not give them a chance? You might surprise yourself and find that you enjoy the experience of dating.
Dating someone with a chronic illness may require patience, but it can be rewarding. If you are open to the possibility of finding love and building a long-term relationship, then there is no reason why dating shouldn’t be an option for you.
If this person is also open to starting a family with you (and many people with endometriosis are), then it becomes even more important that they understand what they are getting into before they commit to such an endeavor. If you’re interested in learning more about endometriosis & fertility there’s more on the blog about it.
So you’re ready to try your luck in the dating game and find someone to share all your ups, downs and everything in between with. Yes, there may be some bumps along the way, but having endo is no reason to stop you from finding love.
So take a deep breath, open up about your condition and enjoy learning about the other parts of yourself that make you unique and incredibly lovable.