The Difficulties of Dating With AS
I’ve been on and off dating apps and websites since 2014. I’ve seen first hand how hard it is to connect and meet people in the age of dating apps. It’s hard enough being an able person, but I had no idea how much harder it would be once I had a chronic illness.
Being upfront about my illness
One thing that I’ve learned over the past few years, whether it be meeting new friends or meeting potential boyfriends, is to be upfront about my illness. I make sure it’s understood loud and clear that I have a disability, and I don’t quite operate like the majority of people on these apps.
I’d say that the majority of guys I’ve told about my AS take it well. Most of them just want to know more and ask basic questions. That being said, the conversations don’t necessarily last long, they fizzle out and I move on.
I don’t tend to take that personally anymore, because I’ve learned that I just don’t have time for anyone who can’t handle someone having an illness. Like come on, we’re adults.
My experiences with dating apps
I’ve had both positive and negative experiences with dating apps. Sometimes, when you don’t answer people right away, or you’ve just simply lost interest before engaging in conversation, they choose to insult you. For example, I once didn't answer someone for a few days, so they wrote to me:
"w/e u have health issues lol"
This isn’t just a chronic illness problem, it happens to every girl. It’s pathetic. And to insult someone because they have a chronic health problem which they can’t control is probably the lowest of the low. Like I said above, I don’t take offense to this, because I simply don’t have time to deal with someone who acts like a child.
"Can you even have sex with your condition right now? Just curious is all."
Then there’s this. The people who only care about having sex, so their first question is if I can even have sex. It blows my mind that people have the confidence to outright ask a stranger something like this.
Sure, AS makes it harder to have sex sometimes, but it’s truly not a big deal. I can’t even imagine what girls with endometriosis go through on dating apps. I feel a big reason people act this way is just because they’re behind a screen.
It’s Not Easy
The dating world is not an easy place to navigate. The lack of awareness for chronic illnesses can account for some of the things we have to go through. I truly wish that people were more understanding, and more mindful of the way they speak to others.
If you’re in the dating world with a chronic illness, let me say that I feel for you. Dating apps suck, and it makes it so much more difficult when you have your own health issues and mental health issues to deal with as well.
I hope you all know that you’re worth so much more than what ignorant people say to you. You are deserving of love, and when you find it, it’ll be so rewarding. I know it was for me.
What are your experiences with dating while having AS?
Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?