Deal With Dating Jitters continued...
"I could tell my dates which stores or restaurants had the cleanest bathrooms and which places to avoid," she says. "It may sound like a weird conversation, but it gave them a glimpse into the seriousness of my problem -- 'Hey, she really does have to use the bathroom a lot!' -- without me having to go into too much graphic detail."
When Starshak and her boyfriend started dating 6 years ago, she used a fundraiser for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) as an icebreaker.
"I was biking in a charity ride, so I gave him a CCFA brochure and told him, 'I'm raising money for this organization because I have colitis,'" Starshak recalls. The information in the brochure, including the link to the CCFA's web site, gave him a background to start asking questions.
Stay Close to Loved Ones
Treatments you use to control colitis can cause other problems, like acne, weight gain, and fatigue. That can affect your libido and your self-confidence. And you probably don't feel in the mood when you're having a flare. That's OK.
Open communication with your partner is key. Let them know when your self-esteem needs a boost. Try other forms of intimacy when you aren't feeling well, such as a foot rub or cuddle time on the couch while watching a good movie.
Take advantage of the times when you do feel better to shower your partner with affection.
Remember, there is give-and-take in every relationship. When you're sick with UC, it can seem as if you're doing more of the taking. But you can always return the attention when your health improves.
Be sure to let your friends and loved ones know how much you value and need their support.