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Dating With Lupus

07/25/2011

  • Christine Miserandino:

    Hey girls, let’s have some girl talk. I am going to say a word to you --tell me what you think: Dating.

  • Kim Schofield:

    Count me in. (Laughter)

  • Kim:

    But you know, I had to get to a point where I was even ready to date. I felt like with lupus I didn’t feel attractive, I didn’t feel like I was a woman. So I felt like I didn’t even have anything to bring to the table, and went through a period of that for a long time, didn’t want to bring anyone in my world because I said, "It’s not fair for you to even want to date me," and when I know that I have this illness that’s going to stop me.

  • Karon Beasley:

    Then you have to let them determine, make that decision and not decide something for someone. They can decide if they can handle it or not. Take that burden off yourself.

  • Kim:

    When I started to embrace that, "I am more than lupus," and that’s my motto. And I have to constantly remind myself, "You know what? I am worth it. I am worth it."

  • Christine:

    Lupus is definitely a huge part of our lives. It is what it is. So sometimes when you’re dating, you’re a package deal -- you get me, you get lupus -- we come together.

  • Karon:

    Don’t ever forget though, you get their package, too. It could be someone else’s children, several ex-wives, or you may get a lot of debt from someone. When you start hearing people tell about all this stuff that they’ve done in their lives -- not always great, and I think, "Shoot, my lupus is nothing."

  • Christine:

    Yeah, my lupus is nothing compared to your stuff! (Laughter)

  • Karon:

    Yeah, here's my check please, I’m good.

  • Christine:

    Yeah, definitely!

  • Karon:

    I used to feel when I was first diagnosed, I had a date, and conversation would be going well and then, I just thought, I need to broadcast that I had lupus. And they didn’t ask, and so tip No. 1 is, they are probably ill as well with diabetes, or heart disease, or something, so keep it quiet.  

  • Christine:

    Everyone has something.

  • Kim:

    Right, right.

  • Karon:

    And tell them on your own terms, if you can.

  • Kim:

    Sometimes, when we talk too much about our disease -- not that it’s not real and personal -- but it overwhelms the other person. So it is good that you read people’s body language -- and you also know when they are ready to hear everything. So little phases, and just to reveal too much too soon, because it can scare some people.

  • Karon:

    And half the time they don't know how bad it is. They don’t know what it is, or they will say, "Is it AIDS?" I have had that question. It is not contagious.

  • Christine:

    That’s a big question that I know people have asked, "Is it contagious?" 

  • Kim Schofield:

    Right.

  • Right.

    I had a person asking me what kind of health insurance I had, and I said, "Look at that star over there! And I just had to redirect, because I thought, "I cannot get into this with you."

  • Christine:

    The better question is, "If I like you, what health insurance do you have?" You know many people say, "Ask about their portfolio." Wait --- no, no, no, "What's your insurance?" (Laughter)

  • Kim:

    And on a scale of 1-10, how upset are you going to be if we spend a date at the emergency room?

  • Christine:

    Right, right. (Laughter)

  • Christine:

    And you know even at that awkward moment, at the end of the date, where there could be a kiss, I can’t lie, I really want to ask, "How you have been feeling lately? Do you have a cold? It’s not that I don’t want to kiss you, but there is do you have any germs that I need to worry about?

  • Karon:

    How have you been feeling?

  • Christine:

    I mean really, if we are going to share funny stories, how about going on a four or five hour date,and then, going to say goodbye, and going, "Goodbye y-y-you! Whatever your name is!" (Laughter)

  • Kim:

    I really like you, but I don’t know your name!

  • Christine:

    Whatever your name, is I enjoyed this date, and I will call, whoever you are, tomorrow!

  • Kim:

    Well, I try to always get a business card for that purpose. And if I am really having a fog day or fog moment, I will write the name on a hand -- occasionally glance, just so I make sure that I am not forgetting their name.

  • Karon:

    Well, it’s good too, as you get older -- it was a little bit different in late 20s or late 30s -- when you get older, they are losing their marbles, too! (Laughter) So they can’t remember anything, so I have learned, I can…

  • Christine:

    And we are so self-conscious. But they could probably usually say, "Oh, I just have a lot of in my mind," and we can say that, too.

  • Christine:

    The No. 1 tip is do what you need to do to be comfortable.

  • Karon:

    And I really believe when you’re comfortable in your skin, that's the most attractive thing to someone. And this takes time, you know, it’s just, you have to work through many issues with having a chronic illness, no matter what it is, but just being comfortable with yourself, I think, really puts people at ease.

  • Christine:

    And I really believe when you’re comfortable in your skin, that's the most attractive thing to someone. And this takes time, you know, it’s just, you have to work through many issues with having a chronic illness, no matter what it is, but just being comfortable with yourself, I think, really puts people at ease.

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Christine Miserandino is a lupus advocate who writes, blogs, and speaks about living with lupus.

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