Dating is always complicated.
They say “women over the age of
40 35 have a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than of getting married.”
Now add having MS to the picture and your chance of being killed by a terrorist rather than getting married doubles and you’d even get hit by a meteorite at the same time, at least that’s how it feels to me at the moment.
Dating with MS is a real challenge.
Next to all my official self-experiments I already blogged about, I do have some “undercover” projects going on and one of them was dating. It all started back in December when I watched the show “Too Ugly For Love” on TLC. First of all, I think the title is totally inappropriate as none of the participants were ugly. I liked them all and hope they found love by now as they deserved it. Most of them also dealt with an, at first sight, invisible illness like alopecia, hyperhidrosis, had a stoma bag or an amputation just to name a few. The show is about their dating journey and very soon you’ll find out about their extreme fear of dating and when to tell the date about their medical condition. Oh my! I could really feel with each one and all of a sudden I realised I’m now in the same boat! I also look normal but would need to tell a date at one point. How would a date react?
So thanks to the show I figured it’s time for a self-experiment and to find out how men react when I tell them I have MS. Could it be true that we life in such a superficial world?
I must say I’m a happy single and it would need someone very special to change that, but decided to set up a Tinder profile and find out 🙂
The first and (almost) biggest problem in my case is that I don’t work anymore and that’s usually the first question you’ll get. Talk about superficial, as if I am my job…I didn’t want to lie and use my past job as it would eventually come out so I just say I blog. Luckily the world is full of bloggers these days.
So I set up my profile, used several Facebook profile pics and was ready to go. Ready for superficial left swipes myself due to the fact that a guy wears the wrong sunglasses or is kissing a dolphin. Soon I found some interesting and really nice ones. For some reason I always like the very sporty, active guys that have mainly pics of themselves climbing Mount Everest, cycling, running a marathon or surfing – isn’t it ironic…but I also like the creative, mysterious ones with a touch of the good old bad boy and in no time I had about 40 matches and started to chat. I had no idea it’s so time-consuming! Luckily I did not meet any of the pervs or creeps you hear about, all of them were really nice – except 2 weirdos. Gosh, I could go on forever telling you about it but I guess that would max out this post 🙂
When is the right time to tell them about my MS?
I must say, there is no right time. I actually think it’s best to tell them as soon as possible before too much time or even feelings are invested. I shouldn’t have watched “Too Ugly For Love” as with every date I got more nervous about dropping “the bomb” if they didn’t know already.
I went on approximately 20 first dates in January and February and didn’t see 19 of them ever again. Why? In my head it’s all because of the MS and that might have been the reason for some. It’s so hard to think rational! It’s all in my head as some didn’t even know that I have MS, what about other reasons, like it simply didn’t click. It didn’t click for me but I always needed to remind myself of that fact which is not easy.
I would say half of them had no idea what MS is, some knew someone with MS and then I also experienced the worst case scenario! When I told one guy via Skype about it he said “I know what MS is, my father HAD MS”. Great. And you’re live on camera. FML. However, the next day he said it’s no big deal as he also knows that there are treatment options available nowadays that his father didn’t have back then. We were supposed to meet for a date on a Thursday but I never heard back and blocked him on Friday….
Another guy I chatted with told me right after I dropped the bomb that he rather not continue to chat with me as it could get pretty ugly down the road with MS. Thanks! At least honest feedback but always remember that all of us could get sick or have an accident on any given day. You or someone you love could be in my shoes tomorrow.
The nicest thing I’ve heard after dropping the bomb was a guy telling me that he won’t look at me differently as I’m not my MS and he loves the way I handle it. Wow. And he really didn’t, that’s also the only guy I saw more than once so I’m thinking again it’s all because of the MS. He totally got it, even googled about MS and reminded me to take it easy on busy days. Unfortunately he had some own issues going on in his life at that moment and I blocked him eventually ( and he blocked me) as it got all very complicated and that’s something I can’t and won’t do anymore.
I wish there would be a feedback button on Tinder to find out why I never had a second date with the other guys, in my head it’s always because of the MS. Most likely it would have been exactly the same without MS. It just didn’t click enough and there are so many other single ladies out there – come on, I did the same 😉 It’s just so weird as this is my first online dating experience and you usually chat for a few days/ weeks, get to know each other, eventually decide to go for a drink and that’s it. Complete silence afterwards but it was always mutual.
My friends tell me it’s silly to think that my MS is the reason but they also know me for many years and don’t look at me differently. I even have guys in the “friend zone” that don’t understand it and keep on telling me that MS wouldn’t be an issue – but again, they know me and they know how active I am and that fatigue is my only problem. IT’S ALL SO COMPLICATED, arrrrrrr!
Luckily I also know fellow MS friends that have found love, even after their diagnosis. It seems to be possible after all. So don’t give up!
As for me, I ended up with a HUGE complex after my Tinder experiment and honestly, I’m scared to death of ever going on a date again, let alone replying to the last chat I received before setting my profile to invisible. It said “Wow, you’re sporty, active, outdoorsy and have a lovely smile, you’re already my favourite”. That all might be true but guess what stranger, I have MS! Should I just have sent this as a reply? Just thinking about it makes me feel sick.
This morning I almost ended up falling into the bushes as a guy looked at me with “that” smile and I couldn’t get away fast enough. I turned into a weirdo myself, it’s official.
I’m still on a break from dating and trying to restore my self-esteem, that said I just signed up to Happn and got already 2 messages waiting for me. Scary.
May the odds be ever in your favor fellow (MS) daters! Curious to hear your thoughts on dating.