Dating with inflammatory bowel disease

In a matter of months, I was able to see how a chronic illness serves as a kind of truth serum: I could tell early on who wanted to be in a relationship with me because they cared and who was there just for show.As the years went on, I made it a point to confidently and nonchalantly mention my Crohn’s disease early on.I always say everyone in the IBD community needs a “Bobby.”In June 2015, Bobby proposed to me in the middle of the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

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I’ll always remember that text: I said that I was very sick and most likely headed to the hospital.

He responded with a laugh and said that he got it: I just didn’t want to meet him. Never once did he text or call to see how I was feeling. I saw his true colors faster than you can say “first date.”During my twenties, I met a few guys who were there every step of the way.

Little did I know how much that experience would set the stage for how I handled future relationships.

Time went on and I held my cards close — with friends, guys, coworkers, you name it.

Who never made me feel different for battling an incurable, chronic illness that would often derail our plans.

It’s the good eggs who helped me regain my confidence and showed me what I deserved.

For months, he had talked about our future together and about his love for me.

But when I ended up in the hospital after a weeks-long bout of excruciating abdominal pain, high fevers, and fatigue, he was nowhere to be seen.

He gets me, and he’s witnessed firsthand what a beast inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is.

It’s those vulnerable moments in our relationship — the times when I’m too weak to stand on my own — that have brought us closer.

The good news: I finally learned what was causing my symptoms. Even though I was only 21, I immediately thought this was how all of my romantic relationships would end once a guy found out about my invisible battle.

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