Dating With Crohn’s and Colitis
Dating is complicated… We won’t try to sugarcoat it! Why else would there be countless magazine articles, blog posts, podcasts, and books all about this one topic? We go into love usually kicking & screaming half the time always thinking we were innocent! We hate, then love, then hate again…It’s a tough business this dating thing… Throw the awkwardness of IBD into the mix and it may seem more appealing just to hide behind your computer screen and avoid the whole thing completely. However, fortune favors the bold, so let us show you how to jumpstart your dating life!
Believe it or not Crohn’s and Colitis can give you an edge when it comes to dating. Seriously! But it’s all about how you handle the situation. Let us explain…
1. Show You’re “Real”: Dating can be super intimidating for both people involved. We all love to admire the star football player with the perfect booty and the blonde cheerleader with the amazing…ya know ;). But when it comes to actually forming a relationship, we are all looking for something “real”. Having something like Crohn’s Disease gives you a “realness”, and depth about you. No matter a person’s looks, we all desire something deeper and stronger to connect with – as The Beatles so famously said, “love is all we need”.
2. Mental 6 Pack: Every flare is like a cross-fit session for your brain. Owning it and overcoming adversity makes you look like a total boss and someone who can handle the punches to the gut so to speak. You’ll need that six pack strength when dealing with your partner and the lovely roller coaster we call life.
3. Meet the Parents: Being a real, compassionate, strong, and health-conscious individual will score you major brownie points with the ‘rents! Who wouldn’t want such a positive influence around their son or daughter? Plus, they’ll know their son/daughter is in good hands if you play the “I don’t party/drink/stay out too late” card.
4. Healthy is Hot: Crohn’s and Colitis inspires us to live a healthier lifestyle by being conscious of both our physical and mental health. The condition requires we learn how to eat healthy, be positive, see the good in each day and take responsibility for our lives. Owning our health mentally, physically and spiritually is sexy no matter who you are and whether you’re considered “sick” or not!
Imagine the hottest version of yourself. What attributes do you have in the glory of all your full hotness? Are you strong minded? Ripped? What kind of lifestyle would you have? What does your hot self eat and do to keep it up? How do you handle all of that attention?? The lifestyle choices for healing Crohn’s/Colitis and being the “best you” are one in the same.
People who care about their health are automatically more attractive. So when we take the extra step to implement a healthy lifestyle we win on two fronts. We’re hotter and healthier!
There are all kinds of scientific studies about humans being more physically attracted to healthy people because of our desire for biological advancement and these things called pheromones…or something like that. We won’t go too far into it because
1) we’re not scientists
2) this is not a science post.
But it’s a thing; just trust us on this one.
Someone who would rather sit on the couch eating pizza and drinking beer every night doesn’t sound like a healthy partner for anyone, C&C or not!
Plus, who would want to invite a greasy, gassy, lazy, and all around downer of a person into their life, or their bed, anyways? Goodbye.
Speaking of beds…
The First Sleepover
You’ve been dating this person for a while and you’re like…totally feeling the connection. You’re both ready to take the next step in your relationship but just as things are starting to heat up in the bedroom, the bathroom calls. There’s no better way to ruin the moment than with an IBD emergency. So what is a guy/gal to do?! Running to the bathroom in the middle of a steamy moment can completely kill the vibe. Some situations are totally out of our control, but these tips will definitely help that first sleepover whether you’re looking for a relationship or not.
Hopefully by the time you’ve reached the sleepover stage in dating, the communication about your health and how you feel about things will already be established. Good communication will make the transition a whole lot easier—not to mention your connection under the sheets will most likely be stronger too! Whether you’re looking for a serious relationship or not, we suggest that you…
1. Go to your place
Have you ever seen that scene in Along Came Polly when Ben Stiller’s character totally clogs Jennifer Aniston’s toilet in a post-spicy dinner catastrophe? The poor guy couldn’t find her plunger and things got pretty shitty!
Having the first sleepover at your place will make you feel much more comfortable and help you avoid some awkward situations. Be sure that your home flow is top notch.
Also, when you’re at home you have all of your emergency supplements (ie: slippery elm, DGL, Turmeric, Omega 3’s), your own bathroom, and a change of clothes if you need them!
2.) Watch what you eat
The Ben Stiller spicy food incident from the movie Along Came Polly brings us to our next point: if you’re thinking of getting intimate, plan accordingly. AKA an ideal dinner before the “dessert” definitely wouldn’t be a large pepperoni pizza with fries and a coca-cola. Stick to clean/safe foods that you know will give you energy without upsetting your stomach.
Better yet, you can go for an elemental shake, which will be super easy to digest and give you plenty of energy. **Add maca root to your shake to kick start your labido.** Whether you have IBD or not, doing the right thing in the kitchen will help you out later in the bedroom. The right foods will provide you with energy and keep you from fatiguing, making your experience that much better!
3. Plan ahead
Before things get hot and heavy, it helps to be prepared. If you’re planning that special night, try to pick a time when you’re feeling well or expecting to feel well. Of course some things are out of our control, but try to avoid those times when you know you tend to feel sick (like when stressing about an upcoming exam or Monday after a long weekend).
If you know you might be spending the night with someone, you may want to consider doubling up on your supplements that day as an extra boost and using the restroom before hand so you’re not awkwardly departing just as things start heating up!
When to Bring it up
One of the things we have found most challenging is when to bring it up. Usually it comes out in natural conversation when you first eat or make a comment about sometimes having stomach issues. We like to lead them to ask the question instead of just blurting it out. That could create one of those awkward silent moments and no one is loving that!
But if it doesn’t come up – our advice is to let them know you live a specific type of lifestyle because you get stomach issues sometimes. The term “Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis” can be scary if they have no idea what it is and it’s much easier to hint at the fact that you take it easy sometimes to stay healthy with a nice smile on your face.
If you mention it right up front you can move on and focus on what’s really important: building a relationship! If they don’t understand or react unfavorably you might be better off without this negative Nancy. Can you imagine being in a strong relationship with someone who can’t be supportive of such an issue. Imagine building a family with this person, introducing them to your friends/family, or god forbid having any other tough situation in life where you need their support – Give em the boot!
If it makes you uncomfortable, you don’t have to come right out and unload every detail of your medical history onto this person during the previews on your first movie date, but it’s good to get at least the idea out there. For example, while choosing where to go on your date, you could say, “I don’t eat (fill in the blank) food because it makes me not feel well”. You don’t have to use the words “Crohn’s” or “Colitis.”
Usually, how you think about it is how they’ll think about it. If you choose to embrace it and use it to empower yourself, your partner will usually admire your strength and feel much more comfortable with expressing their life hardships. Remember, they aren’t perfect either and who knows what they’re worried about expressing to you.
If they do respond well then this has given the two of you the opportunity to become closer and build a stronger relationship with one another. Sharing something personal about yourself gives them a chance to share something personal about themselves with you in return.
Maybe all first dates should start with something personal??
Or not…? Maybe just stick to reading Cosmo on that one!
Fun Date Ideas when Dealing with a Flare
Thinking of fun date ideas can be tough for anyone, but especially so when trying to think of stuff to do while you’re going through a flare!
- 3-4 restuarants you know you do well with
- Netflix and Chill
- Cooking at home w/ game night
- Bowling Shopping (stores with restrooms)
- Massages A walk (park or city close to restrooms)
Activities we DON’T recommend during a flare:
- Roller coasters
- Sky diving
- Horseback riding
- Wine tasting
- All you can eat buffet
- Fast food
- Scary movies
- Rock concert
Use your best judgement based on how your feeling but anything that makes it hard to get to a restroom and can be stressful should be avoided! Also, if this person is constantly suggesting things that don’t mesh well with your life, and they don’t enjoy the things you suggest, they may not be a great fit for you!
Your relationship with your partner should be like peanut butter and jelly, cookies and cream, chocolate chips and muffins… I’m running out of foods that pair well together but basically what I’m trying to say is that one of the most important aspects of dating is to find someone who shares similar interest, likes/dislikes, and lifestyles as you do!
Netflix and chill is a perfect, low key, and cheap date idea for anyone—especially someone with C&C. You can enjoy a home cooked meal that’s perfect for your body, watch a movie and snuggle up to your bae all from the comfort of your own couch!
If you do decide to do something a little less low-key, then our advice is to be prepared. If you go to a water park, for example, use the restroom while it’s convenient instead of waiting until you’ve climbed ten stories up to the top of a slide. Trust us, you don’t want to leave your date waiting for you alone and phoneless, with nothing but their thoughts to pass the time, while you run down ten flights of stairs only to wait in a bathroom line of a hundred water park attendees—definitely less than ideal, friends.
When talking about the first sleepover, communication is huge. That’s true in any relationship; it helps people connect, as well as developing the relationship into something deeper, more meaningful, and more beneficial for both people involved. C&C is just one more reason to establish strong communication from the very beginning and maintain it throughout your entire relationship.
Putting it all together
Dating is this crazy/messy/slightly insane thing that countless people all over the globe choose to do each and every day. Why? Because when you find that special someone it makes it all worth it. C&C shouldn’t hold you back from finding your person and hopefully these tips will help make sure that it never does! Communicate with your partner, remember the life lessons of Crohn’s Disease, be real, and have fun!
Authors: Courtney Benjamin and Dane Johnson
Do you have any crazy Crohn’s/Colitis dating stories? Share them in the comments below!
Holistic Nutritionist specializing in the natural healing of Crohns Disease & Ulcerative Colitis.