When should I disclose my ostomy to a potential partner?

looking forward
Oct 14, 2019 12:57 am

I know this subject has been talked about on several blogs, but now it has happened to me and I need you to help. I met a very nice guy. He lives about 30 minutes from me. We had a wonderful meeting and both left with phone calls and plans for him to come here for dinner. Now the big question (I know this subject has been asked before): should I meet him again or wait until he comes for dinner to tell him about the bag? I know he will have to know sometime. The sooner the better, but where and when and how?

Oct 14, 2019 2:56 am

What a pickle.. Indeed, this subject on when and how to tell a date has been beaten to death.. and all I can summarize for you is this:

Most would say be honest up front to forgo any wasted time.

Others would say don't mention it until the "right time".

Of course, this above option makes it seem like you deceived, hung him along, until "you have to" tell him.

Others would say don't bother. When you get intimate, it may not even be an issue.

That's all I recovered from all the threads, posts, and everything in between.

It is only your call to make when you REALLY want to tell him, and timing could be or not be a factor.

I have been wondering myself "what would I do if 1) I was on the receiving end of this date and the info and 2) if I was in fact the one giving advice on how and when to do it...a big fricken pickle, and it may be kosher or sour decision. If he likes you, it won't matter a damn when or how you tell him.

I am going to get my ass chewed out by the others here..in 5, 4, 3, 2,..

(Good luck and keep us posted)

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 34,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

Oct 14, 2019 5:18 am

Warrior........5, 4, 3, 2, 1, considered your ass chewed!

Ok, just kidding......but your point is well taken. Summarizing Warrior's summary is pretty simple......there is no one right answer to the question of when to tell a potential new lover about your front facing butt hole. That's the short answer to your question.......and you already knew this. I'm about to start dating and will be in your shoes shortly, so it's on my mind as well.

With that in mind, here is my long answer. When to tell someone your secret is based on 3 things.......your personality, their personality and the nature of the secret. The first and last are knowns, the middle one is unknown. Because there is an unknown, your best bet is to wait until the unknown is a known and then base your decision accordingly. So what the heck does all that mean? First, be honest with yourself about how having an ostomy will affect any relationship you may have. Lots of people say it doesn't impact their life in any way and they still do everything they did before they got it. Really? Nothing has changed? Let's be real here.....things HAVE changed and it's those changes that your potential partner needs to consider. So before you spill the beans, make sure you can follow that up with an intelligent conversation explaining what your secret will specifically mean to him and your relationship together.

Ok, with that under your belt, next you need to understand his personality. This may be quick and easy or take some time. But what you want to know is does he really like you and do you have some common interests that aren't impacted by your ostomy or other health issues? When you know that stuff, it's time to fess up and hope for the best. But there's really no hope or luck or fate involved. If he likes you and you having an ostomy doesn't drastically impact his lifestyle, he'll probably give you a whirl and see how it goes. If he likes you but isn't crazy about you and you cramp his style with your ostomy, he'll probably fade away or run for the hills. But if he does "exit stage right, even" (snagglepuss), consider it as him doing you a favor.......you won't be wasting your time on a relationship doomed to fail over time. Just shrug it off and continue your search for Mr. Right.

At least that's how I look at it.

Ready? 5, 4, 3, 2..........



Oct 14, 2019 8:54 am

W30Bob has a great assessment of a complex problem.

Thank you, sir!

Another thing: have an honest talk about how you feel about cuddling as a first step. If he agrees, this would provide you with the proper opportunity to develop dialogue about essential things in both of your lives. You may introduce your 'health' issue and see how he takes it. Unless you are in your 20's, you both have been through enough baggage to proceed from an informed place and hopefully the next step is 'what are you doing for the rest of my life' question!


Past Member
Oct 14, 2019 4:01 pm

There's no right or wrong way. Whichever you feel is right and comfortable with is the right way.

Most of all, smile. It looks good on you!

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Oct 15, 2019 5:46 am


Honesty is always the best policy....I have had a couple of relationships in recent years and have told them on the day we met....One guy did run for the hills and that was fine, but for the most part it didn't bother them..Smile pretty and be as confident as you can....Everybody has issues, some just different than others.

Take care


Oct 15, 2019 12:50 pm

Thank you Looking forward and the rest of you all for some great posts on what can be a difficult subject.

Much of the decision making is about having confidence (or not) with your new situation. If you are not comfortable with your stoma, then the chances are, you may pass on your anxieties to others. Personally, I do not feel that physical attributes should be a major factor in developing a good relationship with someone (or anyone!). I have laid out my own blueprint for relationships in my 'AIMS for Today' list , which do not refer to physical ability or disability at all. 

I hope you may find this a useful guide:

1. To BE – THERE
5. To LISTEN: Empathetically
6. To keep things CONFIDENTIAL
7. To ENABLE & EMPOWER (DIY process)
8. To show POSITIVE REGARD (unconditional)
10. To FOCUS CARING (according to my principles)

Best wishes


Oct 16, 2019 11:05 pm

Hi.... I have been in this position and learned that it's best to allow someone to get to know you as a person .... do things anyone else would do to show them it doesn't limit you..... until then here are some things you can do to camouflage your bag.... wear spandex underwear with the high waist.... they come in thong form as well as high cut bikini.... always eat less when you're going to be around him for a long period of time that minimizes bathroom time.... also there are oral deodorants you can take to cut the odor.... and make sure you take something for the bloatedness, Nexus.


Oct 18, 2019 6:11 pm

Hey, I disagree with Warrior in that you are in a pickle. You are only in a pickle if you make it a pickle. Life is what you make it. I don't mean to sound insensitive, but in the 35 years of having an ileostomy, I have never had one single lover of approximately 30 men or so (never counted) turn away or skip out on me because of my surgery. Every single one of them came back for more and more and more sex. I NEVER told any of them until we made love, and it was never an issue for any of them. I truly believe it depends on how you present yourself, self-confidence, sensuality, sexy lingerie, being erotic, etc. I am only an average-looking woman. I am a Christian now and don't believe in premarital sex, but my hope is that by sharing my experiences, you can be encouraged.

Oct 19, 2019 5:19 am

Hey, vollovr.. I counter you and disagree. Each of us is in a pickle, a situation, a circumstance. That's how I meant it and wanted to make light of the analogy on kosher and sour using it. Many of you have had years to establish your confidence. I am sure you didn't start out this brave, and us newbies aren't there yet. It's not like there is a pill for courage... You made time to research and find proper attire.. Under and over attire. This all came in time.. Maybe you spoke to people or just read stories... Guess you saw Fifty Shades of Gray? So the usage of the word "pickle" meant to mean situation. "Indeed, you're in a situation." Ick.. Indeed, now I am in a pickle.

Oct 19, 2019 5:41 am

All this talk about pickles is making me hungry. In case you're wondering, I prefer a zesty garlic to a boring Kosher dill any day. Now where did I put those pickles?



Oct 19, 2019 1:26 pm

Oh Bob, you should run for office... governor perhaps?

Oct 20, 2019 6:16 am

Bahahahahaha, I agree with you, warrior.... Bob should run for office... he certainly has all the answers... Lol...

Oct 22, 2019 11:17 pm

All in favor of Bob, running for office please burp your bag. Thank you very much.

Oct 23, 2019 1:06 am

Like King Moonracer from the Island of Misfit Toys... right?



Oct 26, 2019 5:36 am


Nov 15, 2019 3:34 am

So looking forward,

Time has passed and I am curious as to how things turned out with your guy. Did you open the subject or let it alone to see what happens? I hope it worked out!