Dating as a Widow: When to Mention My Bag?

May 18, 2020 2:13 pm

Hi, I am a widow of seven years and was with my husband for 28 years. I'm now going to start dating, how and when do I bring up that I have a bag?

May 18, 2020 2:43 pm

I waited until there was some chemistry.

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Past Member
May 18, 2020 2:49 pm

I tell anyone at the start, I have always been very open about my bag. Take me as I am or watch me as I go... I have never had any rejections myself when I've told any women. There's no right or wrong way, just what you feel is right.

Past Member
May 19, 2020 7:03 pm

I am 100% with Panther!!

May 20, 2020 9:45 pm

I'm tending to lean with Abe on this one. No one's actually dating right now with the COVID stuff still happening, so time is on your side. For me, I first need to meet them and see if it's even going beyond a first date. There's a lot of wingnuts out there, on both sides, so I'm going to first ascertain if it even needs to be discussed at some point. You can tell a lot about a person by just talking, texting, and meeting them once or twice. So after I feel them out and see if we're both really interested in each other, I'll figure out when to tell them about the frontbutt. I just reverse the situation and assume if they had an issue, like a bag, how would I react. If I knew from the jump, and I didn't know all that much about ostomies, I'd probably not want to see her again. I know that sounds cruel, but that's if I didn't know anything about ostomies, and most folks don't. But if I got to know her and we were hitting it off... and then she told me... I'd take the time to look it up and see what it's all about. Then I'd ask her what having one really means to me and us. If she told me basically nothing except it would limit some clothing styles she could wear and there might be some activities she just wasn't comfortable doing... then I wouldn't care less if she had an ostomy. If she told me it would have a significant impact all the time and that I'd have to get used to a whole bunch of limitations and other issues... I'm going to think hard about her and if I want to deal with all that. And I don't think anyone should be faulted for that.

So it's not just a question of do you have an ostomy or not... it's about why you have the ostomy and what impact that has on us as a couple going forward. And I think I'm smart enough to feel someone out over a short time and judge how my ostomy will impact our relationship. If I think she'll be fine with my situation, then I'll hope for the best, but expect the worst, and tell her. If I think she's the kind of person who under no circumstance will tolerate my slightly violated abs and will run screaming into the night... I'll probably just call it off without even mentioning it. You can get a good feel for what you're dealing with if you meet them a few times, talk, and ask the right questions. I mean when would be a good time for her to tell me breast cancer runs in her family and she's sure it's just a matter of time before she's affected? Is that something that should be brought up on the first or second date? I'm thinking not... but others may disagree.

For me, I'm not going to worry too much about the whole ostomy thing. There's someone out there that's just right for me, and if for ANY reason someone I'm interested in doesn't want me the way I am... I just look at that as a good thing. Because it frees me to continue looking for that true right person. We shouldn't be looking for sympathy, we should be looking for our best friend and partner to ride off into the sunset with. And wasting time with anyone else could cause you to miss finding that truly special person for you. It's not the end of the world if some people don't want to deal with those in our situation. The end of the world hopefully comes much later.

Shit, did I even answer your question? You got me going on a rant and I like to type. Bad combination.



Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
May 27, 2020 10:31 pm

When you have some chemistry!

May 28, 2020 7:29 am

Hi, I'm Marsha, and the first time around I was 15, and just had my surgery. Back then, mores were different, and I knew I wasn't going to "go all the way, especially on a first date". When I started dating, I only told the guy if we were going out regularly. They were curious, but never rejected.... I ended up marrying a guy who also had an ostomy.. I met his mother, at an ostomy fundraiser, and she wanted us to meet. We did, and married a year later....but divorced after 24 1/2 years... It's more than 20 years now, and I dated regularly over the years. As the "guys said"....I told, if I felt there was chemistry....if not, I didn't say anything. But by the so-called "third date".....I felt the pressure to tell... I wanted to be in control, and not be "caught". It was ok with most men....and not so much with others... One guy walked out on me, when I told him at lunch..... It was a 3rd date, he was a musician, with a disabled young child..... His loss... Best of luck to you.... You'll know when it feels right...


May 29, 2020 3:50 pm

Marsha's story about the musician brings up a good point. How people react is not predictable. That's because it depends on what having an ostomy means to them (if they know anything)....and you'll never know that until it comes up. I'm not speaking from experience here (yet), but I would think it's what you say AFTER you tell them you have a shitbag that really counts. Giving someone a single piece of "I have an ostomy" and letting them ponder that is dangerous. That's because when you have a limited amount of knowledge about something you tend to fill in the blanks by making assumptions......which is never good. When I get to be in that situation where it's time to tell someone I plan to immediately describe what the impact of having an ostomy will be to that they can process the big picture first, and then we can get to the details. How it affects them overall is the first question that pops into their head when you tell them. And you need to be honest about that part and let the chips fall where they may.

I would tend to disagree with Marsha regarding her "his loss" comment. Maybe yes, but maybe no. Both parties in a relationship have to be satisfied with their partner, warts and all. And if for any reason one is really doesn't matter what the reason's no one's loss. He probably did you a favor walking away from you that day. Life is too short for regrets, so I just assume life is an infinite number of paths we take. Sometimes you choose which fork in the road to take.........other times you're forced to take a direction.......but you keep going. People say things happen for a reason. I don't know if I fully buy into that......but sometimes shit just happens (no one knows that better than us) and you just have to roll with it. There's a lot of fish in the sea, and when you find the right one......none of the others you had to deal with previously will matter. Now get fishing!!



Jun 02, 2020 2:27 pm

Hello, I am new here but have had my colostomy since 2018. I was divorced in 2017 after 24 years. At first, after the whole shock of having a colostomy, it was time to start dating. I was very nervous the first date, trying to think how to explain my situation. I tell my dates once I know there is chemistry. I just tell them about my surgery and how the colostomy saved my life. I don't know, maybe I have just been lucky, but I have never been rejected by anyone. I don't let the bag slow me down though. I am very active, and when I describe it to someone, I am positive. I speak of the benefits of it, not the drawbacks. I date a lot, and being upfront and honest is the best way to go, I think. But when telling someone, be upbeat, not "oh poor me" and "life is so hard". Sure, it's different, but it's all in your attitude as to how it will be accepted. My ostomy sits high on my stomach, and I wear a waistband. People don't even know I have one unless I tell them. I don't know, it's just my attitude. I don't let this hold me back, and I do everything a person without does, and that includes dating! Maybe my attitude will change when I get rejected, but I don't think so. I am actually meeting my old high school sweetheart this week. She was divorced a year ago. We have been texting and calling each other for two months and will meet in Chicago this weekend. I plan to get the hellos out of the way and get a feel for the chemistry in person, then have a talk. We already know we have a connection from just talking, but face to face can be different. I believe once they see you are normal (lol) and your spirit and attitude are good, it usually goes very well.