I got my ostomy a long, long time ago. I was in a long-term relationship at the time and never really thought twice about it, and neither did my partner. It was a non-issue for both of us. Since then, I have had a couple of relationships and was briefly married. I'm queer and date all genders but have mostly been with women. For whatever reason, I don't feel much anxiety when it comes to my ostomy and dating women. I've never had a woman reject me for it upon disclosure. Men, on the other hand, are a less traveled territory. I've just recently started dating men again later in life. It's been about a year of casually chatting with men on dating apps (seldom meeting them because of the pandemic). Anyway, I connected with one very cool guy who I had planned to meet up with early last year. I was so anxious about disclosing my ostomy to him that I had a therapy session beforehand where I cried in my therapist's office. When I told him, he simply replied, "It's not an issue. You're beautiful." This was the best possible response, but then Covid hit, and I never actually got to meet up with him (he lived in a different city). Anyway, his response to my vulnerability made me feel almost prematurely attached to him, even though I feel like his response is the baseline for how a decent person should respond to such a disclosure.
After that experience, I met and slept with a younger guy who was super sweet but whom I never heard from again afterward. I can't be sure that that was because of the ostomy, but of course, part of me wonders about it.
I'm not sure what my question is. I suppose I've had an assumption all along that my ostomy is not a big deal and would not be a big deal for potential sex partners, but I don't know what the reality of that assumption is because I guess I haven't tested it. I've made a lot of connections over the pandemic, and maybe some of them will pan out to actual physical meet-ups (I hope), but should I brace myself more for potential rejection? If I'm chatting with someone online, I don't feel inclined to tell them this aspect of myself unless a physical meet-up is imminent because not everyone needs/deserves access to my story. I'm looking for advice on how some of you have handled dating/casual connections with an ostomy.
Thank you in advance for anything you feel inclined to share.