Dating with an ostomy: Seeking advice and experiences

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carla.barton

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.

SLL + JCL

While I've been married to my husband, who has been nothing but supportive, since I've had my ostomy, I can't imagine how scary it would be to tell a potential partner about your ostomy. I do know of some products that may help you feel more comfortable during intimacy. First, check out Ostomy Secrets online. They sell underwear and lingerie for ostomates! They also have blogs about intimacy with a pouch. Second, some suppliers offer a cap system. Basically, you'd attach your wafer, and then a very small pouch to collect anything that may happen. It's way more discreet than a traditional pouching system. Lastly, I use SenSura Mio from Coloplast. My pouch has the ability to be attached a little higher, after it's closed, to make the pouch seem smaller.

It's so hard to think this way, but the right person won't 'see' your ostomy or care that you have one. The right person will realize why you have it and see you for who you are: a beautiful, strong woman who fights for her life!

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SLL + JCL

While I've been married to my husband, who has been nothing but supportive, since I've had my ostomy, I can't imagine how scary it would be to tell a potential partner about your ostomy. I do know of some products that may help you feel more comfortable during intimacy. First, check out Ostomy Secrets online. They sell underwear and lingerie for ostomates! They also have blogs about intimacy with a pouch. Second, some suppliers offer a cap system. Basically, you'd attach your wafer, and then a very small pouch to collect anything that may happen. It's way more discreet than a traditional pouching system. Lastly, I use SenSura Mio from Coloplast. My pouch has the ability to be attached a little higher, after it's closed, to make the pouch seem smaller.

It's so hard to think this way, but the right person won't 'see' your ostomy or care that you have one. The right person will realize why you have it and see you for who you are: a beautiful, strong woman who fights for her life!

Maried

Do not give access to your story/stoma; unless you feel the person will see you naked. Sometimes people just want one-night stands, others will want to date... The way you can tell a person is really interested is if they make time for you in their life and make you feel special. For example, ask a lot of fun questions about hobbies, family, and friends. Answer your texts or emails pretty quickly and meet and have regular fun dates. Never give details on your finances or give money. This is a big red flag.

Rejection is a part of life in your job, school, etc. Dating, so put on your big girl panties and accept that fact. "Each rejection moves you closer to a yes".

carla.barton

Thanks. I guess I needed to hear that.

 
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Immarsh

Hi Carla, this was my first response to your story...

Honey, you're going to "kiss" a lot of frogs (or frogetts) before you meet Mr. or Ms...right..

But I thought to myself, this gal is serious, and she may not appreciate flippant or humorous answers.. But then, I read "Married's" post about putting on your big girls pants, and it made me laugh! We need to keep the humor in our lives..

Hi, my name is Marsha, and I have had my ileostomy for over 55 years, since I was a kid of 15. I went through all the angst that a young girl goes through...just had my ostomy along for the ride. So if it was hair, or weight, or blackheads, or being too short, or not blond, or sexy enough, I realized early on that other people have preferences. If someone has a problem with my ostomy...then he was not for me. I've lived my life, met and married a man with an ileostomy, and although we were together for 24 1/2 years, our marriage didn't last "forever". The ostomy wasn't enough to keep us together. For the last 20+ years, I've been dating and traveling, and have had my relationship ups and downs. For some men, the ostomy was an issue, and for others not at all. The most important part of all this is to take care of you and keep on "keeping on". I wish you the best of luck...and fun! Marsha

Homie With A Stomie NS

Hunny, follow your gut and just do you....us humans run hot or cold, happy or sad, naughty and nice, good and evil. So my mantra is "I am who I am and if you don't like me, go f@@@ yourself". Smile on no matter what!! We humans are not all bad and ugly, but there are some out there. Be ready, then tell them to F@@@ O@@....

HOMIE WITH A STOMIE

Tracy

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