Success stories and advice for being upfront about ostomy


I have read a lot about other people's views on dating with an ostomy, and I feel like my view differs a bit. I feel like I would want to be upfront about having an ostomy. I don't want to start liking someone only to find out they are going to be a runner. So this is for those who feel similar to me. How did you bring it up? Also, has anyone on here successfully met someone and has a long-term relationship with that person, be it another ostomate or a non-ostomate?


I'd be upfront too. No need to find out later that they are gonna leave once they find out.

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To answer your last question:  I met a girl two years out from my ostomy surgery.  Two years later, we got married.  That was 54 years and two children ago.  I guess that qualities as long-term, eh? 

Reply to HenryM

No one would dispute that this qualifies as long-term, but the question is, did your future wife know right up front that you were an ostomate, or did you wait for a while before telling her?


Reply to HenryM

Love that! Yes, it does. You may be the only story I've heard. It's a lovely one.

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Reply to TerryLT

She knew pretty quickly, altho' it's too long ago for me to remember with specificity. 

Earth Angel

Hi Feb9HH,

I started dating a man last August and didn't tell him until things were progressing in the relationship, somewhere around October.
My thinking was that I wanted to give him the chance to get to know me without knowing about my ostomy.
When I did tell him, he had gotten the chance to really know and like me for who I was, and he didn't care at all about me having an ostomy. He said it was like someone having braces, etc.

I told him that in order to save my life, the surgeon had to remove my rectum and place a colostomy, and that it wouldn't interfere with intimacy or anything I want to do in my life.
To this day, we are still together and it'll be one year in August. He's been the joy of my life and biggest supporter.
I hope this story helps you understand why I chose to wait, and you can decide how you'll approach the subject in the future.

Best of luck,


Same here, I was married over 21 years with my ostomy. Now divorced for 10 years, I have had 2 relationships, approximately 3 years each. Just started dating a new gentleman about 4 months ago. As Earth Angel said, get to know each other first. See if the person is worth your time. As a senior citizen, life is fun. Dating makes me feel like a teenager.


So, how did you all find your dates?


Alex, hello. How are you?
Hello, how are you doing? I must ask, who said I had a date? LOL. I'm just answering you because you asked me LOL... Was that a trick question?

I don't know if there's any way of doing that these days, a date with a man who would accept me, respect me, treat me like a lady/good woman who definitely deserves it! I bet you all deserve to be treated the same way as me and have a story as well. You all can text me as well, I know you do! I hope you have a wonderful day/night/summer if you don't reply!

Reply to NewlifeVictoria

I'm kinda confused by your reply. But I'm okay, thanks. I was just wondering where the ones that are dating found their dates.

Reply to Earth Angel

I totally agree......

Earth Angel
Reply to AlexT

Hi Alex,

I joined Silver Singles, a dating app, and got lucky on my first correspondence!!

Reply to Earth Angel

I presume you mean you found a great guy on your first correspondence.

Earth Angel
Reply to AlexT

Lol, yes.


I waited until my second or third date to say anything. I wanted to know if I liked the guy enough to proceed and wanted him to know to see if this scared him away. Fortunately, it didn't and we have been together for 20 years. I think it also helps if you are positive and confident about yourself.

Good luck.


Past Member

You should always try to listen to your spouse and give space to each other. Being kind to each other is an important virtue, especially in marriage. Only by standing together can you overcome all difficulties; only by standing together can you fight the same battle.


I've been dating a very nice non-ostomate for 9 months. I told him before we even met in person. I think in the second message exchange (we met online dating). I'm like you - I'm upfront about everything. I even put in my profile that I have epilepsy so that would eliminate anyone who had an issue with always driving. In terms of how to tell, I keep stuff like that fairly unemotional and always factual - "I was diagnosed with rectal cancer which is currently NED and I have a colostomy as a result. Please feel free to ask me anything about it." People can look up for themselves what ostomies are if they don't already know; I don't think it's necessary to explain it to them. But leave the door open for any questions and clarify how you feel about it - it saved my life, it doesn't limit me in any way, it's better than not having bowel control and wearing a diaper. All the best to you!

Reply to AlexT

E Harmony used one of their discount deals. The San Francisco Bay area has a lot of people from different backgrounds and cultures. Most have lots of education and are usually doing okay financially, so I have met a lot of interesting people. But the most important thing is chemistry.


My attitude is a little different. First, it is my observation that lifespans are finite. That is, we each can plan on growing older and eventually dying, and there is usually some trouble we deal with between here and there. The type of trouble can vary a lot, but that there is going to be trouble, that varies hardly at all. It is pretty much a given.

So it really is important to understand how someone "deals with trouble" since trouble is a virtual certainty. It is important information to know about a person. You don't want to be in the middle of colon cancer as your personal moment to find out your partner doesn't find it amusing and leaves with the nanny. I tend to think how someone deals with trouble is one of the most important things you can know about them. I don't need encouraged to have hobbies, and I can make myself laugh, thanks.

I am all for sorting out the fairweathers from the standbyyous fast and early and hard. Lots of people out there in the world; no particular point wasting yourself on the fairweathers. That is obvious enough. The trick is to identify them, so you can weed them out. I have an ileostomy; if the response to that is to be grossed out, appalled, affronted, or anything else not positive, I pretty much want to know that before I spend a dime on dinner or any of my free time at all. Let the fairweathers flock together, I've got a life to live. : )

Reply to Earth Angel


Earth Angel
Reply to #Highlyfavored

Thank you so much! You're very sweet.

Reply to Earth Angel

You're welcome, sis.

Audrey Warren

I've been on for years, most of the time without an ostomy. But I had a severe case of irritable bowel syndrome which got worse over time and finally kept me from being able to commit to activities, never knowing what might happen. It was at times quite uncomfortable but fortunately, I never had the pain so many experience on this site.
I recently reactivated my membership and decided to include that I had a colostomy (November '21) because of my IBS-C and was glad I did because it improved the quality of my life. I had several men interested and I am currently getting to know someone. It may not go anywhere but it's enjoyable. None of the men had a problem with my colostomy. One even complimented me on my candor. There is no pressure when it's out there from the beginning. If I met someone not on a dating site, I would tell him on the first date.
BTW, I'm 77 and still hoping that a relationship involves intimacy. I've been widowed twice and miss being part of a couple.


Hi Feb9HH, I think it depends on the person. Everyone has different life experiences and exposures to different things and what they can accept or not. This is a cute YouTube video to send to someone to introduce them to ostomies... 'Elijah Explains His New Ostomy'.

(For some reason I cannot link the video here)

Earth Angel
Reply to Audrey Warren

Good for you, Audrey! I hope you find true love soon!!!


I am totally upfront about my ileostomy--and I also say right up front, "If you're grossed out by it or feel that you can't handle it, just let me know right now". I mean, why keep it private and then when it is discovered, you realize that you've got a "runner", especially after you've become attached to someone. It's always better to know right away.