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Dating Success Story

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Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:18 am
Hi All-

I know that having an ostomy is full of challenging and unpleasant moments, so I thought I'd share a positive story about my ostomy experience!

Brief backstory, I'm 26 and have had Crohn's Disease since age 19.  I've had my ostomy since February 1st of this year.  Being in your 20s, single and with an ostomy can make dating a harrowing experience to say the least.  I was very worried that women wouldn't find me attractive anymore.  Or if I did meet a woman I really liked, that she wouldn't want to date me anymore after she found out about my ostomy.

I met someone in April and we spent a ton of time talking on the phone and had several very successful dates.  She knew about my Crohn's Disease but I had not yet told her about my ostomy.  My approach is to only tell people on a "need to know" basis.  After a while things started to get a little more physical between us and I knew the time was rapidly approaching where I would need to tell her about my situation.  

I was extremely nervous that night she came over.  Many of my friends and family knew about and accepted my condition, but I had yet to tell anyone I was dating.  Basically, I told her that I had to tell her something about me and that if it changed the way she felt about me I would be disappointed but that I would understand.  I took a deep breath and began to explain...

After I told her, her reaction could only be described as relief!  She told me "That's it?  I was so worried you were going to tell me you were married or were a drug addict or something.  That's just a medical condition, there's nothing you can do about that."  I was completely amazed at how unfazed she was by what I told her.  She asked me a couple questions about it and I showed her my bag and explained a little bit about how it worked, but that was it.  She truly did not seemed bothered by it.  I felt so overjoyed by her reaction and we were able to be completely intimate for the first time that night.  I won't share the details but I'll just say the bag didn't make things worse, in fact that night was better than many past experiences without the bag!  

Ultimately, it turned out to be a wonderful night and one that I will never forget.  It taught me that if someone likes you for the person you are, a medical condition like this one won't change that one bit.  It gave me a ton of confidence and showed me that life really doesn't have to be any different just because you have an ostomy.  

I hope anyone reading this who is worried that they won't be able to date or be intimate because of their ostomy will be inspired by my story.  The people that truly like you for who you are won't care about your ostomy and the ones that do care about it don't deserve to be in your life anyways!
Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:34 am
Hello JJ,
Thanks for sharing this experience.
Having been married for 43 years my wife has lived with me through worse things than an ostomy. Nonetheless I do appreciate the pre-nuptual anxieties and, as you say, it's really great to meet people who are not phased by mere physical/medical attributes.
I'm sure a lot of other people will also appreciate your sharing this with us
Best wishes
Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:23 am
J.J. wrote:
  The people that truly like you for who you are won't care about your ostomy and the ones that do care about it don't deserve to be in your life anyways!

That is such a great story J.J., thanks for telling it!

I particularly like the last true.

Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:32 pm

Love your story. I'm so happy for you that you didn't allow your ostomy to hold you back from dating.  So many of us allow our ostomy to hinder us from moving on and finding happiness.  I was guilty of doing that myself.  I do believe that it's generally harder for women to come to terms with their sexuallity post-ostomy (not always), but let me too share a positive story...I'm 49 with an ostomy and after a year and a half, I finally let myself believe that I too could find love...."even with this pouch". I re-connected with a past love in April who didn't know that I now have a colostomy. We ended up talking a few times and went out on a first date that was really nice.  I thought it would be a while before I told him about my ostomy but on our second date I saw that he was interested in being more than friends and I didn't want to mis-lead him into thinking that I was who I used to be. I told him and afterward he said I was better than I ever was.  Anyway, we are older and wiser now and are enjoying the feeling of love and know that the rest will follow when I'm ready.  He accepts and respects that about me.  Heck, we don't even know how long it may be before I can become intimate with him but we are willing to wait because that's the way it would have been this time anyway.  We want to be friends, companions, confidants, and then lovers.  I'm hoping this gives others hope because every time I read a positive story, I would come a bit closer to knowing that it's possible.  I don't know for sure what's going to happen down the road but I'm going to enjoy the journey. With that being said, I need some rest because paving a road can be exhausting but at least I know where I want to go and am aware that it's just not going to happen by itself. Take care and Blessings to you in your life.....Smylin
Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:00 pm
Thank you so much JJ. I am 25, single and only had the bag 7 weeks so I am worried about meeting a new partner and taking things further, however this has made me feel so much more confident
Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:44 pm

       I can't agree with you more and it's very positive for others that you point this out because that was my experience exactly. I had my ileostomy in 1978 when I was 23 and single. Meeting girls and dating was not an issue but there was always that thought in back of my mind as to when I should tell them about my ostomy. I would usually wait until after a few dates and getting to know each other better. I never saw any need to bring it up right away.

      I can remember one time when I was dating the daughter of friends of my parents. We hit it off really well so I decided to tell her my "big secret" before she found out for herself! Much to my surprise her response was, "I didn't think you were going to tell me so quickly." She knew all the time, probably from her parents, and the subject never came up again even after we became intimate.

      The point I guess I'm trying to make, and which I mentioned last week in my "What I've Learned" forum post, is that we tend to make a bigger deal about than our partners. I'm happy for you and it's great to hear good news.

Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:03 pm
Wonderful share Buddy. Coming from a man, surely will help many others.

This site is full of BOTH genders, afraid of the possible rejection in the moment of truth. It's human nature to think the worse, heck, it CAN  only go up from there, right?

Stories such as yours just demonstrates that people are people, rejection is just "one" of the possible outcomes. The real highlight of the story is that you TOOK THE CHANCE....Bravo !!!! Congratulations and the best of luck in whatever you do.

And by the're  a real "Cutie Tootie"...OF COURSE she's crazy about ya !! LOL
Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:15 pm
JJ thanks for sharing a wonderful story. coming up to 70yrs I still love to hear of those who overcame a trial, not trivial in the least, and I'm sure it will be a boon to others and I guess thats the object of this forum.
I don't remember who came up with the line: "An ostomy is a great JERK detector" but Oh so true, all the best in your future, Ed
Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:05 am
true, if someone doesnt love you for who you are theyre not worth loving you at all
Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:36 pm
What a great story i think there are many here that would agree it makes no difference having a bag, when you meet the right person who just wants to be with you for yourself. Hope many more can learn from this.. Thanks again
Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:17 am
fantastic your sooooo cute lolol yeah its tacking that chance thats scary ..Im at arms length all the time grr .... .....
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