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Dating with an ileostomy - Any advice

Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:25 pm
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hi. i have had my ileostomy for 2 years now. I was single before my operation and have 2 lovely girls. I would like to meet some special, male.

I have tried dating and obviously have had to tell potential new boyfriends. I found that very hard as I cant really come to terms with it.

They have been reassuring that it makes no difference.

Why do I feel after telling them I am not good enough, begin to feel paranoid that
they dont really like and iv put them off.

I cant shake the feeling and end up calling it a day.

Anyone got any dating advice? When is the best time to tell them?
Does any feel the same?

I am distraught about it and feel being alone is maybe a better way forward?


Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:59 pm
Hi there and my sympathies with your recent dates! I know the feeling, although I've only had one brief encounter since becoming an ostomate. I'll not give up though.......although last weekend I felt so down and lost all my confidence. I keep believing that you have to remain positive and that right person will come along. You live in a wonderful city and I'm certain your soul-mate will soon come along. I used to work there about 10 years ago at One Devonshire Gardens during my management training and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Keep positive Girl! And never run yourself down! Take good care, Colm
MeetAnOstoMate - 27,282 members
Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:39 pm
For single ostomates this is probably the most discussed topic. Although I'm married now I was in my early 20's when I had my ileostomy in 1978 and dating was my single biggest concern. I can only speak from my own experience, but my ileostomy never proved to be an issue. I didn't get married until I was in my early 40's and over the intervening years I was involved in many relationships, some long term and others not so long term Smile. I found that I would wait to get to know a person better before I brought up the topic. Once I dated a girl who already knew about it, possibly through a friend, and when I told her she smiled and said, "I was wondering when you were going to tell me." So my advice is basically don't tell a guy right away. Get to know him better and also be confident. If you act like you hate it he might detect that. If you act like it's a small thing to you he will think so too.
Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:34 pm
I am married but now separated but 3 weeks before my surgery March 9th 2011 he had left me for someone he had been seeing for sometime and i had no idea. I was alone before i had to have all of my colon removed. Except for my son and his wife was the only ones there for me. Im still alone i moved with my son and his wife to Omaha im still alone just need a male friend that is in the same shape as me that understands what in going through. Just need a friend


Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:16 pm
Well,  I am from the old school, (and so are a lot of you).

But you really should not have to worry about telling your first date that you have a bag, just as you would not tell him/her that you have herpes.  Conduct your self accordingly and don't anticipate hopping into the sack with them in an hour.  Then as time goes on, you will get a feeling as to what their reaction is going to be when the subject comes up.

Wearing the bag is not the end of the world,  just a different world.
Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:39 am
  greetings dan, this is professor peabody abord the anastasia ..  over and out  

Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:44 pm

I am married and my husband knew about my ostomy long before we even knew there was more than a friendship.  He says he doesn't even notice it...it is just a part of me.  I have a harder time with it then he does.  Like other's have said, you don't have to tell someone right away...you will get to know over time if the guy is someone special and worthy of knowing that part of you...It is also good if you can accept it as a part of who you are...I know that's not easy but to me, it says that you have battled some huge wars and were strong enough to come out victorious!  A weaker person might not have survived what we have.  We are survivors!  I wish you all the best.  Be gentle with yourself, you're worth it!

Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:49 pm
Oh ya, I forgot, you could maybe find a place like a support group where you can meet others in the same situation. Smile

Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:39 pm
Hey, I was just like you. I had my operation and came out of hospital thinking my life was over and that I would never be able to have a relationship again. Although at the time i was in a long term relationship within 12 months we split which was my fault because I just couldn't come to terms with it all. I had such a bad experience in hospital and new I had a long battle ahead of me I couldn't get my head right.

One day shortly after the split I was feeling the best I had felt in a long time and decided enough was enough and that I was going to go out and get a new girlfriend. Within a week I ended up getting together with a girl that was 8 years younger than me and in my opinion stunning. She knew that I had been ill but didn't know that I had a stoma and I didn't tell her for probably 4 months. When we got intimate I always kept my t-shirt on and I taped my bag down so it wouldn't be noticed. Eventually I told her and it didn't make any difference at all if you have found the right person they are with you for you and it really doesn't matter about anything else which was such a relief to me.

I now find myself single again after 3.5 years with the girl I met, single for reasons not related to my Illeostomy. But again I find myself going through this same thought process as you - who wants a man with all my problems? My confidence has been knocked for 6! But when you meet someone within 5 - 10 minutes you know that this person is for you and you are probably fully clothed with a drink in your hand. By the time your close with each other and ready to tell them nothing will change how they or you should feel. Get out and enjoy yourself after the first time you start talking to people you will feel so much more confident . . . . and i will try to take a dose of my own medicine!

Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:14 pm
Hi ther
i. i had my ileostomy fo
r nearly 2 years and i am only 33 with in  two years i had  lots of girlfriends i always used to tell them when you feel  little closer to someone  , don't tell them right at the start may be wait until you know someone very well . I have  found some one very special and got married last octuber , so there is someone somewhere for every one  , be confident you will be fine and wish you all the best .

Ram x
Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:47 am
              Ram i have had mine almost a year well march 9th it will be.
                And 2 weeks before my surgery my husband left me for some
                women he had been seeing for 3 months before march and i
                had been so sick and i did not have a clue he was cheating on
                 me after 8 years. Oh well i guess im better off by my self.

Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:49 am
I'm like you..I feel the same way which I guess it is us..I had two different male friends an different times and I tell them from day one as I feel if your gonna go go now..I was fooled..They still called and wanted to go out anyway like so what,no big deal  everybody has something..well I am the one that puts it off..I sceve it myself and if anything ever happened intimately I probably would want to dye..I hate it..They still call and I just don't answer the phone..I think to myself what is wrong with them to want to go with me..there has to be a motive..my trust issue went way down with this..I lost friends imagain a boy friend..I guess we have to think differently but I just can't..judy
Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:53 pm
  Don't feel bad blue eye's. People are afraid of what they don't know. The only reason I wasn't afraid of it before I had to have one. My mother had a lady friend that had one and I overheard this friend tell my Mother.." Oh no it isn't bad My husband still loves me and every one I know understands it." That's the key word, She was lucky enough to have Friends who asked questions.

I wasn't that lucky...My husband told me " I'm not keeping an old lady who has that!!   The first time I dated it was with a parapalegic man. He thought I was the greatest thing since water ,  Until i told him I had health problems. He said that was fine. Then I told him I had a stoma, He said what is it? I showed him....He almost broke his good leg getting out the door!    I haven't dated since. But I will take the advise You said...Don't tell right away, Let them get to know you as a person first. Thank You Blue Eyes,  Overwhelmed in Iowa
Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:15 am

It will be a year March 9Th and i have not dated anyone. But don't anyone either.
I have been separated for the same amount of time cuz he left me for another women
3 months before my surgery he had been seeing this women and i did not have a clue.
That anything was wrong   But i'm over him now just don't have the money to get the

Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:09 am
1. You are an amazing and cherished creation, and you are very loved, especially because of your illness and your ostomy. Think of this, when you have an illness, your spouse has all the more reason to be concerned and pray for you.
2. Who on earth has the God-given right to tell you that you are unworthy or unattractive? Men who fall for societies image of women are so unworthy and a waste of time.
3. There is no reason to keep an ostomy and medical condition a secret, it doesn't benefit you in any way, especially when we have a greater need for supportive people in our lives.
3. You have the right to have the best and most amazing husband or wife, and don't settle for anything less!! Take the time to write a list of the qualities you need and sincerely pray about it.
Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:21 pm
None of us are perfect! Just think of an ostomy as a minor flaw. One girl that I dated for about 4 years, said "at our age, we are supposed to have things wrong with us". Sure, it is not easy to tell a new person about it, but wait until they see all the good things first.

Last edited by littlewheel on Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:48 am
littlewheel wrote:
None of us are perfect! Just think of an ostomy as a minor flaw. One girl that I dated for about 4 years, said "out our age, we are supposed to have things wrong with us". Sure, it is not easy to tell a new person about it, but wait until they see all the good things first.

Well said, Littlewheel Smile
Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:34 am
Ive had my ileostomy for 10yrs this September and have had 1 so called partner and only lasted a couple of week's, he was a very c ruel person! Since then I haven't been out on a date at all because the rejection is to much to bear  Ive come to the conclusion that I will alway's be alone ( oh well) as they say THATS LIFE!!!!!!!!!  
Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:21 am
I used to think the same way, I've had a stoma for 5 years; it started off with a colostomy, then last year I had the rest of my colon removed. I was married, but he was awful and put me down continually - not about the stoma, but everything else about me. I left him two years ago, and am with a great guy now. He knew me when I had to wear a wig; he is well aware I have arthritis from the Crohn's, the 'bag' of course, and my epilepsy. I told him about my bag before we started dating, when we were purely friends, and gave him the choice - he wanted me despite all my health issues. I cover it up in intimate situations, I have a satin ostomy wrap around cover and I also use a boob tube at other times, so he's never ever seen it, and we've been going out over a year. He's heard the 'windy' noises, but we laugh about it. It took me a very long time to accept my body changed forever, but I've learnt the more matter of fact I am about it, the easier it is for a partner to accept. Don't give up - there are many understanding decent people out there x
Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:43 am

Couldn't agree more.  Treat matter of factly.  What other choice do we have?  I cover mine up 99% of the time I am with someone, so they don't see very much.  Even in the gym for that matter, they have some private and disabled changing facitities, but I don't bother. I towel off in the shower cubicle and wrap the towel around.  In the changing room I just put on a tee shirt over the towel, then turn to face away from anyone there and quickly remove the towel and put my pants on.  If anyone was actually staring at me, they would catch a glimpse of my bag I guess.  Can't believe anyone would be that desperate, but if so, let them.  Noone has ever commented, and I'm in the gym 4/5 times a week.  I don't wave it about, but I'm past caring if anyone sees it.  I've told several people about it anyway.  Like I say, I don't go around broadcasting it, but if it's relevant to any discussion I don't mind bringing it up.

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