When and how to discuss my ileostomy on a first date?

May 23, 2012 5:58 pm

Hello all, I have had my little friend since December 2011. I did think it was hard enough finding a fella as a single mum, but this makes things that much harder.

I met a guy on a dating site, so I have had the chance to get to know him and him me before meeting. Well, the time has come to bite the bullet and I will be going on a date tomorrow night. The only thing I'm worried about is telling him about my stoma. I have said from the start that I would tell whoever I go out with about it just after the first date. Not sure if that's the right thing to do or to leave it for a little while.

Hope it goes well, fingers crossed.

If anyone has any stories they would like to tell, it would help a lot.

Jo xxx

May 23, 2012 7:02 pm
Way to go Joanna, just be yourself and whatever will be will be, just remember you have a lot of people on here wishing you all the best so I hope you will share with us how it all turned out. Ed
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May 23, 2012 8:04 pm

Joanna, I wish you all the best on your 1st date. Why the need to tell this guy on the 1st date, don't you think it would be best to see if you and him hit it off? Waiting until next time isn't a bad thing, why don't you try to relax and enjoy just getting to know him 1st.


May 23, 2012 8:47 pm

Let him concentrate on your great personality and beautiful face on this first face-to-face date. No use to bring up the plumbing yet. For all you know, he may grunt and fart in his sleep, and if he does, I am sure he won't tell you on the first date! Save the really personal details for later on, once you've decided whether or not you like the "real-time" version of him.

When I was dating, I dated several guys from dating sites and would always talk to them for at least a month online and by phone before we "met" in person. More often than not, there were always differences in how they were online and on the phone -vs- how they were in person. Sometimes I was pleasantly surprised.....sometimes not so much! I remember this one instance where my date and I went to Oktoberfest here in the Dallas area....it was a Renaissance Fair of sorts with rides, food, family stuff...and they had a beer tasting event going on as well. You had to have "tickets" for everything....using these in lieu of cash. Well, things were going fairly well, and we were getting ready to leave and noticed that we had several tickets left....and we couldn't return them for cash, so I looked around for a family with kids that I thought might be able to use them....we were leaving, anyway, and this family didn't look like they had an overabundance of money.....so, I grabbed the tickets from my date's hand and proceeded to take them over to the family and give them the tickets along with a heartfelt "ENJOY!" They thanked me profusely....but, Mr. Cheapskate got MAD AT ME for giving those tickets to this family instead of just throwing them in the trash! He pouted and wouldn't speak to me all the way home! Needless to say, that was our first and only date.

On the other hand, I also met my now hubby via a dating site. We talked for about 6 weeks before we met....I had him meet me at a neutral place (my office) and we went for dinner, then to a local bookstore and coffee bar. The next day he sent me an email to my office and asked, "Did he pass?" (as in pass his first date test!)......and, as they say, the rest is history...... We've been together for 9 years now.

Best of luck on your date! And may Cupid smile upon you with a special, wonderful person for you to enjoy.

May 28, 2012 2:08 am

Don't tell him anything yet. You might not even like him. Your main concern should be does he deserve YOU!!!!!!!!


Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
May 28, 2012 2:31 am
Hi Joanna,

I love what the others have said.....especially Darla. I dated the first time around after my surgery back in the 1960s, married, divorced, and have been back in the dating world again for the last 15 years.

I've made the mistake of telling too much too soon quite a few times, but generally speaking, "know" when it's right to tell.

You'll figure it out for yourself. Try to enjoy the dating experience, get to know him, and let him get to know you. That is the best advice.

Today's mores are quite different than they were when I was a "kid". Back then, months could go by without a need to "tell".....or the relationship might have ended way before it was an issue.

Not so in today's world. But a general rule that I (and other ostomy teens used) was, if you wanted his hands below your neck, be prepared to tell. :)) That still works well for today....be it the first or third date.

That should make some of you reading this smile.

You'll find that the ostomy is an issue for some and not an issue for others. I always felt that if the guy was turned off, then he wasn't the one for me.

I wish you the best of luck, and please keep us "informed". We're the family you can laugh with. And I do have some hilarious dating stories... for another time.
May 28, 2012 2:31 am

Good luck!!

Mr nice guy
May 28, 2012 3:36 am

As we age, things start to break down. If your date is around the same age as you, then he will know what that means. Telling him about your ostomy can wait until later, when you're both familiar with each other. Eventually, parts of him will break down where he may need help one day too. It's normal, and that's life for all of us humans on Earth. If he doesn't accept you, then you didn't lose much. Someone will eventually say yes and be okay with who you are and what you have. I had mine for 10 years, and I dated, and I told only a few after a month or two. Honestly, most weren't sure what to do or think. So I just passed them by and looked for another. 10 years later and ostomy-free, I find I am better off dating off and on instead of having a steady girlfriend. Once my daughter becomes an adult in 2 years, I will start looking for a wife. I am fortunate and very thankful I survived living with an ostomy for 10 years. It made me realize how lucky I really am now. Good luck to you always on your quest.

May 28, 2012 11:35 am

Hello Joanna, I agree with Darla. I think that maybe we should wait and see how things go. Good luck ;


May 29, 2012 3:33 am

There are all kinds of different opinions and approaches singles I have known and or talked to or read posts from, and the way I always approach it is I take it slow and feel the person out on how soon I want to bring up my medical history in convo. I've had a few friends that will straight-up tell a date right away so they can say "their loss" if they have a problem with it, then others like myself will wait and let them get a chance to know me on the inside - then before we get too emotionally involved, then I will tell them - and in my experiences thus far, I can say it yet to be an issue for a lady I had met whether we ended up in an intimate relationship or not. But I unfortunately do have to agree (sadly) with what women all have stated in their findings, in that men seem to be much more likely to be turned off by someone with an ostomy than women.

May 29, 2012 7:55 pm

My simple rule of thumb is this: "Just because it's all you can focus on doesn't mean that your days feel the same."

I made that mistake too many times. The first few dates after my surgery (which was actually 10 years later - I was married for 8 of those years) were a car wreck waiting to happen. All I could think about was 'when should I bring up the subject?' and I'll bet you $ to donuts that was one of the last things on my date's mind.

What I will focus on is their responses to questions or comments on how empathetic/sympathetic they are. I also focus on other qualities I admire like kindness and mindfulness.

What matters to me is how accepting they are of people in general. If they aren't the type of person I think I can click with, there is little to no chance they would be interested in who I am - let alone my physical situation.

As many have said in the past on here, take your time to make sure they meet YOUR standards and be less concerned about you meeting theirs.

Life with an Ostomy is hard enough. Do you really want to be with someone who makes more out of it than they should?

Good luck!

Be well,


Jul 03, 2012 8:47 pm
Well said!
Aug 05, 2012 10:03 pm
Just answered this question for someone else. See "How do I tell someone I'm dating about my ostomy".
Past Member
Oct 01, 2012 4:46 pm

It's a funny old world! I don't have a stoma but many years ago, I had a fantastic relationship with a very sexy and loving ostomate. She then emigrated, and as I wouldn't have it, it drew to an inevitable close. Since then, I've been trapped in a 'going nowhere' marriage with a 'normal' woman. My ostomate's stoma was never a problem when we met and never got in the way. Trust me, some of us really have no problem with the idea or the practicalities of a partner with an ostomy. Oh, for one more night like the old days! Good luck.