Hi Brown Eyed Girl, ladies & "Gents". I probably have my ileostomy the longest ( 50 plus years) and it was difficult the first time around when I was a teen. But then I married young, and the guy had an osotmy ( that's how we met). Beleive me when I tell you, that's not what kept us together as long as it did. We divorced after 24 1/2 years. So for the last 20, I'v been dating again. I know now, that there is an "opertune" time to tell ...and not to tell. But there's no guarantees either way. Instead of worrying about His ( or her) reaction, go out a few times to see if this is really a person you can, and want to trust. I had a third date with a guy, who was very heavy, and had issues of his own, yet when I told him "casually", at lunch. He, stopped eating, said he had to leave...and that was the end of that. Other guys have been less, shall we say....impulsive. I went out twice with a guy with whom I'd been chatting on line, and we hit it off immediately... But when we started to get a bit Intimate....I thought it was time to tell him. It didn't seem to be a problem "intellectually", but when I gurgled.....he was startled. And yes...that was "the end". Sigh...that one hurt....he was really nice, funny generous, kind, and we shared many interests. But if it wasn't right for him...then it wasn't right for me.
Don't lose heart "ladies". For as many as there were who couldn't handle the ostomy, there were those for whom it wasn't an issue. You really have to trust yourself, have pride in yourself...... Remember back when we were "teens" and wondered WHY we couldn't attract the guy we wanted. We blamed our hair, or a zit, or our teeth, or our weight.... In the end it really didn't matter. I've come to the conclusion we may have to "kiss a lot of frogs ( or froggetts) before we find the prince/ princess.
For people who love to travel....I've travelled extensively, with other women friends, on tours, and sometimes went on tours alone ( and got a roommate so I didn't have to spend the single supplement. Those ladies knew nothing of my ostomy. They had enough to know, with my sleep apnea machine, and my diabetes. Didn't want to hit them with "everything". If you're not ready to date, then finding a new group of friends ( singles) will help you get "social again". I wasn't a big fan of singles events and dances, but when we went as a group, it was a lot of fun. I'm 66 now, and still "dating" & looking. Not giving up hope.