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Dating...

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Christopher, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Senior Member

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    For anyone single here...

    Are you able to go on dates and try to find a mate? Being a guy, I feel that I have to be the "pursuer", but most days it takes everything I have just to get up, shower, and put in a full day's work - courting someone is just not something at the forefront of my mind most of the time.

    So guy or girl, if you're single, do you find the time to try the dating scene, and if so how do you go about it? When I was healthy I would just meet people through work or social events, but as I don't get out as much these leads have sort of dried up.

    Thoughts?
  2. George

    George Guest

    I don't even have a libido. My body is in conserve, conserve, conserve mode. I've been asked out a couple of times but have just explained that what they are observing is not "laid back cool" it's just plain vanilla exhausted!
  3. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    You could try to meet people online at cfs chat rooms or in person at support groups. You could try posting on the Internet personals and be honest if humorous about cfs. There may be others with chronic health problems of their own who wouldn't mind. I'm pretty sire the dating sites have search by keyword so you could search that way for others with health issues. You could also just focus energy on getting treatment and put off dating.
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Senior Member

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    Thanks guys. I don't mean dating as in like going out every night with a different person. Just would be nice to have a companion. And I've been sick more or less since '04...I don't want to be waiting around for a remission that may never come, ya know?
  5. sarahg

    sarahg Admin Assistant

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    I still haven't figured out how this works yet. There are a lot of things I wonder about though. Like is it better to aim for someone totally healthy and maybe then have someone around to help out? Or someone who is sick with this or another condition who you're not going to scare the crap out of? Better to wait for relative health or just plunge in as you are? I think Im still feel pretty burned by my last relationship, and as a result am pretty distrusting of someone who is healthy actually being able to "handle" me. For the first year and a half of being sick I was engaged, I had a house, I had a "family" and a soon-to-be step kid that I adored. And the dude had the audacity to end a several years long over the phone by saying he just couldn't handle it anymore. I've turned down nearly every person since and in the once instance I didn't and actually went on a few dates, everything was all good until I casually mentioned (without really thinking) that I had a hard time washing my hair because it was so hard to hold my arms up that long in such intense heat. And I saw the look on his face and it hit him that what I was dealing with wasn't probably what he thought it was. And that was the last date needless to say. Ah well. But there are times it is just crushing not to have physical contact with other humans. I think stuff like that can really do a lot for various chemical processes and well being and can be healing, in a way. Everybody deserves a good snuggle, I guess.

    I have this suspicion that people who would want to date someone so sick must have weird issues, but that's probably not always the case.
    I also don't know how or when to explain what I have going on healthwise to someone without scaring them.
    I guess if anything being sick has made me a lot more picky about who I choose to let into my world (friends or otherwise) That way at least I am wasting less time and energy.

    and Chris,
    Look on the bright side, at least you don't have to worry about shaving your legs, getting all dressed up, and doing stuff to your hair on top of everything else!
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Senior Member

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    Quite judgemental of you to assume I don't shave my legs, Sarah. :)

    Anyway, that sucks what happened with your fiancee - what a dope. I've only had one relationship since I got sick that I told the other person about my limitations, and I don't think they ever understood it because I acted as if I weren't sick.

    I just have a hard time going on a date with someone because I get anxious when I compare how smart and funny I am when I'm feeling well vs. how much trouble cognitively I have when I'm unwell. I feel like if I can't be at my very best on a date it will go badly.
  7. m1she11e

    m1she11e Senior Member

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    This is a tough one for me. I have been sick for over 27 years but fairly functional until this last year. During those 27 years (since I was 15 when I got sick) everyone who dated me only knew "sick Michelle." For years I could rest and then go out that night or do something fun during the day and need to rest that night. I rarely could do both. I kept being sick a secret until I had "snagged" them and they liked me too much to back out. :cool: I was an "in the closet sick person."

    This charade worked but was very stressful. I always felt insecure that they could easily find a girl that wasnt broken. I always chose the healthiest, most athletic men because that was how the "old Michelle" was so that is what I was attracted to.

    Over the years I changed strategies and just came straight out with it. That is when I still had really good days so I dont think anyone ever really "got it." My last relationship was with some one who begged and pleaded with me to date him. I explained my situation and that he would get sick of it too. I eventually gave in and it led to the same stress. I think some of it is feeling like you are less than you could be and that you are always letting others down. It is hard enough to let yourself down.

    Now that I have gotten very sick in the last year, and accepting I may never recover to where I was, I see it TOTALLY different. I dont believe a healthy person could or should be able to handle some one who is chronically ill. I think it is different if you have been married and suddenly become sick.

    I think I would have to meet some one with an illness like mine. They would have to me a match for me as far as who "we were before" and "who we are now." I believe it would be a very tough match but the only one that would not cause more stress. I think it would be nice to have some one who could relate. Some one to do things with on the good days and nap on the bad days. The libido gone missing thing would not work either :p.

    Do I think the chance is likely that I will find this person? Probably not.
    It is the only scenario I think would work unless I get a whole lot healthier!
    This has taken alot of crying to accept. I have always been in relationships and like men an awful lot. ;) There just has come a point that I know that I have to let that go to and if it happens it does and if not, it is another harsh lesson in "it is what it is."

    Thats my two or ten cents!!!

    Michelle
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Senior Member

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    Bingo for me...
  9. sarahg

    sarahg Admin Assistant

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    Absolutely! bad enough to be your own disapointment, but being someones else's is just rotten.

    also I think I was just very accustomed to having the attitude that " this is who I am, this is what I do, etc...if you don't like it, leave" So it is a struggle for me to realize I have to be a bit more diplomatic. (or do I?) I debate whether it is better to appear to be more well than I am, and let someone get to know me or to actually be who I am, so as not to waste time with someone who can't deal.

    And, Chris- if you've got the energy to shave your legs I would be dumbfounded, but I am sure that just being clean and presentable is a hassle enough.

    My friends have joked with me that I used to complain that people would look at my body and not see my how great my brain was...and now I complain that people look at my body and don't see how screwed up my brain (and the rest of my insides) are. That is probably a big part of the problem for a lot of people, we look so NORMAL, but then some of our behaviors and requirements are just so WEIRD to most people.
    Our brains start malfunctioning, we need to take breaks when walking, and give lectures to potential companions on what chemicals to avoid, and more. It all just adds up to weeding out the bad ones, maybe. That's what I like to tell myself.

    Michelle, you're such a sweet lady and someday I bet you'll find someone worthwhile.
  10. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    I think it's important to look for someone who has been humbled by suffering. That makes them realize we're all vulnerable, and tends to lead to compassion. The nature of the suffering doesn't matter as much as finding someone who is not so complacent in their health and luck that they simply have no interest in someone with "problems".
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Senior Member

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    Very true. It is very easy for me to tell when I'm speaking with someone if they have the mindset of someone who has suffered in life vs. someone who has had an easy go of it so far. I find I don't relate well to people who haven't suffered because their outlook, concerns and life goals are so different from those of myself.
  12. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    "Interested is interesting." Someone told me that once and I thought it was very wise.

    People think I'm much more interesting and much more understanding and just generally smarter since my brain went zzzzzzt because I learned how to listen. I laugh at their jokes and really listen to their concerns and they go away thinking I'm a hysterically funny genius. :D

    When you're with someone just focus on being present and interested in what they are saying and paying attention to them. A lot of healthy people don't do that. It's very potent stuff.
  13. m1she11e

    m1she11e Senior Member

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    Sarah- thanks on the sweet comment and the encouragement.

    Koan- I never thought about it that way...now I feel like I have a secret weapon . :D

    I still get phone calls from the X asking how I am feeling. I am the one that walked but I am sure he was a little relieved. I know that if I was ever healthy he would be walking through fire to get me back. He would have to stand there all burned up and alone though. Even if I were well, I want some one who has been through some shit it in life!

    I believe being sick changes your perspective on everything and that gift you always take with you.
  14. sarahg

    sarahg Admin Assistant

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    So well said Koan. You ARE wise. I often wonder if stuff like this is the reason I still have such great friends. Being alone so much makes you savor and really digest everything that someone else has to say out loud. I'd never thought of it in the context of dating, perhaps a secret weapon indeed.
  15. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Yeah!

    I'm really appreciating your sharing on this thread. Single people need this! I'm 60 and sexual interest has close to died over the last several years. more due to this condition than to menopause. Even when I still had the interest I lacked the oomph to raise sexual energy successfully in recent years. And going back from there, when I could still function sexually. I would have such PEM for 2 or 3 days after sexual activity that it effectively wasn't worth it. Thought I'd get the sexual aspect out first.

    As for closeness, a boyfriend or partner socially, emotionally and physically (just in terms of touching!!), I wish I had one but my opportunities and relationships haven't worked out for the years since I got this--15 years--due to differences in capacities, subsequent interests (like dancing, etc) and lack of understanding despite communication.

    Now it is interesting that Life has brought together me and an old man, age 85 currently. Mentally he is in a lot better shape than I (cognitively, etc.) and he has more stamina although he had a heart attack and is on beta blockers. His arthritis is bad enough to slow him down to my speed and my arthritis. Yet, still, although I see this as a wonderful opportunity for relationship, he doesn't get it/want to get it about my limitations and he isn't in the present with his own. He keeps looking back to how he used to be.

    So the band plays on. Human beings can make themselves unhappy, a good deal unhappier than we need to be, just by our negative thinking.

    So the challenge is to stay open and positive and to communicate anyway.

    Cecelia
  16. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Michelle and all...

    I've struggled with the same feelings, but just in the last six months or so have begun to realize, at least in my case, that these 'negatives' are more often my assumptions, or predictions, rather than realities. I assume people will cringe, I assume I'm not good enough, I assume people will flee when if I mention CFS. Yes, it has happened a lot in the past, but that doesn't mean it will happen in the future.

    And I'm trying to be more forgiving towards myself, and working on letting go of expectations...something many talk about as very important when trying to heal. (And healing is different from 'being cured'...)

    You may not be letting someone down, at least if they're truly caring and understanding.

    Dan

    p.s. Having said all that, what is 'dating'? :)
  17. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    I don't think people will flee, Danny. I'm sure you have many wonderful qualities. It may be that they don't really understand, and may think their capacity to be with a person who is unwell is greater than it turns out to be on a daily basis. On the other hand, if they've had their own hard knocks in life they just might appreciate a guy with sensitivity.
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Senior Member

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    Cecelia, I think that's so cool that you found a friend. Gives me hope for the future - I hope he brings you happiness.

    Danny, you have a valid point, and I hope that I will come to this realization soon. Whether or not everyone believes and/or understands our limitations, we ARE limited and every one of us is doing our best.
  19. sarahg

    sarahg Admin Assistant

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    Well I was resting and I was having a cup of tea. You know the kind of tea where the labels have little sayings on them? Well mine was very appropriate today as it stated,

    "there is no love without compassion"

    that pretty much sums it up I guess. I got cheered up by my tea and I hope you all do too. Ok back to to the couch for me!
  20. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    Oh Dan - you make me laugh out loud!!

    One of my favourite expressions that I don't seem to translate that well to others, but I'll try, is: "projection is perception". Basically the idea that we are creating our own "reality" - we project our stuff outwards and believe that that's what is really out there. When we can stop projecting a bit, then maybe we see the same thing (ie in this case someone really does feel that you are letting them down), but more likely we see that it is different and there are many other options that different people bring (coloured of course by their own projections) -some see us as being strong, some are full of empathy, some find illness boring, some are afraid................

    Sounds great to me that you're being able to see that that feeling of letting others down was mostly your feeling. And that you get the next bit too of not being hard on yourself for having expectations. That's the level that I used to fondly called "self-flagellation", thinking of the parades in southern India with people flaying themselves with hooks on the ends of whips, tearing up their flesh....... Have some lovely friends who gave another friend one of those quite firm bristle skin scrubbers with the word BAD dyed into it to tease her about that habit.

    That feeling of letting others down still plays out unconciously for a while before I catch myself. Continually comparing what me now can (or can't) do compared to pre-ME could do. It's like I'm apologizing for myself. Seeing myself as unworthy because I can't 'do' (or think) in the same way. Fortunately I have good friends who tell me that it gets a bit boring to hear all the time and others that remind me that I'm stuck in my story, so I snap out of it and try to let go of that story and just "be here now" (my 1st taste of Indian metaphysics and still working for me).

    See - I told you I have a hard time articulating this! Hope some of it is clear and maybe useful.

    islandfinn:)

    ETA - nice one sarahg - cheered me up immensely! if:)

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