Invisible illnesses & invisible disabilities can be enormously difficult to deal with. Not only are you hurting, but you’re hurting in a way that no-one can see. Especially if you’re like me, and they can’t find something concrete on a scan, you start living in this no-man’s-land of trying to convince the world that your pain is real. You know your body better than anyone, and you know when something is wrong. But it can be a massive struggle to go from doctor to doctor, hearing “huh well i don’t see anything in my field, you should go see specialist #27!” It’s even worse when you’re told it’s all in your head, or worse, that you’re making it up for some nefarious reason. After doing this for 20 years, I’ve got some tips, tricks and advice for you living with invisible illnesses or disabilities.
How To: Dating With Chronic Pain or Dating With Invisible Disabilities
Dating with chronic pain is tough, especially if there’s nothing visible about your condition. Finding someone using dating dating apps like Hinge or Tinder is hard to begin with, but dating with invisible disabilities adds a whole other level of difficulty.
In some ways using those apps would be easier if I was visibly disabled and used a wheelchair or crutches. It would at least be simpler than trying to put together a profile when I’m dating with chronic pain and dating with invisible disabilities like fibromyalgia, migraine disease, back pain, joint pain, nerve pain, and mental health issues (that’s what I’m dealing with)! But it also applies to a wide range of other issues like EDS, POTS, arthritis, Crohn’s, lupus, other autoimmune disorders, and/or any disability where you look like everyone else.
Most of the time you wouldn’t know I’m in pain, even though I always am. But it hugely affects my life, and it’s important that anybody I have as a partner be aware of it and OK with it. No, actually, it’s important that anybody I have as a partner be supportive, empathetic and caring about it.