The typical Girlfriend Experience should be one filled with flowers and dates. Meeting loved ones. Family and friends for the holidays. But, when dating a woman with lupus, the Girlfriend Experience is dramatically different. Being a single mom meant I wasn’t the easiest person to date before my symptoms reared their ugly head. Having this added medical challenge, meant the Girlfriend Experience with lupus becomes one of caretaker, nurse, chauffeur. Most important, it is one that requires an immense amount of patience.
Flowers, dates and loved ones
I recently wrote a column about how I spent my Valentines Day. Looking back, I can recall the days of receiving flowers at work and at home. I remember dates to fancy restaurants then hitting up the museum or a movie. Long walks into the early morning. After a series of dates and outings, we would move on to meeting each others’ loved ones and family members. Eventually we would begin to split holidays between the families, ignoring the not-so-subtle hints of marriage and children.
Everything changed when I was diagnosed with lupus. Planning a date for next week, when you don’t know if you can get out of bed tomorrow, is a fruitless endeavor. Not too many men are up for the spontaneity and extreme patience required to have a Girlfriend Experience with someone with lupus.
Commitment is to my health and to my boys
Being a single mom comes with its own issues entirely. My commitment is to my health equaled only by my commitment to my boys. Unfortunately, this leaves little room for anything else. Dating someone with lupus means you’re not only in the back seat, but you’re effectively in the trunk.
The Experience of having a girlfriend with lupus means being a caretaker and a nurse when your girlfriend isn’t feeling well enough to make it out of bed. I am not saying you won’t have extremely wonderful times when she’s on an upswing. But I am saying there are extremely difficult down times. Doctors’ visits, immune-suppressants and medical treatments that can leave someone with lupus down for days, if not weeks or months. These things take a toll on the mind, body and spirit and it takes a truly patient, loving and forgiving person to face a future like that.
Dating a woman with lupus is a challenge
The typical Girlfriend Experience is filled with the traditional relationship issues of sex, love and fun. While dating a woman with lupus is a challenge, at best, at worst it’s a recipe for heartache and disaster. Having the added challenge of lupus has meant that I need to be more selective in my search for whom to share my life with. I don’t want a caretaker, a nurse or a chauffeur; I want someone to understand that I am sick and can’t be everything to everyone all the time.
Women with lupus need to be loved, just like everyone else. But I also need someone who has the patience to see me through my darkest days.
How can you recognize the good times, in both people and life, without going through the bad?
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.