3 Tips for Dating Someone with IBD

Relationships are such a vital aspect of life. Relationships can help humans live longer and happier lives, but one thing to note is that relationships are never easy. It takes time and effort. Although relationships are not easy, here are some tips that might help the process. Specifically looking at being in a relationship with someone who has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), being that strong support for them can make all the difference in their journey.

1. Be understanding

When meeting someone who has IBD at the beginning of the relationship, keep in mind that they may be closed off talking about their disease or what they may be feeling. Be understanding and know that talking about their condition is not easy to open up about. This takes time and trust in the relationship. Later on, once the relationship has developed, your partner will open up more about how they are feeling, and just to warn you, there will be times when they may not want to do what you may want to do. For instance, going out. Your partner may not want to go out one day not because they don’t want to but because they physically can’t. Your partner may be having a flare-up. In times such as those, the trust you have built with your partner will show up here, and you will need to understand your partner's situation and not be upset. Understand that what is going on is entirely out of their control.

2. Educate yourself

One of the most hurtful things you can do to someone who has IBD is to be insensitive to their disease and how they may be feeling. To avoid hurting your partner, you should take the time to educate yourself on their condition and better understand that the physical pain they may be feeling is legitimate. Don’t minimize their disease and think it is not a big deal. Remember that what you say to them is powerful. Saying things such as "I'm sure it's not that bad" or "suck it up" can really affect you and your partner's relationship. Be mindful of what you are saying and understand that they have to live with IBD for the rest of their lives.

3. Communication

I know that we’ve all heard the one piece of information every person gives, and that is “communication is key,” but believe me when I tell you it really is! Communication is what helps you to connect with your partner's needs. In this case, of dating someone with IBD, the best thing you can do for them is reassure them. Reassure them that you are there for them. If they need you to go to doctor’s appointments, pick up medication, or just anywhere, let them know you are willing to go with them anywhere. That is one of the best types of support you can give your partner. There will also be times when they may be feeling overwhelmed or depressed. In times such as those, let them know you are there for them and communicate that whatever they want to talk about, you are there to support and love them.