19 Things You've Definitely Thought If You're Dating with a Chronic Illness

Chronic illness impacts many aspects of one's everyday life...and that includes dating! Considering that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 11 and celiac disease at age 17, chronic illness has always been part of my dating history. And if I've learned one lesson so far, it's that chronic illness adds a variety of challenges AND blessings to the dating game...and today, I want to share 19 things you've definitely thought if you're dating with a chronic illness!

Dating? Have at least one #chronicillness? Then are 19 thoughts that have probably popped into your mind! #celiac #fibromyalgia #chronicpain

If you have a chronic illness and are currently dating, I hope this post makes you feel a little less alone or even helps you laugh at some of the "quirks" chronic illness may add to your dating life. And if you're dating someone with chronic illness, I hope this post gives you insight into what your partner may be thinking or experiencing on a regular basis.

So without further adieu...here are 19 thoughts you've definitely had if you're dating with chronic illness.

1. "A dinner date at 10 PM? Who is up and functioning at that time?!?"

2. "Please let there be something I can eat, please let there be something I can eat..."

This is why I typically eat before my dates...or make sure I choose the restaurant and pick one that would be tasty for me and my date!

Dating? Have at least one #chronicillness? Then are 19 thoughts that have probably popped into your mind! #celiac #fibromyalgia #chronicpain

3. "How can I say, 'Please stop accidentally touching ALL of my trigger points' without sounding crazy?"

4. "She got 5 hours of sleep and feels fine?? How can people DO THAT??"

5. "Dang, he's good at giving massages. He's a keeper."

6. "Should I say I'm canceling our date because I'm sick...or be real about my flare-up?"

My suggestion? Be real! It can be embarrassing or awkward to open up about struggling at first, but you'll need to tell them eventually, so why not now?

Dating? Have at least one #chronicillness? Then are 19 thoughts that have probably popped into your mind! #celiac #fibromyalgia #chronicpain

7. "He knows someone with fibro? And asks how my pain is each day? Now that's what gives me butterflies."

8. "Chronic illness isn't all I am...but it is part of it. And if she can't handle that, she's not right for me."

Mic drop.

9. "Where's the closest bathroom?!? Just in case..."

10. "Will his family like me?? Or will they think I'm overly dramatic or high-maintenance?"

And if you've ever been called high-maintenance or accused of exaggerating your chronic illness, this post was written for you...

Dating? Have at least one #chronicillness? Then are 19 thoughts that have probably popped into your mind! #celiac #fibromyalgia #chronicpain

11. "Wait...*insert behavior/trait here* ISN'T normal???"

12. "I've officially just vomited/farted/*insert your most embarrassing chronically ill quirk* in front of the cutest person ever...they must really like me if they're still here."

13. "What would it even be like to have enough energy to go on late-night dates multiple days of the week??"

And if you've ever felt guilty for not being able to "show up" as your best self more often, know you're not alone!

14. "Please don't say let them say, 'I don't look sick' or 'I'm too young to be sick'..."

Dating? Have at least one #chronicillness? Then are 19 thoughts that have probably popped into your mind! #celiac #fibromyalgia #chronicpain

15. "They researched my condition just to understand me better? That's so sweet."

16. "Did they really just say that invisible illnesses are a joke?? Look at that, it's time for me to goooooo."

Red flag much??

17. "Am I enough?"

The short answer: YES!! For the long answer, read this post.

18. "Do I talk about my body or my flare-ups too often?"

19. "Thank goodness I have a supporter for my good and bad days."

And if you don't yet, don't give up looking. And know you always have an online group of support too, including me!

Dating? Have at least one #chronicillness? Then are 19 thoughts that have probably popped into your mind! #celiac #fibromyalgia #chronicpain

The Bottom Line of Dating with Chronic Illness:

While dating with chronic illness certainly isn't impossible, it's not always easy or effortless. So if you've ever felt frustrated with your chronic illness's role in your dating life, I hope this post helped you feel less alone. Just like I hope that whether you're happily married or single and trying to mingle, at least one of these thoughts resonated. 

And let me know in the comments what other thoughts you think should make the list!


  1. So this is entering into year 4 for me. I'm long past the long explanation point. Ignorance gets the following explanation: "If I step on your toe, and you howl in pain, is that asking for attention?" Ignorance replies: "Of course not, but nobody's doing that to you." I reply: "But they are if they CC my food or just callously mess it up and I get sick, and by "sick" I mean organ damage, my gut is an organ."

    I thought I'd get less strict as I relaxed and got more familiar with Celiac. But that's not happening. I'm getting more annoyed.

    I'm not sure I like the phrase "invisible illness" though. My mom had cancer, and that was invisible. In fact she avoided losing her hair and when it couldn't be avoided she wore a wig. She wanted it to be invisible. Nobody told her it was "not real" or any of this other nonsense.

  2. Just out of simple concern for your well being, Casey, you post a lot of pics of packaged foods and fast foods. Do you really eat mainly that? It seems far more risky than cooking for yourself. Though you may not have time if you're a grad student. I assume you're just running your blog and posting affiliate links and having fun with it, and 80% of the time you're eating something safer. But at times I worry. :)


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