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They’re Not All Shallow

Dating with a chronic illness such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be more than just a little disheartening. We all fear what others might think of our illnesses, scars, quality of life, etc., etc. It’s true that there are a lot of shallow people out there who won’t be able to handle your situation. Perhaps you’ve already dated (or sadly been married to) people like that. I, too, have dealt with guys who couldn’t handle illness in any form or fashion. But, I’m here today to tell you that not EVERYONE is shallow.

The One Who Couldn’t Handle My Allergies

In college, I dated a guy who I really shouldn’t have been dating to begin with. He was manipulative, verbally abusive, and at one point, I thought he was going to hit me. I was young and stupid and didn’t listen to my friends who had my best interests at heart. I had one of those on-again-off-again relationships with him.

I have dealt with nasal allergies for most of my life. They can be extremely brutal during the springtime (and really, any time). There are some days that they get so bad I can’t breath, see, or hear anything. The runny nose, the sneezing, watery eyes–you get the picture! Anyway, this guy would always get annoyed about it. It was actually one of the reasons why he dumped me. “You’re sick all the time! I can’t deal with this.” I was devastated at the time, but honestly, I thank God I’m not with him anymore.

The One Who Couldn’t Handle My Hypoglycemia

Another thing that I’ve dealt with most of my life is hypoglycemia. If I don’t eat regularly, my blood sugar drops fast and I get migraines, dizzy, weak and often throw up when it gets really bad. Another one of my on-again-off-again boyfriends (I’ve only had two of them), got tired of dealing with it. “You’re sick all the time! I can’t handle this!” He broke up with me.

Again, I was devastated. How on earth was I ever going to find someone if no one can handle these minor health issues of mine? Were they all this way? I’m also thankful I’m not with him anymore. Hindsight, and all that…

The One Who Stuck With Me

After I graduated college, I started dating again. I had been dating David for a year when my ulcerative colitis symptoms began. There was a point right before diagnosis that I thought he might leave me. I had been complaining about an “upset stomach” for several weeks and he got tired of hearing about it.

Go to the doctor!” He shouted in anger.

David?” I asked.


Have you ever pooped blood?” It was the first time I’d told anyone what was really going on.

No…” He said, with a touch of anger still in his voice.

Well… I am.”

Just… go to the doctor! And there had better be something wrong with you!” He said, and we hung up.

I was convinced he was going to leave me. In his defense, he’d dated a hypochondriac before and was afraid I was another one.

Days after I went to the doctor and after my emergency colonoscopy, he came over and found me pale, weak and emaciated. It was then that he knew something was terribly wrong. Obviously, he ate his words when I got my diagnosis. People have bashed him for the way he treated me in the beginning. But we’ve all said things in the heat of the moment that we regret later. All of us.

He didn’t leave me, and in fact, six months after diagnosis, he asked me to marry him. I can say we’ve been happily married now for just over five years. Ulcerative colitis has certainly put our relationship through the ringer… but it strengthened our bond. It’s true that not everyone can handle your situation, but do you really want someone like that? I’m living proof that there are good people out there that will accept you for who you are.

Don’t let ANYONE make you feel less valuable just because you have a disease you didn’t ask for.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    9 months ago

    I couldn’t agree more with this last statement! IBD is not something anyone asked for and it is important to never ever let anyone make you feel like a failure or worthless. We are warriors, and those that are worthy of our relationship will see how strong and amazing we are.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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