It is quite a few weeks since Valentine's Day, actually a couple of months now (see my VALENTINE BLOG). But I'm still thinking about love and romance and dating. Thinking about it; not actually doing it. Obviously. I've read a few posts and articles recently about 'MS and dating', and about people who are 're-entering the dating world having found out they have MS'. Articles that have considered the fact that; 'dating is hard enough' without the pressure of 'disclosing a diagnosis'. Articles that have asked the question, 'When do you tell a new flame about your MS?' Oh My Goodness. Thing is, I never really bothered entering the dating world in the first place, before I was diagnosed with MS, never mind the thought of 're-entering' it now I have been diagnosed.
The thing is, I've never, I've not, I have never felt that I needed to be part of a 'couple' to be a 'whole'. I always sort of thought that somehow I was 'enough' just being me. I have been told that I am 'more than enough', and I don't necessarily think that that was meant as a complement. It is just that dating is never something that I felt that I had to do, or that I have done. I've got friends, very good friends, both male and female very good friends and I never really thought too much about finding that 'special someone'. Yes, if they'd have showed up that would have been lovely, splendid even, more than splendid, I do like the idea of finding someone to share the journey, the trials and tribulations, the adventures, the journey with; but I've never really actively looked for someone. I just sort of optimistically hoped that they'd turn up when the time was right, that 'they'd find me.'
The whole dating, getting married, having kids thing, I just haven't. I don't know what I have been doing, what I have been messing about at, but not dating, that's for sure. I was 40 last year. I should be married. Or married and divorced. Or married and divorced and married again. I'm not. I am and have pretty much always been single. Probably should have tried harder, made myself look more presentable, brushed my hair, wore some lippy or something. But I didn't, and I'm not.
So, I know very little about dating, and I know even less about dating with MS.
What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to declare my MS? Is this something that has the potential to scare prospective dates/boyfriends/husbands away? I can assure you I already have masses of things that have the potential to scare prospective dates/boyfriends/husbands away! I am not conventional and I am not easy, but this isn't because I have MS, this is because I am unconventional and not easy.
But I guess the fact that I live with a chronic debilitating illness is something that I really should consider discussing with potential people whom I may date. I experience fatigue, anxiety, spasticity, sensitivity and pain due to my MS. This sometimes makes me grumpy. I don't always want to go out, or I want to go, but am not always able to. I guess these are things that I should try and explain. I have really bad balance issues, and I'm clumsy sometimes (quite a lot of the time) and sometimes I slur my speech, so even though I am 100% sober you might think I'd had a drink or two. So, if I went on a date and had a pint; or even half a pint would they think I was wellied, sloshed or inebriated? Would they think I was a cheap date? (I am a cheap date due to my CEA Card - see CINEMA BLOG). And that is before I even start to I explain my other obsessions and unconventionalities which have nothing to do with my MS, I don't know, things like my obsession with Sherlock HOLMES (see my previous SHERLOCK HOLMES BLOG). This is something that has been with me since I was c. 13. My unconventional dress sense - stripy tights or animal print tights; and big boots, how do I explain those things?. Well, I can't walk in shoes; especially with even the slightest hint of a heel, so I always wear boots - which are not terribly ladylike but are easily explained, they help my balance but why the stripy tights?
To be perfectly honest I already have enough to deal with, that I am trying to deal with, that I am trying to come to terms with, that the issue of what a potential date thinks of my MS really is not my foremost concern. They'll probably be put off by lots of things before I even mention my MS, so I'm really not too worried. I think it may have been Marilyn MONROE who commented: "If they can't handle me at my worst, they don't deserve me at my best" - yeah, I think I have to agree.
I am me. That is it really. I am me, and I have MS. But if you love me, you'll love all those things about me, even the things that make me hard to love. I'm sure I've got plenty of those; MS is only one of them.