Friday, 23 May 2014

DATING

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.

22 comments:

  1. My partner and I got together just 5 months ago, she knew about my ms before we even met. It used to be a big part of my life, at the moment it is just a footnote. Loving the blog by the way!

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    1. MS is part of who we are, if you love us, you love who MS makes us through all the ups and downs. Thank You for saying you enjoy the BLOG I really appreciate your positive feedback and your interaction with it x

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  2. Love the post Hanya. Honest and witty, and you all over... Mike :-)


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    1. Thank You Mike. Enjoy the Bank Holidays x

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    2. Thanks Hanya. Will you be paying us a visit at BP this summer? There's three newly reopened buildings to see and it would be pleasure to show you round. Your friends at the museum miss you...

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    3. Excellent. Let us know when and we'll rally the troops :-)

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    4. I'm not very well at the moment, so getting anywhere is a struggle, but will certainly let you know x

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  3. I have always been honest with whomever I have dated that I have MS. If I have a positive reaction then I know they are worth the effort of starting a relationship! They want the whole me warts and all!

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    1. Yes, I agree, I think you have to just be honest about who you are x

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  4. Beautiful and brave post. People need to stop thinking of being single as a disease. Some people are happy in their own company and that's okay. If they want to change that, they will.

    I just want to say to you that it's no so important that you ACCEPT that you have MS and disability, but that you ADJUST. I don't think anyone with MS is ever going to say "Yeah, it's totally cool that my body is betraying me." It's just never going to happen. What's important is that you find a way to move forward.

    Also, for me, my diagnosis (I have NMO) was not so much a wake up call as a call to action. It made me realize that I needed to get busy crossing things off my life list while I still had the physical ability to do things I wanted to do. So I got busy and as I started working on that list, the doors to other things just kept swinging open. Once you start moving forward, you build up momentum and amazing things just start happening.

    Good for you for speaking your truth. Onward!

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    1. Thank You for your reply, you give me plenty to think about. You are right about ACCEPT and ADJUST. Find what works for you and get on with it. What is important is that you don't sit about feeling too sad about it, as there is still plenty to be getting on with.

      Thanks again for your input x

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  5. A positive and light hearted blog that certainly put a smile on my face, but married and having 2 teenage boys who constantly take the micky out of my MS gets me through most days. Hanya your blog is an inspiration to many.
    thank you so much.

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    1. Thank You. I am glad that I made you smile. Thanks for the positive feedback. x

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  6. Brilliant Hanya, well done keep looking in all the nooks and crannies my aka @standup4MS can see herself in these boots!

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    1. Thank You, glad you approve of the boots x

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  7. Dearest Hanya, all the above comments say it all better than I can. A lovely, witty, warm , brave piece - you all over indeed. I often remember how you enlivened stodgy prim Faculty meetings by wearing a tee-shirt with a 'F..U' slogan boldly there!! And I also remember all your admirers at DMU - Hanya, you are a much- loved person - MS or no.
    Hope to see you soon whern family operations/illness permits xx

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    1. Janet, I know that I am very lucky indeed. As I say, "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'". My MS is part of who I am now. "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." I look forward to meeting up x

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  8. There has just been a programme on sky entitled pregnant and dating. You could put the suggestion to sky to see if you could do one. Take it from me Hanya you were better waiting until are completely sure you have found "Mr Right". And as you know my history with men you know I am qualified to have an opinion on the subject. I wish I had discovered years ago you don't need a man/woman to feel complete. Hanya you have a personality that is overwhelming (in a positive way) and I don't believe a man has been born who could really appreciate you. X

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    1. I know a relationship is not the answer to any problems. I know that you should never 'settle'. I would hate to think that someone 'settled' for me. But yes, it would possibly take a special kind of person to be compatible with me. I'm sure he'll find me eventually.

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  9. Hanya, this is an awesome post. Disclosing MS when dating is sort of like Disclosing with an employer. The choice is yours, but disclosing May or May not have consequences. Most people don't even know what what MS is. I think I'd just tell them. I'd hate to fall in love with someone & then they ran off just because of a diagnosis. I'd rather put my effort & time into someone who cares about ME as a person, despite a diagnosis.

    hehasms

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    1. Thank You, I'm glad that you enjoyed the post. Yes, I feel a need to be honest. I'm sure I have hundreds of traits that would scare people away, MS should be the lest of their worries x

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