When it comes to dating when you have epilepsy it can be somewhat terrifying. How do you find the right person that will support you through your epilepsy and avoid having your heart shattered at the same time? Suddenly the idea of dating a douche becomes all the scarier. What if they are a real jerk about your epilepsy? Is there are any way to make the dating world a little less scary? As an epileptic who remembers how terrifying the dating world was before I found Mr. Right I am giving you my top 5 tips to making dating with epilepsy just a little bit easier.
1: Just Tell Them About Your Epilepsy On That First Date.
First dates are nerve-wracking and all about feeling each other out. They are about trying to figure out if that person is worth seeing again and honestly when you have a diagnosed seizure problem figuring out if they can handle that should be priority one. Hiding your epilepsy could lead to getting emotionally involved with someone that just can’t handle it. Finding out if they can handle it or not is definitely something you want to know on that first date. It’s better to find out and drop them before your heart gets involved.
In fact, I told my now-husband before we even met in person. It may sound cheesy but we are an eHarmony success story. Before I agreed to officially go out with him I told him online about my epilepsy. He scored major points when I discovered he not only didn’t have a problem with it but already knew about epilepsy. He knew exactly what to do if I had a seizure and even had one or two himself. So it wasn’t something that would scare him off. Knowing this about him made it easier to relax on that first date.
I will say some sources say if you are well controlled waiting till you are a few dates in so you can test the waters a bit is suggested. However, when I was dating I was not controlled and this was not an option for me.
2. Give Online Dating A Try
Before I met my husband I had this bad habit of meeting a slew of duds. Those guys gave a good flirty impression but ended up being douches for various reasons. Being epileptic meant I was limited on transportation and limited on ways to meet someone in person, so it was online dating to the rescue. This may sound obvious in this day and age where this only seems natural, but I urge you to research any dating app or service you choose before you use it.
Think of what you want out of this dating relationship. If you want something that could lead to marriage make sure the service you choose has that goal in mind as well. If you just want to have some fun there are services for that as well. Take a few minutes and figure out what dating services or apps will help you achieve what you’re looking for in a relationship.
For example, I chose eHarmony because I knew they were a service that helped people find long term committed relationships. I also liked the fact they offered background checks and gave first date safety tips to help safely navigate the online dating world. Using them I was able to find my husband and finally get past all the duds.
3. Make Sure You Have Your Seizure Safety Plan in Place
As you plan your first date or whatever date it is you are on make sure you have your seizure safety plan ready to go. Make sure your date knows what to do if you should have a seizure. This might be good to discuss online or over the phone before you meet and go out. Take time to answer any questions they might have and make sure they have at least a basic understanding of your seizures and what to expect during and after.
Also, take the time to let them know any triggers they might be able to help you avoid on your date. If for example, you are photosensitive you can work together to figure out a dating option that doesn’t involve any problematic lighting. This also might be a good time to discuss any transportation limitations you might have as well. If you can’t drive make sure they are okay doing the driving until the day you find control.
If you would like help with your seizure safety plan check out my FREE printable seizure safety brochure! It uses information taken from the CDC and Mayo Clinic so you can rest easy the information is accurate.
4. Don’t Let Fear of Rejection Stop You
Is it possible someone will reject you because of your epilepsy. Of course, it is. That’s a reasonable fear to have in this scenario, but people who don’t have epilepsy are also afraid of rejection. It’s something we all fear. If we let that control whether we date or not then we will never find that awesome person that we are meant to be with.
That person you are afraid will tell you no might say yes. Let’s be honest the worst-case scenario here is they say no, right? So they say no. It may hurt at the moment but you can conquer that feeling and start looking for the person who will say yes. If you never ask then you will be alone. You can’t meet someone if you don’t risk your feelings and ask.
In fact, in both in-person and online I was typically the one that did the asking. Each time it was terrifying. I would not have met my husband if I hadn’t been the one to initiate the online dating process in the first place. I would still be alone. It was worth all those bad dates, occasional embarrassment and hurt feelings to find him.
5. Education Might Be Key To Being With the Right One
We cannot forget that there are a TON of misconceptions and myths about epilepsy out there. Any negative reaction to your epilepsy could be due to some misconceptions they may have about it. Before you write anyone off take the time to find out what they know. Clear up any untruths they might have and try and gently educate them on what this really is. If in the end they still aren’t open to a relationship with you due to your epilepsy then it may be time to look for love elsewhere. Have faith there is someone out there that will love you epilepsy and all.
I did reference The Epilepsy Foundation in writing this post. If someone you are currently dating is trying to figure out how to support you have them check out Supporting Someone With Epilepsy post and 5 Things Not To Say to Someone With Seizures. To help spread awareness check out my Epilepsy Swag Shop up in the menu!