Dating with a stoma?

Dating is so much fun, like the funnest (not a word I know), you get all the good bits of someone and even if they are not that good it’s a funny date story to recall. So, if you’re lucky, you get chemistry, butterflies and compatibility. If you are not lucky, you find yourself squished into a plant hoping to get away…(yes I have done that!).

But it is fun, even when you are in a good relationship, I bet you still miss the heady feeling of a first date or the anticipation of what is to come, it doesn’t mean you want to go down that road, but you can miss it.

Whether you are new to a stoma, facing one, like me are entering the dating world after years with the same person or simply curious then hopefully this blog will help!

So, here I am, single for the first time in almost 10 years and it’s so fu*&%ng amazing ha ha! I love living alone, I love having control over my own life, I love knowing I can live how I like and just be me! That’s not to say having a partner isn’t great, but I am learning it’s not everything.

In a nutshell, you can 100% date when you have a stoma, it’s up to you when you tell someone and take it at your own pace. Personally, I like to get it out in the open straight away, I mean if someone is going to be put off by it, I would rather know straight away so I am not wasting my time. If someone is put off by it, it IS NOT a reflection on you, it is a reflection on them. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bad person either, they just don’t understand it, but, whatever their reasons, you can make a swift and dignified exit.

I have never had a negative experience when telling men (I talk about men here as that is the sex I choose to date), in fact (and as awful as this sounds) I have used it to try and put men off! This was in the early days of having it, I would get chatted up in a bar and I would say ‘oh btw I have a stoma bag’ thinking they would do a U-turn, but nope, the usual reaction was either ‘oh what’s that then’ or ‘oh I don’t care about that’ or something along those lines. So, what you think is going to be really scary actually isn’t and I genuinely think most people aren’t that bothered.

So, I find myself navigating dating, not just for the first time in years but in a pandemic! Plus, I was always with the ex, before the stoma (albeit a few weeks) but he stuck around. So, it’s my first time dating with a stoma, so to speak.

Some of my best stories have come from the worst dates, and some of my best (men) memories have come from great dates, that may not have worked out but gave me a glimpse of what I would like. I mean, we are in the 21st century, so what if we date a guy for a month or two then call it a day, or a year, or a week, who says we must have a relationship for life? I am not just saying that because I am now single, but I remember always thinking that when I was young. (I also thought I would get married 3 times like Joan Collins, but I am yet to even come close to a sparkling diamond ring 😉 so I don’t think I will bother with that idea now!)

Confession time, now there is no urgent need to date right now, we are locked up, can’t go on proper dates and I have only been single for 6 months. However, one Sunday, I was bored, had devoured a glass or 2 of wine and thought I would sign up to a dating app! Ha ha, that was an experience, for me, it was a good one, (massive ego boost too, not gonna lie) chatted to quite a few men, but I soon got bored so came off it. Anyway, when I would speak to men (I am not talking about the ones that message saying ‘hi, how are you’ then never engage in any further conversation) but any that I might chat to for a bit longer, maybe going over to WhatsApp…. I would let them know that I have a stoma, personally I would rather they know, if they are put off by it then I can say bye and crack on with my life. But my experience, so far, really has been a positive one. TBF, there can’t be many people that don’t know I live with a stoma – for those who know me or follow me on social media, you will know I am very open about it, it is nothing to be ashamed of and I see no reason to hide it. But it is still a bit of a nerve-racking thing to deal with when meeting (albeit virtually right now!) potential new dates.

So, I guess what I am trying to say, is own it, be proud of it, think of what you have gone through to get to the point of needing a stoma, that makes you bad ass, any potential partner should realise that and be in awe of you. You will be able to date and kiss and have sex and everything else that people without stomas do.

Whether you have a stoma or not and are navigating the dating world, good luck, be safe, have fun and bloody well ENJOY IT!!

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