Starting A New Relationship

When do you tell someone about your condition and about the challenges you face? How do you tell them about your ostomy or your fistula?

Trust your instincts as to the “when” – some people lead with this information and others wait until they’ve established a connection to share health information.

Choose the approach that works for you but don’t wait too long or, as your emotional connection builds, your fear of rejection may also increase and become a source of anxiety.

Whenever you do decide to share your condition with someone, be straightforward. Discuss the facts surrounding your diagnosis and your current health status. Answer their questions simply and honestly. 

If you pursue a sexual relationship after explaining your health situation, appreciate the shared values that helped form your relationship (again, positive mind-body connection!).

If, however, the person you are getting to know has a negative reaction to your condition, accept that it is better to find out earlier in the relationship rather than later. Don’t let his or her decision impact your self-esteem: you simply met someone with whom you were incompatible.

All of the above factors can play a role in your self- image and your sex drive. Yet your own thoughts and emotions play a much bigger role in how you perceive yourself and how you feel physically, as well as your capacity for sexual arousal and desire.

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