Living with Chronic Pain
Tips for Disclosing Chronic Pain to a Potential Partner
Disclosing a chronic illness or chronic pain to a potential partner can be intimidating. It can be difficult to approach the topic due to fear of rejection or a negative reaction.
Some tips for disclosing chronic pain to a potential partner include the following:
- Think about what to say ahead of time. Preparing what to share and how much to share can ease nervous feelings. Writing down some notes to prepare for the conversation can help.
- Initiate the conversation in the right frame of mind. People tend to mirror the attitudes of other people. If an individual with a chronic condition talks about the condition in a way that makes them seem less desirable, a potential partner may mirror that train of thought. On the other hand, speaking with confidence and with as much positivity as possible encourages the other person to think positively as well.
- Explain how the chronic pain or illness might impact dating. Beyond just explaining the condition itself, providing a few examples of how it might impact a dating relationship can help reduce the fear of the unknown for a potential partner. For example, if plans need to be canceled at the last minute due to high pain levels, explaining that this may occur ahead of time helps assure that canceled plans are not taken personally.
- Be patient. A potential partner may not have the perfect response or reaction right away. Giving them time to absorb the information and think about it can help.
- Have resources available. Providing concrete information, such as a link to a reputable website or an article about the illness or condition, can help. This prevents a random internet search that may lead to inaccurate information or unlikely worst-case scenarios.
- Pay attention to their response. Hopefully, a potential partner will listen attentively and show empathy. If they resist the conversation, downplay the chronic illness, or complain about how it may impact their own life, they may not be a good fit.
While disclosing a chronic illness or chronic pain to a potential partner can be challenging, transparency is an integral part of building an honest, strong relationship.
Additional source used to create this article: Creaky Joints.