Dating a person with MS

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Dating a person with MS

Postby ron1999 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:25 am

Hello, All.

I'm new to this forum so I'll apologize in advance if I ask questions that have been asked a million times before.

Here is the reason for my post today: There is a woman at work who has MS. It is to the point where she uses crutches in order to walk.

I have known her many years and have always wanted to ask her out. I finally got up the courage to ask her out last weekend and we had a great time. Laughing. Talking. Just being relaxed and having fun.

I asked her for a second date and she said Yes. She seemed surprised that I asked her out again. She thought that her MS, and being on crutches, would have scared me off. I get the feeling that she is hesitant to get into a relationship because of her MS.

I like her for her. She is beautiful. Intelligent. And, has a great sense of humor. I am definitely looking forward to our next date.

I've been reading up on MS. So, I have a small idea of the disease that she has to live with.

My question today isn't so much about MS itself. It's more about being in a relationship with someone who has MS.

What does she need from me regarding her condition? Patience? Understanding? Caring?

I want to be as helpful as I can, but I don't want her thinking that I'm trying to take away her independence.

Thanks, in advance, for any advice.
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Postby LR1234 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:05 pm

I just wanted to post and say welcome and hi!
You seem like a really nice guy and its very sweet of you to make the effort to find out about MS.

This is my personal take on MS, your lady's take might be very different!

MS is a bit of a rollercoaster, there are good periods/bad periods, it is characterised as a progressive disease but what that progression entails is different for every person.
Some MSers have minimal issues and lead a full active life, whilst others have severe problems with mobility and fatigue (and other hidden symptoms)

I am lucky that I have a fiance so don't have to get back into the dating game again but I think if I was to start dating again my worries would be the pressure to be well all the time and not to disappoint the person I was dating.
Nobody wants to be a party pooper, and as much as we would like to do everything that a healthy person can do unfortunately for many of us its not realistic.


If you can be understanding when she doesn't feel up to it, be supportive when she is feeling low and enjoy the good times I think you will be fine!

There are many people on this site who do not have MS but are in relationships with people who have ms. Hopefully they will chime in.
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Postby ron1999 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:12 pm

Thanks for your input.

She is actually home right now due to a "flare up". When that happens she is in extreme pain, and has to stay in bed.

I asked her if she needed anything. She only lives a few minutes from where we work. I could go get her anything she wanted/needed.

She said that she's okay. Just needs to rest. But, I bet she's thinking, "Is this guy for real?" :-)

I told her before that, if we made plans and then the day came and she didn't feel up to going out, that I would understand.

I'll make sure I say that again during our next date so she knows that I won't be disappointed. I'll be as supportive as she will allow me to be.
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Postby LR1234 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:43 pm

No worries Ron, anytime.

I am sure she appreciates you offering to help.

As its early days with you both and hopefully she fancies you, she doesn't want you to see her at her worst yet.....its almost like not wanting a guy to see you first thing in the morning without any makeup on.

It sounds like she has relapsing remitting MS. Hopefully this relapse will pass soon and she will feel better again.

L
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Postby Cece » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:38 pm

What a wonderful question. Yes, patience and understanding would be needed, but those are good ideas no matter who you're dating. When I think of what my husband does, it's something of a balancing act to acknowledge my disease and give me the extra rest time I need but not to give the disease too much weight because I still want him to think of me as attractive and a partner in this. So, I would say acknowledge the disease and be considerate of any special needs but then go on and enjoy yourselves.
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Postby ron1999 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:18 am

Thanks, CeCe.

She has a cat that isn't feeling well. She texted me last night to tell me that her cat is finally eating again.

We discussed her cat for a little while then I asked how she was feeling. She said she still felt bad and that her legs and feet were numb.

I replied back that I have been reading about MS and numbness was one of the symptoms I learned about. She got really quiet and didn't text me back.

A short time later I sent her another text telling her that I hope she was able to get a good nights rest and feel better in the morning. I closed the text with "goodnight".

She replied back saying only "goodnight".

I think I completely threw her for a loop when I told her that I was studying up on MS. I get the feeling that nobody has ever done that before and she doesn't know how to feel about that.

I'm hoping we can have our second date either this weekend or next. Time will tell what happens.
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Postby choco » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:10 am

You sound a lovely guy, interested, considerate and committed..I think your lady friend is perhaps a bit apprehensive and perhaps even in conflict - ie, she may lack the confidence to see in herself what you see in her. MS is not only a disease which messes with your body, but can totally screw with your mind in the process. It leaves you feeling a shadow of your former self, makes you angry and frustrated, and very often afraid of what the future will bring. Basically it's a thief that robs a person of their humanity - or leaves them feeling it does.

So when along comes a person who adds where the MS takes away, who brings positivity where the MS is only about the negative, who sees the good despite the bad the MS has created, who offers support where the MS is a constant battle...well as you can see, there's a bit of rebalancing needed and that will take time and patience.

Best of luck to you both.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ... Dr. Seuss
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Postby ron1999 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:30 am

Thanks for the kind words, Choco.

I can't imagine what she is going through with her MS. I have known her long before she started developing the MS symptoms.

I told her that, in my eyes, the MS hasn't changed who she is. She is still beautiful, smart, and very funny. On our first date I laughed more than I have in years.

I know her MS isn't going away. It will be something that will always affect our growing relationship in one way or another. I just don't want it to define our relationship.

In my head that last sentence makes sense. I'm just not good with words so I don't know how to express it.
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Postby choco » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:50 am

It's really funny, 'cause I am on the opposite side of the fence to you, ie, in your lady's position. I was seeing someone, alas no longer - who used to tell me exactly what you're saying about and to her. Only I couldn't see it, all I can see is this *thing* the MS has turned me into. My walking is so laborious it is an embarrassment to behold let alone to display. So bear in mind that for some, they are battling on two fronts, their mind/ego and body - that's a tall order.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ... Dr. Seuss
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Postby ron1999 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:57 am

I will be as patient, understanding, and caring as she will allow me to be.

All I can do is let her know that I like her for who she is.

I just hope she never doubts my sincerity.
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Postby choco » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:23 am

best of luck to you both
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ... Dr. Seuss
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Postby ron1999 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:48 am

Thank you. :-)
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Re: Dating a person with MS

Postby Oboewan » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:47 pm

@ron1099 I realize this is a couple of years down the road now, but as someone about to embark on a similar journey I just wanted to let you know that I truly appreciate this thread you started and thank everyone who has relied. I hope all has gone well and I'd love to hear any updates.

Thank you!
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Re: Dating a person with MS

Postby centenarian100 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:57 am

To the OP:

I think that there is too much variation in MS for anyone to give you any meaningful advice. Every person with MS has their own unique circumstances. As LR said, some people with MS are normal, so it isn't a concern, but your date obviously has some disability and a recurrent pain condition.

One thing that I can say from personal experience is that it is possible to have a very fulfilling and loving relationship with someone who is disabled. When I was 25, I don't think that I would have been able to do it, but people mature over time and their values and priorities change.

one piece of advice-try not to do too much along the way of caretaking until you are in a serious relationship (dating at least 6 months). Just treat her like a normal person.
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