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To think I’ll never have a relationship and it’s actually a bit unfair to suggest otherwise?

27 replies

xmassyThoughts · 09/12/2019 16:47

I’m in my 40s, single, no children, living with my lovely sister and her family who help look after me, I work very part time in a great job and have a few close friends.

I’ve been unwell since my 20s. Up until then, I dated, was healthy and had a fun life. I’m very lucky to have a close knit family and friends. I am grateful for the people in my life.

I have a complicated health condition. I need to rest in bed a lot, or in a wheelchair. I just about manage a bit of work but it exhausts me. I don’t have much of a social life due to not having much money or energy. This is my life. It is what it is. I’m not going to get better, I will get worse. I’m not being pessimistic, it’s my condition.

I’d love to meet someone, a nice man to share my life with and to be part of a loving relationship. I cannot see it happening and occasionally, people ask me and I’m honest. I say I’d like to meet someone but my health precludes that. Inevitably, they always say something to try and make me feel better. I know they don’t mean to be cruel but it actually really hurts.

I’m dreading Christmas with the wider family.

I know many disabled and chronically unwell people meet loving partners but I am just not well enough to be out of the house that long. I am not able to have an intimate relationship and I just don’t think it’s going to happen because of my health and disability.

AIBU to think I’m going to remain alone and just accept it? I’m very sad about it but I can cope with it, I’ve dealt with far worse. AIBU to wish people would stop asking me and dragging it up, even if they have kind intentions?

OP posts:

xmassyThoughts · 09/12/2019 16:47

(Should’ve added that I name changed.)

OP posts:

Aloe6 · 09/12/2019 16:56

That sounds really tough. I’m glad you have a supportive family around you and some close friends.

Yanbu to wish people would stop commenting on whether you are single or in a relationship. Do the wider family understand your health issues preclude anything more than you’re managing to do? You’re doing ever so well to manage any work at all.

However, if you would like to meet someone, I’d like to offer some hope that there are people out there who are open to meeting people with long term health conditions. Or rather, people who will develop feelings for you and overlook your health problem as a barrier.


OldElPasoHadAChicken · 09/12/2019 16:58

I thought this would be me.

There's a lot that's not great about my relationship but he's not phased by my medical problems and he seems genuinely happy with our status quo.

So it can happen, but I do see exactly where you're coming from. I had long stopped looking when my met my DP. I used to get a lot of attention on the dating sites but I just knew the majority of them wouldn't be into my reality.

Kept using POF so I could talk to random people and feel like you do if you get to go out and talk to people, a d made friends with this guy who had friends in common, interests in common, and we ended up falling for each other big time.

There's never been any pressures from him. It's me who would like some sort of physical relationship, it's just not that possible because of his weight. And the best I can do these days is lay there like a squeaky log Blush

Sometimes I wonder what I'd be doing once the kids have left home for good, if I was single. Having him in my life has mobilised me and I've recently found some easy physio which has helped my mobility. But I think I'd actually be OK on my own.

I don't see why you can't just plan for yourself, to make yourself as happy as you can, without someone having to be there. But don't write off that you might genuinely find someone kind, deep and caring. It just doesn't have to be the top of the list. Or even in the middle.


toomuchtooold · 09/12/2019 17:04

That sounds really tough. I think you're right though, I think it is the right thing to do to try and accept it if you're sure that is how it is, and you know your condition better than anyone else. I totally agree about people's "cheer up, you never know" thing being fucking irritating - sometimes you do actually know, and I don't know about you but it always left me feeling like my feelings were being dismissed, that I was being a drama queen or something. Sometimes you just want to be able to say, this is how it is, and have the people that know you bloody well hear it.


Bluerussian · 09/12/2019 17:05

Bless you, xmassythoughts. You sound really nice and it is sad that you have so much poor health.

I'm not going to give you any tips about meeting someone except to say, it can happen.

In the meantime, carry on being your usual self which I'm sure is quite charming and try to enjoy the family you have. It's amazing how much love can be generated in a situation like yours, I have seen that in action. Plan/buy a few inexpensive but thoughtful little treats for your family which will be fun and they will appreciate it.

You deserve to have as good a life as possible.

Lots of love from me Brew Cake


Ibizafun · 09/12/2019 17:05

My ds is with someone with a chronic health condition. He doesn’t even see it, it’s part of her and she has so much to offer. Please don’t lose hope, you could meet someone online who also faces challenges and just wants to be close emotionally to someone. I understand at the moment you aren’t able to get out of the house long, but without knowing details of your condition, perhaps one day you will feel strong enough to meet someone for a coffee and take it from there.


redappleandaquamarinebow1987 · 09/12/2019 17:50

You sound so lovely OP and do hope that the right person for you is out there. I know you mentioned going out is hard have you considered online dating? maybe the right guy is out there


xmassyThoughts · 09/12/2019 17:58

Thank you, everyone. Flowers
I don’t want to be a cow to people who are well meaning but it hurts. Some people are just making conversation. I look much healthier on the outside than I am on the inside which I think lulls people into a false sense of security about my health.

I’m thinking about trying online dating again in the new year. I don’t have a lot of self confidence in my looks. I’ve piled on weight by comfort eating and huge doses of steroids. I look at myself and think “who’d want you?”

I usually try to focus on how lucky I am to have a few friends who stick by me no matter what. My sister, BIL and DNs bring me so much love and happiness. I’m so lucky to have them, being in their home keeps me well both physically and mentally. But still, it’d be nice to have a relationship.

OP posts:

Torchlightt · 09/12/2019 18:01

I agree with you that it's unlikely to happen. I think it makes most sense to accept that and focus on having as good a life as possible as a single woman. It sounds as though you have great family and good friends, which is a big thing, imv. You can play an important part in your niecesand nephews' lives.


Torchlightt · 09/12/2019 18:02

I wouldn't try online dating unless you are very resilient.


NitrousOxide · 09/12/2019 18:26

YADNBU. My sister is in a similar position, and she’s also mightily sick of the platitudes like ‘You’ll find someone’, trotted out by people who might think they mean well but are merely trying to alleviate their own discomfort. Even those who genuinely mean well need to actually listen to you, and to stop invalidating your feelings by brushing them off with clichéd comments that make you feel worse.



LauraMacArthur · 09/12/2019 18:37

I know where your coming from - it's like they're not hearing you, and not acknowledging your significant barriers. Even though it's not technically impossible for you to meet someone, you feel that it's significantly harder than normal and don't want false reassurances. These people are being insensitive, but they probably think that's the polite thing to say.


redappleandaquamarinebow1987 · 09/12/2019 20:13

@xmassyThoughts I am glad to hear it sounds like you have such a lovely support network. I know online dating can be scary but the right guy will love you for you. Don't put pressure on yourself until you do find him and enjoy your time with people that care about you. If you do have any questions do feel free to pm me


xmassyThoughts · 10/12/2019 11:44

I really appreciate the kindness and honesty. :) I don’t think it’s impossible for me to meet someone but it’s really very unlikely. I also don’t want to just be in a relationship for the sake of it, it has to be the right person.

OP posts:

MoodLighting · 10/12/2019 11:48

Read this research to see that you're probably happier than the people trying to pressure you!


Thelnebriati · 10/12/2019 11:55

Yanbu, I got so fed up of the 'there's someone for everyone' crowd I started making a joke out of it - ''you only get one more 'still single? ' so use it wisely.''


HerrenaHarridan · 10/12/2019 11:58

Yabu. To give up.

You’ve said you’re sad about it.

You don’t have to just accept being miserable.
Everyone has challenges. Yours are with your health.

Don’t resign yourself to a life of being sad, start coming up with solutions, try stuff out.

I know it can feel like it’s all out of your control but trust me it doesn’t have to be.

Don’t look for love but get yourself out and doing whenever you are well enough.
Meet people. Make connections.

Fill your life with meaning.


BlueJava · 10/12/2019 12:05

OP you sound lovely! But i think twice before trying online dating, I have never done it myself but I think it can be tough. How about looking out for a friendship group or website. You can sign up to meet people as friends then if something develops great, if not you may have some new friends. I appreciate this isn't totally what you want but it may help. Good luck!


Torchlightt · 10/12/2019 14:03

"We all have our challenges" is annoying too.


HerrenaHarridan · 10/12/2019 16:38


That’s as maybe. It’s true though.

5 years ago I believed I was trapped and doomed to a life that made me miserable.

I am single parent to a child with additional needs. My ex had isolated me from my friends and destroyed my confidence so making new friends in the place we fled to was impossible.
I have alopecia and look like i have cancer. Every time I would try and get out there I would have cancer sufferers sympathising with me and looking pityingly at my daughter.

I decided it wasn’t on to write life off before I even hit 30.
I had some stern words with myself and I put a plan in place.
There were a lot of steps, it didn’t happen quickly and I had no one to do stuff for me so I had to make it happen but I did and I love life now.
I got therapy and worked through the csa, I set up my own business so I could work round my child’s needs and had to pick it up off the floor twice after long term hospital admissions, I got myself out in the home Ed community and built up a network of families that we socialise with, I’ve taken my daughter to 13 different countries on my own despite needing to travel with medical essentials that weigh a bloody ton, I got myself out on the kink scene and the poly scene and despite my lack of time, emotional resources and the fact I am overweight and look like I have cancer I have 2 long term partners and several play partners who patiently accept what I have to offer when it is available and sort themselves out the rest of the time.

I’m not just handing out platitudes from a place of privilege.
Life is bloody hard but it’s only over when you write it off.
If op wants to wallow then fine but I’m not going to agree that they should just write themselves off.

Do you realise how many people feel like that all of the time?
Particularly people with health conditions... no one will love me with a stoma/cancer/fibromyalgia/these scars

They won’t ever get the chance if you have already closed yourself to the possibilities


Torchlightt · 10/12/2019 16:48

I'm obviously not saying that only those with serious health problems have "challenges". But stating, in response to someone who has very serious disadvantages in life due to very bad health, that "everyone has challenges" isn't helpful in my view. No doubt everyone has challenges, but some have far far greater challenges than others. Let's acknowledge that, rather than coming out with platitudes to someone in the OP's position.
Other annoying platitudes, often voiced by the prosperous and lucky:
"Smile, it might never happen".
"Things have a habit of turning out right"
"People get what they deserve in life".
"We all have our fair share of problems in life"
etc etc.


TinklyLittleLaugh · 10/12/2019 16:49

I get you OP. I’m disabled and knackered. Fortunate to have a lovely DP from the years before I got so ill. If I was single now I’d never get a kind, funny, handsome man like him and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have the energy to even try.


TinklyLittleLaugh · 10/12/2019 16:59

Are you disabled Herrena?

In my experience as a disabled person I struggle with three things:
Not looking great
The first, you cease to care about at some point. The second you learn to live with. It’s the crushing fatigue that wrecks your live. You can’t do anything about that.

Look after yourself OP.


NotAVirtue · 10/12/2019 17:11

I met my OH 4 years ago online dating after being alone 6 years. This year I was diagnosed with a life changing illness. I totally get how you feel as I'm struck down with fatigue every day and couldn't imagine having the energy to meet anyone now.

I have no platitudes to share. I just wanted to sympathise.


AlternativePerspective · 10/12/2019 17:34

Flowers OP. The thing is that it seems so callas to say to someone that yes, you know that they’re never likely to meet someone because some people will take offence at that or see that it is the able-bodied writing off the disabled and so on.
But the reality is that it is harder for people with longer term conditions and disabilities to find meaningful relationships. I have a long-term health condition and was already in a relationship when I was diagnosed, but if I hadn’t been I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have put myself out there for rejection, because rejection is inevitable. And actually, there have been people who have advised my DP to leave me and have told him that most people would and no-one would blame him if he did because no-one should have to live with someone else’s disabilities. So if people take that attitude towards people already in relationships, then it’s not hard to see that people who are looking for a relationship might think twice before becoming involved with someone with a long term health condition or disability. Not least because if you don’t already know them then you don’t have their personality and the person they are to factor into the equation when thinking about the pitfalls of becoming involved with their health conditions, iyswim.

You have to do what you have to do. You don’t need to write yourself off necessarily, but I think it’s better to be realistic than to soak up the platitudes and wait for that relationship to happen when it might not.

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