1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Bonny Albo

Dating Someone When You're Sick

By September 12, 2013

Follow me on:

In one of the Seinfeld episodes, a characters' tell that someone was worth dating was if said date leaned over to open the car door for the person driving -- before they had a chance to get their keys out and open the door themselves.

I thought it was cute at the time, however my 'tell' has always been a bit different: when someone is at their worst. An easy one is if your partner is sick, and there's a wide range of behaviors that fit the bill, like the guy who never returned my calls after I told him I had to leave town to attend my fathers' funeral.

So right now, I'm sick. And not just a sniffle, either. This is the kind of flu that makes you feel like you're inhaling mud. The housebound kind, even if you are desperate for Kleenex. The kind that, if you were dating someone, you'd call and ask them to kindly grab you some tissues along with maybe, perhaps, some soup? Thanks baby, you're the best.

Sadly, like many of you, I am currently single. Even if I was in a relationship however, I'd have to temper my cold with the status of our connection. Ask too soon and the person you're dating sees you at your worst early on - which (in my personal and professional experience) leads some folks to bolt as soon as the favor is finished. Alternatively, I've had one relationship where my date getting sick solidified our bond; I fed him homemade soup, scented the air with lung-cleansing aromatherapy, played soothing music and pressed cold compresses to his forehead. Five years into that relationship he would have rolled his eyes if I'd ever doted on him like that, yet mere months in it was magic. I still look back to those hazy, dare I say romantic days, with fondness.

What about you? Do you have a timeline as to when you'll allow your date to see you sick? Is there a 'good' time? Or, do you have a different 'tell' for when you know someone you've just started seeing is someone worth investing more time into?

Related: I'm Tired of Being Single - What Can I Do?, Relationship Text Messaging Do's and Don'ts, Should We Take This Relationship To the Next Level or Break Up?.

September 20, 2008 at 7:07 am
(1) WDF says:

I think that exposure at any time is always a risky business!!
We always want people to accept and love us just the way we are…but that’s a tall order, I can assure you. The reality is that most times, folks are in a relationship for some some of selfish expectations; there’s something (defined, or undefined) that they expect from you. They may not admit it, but more often than not, it’s there somewhere in the subconscious.
So when you suddenly show your ‘negative’ side, they may panic…or at the least feel a sense of ‘dissappointment’.
My advice?
Never let them see you sick, UNTIL YOU’VE SEEN EM SICK!!!!

September 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm
(2) Bruce Willoughby says:

Since I’m chronically ill with kidney failure, I’m always sick–I’m recovering from hemorrhagic pancreatitis as a complication of a kidney transplant too, so my abs look more like a roadmap than a six-pack. The decision, then, is when to reveal my illness.
Experimentation has shown not on a dating site profile. I bring my illness up very quickly thereafter, to be fair to myself and others, but I got zero responses until I stopped being too upfront. I still run into problems with people thinking they can deal with my debilities, but not really being able to. My current girlfriend, for instance, says she loves me–and I believe her–but she’s afraid she will harm me if we have sex. I’ve tried to explain that aside from not fearing death (been there, done that), someone always goes in the end, there are no guarantees: she may well slip and break her neck tomorrow. That’s the main thing I’m noticing since I returned from heaven–everyone’s so afraid! Afraid to love, afraid of being hurt, afraid of being taken advantage of, afraid of losing their job, afraid of war, afraid of global warning, afraid of the economy. It just doesn’t matter! Attitude is nearly everything, and all this stuff happens or doesn’t happen. It’s how you respond that matters, you can’t control what goes on.

September 23, 2008 at 2:24 pm
(3) Kelly says:

Hey Bonny!

Hope you feel better soon!

June 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm
(4) Blossom says:

Sometimes in a relationship you do not have the luxury of deciding when you can show your partner that you are ill, for example I have bug once round my ex boyfriend’s house and the vomiting way projectile and the diarhorrea, he had to rub my back and fetch me the plastic bin to throw up in, pleasent I know.
But what about mental illnesses. I did not have the luxury of deciding whether to show my ex boyfriend, that I was cracking up. I could not possibly have hid it from him. I was very sick and I am recovering now, 6 months down the line. He judged me harshly and let our two year relationship fade away without telling me. I have never met such a sick bastard in my life. God has been kind to me and not allowed him to cross my path again. I am thankful for that.
My point is, whether you are ill or healthy, partners should not be saved from seeing you at your worse. It is up to them if they can handle it, and if they can not, then nevermind.

September 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm
(5) Pam says:

I’m a 54 year old woman who has a hard time with dating.I have a disability and the guys I have met have very little patients with me.It’s hurtful.I’m an easy going lady,but I live with chronic nerve pain and cannot keep up with them.What’s so bad is they know before hand about my disability,yet they make demands on me and then resent me because I am unable to be on the go like they are able to do.So what can I do? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone.I do have so much to offer.

February 9, 2013 at 11:34 am
(6) Charlei says:

I have the belief if a person can’t accept you when you are down; how is it acceptable that they will accept you when you are up. Just shows their character, that when times are good, they will stay by your side though when its bad; they will bail on you in ten seconds flat! I was dating this lady recently and I got really sick with the flu and all I was worthy of was a text message. To me that’s someone not really worthy of my time.

September 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm
(7) Alisa says:

Pam. I am 53 with nerve damage. I have to cather. I do not share that with men. But I so relate to what you are saying. I look and act healthy, so they do not want to hear about the problems, or they tell me to have a positive attitude! I am legally disabled. My platelets from last weeks blood test came back at 58, that is low, I cannot make them go up by thinking positive. I am not liking the alone part because it is scary. And I can still love and hold someone. I also have a rare blood disease called aplastic anemia. which has nothing to do with low iron, instead of reading up on it, they will tell me I am not eating enough iron. Nuts.

November 19, 2013 at 9:06 am
(8) Kerry says:

Pam and Alisa, i’m so sorry to hear of your lot but your stories made me feel that i’m not alone. i am 46 and have a neurological illness. some day i look perfectly “normal” other i look like a stroke victim. i am sick quite often and yes, disabled. i’ve had men say, hey when you’re sick i could rub your feet or something, you know, make you feel better. do not blame healthy people for their naive nature. know what they’re talking about they do not ;) keep trying, ladies, keep trying. it takes a special person to love a sick woman but i’m certain they’re out there… somewhere…

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.