I’m a Woman Living With HS. Here’s How I Navigate Dating and Relationships

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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My flares also can be triggered by what I’m eating at the time, and I have a couple of foods that will make my symptoms worse. So I have to be conscious of that when I go out on a date. There’s this concern that if I say, “Oh no, I can’t eat this,” they will respond with, “Well, why?” Then you feel like you have to keep making up excuses.

I am currently single. I love my independence and freedom but it can definitely take a toll on me at times. I’m like, “Is there anybody out there who can handle this?” But at the same time, I feel like if a person really loves me and respects me, they would be willing to embark on this journey with me.

I want to share my condition with a partner and be comfortable and myself in front of them. I used to do dating apps. It was a bit easier, given that I could talk about my condition from behind a screen. If they didn’t like it or feel comfortable with it, we could just part ways, or I would just block them [laughs].

Now I hope to meet someone the “organic way” or in person. Recently—for the first time in a long time—I told a potential date, whom I met through a co-worker, about my HS before we went out. I usually never tell anyone until after I’ve made a connection but I wanted to be straightforward about it. I showed him a few articles about HS, and as of now, I have not received a text back. I got stood up for the date that we had planned.

However, I know I’ll meet someone soon, and I know it will honestly be worth the wait. Because when I meet him, it’s going to be an experience and bond that I will treasure. I know I’m a good person, and I know my qualities but it’s like, dang, now I got to tell them about this.

My advice for people who want to talk about HS with a partner is to speak on it only when you feel comfortable. Do not ever let anyone take you out of your comfort zone. You will know when the time is right—always trust your gut.

You don’t have to do anything to “prove yourself” either. I’ve talked to many guys and I always thought that maybe if I showed them that I’m a great person physically, mentally, and spiritually, they would accept me for who I am. I used to always put other people first. At the end of the day, you are all you’ve got—and no one has you like you do—so always put yourself first. The dating scene is tough in general, so be patient and kind to yourself. I know it is hard to have HS, but that doesn’t make you less of a person. Nobody is perfect; nobody is better than anybody. Differences are what make us special and unique. Don’t ever let this condition stop you from living your best life while dating.

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