Let’s face it: Dating and relationships are hard enough as it is. You have to put yourself out there and be open to meeting new people. I kind of think of dating as a job interview: you’re putting on your best face and you always hope that it’s a good match in the end.
Then you throw Epilepsy into the mix. Do you tell your date about having epilepsy? Should it be mentioned on the first date? The second date? Not at all? It makes sense to not want to disclose right away; you don’t want to freak out your date when you first meet them. In my experience though, it just comes up, and it’s better to just tell the other person, so they are prepared in case something happens.
I was on a date one time, and I wasn’t planning on telling said Dude about the Epilepsy, but we met at a coffee shop and he suggested we go for drinks. I smiled and said “No, I don’t drink”, knowing very well that I’d just opened a can of worms. He was interested at this point. “For religious reasons? Or something else?…” His voice trailed off. “I have epilepsy”. His response “That must be really inconvenient falling asleep all the time!” Oh my goodness I laughed so much! I’ve never had someone confuse Narcolepsy and Epilepsy before.
I’ve been pretty lucky in my dating and relationship history. My epilepsy was well controlled when I was dating, so I didn’t have to worry about having a seizure on a first date, which is a relief. (Although it is not well controlled right now). All of the people that I was in the past responded really well when I told them that I had epilepsy. Mostly I just got questions as to what epilepsy was, and what they could do to help me. My ex boyfriends didn’t need to worry as much about it, as my seizures were very well controlled when I was with them, but they still understood that long days and lack of sleep triggered seizures. Seizures weren’t at the forefront of my mind when I was in those relationships, because my seizures were very well controlled. The mother of one my ex-boyfriends actually had epilepsy, so it wasn’t a super foreign concept to him. One of my other exes was with me for almost a year and never witnessed a single seizure! Can you believe it! They were mostly all in my sleep!
My current boyfriend is very supportive about my epilepsy. I told him about it on our first date, just because I figured it would be a safe thing to do. Also, let’s face it. I wear my heart on my sleeve. He has a family member who has epilepsy, and has witnessed a seizure or two before meeting me, so he wasn’t afraid of them. He just rolls with the punches, and can tell if I’m acting a little funny. I’m sure it’s not easy supporting someone with epilepsy, but he does an amazing job, that’s all I can say. Also, he never makes me feel “different” or “weird” in a negative way. He reminds me that I’m normal, yet unique, which is huge for me, because accepting the seizures is a long and twisty road.
Anyways, my advice for dating and epilepsy? Well, you didn’t ask but I assume this is why you’re reading this. I say it’s safer to tell your date. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal. It can be casual,such as by the way, I have epilepsy this is what to do. If you’re still uncomfortable, give them a number of someone to call if something serious happens. I understand that you don’t want to make the date all about your epilepsy, but it’s good to have your bases covered. If the guy or gal is a compassionate person, they will understand. I think generally people want to help and do what’s best in a difficult situation, so don’t be afraid to mention your epilepsy when you’re dating. The more comfortable you feel about it, the more comfortable they will feel. Love to you all! xox
PS What do you think of the new layout!? 🙂