When To tell the person you are dating

I can’t hide my ataxia anymore so I generally tell most people that I have a “balance disorder that sometimes affects how I walk”. That’s usually enough and they assume it’s inner ear. Sometimes they want more info and ask. Again I try to keep it simple and say I have a “rare disorder that has some symptoms like MS but isn’t MS.” if it’s a date, I really wouldn’t overwhelm him with all the details and potential outcomes, nor would I call it a brain disease although I think it is. Why scare the guy off on the first date? Rather than worrying about whether he will accept your condition, I would want to direct the conversation to him to size him up as to whether or not he’s a good fit. If he wants all the details or is concerned he’ll ask you for more. Be honest, but kind to yourself about this. Outcomes are not really known for sure so be upbeat and positive. Online dating brings lots of characters and liars out of the woodwork so be careful. Ask good questions and don’t assume you will be getting 100% truthful answers. We all want to look good and I’ve not met a guy yet who doesn’t stretch the truth or embellish to impress me. If you Expect this you won’t be mad when you find it. No one wants all the ugly details or your life history on a first date. AND meet them right away in a safe public place for a short meeting, coffee or whatever. You will learn so much more very quickly in a face to face meeting assessing body language, etc. Phone and email conversations allow you to read entirely too much into the conversation that isn’t really there. Good luck on this!

Yeah, men can be total pigs.

morlando said:

If you look good most men will say yes until they get what they want. Trust this hurt is only around the corner unless hurt is hurting it self. Dont let hurt be hurting you and be true to yourself. Also try not to hide your Brian dysfunction.

If they don't treat you right punch them in the snout.

I’ve thought about this a lot.

When it’s the right person (the other person is interested in you and knows that he or she can’t live without you), this factor will be a moot point.

My opinion is to tell him or her on the second date, assuming you want a second date.

Yeah, if it's the real thing, not much can get in the way.

Glitter on Butterflies said:

I've thought about this a lot.

When it's the right person (the other person is interested in you and knows that he or she can't live without you), this factor will be a moot point.

My opinion is to tell him or her on the second date, assuming you want a second date.

So, I met a guy the other night. We didn’t talk much before meeting so I wasn’t able and was def. not going to tell of my illnesses unless a second date would come out of it, but neither of us thought we were a good match. How long do you think you should talk to a guy online before meeting?

Unfortunately I have a fair amount of experience with this from my younger days. A couple of long term relationships did develop from this method. I’d say communicate online long enough to see if you think you might be a good match by getting information - say 3-4 conversations and talk on the phone at least once. Too much online conversation or email leads to imagining all kinds of things about the person that aren’t there (wishful thinking). Talking on the phone will give you a bit more information, but I’ve met some real “frogs” that had great phone voices. Get a free phone number from Google voice so you don’t have to give out your phone number. I’ve given up on finding the right match so can’t tell you the right match formula. Chemistry is pretty important and that requires in person meeting. You can also get tripped up on this accepting things you otherwise wouldn’t because of chemistry. A good friend fell in instant love with a woman I later learned smoked. I was so shocked because this man was adamant that he would not consider being with anyone who smoked. Couldn’t figure out how this happened. In the end it was not a good relationship for him and he had to move on.

I agree with Maryseas, have a few conversations online, then talk on the phone (you can always get his phone number and call, rather then give out yours, although a free phone number from Google is a good option-better safe than sorry that's for sure)! If I was looking and met someone online, I'd have to disclose my ataxia if we met in person, as I use a cane! But I'm very happily married, so it's not an issue...,ha! FYI-my daughter met her boyfriend online a year ago and he's a gem! ;o)

I would say message back and forth for awhile first, but mention it before meeting in person, especially if it is noticeable and progressive. My boyfriend and I messaged back and forth for about two weeks or more (I believe) before we agreed to meet in person. This was partly due to my studying far away and just not being accessible and his fear of what I would think of him and his condition. I was actually the one to make the move and suggest we meet in person after a phone conversation or two.

I believe he broke it to me by saying something along the lines of, "If you want a hiking buddy that will never be me because I have a brain issue that affects my mobility. I'd love to go out with you, but if you don't want to that's fine and I understand". That was summarized, of course, but you get the gist. I appreciate the fact that he told me beforehand because his mobility and gait issues are quite pronounced and it would have been very awkward to go on a date with him with no prior knowledge of these things especially since I have social anxiety and dislike having attention drawn to me (I've come to ignore the stares we get - people are jerks). His telling me also allowed me to help put him more at ease since we worked together to make it a pleasurable experience for us both. For example: I knew I couldn't walk as fast as I normally do and so I made more of a conscious effort to slow down so he didn't feel rushed, I could tell him where to park that would make things easier for him since he was coming to my home turf, I didn't suggest walking around the park or going on a mini hike which is something I would have done otherwise, etc.

He's an awesome guy and a great partner (the best I've had in ways) and I wouldn't trade him in for the world. Things can be frustrating at times because we are just unable to have a "normal" relationship and things are a lot more complicated, but we're okay with that. A LOT of people aren't going to be open to altering their lives drastically for someone, but some will be and they are the ones you want to invest your time in. Don't waste time avoiding the issue because you're afraid of rejection, because it'll be a whole lot worse later when you become attached and they decide they don't want to deal with it. I'm not saying spill your whole life's history before you meet, but give an idea of what they'd be signing up for pretty quickly. Yes, the future is scary for us, but I love him and want to be with him and can't imagine being without him.

I have done online dating. I don’t put ataxia in my profile. I talk to the men on the phone several times before meeting them. When it seems like we’ll meet, I let them know I have a “funny” walk…I have self-diagnosed my condition anyway, so I leave it at that.I have dated several men …most are only too happy to hold my hand or have this excuse to get cloe to me.
If the relationship seems like it may go somewhere, then I’ll discuss my condition. I am lucky and thankful that my condition isn’t worse. In all honesty, if someone you met online told you he/she had MS for instance, would you want to date him/her?

If they ask about it I would explain it to them, otherwise I wouldn't say anything. If you meet someone online you might want to let them know fairly early so you aren't wasting your time with someone who can't handle a disability.

I am young and know only a little in life. I know that no-one but professional care takers, doctors, or nurses people who deals with people like us. I also know there are a few very select few who may deal in situations with us. Sad to say only a few within that selected few deals with us long term. I know because when my wife start noticing I was medically missing up she divorced me!

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I used online dating for a while. Wasn’t a big fan. A person tends to mask their true self and customize their persona to suit the potential partner. It’s amazing how the quest for love can change folks. You don’t get a sense of who they really are as much. Luckily I reunited with a girl that I dated in high school. She doesn’t care about my disability at all and truly makes an effort to know what I need/want. This seems to be a rare situation, but I know it exists. A lot of potential partners shy away from folks with disabilities, who could really blame them? As dating is the search for a life partner, most don’t want to deal with that burden of caring for someone with a disability, it can be very physically taxing. A bitter outlook, however a reality. My mother stuck by my father a hundred years ago (lol) when he became disabled. And I saw first hand what it takes to do this.To require total devotion like this takes a lot. Not much fun I’m sure, and requires a lot of dedication. In conclusion, I personally would be ticked to find out after a few dates that my partner had a disability. It shows lack of respect for the other. And indicates a tendency to withhold secrets, to lie. And that in my opinion is not fair. Be honest and upfront.


I would say balance disorder instead of brain disease but…probably right away so you dont give the wrong idea if you stumble/slur words.

It happened for me on Sept 27, 2014! I met my GF (turned fiance then wife) online, and she knew all about my ataxia from the very beginning. I’ve been living (and always progressing) with my ataxia for over 44 years now (genetic type, diagnosed in 1996) and it was always something I was upfront with from the very beginning. Most people assumed that I was drunk right off the bat, what with the poor balance and slurred speech, and I’m sure there were people who thought I was mentally slow or something while I was growing up. Bringing up the issue from the get-go takes a lot of the pressure to be “normal” on that first date. It takes a special person to fall in love with us…but they DO exist…

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I am now responding to your post. I think what you wrote is very true and has more to it then we know but being upfront about your disability is very courageous on your part but fair in all.

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