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Dating with IBS - Is it that bad? Or am I being played?

dating advice men with IBS

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#1 kspackk


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Posted 10 March 2017 - 11:46 PM


Hi Everyone, 


Just looking for some honest feedback. 

I don't have IBS but the man that I am madly in love with does. 


I'll try to keep it short. We met two years ago online, we texted a lot, and then had a wonderful first date. 

After that, I saw him less and less. He works crazy hours, but he would text me NONSTOP. 

Eventually he told me he loved me, but he never sleeps over. (I have stayed at his place)

Often, we'd have dates scheduled and he would cancel last minute because he said his stomach upset, or that he had diarrhea, or shitting blood and all sorts of crazy things. I would get really upset because sometimes he would cancel on me, even if we hadn't seen each other for weeks. 


My friends think the following:

-He is married. (Although I have been to his place, and met his roommate, so I doubt it)

-He is seeing other girls, or has a girlfriend. (He honestly responds to all my texts within minutes and we text for hours)

-He's an ###### and is lying about working so much. (He sends me crazy pics from his job sites, I do believe him)


He also spent Valentine's with me, so I really don't think there's anyone else in the picture. He didn't sleep over, but stayed past 1 AM and had to work the next day at 6 AM. We only see each other a few times a month. 


A few nights ago, he finally admitted he has IBS. I told him I didn't care and that I already kinda figured, but that it shouldn't prevent him from seeing me. We currently only see each other 2-3 times a month. When he comes to my place, he only stays for 5 hours max. When I go to his place, I stay until he has to use the washroom, and kicks me out lol. I am not seeing other people, and he says he isn't either. He's gone as far as hinting that we should have kids together one day (I am terrified of children mind you...)


I have tried to tell him that I don't care if he has IBS, that it doesn't bother me, and that I want him to feel comfortable at my place. He knows we don't always have to have sex if he's not up to it, and my bathroom has any and every supply he could possibly need. 


So... here's my question. Is IBS really that bad and are the symptoms that frequent? I am trying to be as understanding as possible, but between the long work hours and the IBS constantly ruining our plans, I am starting to wonder if he's just seeing other people. I truly don't think he is, but it seems absurd that IBS would prevent him from seeing me. He seems to be sick every few days, and I can tell he is embarrassed by it, but this has become the root of our fights because I never get to see him. (I am not clingy, in fact my last BF and I broke up because he wanted to see me 3-5 times a week, and I only wanted to see him 1-2 times a week)


Can someone please give me a reality check please? Is IBS that destructive to one's lifestyle? Or am I just getting played?


*Also, we broke up once because I was fed up with never seeing him, but eventually we started talking again. We can't seem to leave each other alone, and I do think he loves me. 


PLEASE HELP :) Sorry for the long post!







#2 Jesse1234


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Posted 11 March 2017 - 06:22 AM

I can definitely put your mind at ease. IBS severely impacts quality of life daily, I for one speak from experience. It interferes into every aspect of life. Food, emotional, physical, social.. add the fact that it's an invisible illness and it can be soul destroying.

I can tell you right now that if your man is going to all this effort to keep you in his life despite being so sick, he really really cares about you. My symptoms start from the minute I wake up till I go to sleep and I don't have the strength to have anyone in my life, I too keep people at a distance.

There is also the stigma and shame associated with it which I assume he is feeling because he doesn't stay the night or wants you to leave when he has a flare up. It's embarrassing and takes time to feel comfortable, especially around someone you're invested in! I suggest having a conversation with him about how IBS affects him and that it's not a deal breaker for you.

Good luck :)

#3 gastastic


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Posted 11 March 2017 - 11:14 AM

Yeah it can be that bad. When I'm in a bad flare I drop out from life.

Browse around on here and maybe you two can start experimenting with some ideas to help provide him relief.

#4 AlisonfromSickofIBS


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Posted 12 March 2017 - 02:20 PM

Hi there,


Just to reassure, you, yes IBS can be this bad - every day. He is not making it up. And it is especially embarrassing when you are dating, trying to be your best with your body messing up just at the wrong time.

The worst thing about IBS is having embarrassing symptoms and not knowing where to look for help. Doctors generally are not of much help, in my experience anyway.


I had IBS for years but I have finally beaten it. You could tell him about my Sick of IBS blog. He could just find it helpful. 

Or maybe he could come on the forum and ask others for help with specific issues.


In any case, it's great that you haven't just pushed him away:)




#5 kspackk


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Posted 12 March 2017 - 07:27 PM

Thanks so much for your responses! It's making me feel much better... And I am going to try to have an open conversation with him about it to see how I can make him more comfortable and how I can be more supportive. I'll definitely encourage him to check out this site, in case he hasn't already. Thanks again! I really appreciate it!

#6 PD85


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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:17 PM

Don't try to guess about what is going on. It looks like you are overthinking this because you are creating imaginary scenarios in your head about what might be happening. 


The only person that can provide you with the answers you need is him.


Talk to him directly and be very serious.


Tell him ALL of your concerns.


If you love him then tell him you don't care what his issues are, and he's welcome to spend hours in your bathroom if it means seeing him more.


Coming from someone who's lost multiple relationships over my IBS for many of the same reasons as your BF, then I know how difficult his life is. 


Now he could be full of sh*t, but if you don't ask you'll never know. And if you aren't willing to accept him fully with his problems then quit messing around and end it. 

"I could be wrong about everything." -Me

#7 APR


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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:19 PM

I'm sorry if someone else already mentioned this, but you should be aware that ibs flareups can be brought on or worsened by stress.  In some ibs sufferers it can become a vicious cycle.  That is, he worries that he won't be able to make a date with you or come to your house if he has a flareup, and the stress and worry trigger a flareup.  The more this happens, the more he worries about it happening.


I do wonder whether he is too embarrassed to go to the bathroom when he's with you or at your house.  Like maybe he doesn't want you to hear certain noises.


If any of this really is going on with your boyfriend, maybe having a conversation about it will put him somewhat at ease.


As you may have figured, severity of ibs can vary from person to person or over time in a particular person.  For some ibs sufferers, it may be a minor nuisance, while for others it may be an every day problem that severely diminishes quality of life.


In any case, I hope it works out and if ibs is the problem, that he can get the symptoms more under control.

#8 starrykitten


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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:20 PM



My first thought is that he may also suffer from a condition called parcopresis, also known as "shy bowel syndrome." Look it up for more info.  People who have it are unable to use the bathroom with others around and will often go to great lengths in their schedules and social lives to have total privacy for their bowel movements. I know someone in another online group who has parcopresis, and he has to sneak away to a campus in the middle of the night and go through a long self-soothing ritual before he can do it.  It's entirely possible that the reason your guy kicks you out at bathroom time is something  like that.


I do want to echo what folks have said, that IBS can be very disruptive.  However, I also think your intuition is telling you that things don't add up even if you take his IBS into consideration.  If you live near each other and have been in touch for that long, then it seems like a red flag (at least it would be for me) that you see each other so infrequently and for such short amounts of time. Have you asked him what he and his GI are doing to manage his IBS? If that's really what's going on, he should be able to tell you what he's trying to manage it.  If he does have IBS, that would be helpful info anyway. And if he either doesn't have IBS or does have severe IBS that he's doing nothing about, you may learn those things too. So, yes, be understanding of illness, but please also trust your intuition.

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