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I'm an almost-20-year-old female college student. I've never dated anyone, and I think a lot of it has to do with my IBS. I'm also a more introverted person, but I think a lot of my tendency to avoid guys stems from the fact that I would be much more embarrassed to have an IBS attack around them than I would if I were around my girlfriends. It's just so much harder to go somewhere with one other person. Even if it's a good friend, I usually have to talk myself out of the anxiety of wondering what will happen if I have to disappear into the bathroom for an hour and leave them sitting alone. And that's someone who knows what's going on--what about a guy I like (and therefore am nervous around) who knows nothing about it?Gah. I've seen a lot of reassuring posts on these forums about understanding husbands/wives and boyfriends/girlfriends, but I would appreciate advice on how to deal with things with someone who is not (yet) a longtime significant other. How do you handle a first date type situation? If someone asks you out to dinner, will they think it's weird if you suggest something else? What are some low-stress, non-eating-intensive things to do on dates that will be more comfortable for a person with IBS? Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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I went through this as a female college student as well, and now am a college advisor, so I understand just how annoying this must be. I have a few thoughts for you. First, if you suffer from diarrhea, what about taking immodium before a first date? I'm not sure what people think of immodium from a health standpoint, but it certainly will do the trick of stopping up your system for a bit so you don't have to worry as much. I think sometimes the worry and anxiety about potentially have an attack, can actually cause the attack. So this might be useful to prevent an attack from both a physical and emotional standpoint. In general, I don't think it's such a big deal to suggest something like coffee instead of dinner. A lot of people dont like doing dinner on a first date anyhow, because you are stuck through a long meal if you don't like the person.
So many people suggest something like coffee anyhow, just because it's less of a time commitment! You can say you are super busy but really interested in meeting up, and suggest coffee. But drink tea if coffee upsets your stomach
You also asked about non eating things to do...what about playing pool, or going to an arcade, or bowling. Those are also good options if you are introverted as you say, because they give you something to do, so you dont have to worry about having lots of things to talk about at first when you might be nervous. Wishing you lots of luck, and hopefully will hear how your first date goes!
 

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I agree with the above suggestions. I would just take the immodium before hand to help you feel less nervous, and perhaps stop your anxiety getting even worse and therefore creating an attack. You could go to the cinema, just go out for a drink in a bar. And if the worst comes to the worst, and you had an attack, and you dont feel comfortable explaining the whole ibs thing right then, maybe just say you think you ate something funny - which has happened to everyone, and you can always bring it up at a later stage if the dating keeps going that you have ibs. I find that men generally really dont care about this type of thing. I mean their main jokes often tend to be about toilet humour anyway so its a usual topic for them!
 

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I'll be going into college soon and I want to date again. I havent dated since I broke up with my last bf 3 years ago. I've had SIBO (similar to IBS) for only this past year and a half. The thought of dating with this now scares the ###### outta me. I've been asked out but said no every time because i'm afraid to get close to ppl because of this illness. It's so embarrassing. Any advise i hear from you guys who've already done this would greatly help. I like the bowling or arcade idea BTW. Any more non-eating date suggestions?
 

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I wouldn't recommend the Imodium course of action. I have went out on dates before when I was on the tail end of a stomach bug but still had diarrhea (a welcome relief from my always being constipated I might add) and took Imodium as a preemptive strike only to end up with one of my all time worst bouts of being constipated. Of course, my boyfriend liked the idea of having to give me an enema but thats another story.
 

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I've never had a girlfriend. The only time I went on a date was when my brother arranged one for me in Homecoming during the 10th grade. I don't see this changing anytime soon(This is probably more so because of my personality, and not because of IBS). I want to go into graduate school and continue my education and I could care less whether or not girls are interested in me.The subject I am studying will be Information(Planning Artificial Intelligence, Human Computer Interaction, Incentive Centered Design) and girls don't like skinny computer boys. It is simply the way it is.
 

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You've gotten some really good advice so far. I just wanted to add that I threw up on my fiance within the first couple days of meeting him. So even if the absolute worst does happen despite all your efforts to prevent it, it may not be the end of the world.
He did propose eventually, even after being thrown up on several more times and being sent on emergency immodium and TP shopping trips. People can be really understanding. I think it helps that he's studying for a health profession. I thought I was more of a pre-law kind of girl before I got sick, but there you have it I guess. lol
 

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I'm 22 and just graduated college and my boyfriend and I have been together for a year and 3 months. I cannot even estimate how many times I've disappeared for up to an hour at a time and come back to tell him that I've clogged his toilet. We had not been dating very long the first time it happened and I was so embarrassed, but he made it seem like no big deal. He totally understands my bowel problems and we just laugh it off. Don't worry about what your date will think, if he's the right guy, he will understand and accept you for who you are (I know it's cliche but it's true). These issues aren't a choice, it's something physically wrong with your body that you cannot control. So what are you gonna do? It's just part of being a human, even though our society wants us to think otherwise.
 

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Well... IBS is a medical condition, and as such, you are fully entitled to your privacy. That is to say, just like with any other illness, it is perfectly acceptable to keep things on a need-to-know basis... I mean, your health is your business and yours alone until it affects (or has the potential to affect) someone else. There's this misconception (and unfortunately it is shared by A LOT of people) that if there is absolutely anything about you that you or someone else might find undesirable, that you gotta do the whole "take it or leave it" thing right from the get-go. In my experience, this is almost always going to be a mistake.The thing is, first dates are all about getting to know one another, right? So if your first impression includes having to explain all the ways that you are limited in your everyday life, that is going to give the false impression that you are too sick to date or too sick to have fun and enjoy yourself or that you're just plain sick all the time, which you and I both know isn't true!In my opinion, living with IBS is all about taking charge of your life, and THAT is the kind of impression you want to make on someone, whether it be in your personal life or your professional life.Like, simply put: why lead with your bad foot, so to speak. You know what I mean?When planning dates, be assertive! If your date suggests something that you feel apprehensive about, suggest something else. And, if Heaven forbid you were to get sick on a date, if you really think you might have to spend up to an hour in the bathroom it might be best to politely explain that you aren't feeling well and need to go home before you feel worse. On a first date it can be hard to do this without making the other person feel like you're just making excuses to leave, so MAKE SURE you get contact information so that if you really DO like the person and you are really disappointed about the date being cut short, you can tell them so, and then the door is wide open for rescheduling and picking up where you left off. I won't say I know what you're going through or that I know how you feel, but I do understand how hard dating can be and how much more complicated it becomes when you're dealing with a chronic illness... But trust me, when the time comes to let someone in on that private part of your life, you're going to want to do it in a safe, supportive, comforting environment with someone you trust and who cares about you... Not on a first date with someone you barely know. Good luck, and stay positive even though I know it's hard! <3
 

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Hi Aku,It's hard to find understanding people, unless they also they also suffer similarly, or unless they're supporters. If you want to an eating-type situation, try going for tea, or going for a walk downtown or in a park somewhere. Then, if you feel a connection, or feel more comfortable, move forward to enjoying other things.
your right...
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions in this forum! I'm just entering the dating scene again after breaking up with my bf of 3.5 years, I have a date this week with a guy I used to work with who I really like, and I'm so scared of having an IBS attack while out with him and having to disappear to the bathroom for an hour..
 

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For me personally, Immodium is the worse thing I can take cause it just creates like a cork, but I find there's still diarrhea behind the cork. So I still get the cramped, bloated feeling, but I can't get rid of it cause there's a stupid cork in there now...so it ends up making me feel sick.So be cautious of Immodium, because it is not good for everyone.
I went through this as a female college student as well, and now am a college advisor, so I understand just how annoying this must be. I have a few thoughts for you. First, if you suffer from diarrhea, what about taking immodium before a first date? I'm not sure what people think of immodium from a health standpoint, but it certainly will do the trick of stopping up your system for a bit so you don't have to worry as much. I think sometimes the worry and anxiety about potentially have an attack, can actually cause the attack. So this might be useful to prevent an attack from both a physical and emotional standpoint. In general, I don't think it's such a big deal to suggest something like coffee instead of dinner. A lot of people dont like doing dinner on a first date anyhow, because you are stuck through a long meal if you don't like the person.
So many people suggest something like coffee anyhow, just because it's less of a time commitment! You can say you are super busy but really interested in meeting up, and suggest coffee. But drink tea if coffee upsets your stomach
You also asked about non eating things to do...what about playing pool, or going to an arcade, or bowling. Those are also good options if you are introverted as you say, because they give you something to do, so you dont have to worry about having lots of things to talk about at first when you might be nervous. Wishing you lots of luck, and hopefully will hear how your first date goes!
 
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