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Hey all,It's been a few years since i've posted...but a few months ago i realized i needed to get a bit more active.My current problem with relationships is that i'm scared to death of them over ibs. in my pre ibs years i dated all the time and enjoyed life. and recently i kicked 2 potential guys to the curb in fear of disclosing my ibs. i'm really too embarrased to mention it and have these incredible fears of humiliation if i did. i can't think of a reason a guy would want to be ina relationship with someone with this condition. i don't really have a low self esteem about myself when it comes to things i have to offer. i'm an incredibly compassionate person, working on my master's degree, no real baggage so to speak and not hideous to gaze upon. the ibs is the hang-up...i have little control over my health, which is something i know that is important in relationships.so anyone who has been in this situation..and i know many are in relationships please give me some advice on how to handle this. and guys chime in please, how do you handle this?? i'm 23 and don't want to be single all my life, but stuck at an impasse. cheers and thanks!amy
 

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Hey there. I can't say that I have been in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with anyone since I have been sick. But I know how you feel. Every movie I see, every book I read, the couples always seem to be doing something around food. Maybe this is only prevalent now in my mind because of the fact I can't eat that food. What I can tell you is this. I know it is weird to tell someone about what is wrong with you. But I "came out" about my stomach problem to three of my friends so far and I have gotten nothing but compassion and sympathy. AND one of these friends is a guy. So maybe you are worried for nothing. In the beginning I would say try to avoid dating stuff with food and going out to eat. I don't know how severely you are sick, but what I would do (or I am planning on doing) is taking a couple immodium and going to a movie. Or what really helps me is to hang out at my house with someone and watch a movie. Somehow it reduces the stress level by like 1000 times. Another thing to try is if you do get in a relationship with someone, have him over for dinner, and you cook. That way you are guaranteed safe food. Something I have done is just tell people that most restaurant food doesn't like me and usually they understand. A lot of people just think I am on a health kick and can't eat junk food like that. By the time you have run out of safe ways to get around the IBS triggers, you will have been with whomever you are dating for awhile. Then I would say tell him. At first it's weird, and I am not going to tell you that it isn't, because it was with me and my friends. But now they understand and it is SUCH a relief to have someone that knows that I can be with now and not have to worry about how I am going to feel. And I don't have to make any excuses for myself anymore. I just tell them I am having a crappy day (pun intended)
and that I don't feel like doing anything. And that's that, no questions asked. Anyway, good luck with you dating and I hope at least some of my advice helps you a little.
 

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Well I can only tell you to be honest about your IBS , if they cant handle that then they are not worth your time anyway . Just be yourself and try and open up about the problems you have , yes there will be some guys who dont wanna deal with it , but there will also be those who take you for what you are...I have always been open to my partner about it and he is very understanding and helpful
 

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i think that you have to sort out a way for you to come to terms with your ibs and then you'll open up to others more easily. i'm not in a relationship now so i can find a way to deal with this myself first and then share it with whoever comes into my life. the thing to remember is that we are all more than just ibs sufferers and that we are actually ppl who have personalities and plenty of good points!i agree with shadowz about being open and honest. it's the best policy. if that person doesnt understand they aren't worth it at all. u know someone really cares for u when they take ALL of you - the whole package.
 
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I saw this and thought that I'd throw my 2 cents in as a man.I am 34 now and have had IBS for around 20 years. It did not really get bad until I was 20, which was in the middle of college and a horrible time for me.There are a number of women who if they remember me at all, would likely remember that I was consistently late and sometimes strange in my eating habits.All of that was related to IBS. If I really liked a girl I would get nervous before my date about having an attack, and if I was not careful my anxiety would turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy in which I would begin having problems as soon as I needed to leave the house.For a short while I tried to convince my dates to come to my place so that I could cook for them. As you can imagine many of the women assumed that I had other intentions. Ok, I did, but I wasn't trying to "bypass" the ritual, just trying to introduce myself in a place where I was comfortable.To make a long story longer, at times it was miserable and difficult, but it got better. I told some of my dates that I had a chronic digestive disorder that would sometimes impact my ability to do things. I did not have to provide details, but they understood. And if they really were interested in me they stuck around. And if they didn't stick around I figured that even w/o IBS they would have left me.I am sure that you will find your own way to make things work. Good luck.
 

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I have been with my boyfriend for almost two and a half years now and that time has all been while I've struggled with IBS. We were friends first so that made things easier. To start off all I said was I have a sensitive stomach so I don't eat certain things and that kept him form wondering why I wouldn't eat this or that.Later I told him that certain foods or stress can cause me to have an upset stomach which he also understood. And eventually I told him exactly what it was and how it works and he couldn't be more understnading and it lifts a great weight off my shoulders cause I don't have to worry about what he'll think or anything like that.If its just casual dating then i say do what I did at first. Whatever you do don't let IBS take over and keep you away form having fun.
 

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hmmmm this sounds familiar, just about this same thing happened to me BUT i finally relised that i wasn't just hurting myself i was hurting these guys too, and that just wasn't fair for the both of us. however, when i did meet a new person that i really started to like, i told him on the 4th date that i had IBS it was pretty hard but he took it really well he actually wanted to know all about it! :love: he is really supportive about it, and things have been going great! i think that you should give these guys a little more credit i hope that there not just going to dump you becuase you have a flaw that is SUPER common! good luck i hope that this helps ~celle*
 

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I know how you feel. IBS can be such an embarrassing thing and the thought of being trapped alone with a guy on what is supposed to be a romantic date and then having my stomach act up and ruin everything. It really is enough to scare anyone away from having a relationship, I think. The key, like so many people have said so far, is getting close enough to someone where you can share stuff like that with them. Someone suggested that you cook for him at your place so that you can eat all the food and feel comfortable. I think that's a really good idea, plus you could make it really romantic--think candles and you walking out with a beautiful dinner on a platter, lol
. I've been with my boyfriend for awhile now and at first it was so awkward trying to hide everything, but the more comfortable I got with him, the better it got, and finally I just broke down and told him. Now we joke around about it and stuff and it almost seems like we're closer, you know, like I don't have to worry about that coming between us anymore because it's not a secret. I understand your fear of getting into a relationship because of your IBS-- I'm sure everyone on this board has had that fear at some point-- but you might be missing out on dating some really great people. If you get involved, just make things comfortable on you so that you're not nervous every time you go out. I hope this helps and just remember you're not alone!!!!!
 

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Jack-I know exactly what you mean! I am 20 and my IBS has worsened condsiderably!! Today I was sitting in class and I was so nauseous and my "stomach" hurt so bad that I wanted to curl up on the floor of the classroom!
About 2 years ago, my now ex-boyfriend and I were dating for almost 3 years. At that time I hadn't been diagnosed with IBS and my ex thought I was complaining too much about my stomach problems and would get mad if I didn't feel like going out. It definetely put a strain on our relationship. Since then, I have not been in a serious relationship b/c my IBS has gotten worse and I don't even feel like putting forth the effort to go out. And if I do go out with a guy, I am so embarrassed to tell him that I have IBS. I hate this!! It is so frustrating!
 

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Veggirl and all:I have had IBS since I was 14. At least, that is when my mother explained to me what was going on. Luckily my mother also suffers from IBS, so I never felt isolated or unusual. This also means I grew up dating with IBS. My biggest concern was, and still is, happy stress around a new boyfriend. Many people forget that happy stress is a trigger just like negative stress. Nothing like kissing a boy and LITERALLY getting butterflies in your stomachs...oh wait..that's not butterflies that's gas or diahria!!First of all, IBS is nothing to be ashamed of, even though many people will not understand. But your friends both romantic and platonic will accept it along with you.Then, learn to smile and accept it yourself. In fact, the symptoms can be rather funny. For example, it is a funny humorously told story in my family and friends about the time when I opted to eat EVERYTHING I SHOULDN't (can of uncooked chili, taco bell mexi melts, and college commons nachos, pizza) all in half a day before a Coed Fraternity Event. My symptoms, silent but deadly, caused the frat to think there had been a gas link in the building. OK.
So that isn't a romantic situation, but it sure is funny really. My best friend refused to stand upwind to me at the bus stop. And while I was miserable, I did learn one thing. . .laughter and smiles is great medicine. My terrible effect has cheered many people, "Atleast you don't have so much gas they think it's a gas leak!"That aside, I think most guys will understand. But keep your stock of meds that work around for every date. I typically take some sort of gas-x or mylanta with me so that if I feel the onset, I just excuse myself to the restroom and let it pass and take the medicine. It may help to carry blush and powder to help refresh your flushed features and any clamminess (a common symptom for me).Just stay positive and jump in with both feet. . .and pass on the picnics for now...as there are no good public bathrooms anywhere near a picnic!Alexis P.
 

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if someone isnt sympathetic enough then they're a waste of time. i think i'll be able to talk to ppl about it more when i've found a way to deal with this myself. i'm not intending to go out with anyone at the moment because i need to start feeling better myself before i expect anyone else to deal with me not feeling well sometimes. i guess it depends on the guy whether i'll tell them the whole truth.
 

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I sit around and think to myself all the time, if this gets worse.. how will I ever talk to a girl or let one into my life. I am 23 and divorced, which makes it hard for me to talk to woman already,IBS is just the icing on the cake
 

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I feel ya! I'm 28 (hmm am I too old for the young adult's board??
) and I have been single since I have been diagnosed with IBS about 2 years ago. Meeting chicks is hard enough, but when you toss IBS in the mix, it REALLY SUCKS. I know I am just preaching to the choir, but what chick is going to be happy to hear about IBS... yeah, that's a real turn on. I don't even like talking to friends about it.
I am sure there are probably lots of chicks out there that wouldn't have a problem with it and be supportive.. now if I could just find them, and "cough up the nerve" to make a move!
Oh well.. until then... pass me down that bottle!Rock on and God bless...The Dude
 

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Hi! I am 38 years old and have suffered with IBS since I was a teenager. As I got older my symptoms have become worse. I was diagnosed with severe IBS C/D. Two years ago I went through a really difficult divorce. Here I was with two kids and IBS. I told myself I was never going to get involved with anyone because I was so embarassed by my constant sickness. One day while I was in a chatroom, I was instant messaged by a man and we really hit it off. We talked everyday for months. Then one day, he decided it was time to meet in person. Even though we lived in different states, he was willing to make the 7 hour drive. I knew in my heart that this relationship was going to go somewhere and it scared the heck out of me. The day before he was to drive up to see me, I told him that I had changed my mind. I had given it alot of thought and was terrified that once he knew about my IBS, he would go running for the hills and I wasn't ready to be hurt again. I talked to my sister and told her what was going on and she told me to just tell him. She said if I passed up this opportunity, I was a fool. So that night I called him and told him all about my IBS and how often it made me sick. He had just gotten out of a relationship with an alcoholic and told me, that as long as I wasn't a drinker, that he could handle anything else I threw his way. Needless to say, I decided to meet with him. When he arrived at his hotel, I went to meet him. He told me had done some research on IBS and that it didn't matter at all to him. Today we are happily married and he is so great about everything. He has told me, that he loves me just as I am. Even though he really wasn't prepared totally for all that my IBS entailed, he has never once complained about me not feeling good. As a matter of fact, he told me tonight that knowing everything he knows about me now, he would marry me all over again. So you see happy endings do exsist! IBS and all! Sorry this is so long, but I just wanted you to see that there is hope! All the best to you!
 

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lyonskitten, thankyou so much for that! I'm 27 and have been pretty scared to have relationships. I've had them anyway, there's just some things I won't have ibs take away from me. Back in my D days (which I've come to control now), I remember suggesting some place to go on a date before the guy had a chance. Otherwise I'd just go and if I got sick, I got sick. Noone ever judged me, in fact, they said it made them feel more at ease knowing that I was just human! My problem now is tonnes of gas and a very noisy tummy that sounds like I'm passing it (but aren't). I usually suggest somewhere noisy to go for the first few dates and slowly let them in on it over time. My last boyfriend had no problem at all with it. I believe now that I have a lot more to offer so that my ibs is not a problem. I also believe that if you make it out to be a big deal then the guy will feel like he has to look after you. It IS a big deal to us of course, but it neddn't be anyone elses problem. I met a guy over the internet a few mths back who is a real sweetheart. We've spent a few weekends together and have become quite close. I feel really good about him. He knows I have ibs but doesn't know about my embarrassing symptoms. I'm meeting him again in 10 days (I'm going up to stay with him, 6 hrs away). I am fearful of his judgement, but at the end of the day if I can accept myself then I believe others will too. It shows maturity for a significant other to accept it too. I really hope it all works out as he wants me to meet his friends and family and the noises are so bad at night. It just pays not to make a big deal out of it. :love:
 

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I can solely blame IBS for destroying my last relationship. As a male I found it impossible to tell my ex girlfriend about my condition because of the embarrasment. So I would always have her stay over at my place because it was easier for me to hide it from here. I tried not stay with her becuase she lived with her family (of 6) and they only have one one toilet. How embarassing would it be for me to hog it. So I kept making excuses and I would only go with her to her friends parties kicking and screaming. Bear in mind until now I haven't told anyone about my problem and as I work in the military there aren't too many sympathetic ears around. So eventually the discussion came up about us moving in together, right away I thought this is my chance to come true for her and tell her why I avoid so many things because it would be impossible to hide it if we lived together. But, unfortunately I chickened out and worst of all because I couldn't excuse my actions I made her break up with me which took 3 months of heart ache for the both of us. After we broke up I realised how big a fool I was and I wrote her this huge letter explaining myself and what was wrong with me, I delivered it in person to her work and after that got a florist to deliver her flowers and cuddly toys etc. But it was all too late she had already moved on, can't say I blame her though she put up with my #### for long enough already. That was 6 months ago and I haven't spoken to her since.
 

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Flowergirl, I hope everything works out for you. Remember we are all human and even those without IBS, pass gas from time to time. My husband has quite a good time with the passing of gas! lol! In my house we have actually all learned that to (AIR) is human and quite natural! Just thought I'd add a little humor to lighten things up! Good Luck to you!
 

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when i first started getting ibs symptoms i met a wonderful guy.well i was embarrased as he** about my troubles and didnt know what to do.well i decided to jump in right away and just tell him straight out.one day we were at dinner and i just decided to tell him all!!after i was done and waiting for a bad response he gave me a really wierd look for a long time and i was like WHAT>>>>WELL???? he kept giving me this look and finally smiled a wicked grin and said"holy shi* girl....you just described me to a T!imagine my surprise!after that i have just been real forward about it with other people and honestly found that a third of the people i meet have many of the same problems as me!!!good luck people!
 
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