Dating and talking about your stoma

05 February, 2021

With Valentine’s Day just a week away, many people will be swiping more vigorously on dating apps than usual. In fact, one popular dating app saw a 14% increase in downloads last February! While meeting up might not be on the cards at the moment, some ostomates will be wondering when the ‘right time’ is to tell a potential date about their stoma.

Telling a new or prospective partner that you have a stoma can be daunting. The ‘right time’ to tell someone is different for everyone.

Some ostomates choose to tell people about their stoma before meeting them in person, as this helps to filter out the ‘wrong type’ of people straight away. Others choose to tell someone after a couple of dates, so that the prospective partner has seen that the stoma does not define who they are or what they can do.

It may help you to rehearse the conversation alone before having it with a potential new partner. Explaining how you’ve come to have a stoma, giving an overview of your illness first, and inviting them to ask questions can help you to both feel more comfortable. Be sure to demonstrate to them that your stoma is only part of who you are. The other aspects of your life such as your interests, personality, job, family, and values are much more important than how you go to the toilet! Your stoma does not define who you are.

It is possible that someone may decide that they do not want to continue to a physical relationship after finding out that you have a stoma. This can be upsetting and disheartening, especially if you have invested a lot of time in them, so it is advisable to be as open as you can be early on if you think you’d like to enter into a sexual relationship with a specific person. If someone stops dating you after finding out that you have a stoma, this is their issue not yours. There are many reasons that potential relationships do not work out, or someone loses interest, and it may not be because of your stoma. If however, someone cannot accept your stoma, it is unlikely that the relationship would have worked in the long term anyway.

We know that Valentine’s Day (and lockdown) can leave some people feeling unhappy or anxious. We’re here 24 hours a day 0800 328 4257 if you’d like to talk.

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