I Have Rheumatiod Arthritis. How Honest Should I Be About This?

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

I was diagnosed with aggressive rheumatoid arthritis two years ago. I am very honest in telling my date about my disorder.

I am a very attractive professional and you could not tell just by looking at me. But my honesty has constantly cost me to lose all my prospective dates or relationships.

How honest should you be when you have an autoimmune disorder and you’re dating? Is there a dating website for people like myself?

-Shar (Florida)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Shar,

I’m sorry to hear about your health problems, and I hope you are doing everything within your control to manage your health and make positive lifestyle choices.

One of the best things for one’s health, as you probably know, is a secure relationship, so I applaud you for making the proactive decision to find the love you deserve.

While there are no hard and fast rules about when you should tell a prospective lover about your health, I can tell you this: People who self-identify with their illness are sometimes perceived as unattractive because they appear like a victim.

Individuals with positive attitudes think of their health issues as merely a speed bump on the road of life.

I’m not saying this is you, but I am suggesting how you communicate information is sometimes more important than the information itself.

As for when to tell a romantic interest, I might suggest waiting at least a few dates, but definitely explain before the onset of the sexual relationship.

Build some trust and friendship before you disclose too much and deliver the news with a positive “I’m taking charge of this challenge” attitude. Good luck to you!

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