How To Tell A Special Someone That You Have A Chronic Illness

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The topic of illness makes most of us feel anxious and helpless. — Tamara McClintock Greenberg Psy.D.

When life gives you a health condition that you may never be able to outgrow, e.g., dysautonomia, and you are still unmarried, there are inevitably many thoughts that keep you up at night.

One of them is if you will ever find a good man or woman to date. In case you come across a nice fellow, you might worry about how he or she will behave once they know of your chronic illness.

Hopefully, it is below you to entertain the idea of hiding your disease, its symptoms, causes, et cetera, to a prospective lover. Things will become disastrous for you two once the other person learns about it, mainly if your decision puts your life in danger. In that sense, it will not be your illness that’ll push him or her away – it will be your lies.

Considering you are falling for a special someone, you have to inform this individual regarding your dysautonomia before making the relationship official. Here’s how you may do that.




  1. Stay As Factual As Possible

Your objective is to tell someone that you have this form of dysautonomia, it does this and that to your body, and there is no cure for it at the moment. You may want to set your emotions aside and speak of everything that a specialist mentioned about the disease. This way, you can both be on the same page.

Chronic illness is an experience of continual unpredictability. From day to day, even from hour to hour, health can fluctuate dramatically. Katie Willard Virant MSW, JD, LCSW 

  1. Allow The Person To Process The Information

If your better half becomes speechless, it is best to give them space for a while. Though you may be dying to find out whether they are okay with the truth that you just dished out or not, you should understand that it will not be easy for them to accept in one snap that they are dating somebody with a chronic illness.


  1. Get Ready For Their Reaction

From the time you choose to talk about dysautonomia with your special someone, you need to prepare for how that person will react. The ball already rolled in their court, remember? You cannot take back any fact that you spilled; rather, you should not try to do so.

If he or she calls you and still wants to be with you, then that’s marvelous! You hit the love jackpot, and you found someone who wishes to remain by your side in sickness and in health. In case you never heard from them again, then you ought to be grateful for learning about the shallowness of their liking for you early.



It can be especially upsetting and confusing to learn you have a chronic illness/condition. — Dan Mager MSW

To sum things up, it does not make you a baddie if your primary wish is to present yourself as a healthy individual to your loved one. Perhaps you are fearful for what the significant other may say, or you merely want to enjoy your days with him or her. However, how can your relationship be real when you deprive your special someone of the truth about your health condition? Furthermore, how will you know that he or she will be there during your lowest moments if you are unsure of what they are going to think about your dysautonomia?

Try to be upfront regarding the chronic illness as soon as you realize that the person will have an essential role in your life. Don’t wait for romantic feelings to grow before you do so; otherwise, it will stress you out too much.

Good luck!