We asked Alannah @glitterygutsx about dating with a stoma and this is what she had to say…
“Dating with a stoma can be one of those situations in your life that can either be very easy or very difficult. In my blog post 'Finding Love With A Stoma' I talk about my experience with love as an ostomate. I felt more able to find love after having a stoma than I did prior, I was bed ridden most of my days and really unwell so I couldn't really go on dates, meet up or do normal things most people who are dating would. This was due to my Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis making me only committed to any toilet I could find but with added in pain, black outs, vomiting, accidents, being unable to pass urine or poo. I also found that due to so many frequent hospital admissions, guys just seen me as coming over to get what they wanted and then not understanding my needs, illness, emotions or my abilities and so, couldn't handle my baggage. Many potential partners also couldn't understand why I couldn't work and it left me feeling super frustrated and like a failure.
After having surgery for a stoma, I was admitted again due to wound issues, and my partner at that time dumped me on the way home from hospital. At the time, I felt totally unloved and uncared about until friends and family reassured me it was not me or my illnesses that were the problem. I then got my confidence back and slowly started talking to people as friends at first and some did follow into relationships but sadly none that were right for me and again, I dealt with not being treated right. In between relationships, I had no issues with one time things or talking to men. Many didn't find my stoma to be an issue at all! After a while, I decided to stay single and enjoy life to the full and have fun with my friends, not focusing on men at all! It was then, I reunited with an old friend from when I was newly diagnosed at seventeen. He also had a stoma which he had gotten earlier that year from Crohn's so I was able to help him through his journey and with stoma products. Eventually after weeks of asking me out, coming over to help me with gaming and hanging out with friends, I said yes! We got engaged three months later and it has now been 5 years with a dog and a baby added into the mix!
Finding love with a stoma can be difficult, however only if you make it be. Honesty is the best policy and always stay true to yourself. How someone reacts to your stoma and illnesses is a reflection on themselves and not you! Regardless of you having a stoma (or two), you should be treated well, respected, cared for and be loved for who you are. Never settle for less and never accept being treated badly because you have baggage and think that you will never get better! Everyone deserves love, no matter what, as at the end of the day nobody is perfect and everyone has some sort of baggage they carry.”