Illness and Dating

07/01/2014 12:57 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2014

The dating world can be so difficult to navigate -- even on a good day. For someone battling illness, it becomes a whole new kind of challenge. As if dealing with a chronic or even terminal illness weren't enough, many people are getting sicker younger these days, putting them in a position to deal with things like dating, college, and/or a variety of other issues that we never used to address because they didn't come up as frequently.

Recently, more and more movies and television shows are broadcasting these issues to the public. I, for one, am eternally grateful and wish there had been more discussion about these topics when I was younger and dealing with them myself. Finding out you are sick is scary enough, but when you think it may mean a lifetime of isolation because you don't know how to tell people, it is simply terrifying!

When you are young, you meet a lot of people. Of course, people are going to want to have relationships with you. That alone can cause anxiety sometimes, but I still remember the sinking feeling I would get knowing I would inevitably have to have the "talk" with them. How would I say it? What would they say? How would they react? Maybe I should just bail now! It was horrible, and it still can be a little sickening at times but I know I'm not alone. I'm not the first person to go through this and I won't be the last!

For a long time, I thought being sick meant that I was somehow damaged or that I had baggage. I guess, technically, I did have baggage but who doesn't?! Over the years, I've dated a bit and can truthfully say everybody has baggage and, quite honestly, some people need to rent a storage unit for all of theirs so mine began to pale in comparison. All I'm saying is nobody is perfect. Don't put anyone else on a pedestal or think of yourself as "less than." We're all a mess -- just in different ways.

Time and experience has taught me that I've been down this road before, and it isn't the end of the world! Some have gone better than others, but none have gone terribly. Any person who can't handle you being sick isn't right for you, and it really is better that you know now. I know how cheesy that sounds, but it really is true! If you have health issues, anyone you choose to be with will need to be able to cope. If they are not cut out for that, it doesn't make them a bad person, but it may mean they are not the right person for you. One thing is for sure, it isn't worth your health so don't stress about it!