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Rheumatoid arthritis has made me struggle with feeling like less of a woman.
I’m not even alone in my search for love while living with chronic illness as a single mother.
You never really know how they are going to respond. I want them to see how strong RA has made me, the lessons it’s taught me, and how it’s shaped me into who I am today. Do I lie and say what I think they want to hear, or do I tell them the truth and risk being perceived as a Debbie Downer? And I don’t want to approach a potential relationship without honesty.
I want them to see my 60-plus pound weight loss and how seriously I take care of myself now. I inform dates of my arthritis at the soonest possible moment; I don’t want to waste any time weeding out the ones who have problems with it — or my son, for that matter.
Many of these are diagnosed during our peak dating and childbearing years, which means we have to talk about our diseases with those we date.
Rheumatoid arthritis has made me take a long hard look at my life, my behaviors, my attitude, my lifestyle, my wants and needs, and what is truly important to me and my son.
Telling them you have an “old lady” disease is even more unattractive.