When you have epilepsy sometimes getting through the day is hard enough, and dating is the last thing on your mind. I DO think it is a very important part of emotional maturity and social development so Just Do It. You don’t have to just go on Tinder right away. I encourage you to get involved in your local church connection group if that’s what you like, or meetup.com has tons of stuff for people with similar interest to get together once a month. Then, if you’re ready you can find a website or app. I think it is just important to be around people that aren’t your parents or your doctors to see what you like. You don’t even want to know how many advances I have made to neurologist and physical therapists because I was going to too many doctors appointments and not enough dates! I think one doctor moved to Podiatry because of me.
You have to get out and see what you like, and what works for you. I am not going to lie I was a late bloomer, so my dating journey only started about six years ago. Now, six years ago I was very attracted to older men, and gay men. If you could give me a mix between Neil Patrick Harris and Dateline’s Keith Morrison I would of been in seventh heaven. Do you see the issue there? It took me too long to realize that wasn’t going to work out for me. I also think feedback is good. When you are with your family some things they think are really entertaining are not something to take on a date. I can reenact the whole beauty parlor scene of 1989’s Steel Magnolias. I can tell you even if you do a great Shelby, Do Not do this on a date! Also, as cute as you think your cat is, Do Not talk about it or show pictures. My cat could win pageants, but I have learned not to say that. You just kind of live and you learn, and it can be hard and also a lot of fun.
How do you talk about epilepsy while dating? I know what my biggest problem was when I first started dating I wasn’t comfortable with it myself. I remember going on a date with a guy, and I told him I wasn’t driving because I had a seizure, but it was totally no big deal. That is crazy! The truth is in some ways it is a Big deal. It also became a big deal when I had a simple- partial seizure on a date. My date had no idea my shoulder jerk was a seizure and he thought I was like, “ Oh I am a small cold girl that needs your strong arms around me.” When really I was talking to Jesus saying, “Please get him to leave really fast so I can take a pill to calm this down.” The truth is my disability has dictated a lot of what I can and can’t do in my life. I think what I wasn’t realizing was the epilepsy wasn’t who I was it was just what I had, and I could be so much more than letting a disability define me. Now, I just talk about it freely and honestly. I think you will learn the appropriate time to bring it up as you go.