living life yellow.
the ramblings of a 21 year old
Dating with endometriosis isn't easy. Ask anyone with it. It's not like you can casually slip it into your tinder bio..
19 years old
Broken vagina and lady parts.
Many of us gals are out looking for love but feel like our endo is getting in the way! I always get asked to write a blog post on dating and relationships with endo so I have finally got around to it! I have also roped Leo (my boyfriend of almost a year) in to give a guys perspective.
How to tell the person you are dating that you have endometriosis?
How I explain it to people is that I have a condition that causes pain in my pelvic region. If they take that well or seem interested, I explain a bit more but keep it pretty simple:
"You know how girls get periods? The lining of your uterus is what is shed and bleeds out each month. I have tissue similar to that growing in places it shouldn't really be. It's pretty annoying and painful."
At this point my endo was not as bad as it is now. I'm pretty upfront about my health conditions and I don't think that's a bad thing. If they are truly into you then they will probably not care too much about you and your faulty body. Having endometriosis is a good way to weed out the douchebags from the good guys.
Step one: Find a room with a fireplace
Step two: Find a big chair you can turn slowly so that when they enter the room your back is to them.
Step three: Slowly turn around with your hands together and welcome them ominously
Step four: Begin to explain the shit show going on down there and release the hounds if they don't want a part of it.
Step five: Cackle alone inside your spooky fireplace room.
When should you tell the person you have endometriosis?
As I said earlier I'm quite upfront about my health. I'm pretty sure I told Leo on our first date. It was a couple months after my first surgery so it was still pretty recent and since our date consisted of walking a few kilometre, I was probably getting a little sore. I didn't tell him too much about it and he had never heard of it before. It wasn't until we started spending more time together that he started to notice how it impacted my life.
You mentioned you were kinda sick on the first date but it took a couple days for you to explain it. At first I thought it wasn't a big deal. Boy was I wrong
What kind of things should you tell them?
I tell Leo everything. Purely because he is the only one (apart from a couple friends who have endo) who I feel like I can truly bitch about it too. I think it's important to talk to your partner about your symptoms and how you manage them. That way if you do have a flare up, they know what to do. For example, if I'm having a flare up, Leo knows what medications I take and where they are kept, he knows how long the wheat pack goes in the microwave for and knows how to comfort me.
As much as you're comfortable doing. Also not too much. Jazz grosses me the hell out proclaiming over dinner that a giant clot fell out of her in the shower that day. That shit is nasty and I don't need to here about that. She is pretty extra in her information and I can't say I like it but I know it's important for her to talk to someone about it. Definitely cover the basics of your pain levels today and anything that is impacting you. Just maybe skip over the type of poop you had today. Also please tell Jazz to do that too. My fragile mind can't take it anymore.
How do you tell them about painful sex?
Just tell them. Again, if they care, then it won't be a problem. It can be pretty awkward to bring up, and maybe kill the mood a little bit but is painful sex really worth trying to please this human?
"Because of my endo, sex can be pretty painful, mind if we take it slow?"
*insert cute winky face*
Bring it up. Suggest positions/activities that are comfortable for you. Be safe ;)
In a way that really gets the point across.
Like “your dick feels like the heat of 1000 sun's inside me and not in a kinky way. But in like a oh god never again kinda way."
It took awhile for Jazz to actually tell me that it really hurt and I really wish she had just said it all rather than try and please me.
How to handle a relationship when sex is painful?
Research. Trust me, I've done a lot. Once you have done a bit of research, start experimenting. Try different positions and activities. If they aren't giving you any pleasure then don't be afraid to try some pelvic floor physiotherapy or get some dilators (Read part one and part two of my dilator diaries.) Talk to others about it. Who knows, one of your friends may have a crazy idea that becomes a game-changer! The other week I had a friend of mine suggest using anal lube instead of regular lube as it doesn't dry out as fast, not sticky, only smooth and said it was like magic! Yet to try it myself, but it does seem like a great idea!
Communication with your partner is also very important because it takes two to tango! Be honest with them when it does hurt. Don't put up with pain just to please someone. Brainstorm some different ideas together. Intimacy isn't just having sex!
Have a proper talk about it where you go over everything. Your needs, your partners needs. Don't take anything personally and just say everything you think needs to be said. Jazz and I don't really have any sexual acts that we can do due to her pain and that's ok because we have talked about it. She knows I'd like to be able to do things and that upsets her knowing we can't. I have to support her through that.
It's not like you're choosing to withhold sex because you think your partner is ugly or something. It's a lot more complicated. I don't want to do any form of full sex with Jazz because I don't want to hurt her. It makes me feel like I'm abusing her if I basically forcing her into it for my own gain.
How does endometriosis affect our relationship?
Endometriosis is a rollercoaster. Some days I'm fine and some days I'm in the bath tub crying, wishing that it would all just stop. Its unpredictable. It is a huge part of our relationship I do think, because endometriosis is a large part of who I am. Everything I do, I have to take endo into consideration. It's not the most ideal way to live, but it is what it is.
I think when I do have my more painful days it can get very hard on Leo. It's probably quite overwhelming to have someone in your life who can go from being out walking dogs with you during the day to being in hospital that night. There are often times that I feel guilty because I'm not putting in as much effort as he is into this relationship but there are also times when I am looking after him when he is unwell. This is what he signed up for. Like what they say at weddings;
"In sickness and in health."
There's a lot of times where it doesn't. The most common things are just the amount of things Jazz asks me to do for her when she is too sore to do things herself. At the start of the relationship for various reasons, I was far too enabling of this kind of thing. Butt now, if I know she can do stuff for herself, that's what she has to do.
We don't talk about my own health here on this blog but that has to be a consideration for us as well. If I have to spend too much time looking after her and not myself then my own problems can be just as much of an issue as endo can be. Remember to look after yourself before you can look after someone else. On an airplane you put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and feel more confident about dating with endo! Any questions just comment below and maybe we can do this again!
Jasmine (and Leo) xx
Read the other blog posts Leo has written!
How to support a girl with endo.
My boyfriend tries to explain endo.