Overcoming Fears of Dating and Romance While Living with CKD

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Many on dialysis find dating to be difficult because of the personal challenges they face with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). For example, losing weight, loss of libido, feeling nauseous, frequent doctor/clinic and hospital visits, make it difficult to commit to someone. Also some lose confidence because they are afraid that others may not want to date them in their condition.

While many people would sympathize because they at least know someone with CKD, you may be afraid that most would not want to date someone with "ready-made" problems like yours. Have you thought about looking at people who are around you and that you interact with every day?  Consider adjusting your attitude about who you are looking for, and by accepting others for who they are you will be more at ease with your condition. After that people will begin to better fit into your life and positive relationships will just happen.

Remember CKD has a way of frequently making you look perfectly healthy even when you may be in a great amount of pain or misery. Therefore people may not understand why you are so often tired and not be able to get out much. At times you may feel that you do not bring much to the table that is not broken.  However, even if your body is disabled, your spirit and certainly your heart do not have to be. In fact, chances are that CKD has not weakened but rather strengthened your personality and character.

Dating presents a challenge to everyone for one reason or another. Those who are healthy might not appreciate life in the way that you could due to your experience with Chronic Kidney Disease. Having dealt with CKD successfully, you would have become a self-sufficient and emotionally present person. Someone said it best: "It has virtually transformed my outlook on life to be more positive and open to change." How many people can actually say that about themselves unless they have successfully lived with a chronic disease? 

KidneyBuzz.com is not suggesting that you should behave like everything's peachy and that everyone is open to dating someone with a chronic illness, but you should believe that many people would be into YOU! Re-frame the importance of CKD in your own mind and then speak about it like you would anything else. Such as, "I like hiking, biking, hanging out with my friends, and I'm very resilient because I've learned to deal with my chronic illness, and you'll never catch me whining about the little disappointments in life." 

Many CKD patients often assume that their illness is the first and only thing that prospective partners will notice about them. But this is not true. The rest of the world sees you as an entire package because you are not asking anyone to adopt you, and you will not be a burden to anyone. Rather you are asking nice people to hang out with you and possibly date you if they should be so lucky.


Goldstein, Meredith. "Dating with a Chronic Illness." Boston.com

"Dating & Chronic Illness: Is It Possible to Be in a Relationship When You Are Chronically Ill?" BlogHer Editors 

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Recommended Reading:  

Intimacy Does Not Have to End when Dialysis Begins
A Fulfilling Life is Still Achievable with Chronic Kidney Disease
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