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Person raises eyebrow at her date in a movie theater, wondering if they're her right partner

Dating with Migraine Disease

It is estimated that over 37 million Americans live with migraine. However, there is still stigma and misunderstanding regarding headache disease.

Navigating dating and intimacy is challenging enough, but throwing migraine disease into the mix can be overwhelming.

How did migraine ruin my dating life?

A few years ago, I dated this guy; he told me I was full of it because I frequently canceled or rescheduled dates. He did not understand how a migraine attack could completely take me out and it angered me the lack of empathy. To everyone else, I look normal; however, I can barely push through most days due to my chronic pain.

What was dating like for me?

I would listen to my friends talk about how fun and exciting dating was for them. Meeting new people gave them the opportunity for unique and entertaining conversations. Also, it allowed them to practice when finally meeting Mr. or Ms. Right.

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For me, dating with 24/7 pain is terrifying, and in today's world of social media, it has become even more tricky. I found it taxing trying to cipher through what's real or phony when meeting new people.

Can others understand?

For most, it's unfathomable to comprehend the long list of symptoms associated with migraine disease. Not to mention how one may be fine one moment and confined to a dark cool room with an ice pack to numb the throbbing pain.

Migraine drastically affects your life and considerably impacts your partners, family, and friends. Dating again still freaks me out but I am blessed to have a tight circle of support and I know in my heart there is someone made for me. With my advocacy journey, I have educated my family and friends, and as a bonus, they can inform others.

What did I struggle with?

I dealt with body image issues, self-esteem, and depression fueled my anxiety. I struggled to answer the thought of being burdened by someone, along with questions, such as when and how much to reveal, paralyzed me. Trauma from past failed attempts at dating echoed into future endeavors; so, I decided not to try at all.

How did I ease my anxiety?

Therapy has helped me tremendously; I went from thinking I was not worthy; to realizing migraine disease is only one part of me. Listed below are tips to ease anxiety when dating.

  • Communicate effectively and go at your own pace. This can reduce the likelihood of flare-ups.
  • Know what you are looking for. Ask yourself if you want marriage, a long-term/short-term relationship, or maybe no strings attached.
  • It's okay to tip-toe into dating again. Rejections are a part of dating unfortunately; however, there are support groups to help you along the way.

How do I feel about dating with migraine now?

It's been four years since my life drastically changed with intractable migraine. Many of us with migraine disease avoid and put off things hoping and waiting for the day our life would return to the old normal. I now have accepted this is my new normal, and I refuse to let migraine take away the hope of sharing my life with someone anymore. Everyone is worthy of love and affection; I am no exception.

What should you take away from this?

Managing migraine attacks can be challenging; remember migraine disease is one aspect of you and all of you. Don't settle; know your worth. The bottom line is if a person is unwilling to acclimate to your disability limitations, they are not the right person for you.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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