Dating with Epilepsy
A question I get asked a lot is “When do I tell someone I’m dating that I have epilepsy?” and my answer to this question is “Whenever you feel it’s right!” There are pros and cons to every time that you open up and tell a potential partner about your epilepsy.
When I was dating, I would always push off telling my boyfriends about my epilepsy. For years, I didn’t speak about it, either publicly or in private. I felt like if I opened up about it, the person would leave me because it can be a lot for someone to take in if they haven’t been around people living with epilepsy before.
I started to open up to people in my life more about my epilepsy when I started having seizures multiple times in the day. It became obvious that if I was dating, I would most likely have a seizure on a date. I made the decision moving forward that I would tell the men I was dating on the third date about my epilepsy. It was a scary commitment to make, but I wanted to make sure that people I was spending time with understood all aspects of my life that could affect our relationship. If they couldn’t handle my epilepsy, then they didn’t deserve to spend time with me.
I also wanted to make sure that I was safe so wanted to ensure all the people in my life we trained with seizure first aid and knew what to do if I had a seizure when I was with them.
I never had anyone I was dating react poorly to me telling them I had epilepsy, but I can also imagine how quickly the situation could turn if the person was not understanding.
The biggest thing is that you know your epilepsy. If you feel safer telling someone that you’re dating about your epilepsy, it may be beneficial. If you feel like you’re not ready, then that is okay too! There is no right and wrong when it comes to this question – just always remember you have a community at the BC Epilepsy Society to support you!