September 13, 2022
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Arthritis can make dating feel challenging. Here are some of the ways I remind my partner that my arthritis makes me a great catch.
As if dating weren’t already complicated enough, having an autoimmune, inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or psoriatic arthritis (PsA), can make it even harder.
The chronic pain, complicated medications, limited mobility, and fatigue associated with different types of arthritis can make planning adventurous dates and spontaneous romance seem impossible.
Sharing how arthritis affects your life and your future might feel like a no-go topic while dating. It can be difficult talking about the big emotions that come with RA or PsA with someone else. Whether you’re dating someone you’ve just met, or someone you’ve known for a very long time, arthritis can add a complicated layer to any relationship.
Despite what you’re thinking, this article is not a guide on how-to-date with arthritis. Instead, I’m here to share some of the things that I remind my partner about when we both need a giggle. My RA can feel like a heavy topic, and there are times when a good belly laugh solves almost everything.
So, let’s talk about the benefits of dating someone with arthritis. Share these on your next date to break the ice and really get the conversation going.
This article is meant to be comedic and lighthearted.
It is not meant to trivialise our accommodations as benefits. As someone living with RA, I understand that these accommodations are absolute necessities.
But, at times, when I’m feeling particularly disheartened, laughter is the best medicine! It can be nice to think of these accommodations positively when it feels like arthritis only offers you challenges.
This article is meant to highlight the silver lining to the sometimes rainy cloud of arthritis.
We always have nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, or diclofenac, on hand. If you’re lucky, we have acetaminophen, too.
We know the best medications to take for different needs, the best times to take them, and how they might impact you.
No way are we about to let your ravaging headache ruin the date night.
Many people with arthritis have parking placards that allow them to park closer to where they’re going. This is really important when your mobility might be limited. It can also be helpful for unloading very full carts or large purchases.
There’s no need to sweat it in the summer heat, or get all wrapped up in the dead of winter, as you’ll arrive right next to your destination. Arrive in style and with ease.
Some people with RA or PsA may have access to VIP seating at concerts, arenas, and other big events.
One year ago, a group of girlfriends and I went to see The Backstreet Boys. One of my friends with us had severe, uncontrolled back arthritis. The concert was unfortunately on one of her very high pain days and she ended up needing to use a walker to attend the event with us. Suddenly, we were whisked away by security into the “VIP area for canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.” We ended up on this private balcony overlooking the band. We were so close we could feel their spit when they sang!
Large theme parks also often have a separate line for people living with disabilities. This is to accommodate for any extra time needed, the use of assistive devices, like walkers, canes, wheelchairs, and motorized wheelchairs, but also for our medical needs. These lines are not only for those with disabilities but also for members of their party.
So, join us as you become part of the entourage. Sounds like a nice date to me!
People with arthritis might often require medications multiple times a day and water to swallow pills. This is a necessary medical reason to bring drinks into large events, on airplanes, or into other buildings where they are often not allowed.
For those concerts that make you pay $8 for a bottle of water, your date just saved you a bunch of money.
Cooking can be difficult when you have arthritis. Some restaurants are more accommodating than others for healthy, anti-inflammatory options. But places that have these options might also have long wait times, uncomfortable chairs, or standing-room only.
When you date someone with RA or PsA, you most likely have access to a list of the best places to order healthy options from. Usually these places will have a comfortable dining room, or convenient takeout and delivery options.
My family knows my top choices for eating out, delivery, and staying in. We keep handy lists available of what we like from each place so that there are never any last-minute scrambles for orders.
You will most likely be the strongest jar opener, screw tightener, and package opener for all eternity! It is a hassle for me to always ask for help, but I think my husband really likes being helpful.
It’s a modern-day act of chivalry for people who love someone with arthritis.
Living with RA or PsA might mean you have a lot of medical appointments. Limited energy and chronic fatigue also put a lot of blocks in our schedules. This means my husband and family have plenty of time to do what they want to do alone.
This also means that we are typically pretty good at planning, so we’ll let you know when we’ll be around.
And the best reason to date someone with arthritis: loyalty.
Health is one thing you truly cannot buy in life. When you have RA or PsA, you really do value your health and life on a different level. When you value life, you value relationships more. We are very loyal partners. We understand the dedication that it takes to be in a committed relationship with us, and are likely to return the deep commitment.
This article is tongue-in-cheek, but it’s also here to remind you that you are worthy. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of relationships that enrich your life. You deserve intimacy and compassion. Your company is valuable.
There are so many benefits to sharing your life with someone else.
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