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Is there a right time to reveal serious health issues to potential mates?
By Tom Blake
As we age, many people develop serious health problems.
For singles, who are dating, an important consideration is: when do you reveal your condition to a new person you meet and like?
You fear rejection. You are afraid if you reveal your ailment, the person will disappear. And yet you are an honest individual and want to be fair.
When do you have that health conversation? Is there a good time?
Yvonne says, “Maybe not on the first date, but within the first five. At least then your date knows exactly what he’s dealing with and he can decide how to proceed. Some dates will run, and that’s OK. But with honesty up front, there is no sense of having been deceived later on.”
Mary said, “After a few dates and if you sense that it might become an on-going relationship, you owe it to your companion to reveal health issues. It happened to me when I went on lymphoma cancer watch. I told the man I was dating, even before I told my adult children.
“After two years of scans and lab work, I was declared OK. The person I shared this with had cared for his wife for a number of years and I thought he deserved to know so he could leave if this troubled him. He didn’t leave until a year later, for different reasons.”
Daryl met a man online whose profile stated he loved flying his own plane and hiking at his cabin in Colorado.
She said, “He was a nice fellow who was anxious to meet for lunch. I arrived first and was watching out the window when he drove up. The problem was immediately clear when he had difficulty getting out of his automobile. Chunky but not obese, he commented that his knees needed ‘replacing.’
“When I mentioned that I walk every day with my 90-pound pooch, he was frank enough to say he was unable to walk down the block. The lunch was nice. Had he indicated he was scheduling the surgery, I would have kept up a phone relationship, but he was ‘putting off the surgery.’ No way.”
Claire dated a man for two months. She noticed at times he had red blotches on his hands. When she asked about them, he said he had banged his hand on something. Claire said, “Three months into our relationship, he confessed he was dying from a rare type of cancer from which there was no cure. We cried together when he revealed this to me.
“He said each time I came to his house, he hid the calendar that had his doctors appointments on it and his prescriptions because if I knew about his illness, I would break off the relationship. I broke it off because I was beginning to love him and feeling an attachment to him. I did not want to go through losing him.”
Sid, 70, said, “I was a care-taker for my wife for six years before she passed away from breast cancer, and I don’t want to go through that again, especially in my later years. My advice is to have the conversation sooner rather than later and before becoming intimate.”
The consensus: Be honest. Reveal your condition within a few dates.
To comment, email Tom at email@example.com.
The next Meet & Greet for singles age 50 plus is Wednesday, December 18, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point. The event will feature Carl the DJ and a fun, white elephant gift exchange. For more details, visit www.tutorandspunkys.com.
Tom Blake is a Dana Point business owner and San Clemente resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at www.findingloveafter50.com for more dating advice.
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