Updated: Oct 6
Now what can I, a 45 year old, know about Young Warrior Partners you may ask yourself...
What can I say that will inspire and empower young chronic warriors that are looking for love but fear they'll never find it because of their illness?
I asked myself the same question…
Guess I’ll have to dig into the archives of my memory to tell you about my experiences in my teens and early twenties and how I hid my conditions from anyone I dated - well, from most people actually. I was embarrassed, had no diagnosis to even be able to explain it and hadn't come to terms with any of it; but it's not something I recommend.
I didn't really realise the toll it took on me mentally, emotionally and physically until later on in life.
I thought it was better to hide that part of myself so that I could avoid rejection and feeling vulnerable; not realising that if someone is for me, they will accept me as I am.
Hiding what I was experiencing was, in a way, denying who I was and adding to the trauma of living with chronic illness.
After many years of working on my mindset, I finally got to a place of self-acceptance, self-worth and self-love which empowered me to be open and honest about my health, realise my value and be more discerning about who I let into my world.
As my thoughts and feelings about myself became more positive and I had more life experience, my view of dating and relationships changed.
I gained more understanding about what is really important in a relationship and identified my priority list; accepting that it's unlikely that a partner will tick every box of requirements.
I also came to the realisation that if someone was unable to accept my situation, it wasn't due to me being unworthy but more about them. That's not to say that if a guy couldn't or didn't want to be with someone in my position it meant they were a bad guy, it just meant they weren’t the guy for me.
I mean, let's face it, chronic illness is hard enough for us to cope with and understand...it definitely takes certain characteristics and qualities from both parties to build and maintain a relationship; which can be challenging enough without the added element of chronic illness.
My message to those seeking love is:
Identify and be confident in what you can add to a relationship
Let your light shine brighter than your illness
Do not undervalue yourself
Do not lower your standards because of your condition
Identify and stand strong in what you need from a partner
Talking to this month's guests was such a delight and further proof that chronic illness and love can happen.
So, whether you're a young one or getting on a bit, I hope you don't give up on love because I truly believe there’s someone out there for every single one of us 💖
Part 1 Sunday 10th October with Daniel Parkes
Part 2 Sunday 24th October with Adam Halladay