People with epilepsy date just like anyone else, and there is no reason that seizures should stop you from having an exciting (if sometimes nerve-wracking) love life. That being said, there are certain things about epilepsy and dating that are important to think about.
Whether you have epilepsy or have just started dating someone with seizures, our guide to epilepsy and dating could help you navigate romance and relationships.
When should you tell someone about your seizures?
Different people feel different things about their epilepsy. You might be perfectly comfortable telling others about it, or you might feel it is something very private to you. Either way it is normally a good idea to let someone that you are dating know about it:
- It means they won't be so surprised if you have a seizure
- It can help explain certain parts of your life (for example if you don't drink much alcohol)
- You can also teach them about seizure first aid in case you have a seizure in their company,
Exactly when you choose to share this information depends on you and how comfortable you feel around them. It might be worthwhile sitting down and telling them that you have something important to discuss about your health.
It is normal to feel worried that your new romantic interest might not react supportively to the fact you have epilepsy. Sadly there is still some stigma around the condition. If he or she is open to learning about your seizures that is normally a good sign. If they have a problem with your epilepsy, it probably means they're not the right person for you anyway.
More advice: 5 tips for telling people about your seizures
Dating someone with seizures
If you have just started dating someone with seizures it might take a little time to process this new information. Epilepsy is a complex condition and can range from fairly mild to quite severe.
Try to be sensitive to your new partner’s needs. Most people with epilepsy will have been living with the condition for years and know how to manage it. Often the best thing you can do is simply try to understand their epilepsy and offer support.
Sometimes epilepsy and dating can be a little complicated because of how it affects what you can do together:
- Your partner may not be allowed to drive
- You might have to plan for travel further in advance
- Their seizures can be triggered by things like alcohol, tiredness, heat or flashing lights which means certain activities are not advisable
- Certain sports are generally not recommended for people with epilepsy
Dating a guy with epilepsy
Every person’s experience with epilepsy is different, and the condition will affect them in different ways. Dating a guy with epilepsy is the same experience as dating any other man. It is useful to know some of the ways epilepsy can affect men:
- Seizure medicine can affect libido
- Certain medication may also affect their emotions
Learn more: Men and epilepsy
Dating a woman with epilepsy
Dating a woman with epilepsy is no different to dating anyone else. However it may affect certain things:
- Could affect certain types of birth control and contraception by making them less effective
- Certain hormones may affect their seizures
Learn more: Women with epilepsy
The importance of communication
Navigating new relationships can be both daunting and exciting in equal measure, and even more so if one of you has epilepsy. But, just like any relationship, communication is perhaps the most important ingredient. Whether you yourself have epilepsy or you are dating someone with seizures, talking about your needs and expectations is the foundation of any happy partnership. Good luck!