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Swipe Right: Dating With Migraine
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The last guy I was dating thought I was using my migraine episodes as an excuse not to see him.

Don't sell yourself short. Regardless of my health issues, I don't want to date someone with that attitude. So I'm glad he revealed who he was before I got attached. But as with so many things in life, you can enjoy dating as a migraine warrior; it just takes a little more planning, effort, and patience.

If you don't learn how to say “no,” your body will end up saying it for you. You need to know your needs and boundaries and be firm about them. Knowing your limitations also helps you set expectations with the other person. 

When should you reveal that you are a migraine warrior when dating? I'm sure opinions vary. I've been known to disclose that I'm a migraine warrior on a first date.

It achieves a few things. 1) It communicates your interest, 2) It lets them know what to expect, and 3) realistically, it is the short version (they don't need to know the details until later on), and most of the time, it won't matter until later on anyway.

If they can't deal with the specifics of your life, how will they deal with your migraine triggers and attacks during a relationship? 

The migraine journey is an internally lonely experience, so finding someone with the "acts of service" love language may be helpful. For example, my friend and her husband both have acts of service as their primary love language. It works well because he enjoys taking care of her and she feels loved when he does. It always comes back to balance.

What does the reality of living with chronic migraine look like for you? Save this post for when you're trying to explain why migraine is so much more than just a headache to someone you're dating.

  • Doing everything "right" and still getting an attack.
  • Always being on high alert for potential triggers and a worsening of symptoms.
  • Lying in bed for hours and hours, in silence, alone in the dark.
  • Deliberating overtaking acute meds and rationing pain medication.
  • Feeling guilty for canceling outings and asking for accommodations.
  • Living in fear of your next attack despite having them all the time.
  • Constantly being somewhere in the migraine attack cycle.
  • Resting before and after doing anything.
  • Not being able to drive very far at night, or at all.

It is so crucial to communicate when you are not at 100%. A long-term partner needs to accept your migraine attacks. Life with migraine is hard enough without your significant other complicating issues and making it more challenging. If your condition is a deal breaker for them, it should be a deal breaker for you.

Be patient. The right person will come along -- don't force it. Anything is possible if you open yourself up to it. So be honest, see what happens. 

Sending light and peace your way, fellow migraine warriors.


Tap into a community of fellow migraineurs on Facebook. Learn, share, connect in our Migraine Support Community.


Photo Credit: Adene Sanchez / E+ via Getty Images

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Naki Carter

Naki Carter

Diagnosed since 2001

For nearly 20 years, Naki Carter has been living with migraine. Formerly an award-winning journalist, she is committed to ending the stigma around the invisible illness. Carter lives in South Florida near lots of family and friends, where she enjoys a daily dose of “vitamin sea.” Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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