Or should we say dating in-confidence?
You may have never thought you'd be dating with incontinence, but here you are. Let us be the first to tell you – you're not the only one! That's why we've put together a few tips in the form of a Q&A to help you start dating with confidence, even if you're incontinent.
When Should I Tell My Date?
When you first start dating (again), don't worry about telling anyone about your incontinence upfront. You'll run the risk of potential dates declining to get to know you. But, like any medical condition, once they've developed a relationship with you, this news won't be a dealbreaker.
Remember, the beginning stages of dating is a social interaction, not an intimate one. So there's no need to put this on your profile or tell anyone on the first date. Just have fun with the people you're meeting and focus on finding someone you can have a genuine connection with. It might seem daunting to you, but the right person isn't going to mind that you're incontinent. We've heard it from men and women alike – incontinence is a non-issue for many people when they're romantically involved. Just check out this archived Reddit post on the topic!
After a few great dates, when you know you want to invest in the relationship, but before you start to get physical – this is the perfect time to tell your date. It's not until you've established a connection that you'll want to share your medical condition with your date.
How Should I Tell My Date I Am Incontinent?
You've made it past a few bad dates and found someone you want to spend more time with. Congratulations – that's half the struggle! But naturally, you're nervous about telling your new date that you have incontinence.
Depending on your communication style, you might try telling your date a few different ways (which we've highlighted below). But whatever you do, be authentic to yourself in how you tell them – whether that be with sincerity or humour depends on you! Here are a few ideas, choose what works for you and leave the rest:
- Tell them by leading with a story woven with some humour. If you're naturally gregarious, there's no reason you need to get dry here. Let them know that you realize this is a quirky situation, and share the story in a way that feels open and invites discussion.
- Alternatively, you might open with "I have a medical condition that I'd like to talk to you about." Share some of your backstory (as much as is relevant or you're comfortable sharing), then make sure they understand this means you're incontinent – it would be a shame to leave out this important detail.
- Tell them how you manage it or what it means for you to be incontinent. Of course, you aren't expected to share more than you're comfortable with, but it can help to put yourself in their shoes and answer a few of their questions in advance – they might be too nervous or polite to ask.
- If you're comfortable telling them in person, try to share the news somewhere quiet where you'll have privacy to talk. In other words, don't tell them at a restaurant where a server could interrupt you at any moment. "No more drinks for me, thanks!"
- Tell them over the phone if you're worried about seeing their facial expressions, but please don't take any silences to heart – your date is just processing the new information. Ask them if they have any questions, and then let them take the night to think about what you've shared.
- Avoid telling your date right before you expect to be intimate. If you're just about to take off your clothes, it might be too late!
- Let them know that you don't expect any extra support from them at this stage of the relationship (provided that this is true for you) but that you wanted to be honest and upfront.
- Let them know that this is a common issue that millions of men and women deal with. If they're the analytical or curious type, provide them with resources to learn more.
Any Other Tips for Dating with Incontinence?
Remember that dating with incontinence probably bothers you more than it bothers your partner. A good quality person will accept the news more easily than you might expect.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonation, and citrus on the first few dates, as they can irritate your bladder and cause accidents. Also read out post on how to deal with incontinence in a bathing suit if you're planning a beach or lakefront retreat together.
Use a PeapodMat during sex to help you absorb any accidental leaks. This mat is leakproof, machine washable, and reusable, so you can share intimate evenings over and over (...and over). Lucky you!