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August 25, 2014 by Andrea



Having sickle cell disease and an active dating life can sometimes prove complicated.

Do you share the fact that you have SCD with your new partner? If so, how and when do you do it? In this post, inspired by a recent question on Twitter, we'll give you a few rules to follow that can help make dating with SCD a bit smoother.

Rule #1: Don't divulge too much too soon. You'd never go up to a random stranger and say, "Hi, my name is ______, and I have sickle cell (or anything else for that matter)," so there's no need to give up that information on a first date. Sickle cell does not define you, so it's best to give your new potential mate a chance to get to know you for who you really are first. It's true that waiting too long may cause your partner to feel a lack of trust and honesty, but as you both spend more time together and strengthen your bond, you'll be able to tell when the time is right. The most important thing is that you share this information whenever you feel comfortable doing so.

Rule #2: Refuse to accept any stigma. You don't have sickle cell because you did something wrong. Dispel any myths your significant other may have and explain to him/her that sickle cell is not contagious; rather, it's a disease that can only be inherited when both parents carry the sickle cell gene. As you carry on your discussion, be patient with your partner, listen to any concerns that may arise, and be open with your answers. As with any relationship, good communication is necessary.

Rule #3: Accept what happens. Telling your significant other that you have SCD can go one of two ways: He or she can embrace you and everything that comes with you; or, that person can decide that they're not able to handle the situation. Either way, you've done all you can by being open and honest about your health. If that person is the right fit for you and your life, he/she will stay. If not, there can only be someone better out there who will come along.

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