Date A Guy With Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease (and/or Colitis) is a chronic, incurable, immune-related disease that eats its way around your colon and small intestine. Your immune system (for some reason) starts attacking that area causing massive weight loss, painful cramps, internal bleeding, loss of energy/cognitive thinking ability, and frequent trips to the bathroom. To top it all off, Doctors don’t know what causes it or how to cure it.

But amidst all of that chaos, Crohn’s has a bright side.

I’m a big believer in making your situations work for you to the best they can. We too often let our attitudes be reflections of a situation, when really; we should be cultivating powerful attitudes to change the situations we’re in for the better. It takes a lot of guts (pun intended) for someone with Crohn’s to see the bright side of what they have, so let’s hope this can act as some sort of inspiration. Crohn’s might get angry, throw a tantrum and try to kill you, but that doesn’t mean you have to. As with any disease, the extent to which it affects our daily behaviours is minimal… unless we let it.

I’ve come across many men with Crohn’s. They’re insecure about it, no doubt. But they also turn out to be the most deep, thought-provoking, life-appreciating individuals I’ve ever met. They understand that life is too short to not love. They understand pain and suffering. They understand the importance of unity and affection. Yet, many of them find their disease a burden and don’t want to burden others with it.

I once met a young gentleman like this. We joked about dating and he said to me, “I don’t think I’ll ever get a girlfriend, I’m just a burden.” His words struck me. Is this thinking normal? How could one condition mask all the other amazing qualities of this young man? So I had to write this piece.

Ladies, date a guy with Crohn’s Disease because…

1.) He can relate to what PMS feels like.
– Let’s face it. With Crohn’s disease, he gets the painful cramps and stomach aches. He gets moody as well, but learns to control it because the problem reoccurs on a daily basis. Above all, he knows what it feels like to lose blood from an exit point in the lower half of your body. Problem is he doesn’t have a tampon or pad built specifically for him. But all in all, a guy with Crohn’s can relate to all your symptoms. He’s probably had a year’s worth of ‘periods’ in just a few days.

2.) He knows where all the best washrooms are.
– Oh believe me. With Crohn’s, he has a built in radar that is able to detect where several washrooms are within a given vicinity. For him this is useful because when the poo-mergency warning sign comes in, he has a few minutes before he drops the bomb. For you ladies, he’ll always be able to direct you to the nearest washroom given your own emergencies (whether related to the toilet or make-up).

3.) You’ll get to see more of his sensitive side.
– No guy likes talking about sensitive issues like the consistent flow of blood from their anus. But because Crohn’s requires daily management, you’ll know about it, you can talk about it and you can share in his pains. In turn, you’ll be able to connect better with him and he with you. I’ve seen countless couples get closer together when faced with adversity like Crohn’s, and the outcome was always a stronger bond. Crohn’s is a journey you take together.

4.) He’s very health conscious.
– Though Crohn’s has no known cure, some studies have shown that certain (yet major) dietary changes can lessen the diseases effect on the body. He’ll be eating healthy, and so will you! What a great influence huh? Your waistline will be thanking him.

5.) He’s a wonderful cook.
– SUCH A BONUS! Crohn’s guys (since they’re so health conscious) are also well versed cooks in the art of healthy eating. They’d know that avocado is a great replacement for butter in many cases, that clean filtered water trumps any drink, and that you really need to practice portion control with your desserts.

6.) He’s super concerned with your health.
– Just assume whenever anything bad happens to you, he’ll be there with a caring heart and a ton of love. He’s been through some bad shit (pun intended) and he’ll do everything in his power to make sure you don’t go through the same.

7.) He can advise on the best toilet paper.
– I’d think anyone with Crohn’s Disease would be an expert on the best toilet paper.

8.) He knows a great deal about the medical field (for someone that isn’t a doctor)
– He’s consistently doing research and keeping up to date with the latest in health. Heck, he might even have a few natural remedies up his belt with all the crazy things he’s spent his time in bed reading.

9.) He shares in your accidents.
– Ever had an unexpected period make its way into staining your favorite pair of pants? In some twisted way, he has as well. Now you have someone to laugh with.

10.) His experiences have hardened him into a better person.
– Negative experiences always do, especially those that try to bring you down on a daily basis.

11.) He tries to understand you.
– His condition is very misunderstood by many, so he knows the feeling. It teaches him that understanding other people and their circumstances in important. I mean really, aren’t we all longing to be understood?

12.) He’s patient.
– Learning to deal with a chronic disease, especially Crohn’s, can take a lifetime to master. He understands first hand that great things take time, and so he’ll have no problem being patient when a situation calls for it.

13.) He gives.
– He starts noticing those around him in need, and is pushed to give more and become involved in charities and initiatives related to health (not necessarily just Crohn’s).

14.) He can be a great role model for your kids.
– Positive attitude and striving for excellence WITH a chronic disease? How is that NOT inspirational?

15.) He appreciates the little things in life.
– Walks in the park, sharing a slice of cake, small tidbits of affection – these are what make him feel alive because…

16.) He appreciates life a lot more.
– When you live with something like Crohn’s (or any chronic disease for that matter), you feel the weight of the world every single day. The more serious stages of Crohn’s CAN kill you, and the disease can evolve as it pleases. Date a guy with Crohn’s, or at the very least, a guy that genuinely appreciate being alive. You won’t regret a moment of it. To a guy with Crohn’s disease, love is a verb, and he will make an effort to show you every day that he loves you. Because like others with a chronic disease, he just doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be in good health to experience and explore each and every bit of you.

Let’s face it. No one wants to be sick, let alone chronically ill. But life deals you a hand, and you make the most of it. I wrote this article because I know quite a few people with this debilitating condition. I knew of a friend that went through several surgeries and hasn’t been the same since. I knew of a mother of a friend that passed after just a few years after she was diagnosed with it. I knew of an older gentleman that now lives at the hospital hooked up to a machine.

When you have a chronic/terminal condition, you inspire others in the same situation. You give them hope that life isn’t over just because of a bad circumstance, instead, it’s just starting and blossoming into something great. All you need to do is see and show others the silver lining.



58 thoughts on “Date A Guy With Crohn’s Disease

  1. anon

    Thank you for posting this. I have been fighting Crohns since I was a teen, and as a working professional, I find it difficult some days just to make it through a full day of intense work just to collapse on my bed and try to pretend it doesn’t hurt. On days like today where I am either having bad cramps or severe diarrhea I ask myself what the point of it all is. Sometimes, seeing some form of empathy like this is enough to help me to see through to tomorrow.

    This made my dy, thank you.

    1. M.A. Post author

      Glad I could help. Stay strong =)
      Join a support group in your local hospital. I find they always help, especially when others need encouragement. You can be such an inspiration to others.

      1. Steve

        You know what’s funny…I googled this article because I wanted to see what women would read at the start of dating me. Of course I have Crohns Disease, I’ve had it for 12 years. I’m 32. I Also had a rare form of cancer that almost killed me when I was 28. But getting back to the point I wanted to read what she would read if she was wondering what it would be like to date a guy with Crohn’s. And it’s truly fascinating that every positive and negative personality trait along with the learneded behaviors fit me to a perfect tee. So ladies and gentlemen if your reading this after the article, I’m here to tell you the author of this article is 100% percent right. I am that man and I’m proud to be that man and from the moment I was diagnosed I was determined to get stronger, mentally and physically everyday. Even when I had my bad days. Sometimes I think there is a reason I was genetically dealt this hand. And looking through the eyes of someone who doesn’t have Crohn’s, one might say they may feel emotions of sorrow. I not gonna say I’m glad I have it because it F*#^ing sucks. But it has made me a great, strong, patient and loving man who admires the small things and seeks adventure in knowing the greater unknowns…of course before I go seeking I map out the washrooms and make sure I have a roll of tp in my trunk. This is my testimony….And for those who have Crohn’s or any other debilitating disease, fight and never stop. Know that you may be different, but that “different” will make you, define you, and innovate you.

        Thank you for writing the above article.

    2. Jess

      This is great! I have had Crohn’s disease since I was a teenager and it’s so important to have a positive attitude and appreciate life and the good days that we have because we never know how long they’ll last or when they’ll come again.

  2. Pingback: Date a guy with Crohn’s Disease | Cupid is on vacation

  3. Kelly

    Good read! Thank you for this. As someone living with Crohn’s and having my father almost die from it, I definitely appreciate life now. Funny how that works…

  4. Annette

    There should be a website for people to meet each other, I’d love to date so wine who understood my disease:)

    1. M.A. Post author

      Completely agree =)
      Maybe someone should make a dating website specifically for those with any chronic/terminal disease.

  5. Afidz

    Crohn’s is NOT flesh eating. Obviously you don’t have the disease if you think thats what it is. Do your research before you right an article. Its because of people like you that no one knows what Crohn’s is.

      1. M.A. Post author

        Hey bud, sorry about that. I see your point as well. Different literature always seems to point at different labels, so I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’ll remove that portion if it makes it easier. Thanks for letting me know.

    1. mimfatmi

      hi, medical student here. crohn’s is about as “flesh eating” as far as anything beyond science fiction goes. and no, in case you’re wondering, necrotizing fasciitis is not actually a flesh-eating bacteria, the bacteria don’t “eat” anything. however with crohn’s you can get full thickness inflammation of the bowel lining, so just use your imagination a little bit -_- also, my friend is far too nice to correct you but he does indeed have crohn’s.

  6. Jonathan

    I got a great laugh out of this article. I appreciate your blunt humor in the matter. As a long time Crohn’s patient I’ve had the exact same insecurities as some of the guys you have known. You almost want to avoid relationships because you are tired of trying to hide your symptoms from people. Although I’m certainly not a perfect guy, your article made me realize that a lot of my best qualities like understanding, patience, concern, and even cooking skills, are probably a result of my disease. I certainly never thought to attribute the good parts of my personality to such a horrible and life-debilitating disease.

    Also, reason #2 is absolutely true, in case anybody wondered if there was over-exaggeration going on there. I promise you it is no lie.

    1. M.A. Post author

      Thanks for that Jonathan. I always find that humor and positive reframing are the best coping mechanisms to deal with any situation like this. I completely understand where you’re coming from with respect to attributing anything positive to such a disease. Here’s a quote that resonated with me today.

      “Perfectionism is a slow death. If everything were to turn out just like I would want it to, just like I would plan for it to, then I would never experience anything new; my life would be an endless repetition of stale successes. When I make a mistake, I experience something unexpected. . . . when I have listened to my mistakes, I have grown.”
      ― Hugh Prather

  7. maxpower18

    Hi there M.A., how are you? Thank you for the article! So many people just do not know or understand what IBD is. Are you single M.A.?
    Your article describes me very, very accurately. I have every single trait listed. I have IBD (tests conlifct between Crohn’s & UC so i just usually will say IBD). When I flare it is only in my lower tract so it’s most likely UC, however it sometmes reaches my illeocecal valve and ill get a lot of those gross, embarrassing anal and colon problems associated with UC (recovering from a hemmerhoidectamy & to fix some abcesses right now).
    Anyway, I have trouble dating and have never had a long, serious relationship (1.5 + years). I’ve had a bunch of short ones, flings, or I end up in the dreaded friend zone or maybe as a FWB but they never last and never anything serious. I’ve discovered i just can’t deal with these short flings and can’t have meaningless sex anymore (I used to be able to until maybe few years ago). I’m 35, i live in Albany,NY and looking for something long lasting. And yes I have a job with awesome benefits, my own car and my own apartment. :-)
    Also, just curious how many of you mention your condition on the 1st or 2nd date? It went over well some of the time… otherwise prepare to be friend zone’d or perhaps nothing at all.

  8. swefranklin

    I love this post- thank you for sharing your positive perspective! My husband has ulcerative colitis and shared this with me, and it really brightened his day to read it. Sometimes we forget to remember our blessings when we are so caught up in the health problems. We feel very fortunate to relate to most of the reasons you wrote about. I have started blogging about our experience with the disease as young newlyweds. Would it be ok if I shared this post on my blog?

    1. M.A. Post author

      Absolutely. =)
      Thank you for the wonderful comment. I wish your husband well!
      Please share your blog with me also. I’d love to keep up.

  9. Amy

    Thank you for writing this article. I found it hit very close to home. I have Crohns and was in a serious relationship and even engaged. Over time he became very cold and not as understanding as he first appeared to be. I know dating someone with Crohns or any chronic illness is not always a pleasant walk in the park but as a sufferer my days are not the best either. I would love to find someone to just be caring and understanding and WANT to be there for me not just because they feel obligated. I learned a lot from my relationship and I am glad for that, but being told ” I talk about my illness too much” hurt me. I truly do not talk about it all the time, I don’t want to, its not a fun topic. But there are days when I had to just to vent a little. I guess when the time is right I will find the one for me. I do think it would be great to have a dating sight or even a site where you can converse with singles that are dealing with Crohns or even other chronic illnesses. I live in Pennsylvania and am wondering if any others that wrote on your site are as well?

    Thanks again for writing the article! You did brighten my day!

    1. M.A. Post author

      Hi Amy,

      I’m sorry to hear about all your experiences, and completely understand where you’re coming from. We all have things we want to vent about, and I found when I joke about my Crohn’s every now and then, people can’t seem to take it because a.) they cannot relate and b.) it’s too “dark”. I wrote this from the point of view of someone who saw the bright side and made it work. It’s a personal experience, but I have the attitude “If I can do it, anyone can.” You can do that exact same. You’re strong, that’s easy to see; and deserve someone equally as strong to be able to keep up with what you’re going through. Try joining events and support groups for IBD. You meet some amazing people that lift your spirits. The CCFA page is also great to chat with individuals. I hope everything works out for you. Feel free to shoot me a message if you’d like to chat some more. It would be a pleasure.


    2. Richard Hughes

      Hi Amy,

      I was diagnosed with Crohn’s when I was 8 so believe me I can relate especially when it comes to dealing with members of the opposite sex. I live in Louisiana and thankfully not too far from Houston which is where I found the best doctors whom I feel saved me life on more than one occasion! I have had women break up with me in the past telling me I am just always sick and that is all I talk about at times. Well, it is a huge part of my life, so of course I am going to talk about it and even want to talk about it. I’m new to this website so I’m not sure if you’ll receive it. I really hope you do because it would be nice to chat with someone who understands.

      My name is Rich by the way. So if you get a chance, drop me an email sometimes. I would love to discuss each others’ situations in more detail!


      1. Grace Schenck

        Hello Rich!!! My name is Grace and I am 26 and have had Crohns since I was 11. Although its a pain I have learned to live with it. It is just part of who I am. I’d like to correspond with you if you would like. My e-mail is Send me a note.:)

      2. Amy

        Hi Rich, I am not sure why but I just now got your message on this site. It would be great to chat if you would like. I am not sure how this site works exactly but if you have an email address, maybe we could chat that way? Take care and be strong!

    3. Jay

      This is 100% random, and I don’t want to sound like a creep. But my brother has Crohns and also lives in PA. Where about are you?!

      1. Amy

        I do not think you are I live in Erie. I would be more than happy to chat with you or your brother. I am always happy to find others that can relate to what I deal with daily and also know how hard it is to find a significant other that will stick by your side no matter what!

      2. Amy

        Hi there, I emailed you from my gmail account. I hope to hear from you soon! Take care

  10. pingelday

    Thanks for posting this, M.A., I know my husband appreciates this (he’s the one who sent me here).
    As the wife of someone with Crohn’s disease, I think I can add a few things:
    1. On top of being sympathetic to PMS cramps, I have found that my husband knows every possible remedy for any nausea/digestive related symptom. His go to is a home-made ginger lemon tea, but I can’t really stand anything tea related, so he turns to several other tricks he has depending on the day (lying on a certain side, peppermints, hot baths, etc.). Now that we have a one year old struggling to adjust to his new diet, my husband instinctively knows how to help the baby with constipation and diarrhea, which is a huge relief.
    2. His experiences help me appreciate how fortunate I am to have a healthy body. I mean, it’s not perfect (my eyesight SUCKS), but I’ve seen how much Crohn’s affects his day to day life and the discipline he needs to keep it under control. Even after just a few weeks of dating, I remember walking home and feeling so incredibly grateful for the health I’ve been blessed with. Up until that point I had kind of taken it for granted and assumed that I would always be healthy, but being with my husband has really shown me that good health is a gift, not a guarantee.
    3. Guilt free farts (or should I say dairy air since I’m a lady?). My husband gets the unpleasant gas side effect and got teased a lot as a teenager by his family for it. I know it can be pretty painful to hold in, so I make sure my hubby feels comfortable letting it go when he needs to. In return, I never have to worry about holding it in, either!
    Good luck to all of you with Crohn’s/Colitis and thank you for all you do for those of us without it.

  11. S.P.

    I am probably the best looking 21 year old college student who had Crohn’s for about 6 years and I have to say that it has fucked up my dating/social life in every possible way. To the point that I am fine now, with steroids that is. However, I have just completely become anti-social and my self esteem has dropped below zero, I can’t even ask a female out because I can’t handle hearing a “no”. I can’t sleep without Benzos, I can’t function without Anti-Depressants. Not too mention, I already have been angry before Crohn’s, but now I am in a state of endless rage, to the point that I don’t know what to expect from myself next. All that said, I don’t see myself in a serious relationship anytime soon…

  12. Jenny Ward

    This is very good and very accurate, my partner has UC and he is just the most amazing person I know. He is patient, understanding and a great role model to our children. And yes, he does know the nearest and cleanest toilets in dublin which is always a bonus 👍 great post well done x

  13. mangiapaleo

    This is such a great post! The only downfall for me to date a Crohns guy is that we definitely need two bathrooms! I have UC.:) Anyways, thanks for sharing this post. I love your positive attitude to such a debilitating IBD. You’re awesome!

  14. Jake

    Thank you for this amazing article. I just turned 21, and was diagnosed in 2008. It has been a long, rough, and crazy bumpy ride these last coming up on 6 years now. Though to be honest? I thought the same thing that young gentlemen said. I think I’m just a burden. And I worry about my future just in general.

    My life has definitely changed because of this disease, and it has been hard. I’ve never been on a date, and really only have 2 close friends. Reading this made me have a little bit more hope. I’ve been really down in the dumps lately, health wise I’m not great, but not terrible at the moment. On some strong medication and steroids as well. This made me happy to read that at least some people, out there, think this.

    Just last year, I was in a terrible flare. I was hospitalized for a month. And I couldn’t eat for about 2 months. All I had was a PICC line and steroids. Those few months were the worst of my life.

    I am doing better now (Thankfully), still having issues here and there..though I’ve been doing my best to better myself not only health wise, but mentally wise too.

    Thank you again for this article. It made me happy to read this. And it’s all completely true.

    1. Jake

      One of my favorite quotes, I forgot to put. I hope someone else could relate to this, and also enjoys this quote. Best of luck to all you “Crohnies” and UC!

      “We don’t know how strong we are, until being strong is the only choice.”

  15. Eric

    I blew a girl off because she wanted to date me because of crohns, I figured, once I go not feeling well, or other things, she will break up with me anyway. Thanks for writing this, because it depends on the girl. We can’t always assume things.

  16. Pingback: Dating with Crohn’s | King of Thrones

  17. Ryan

    This is a great article, I’ve been fighting Crohn’s disease since I was 7 and am now 16. Being a teen living with this disease is tough and these kinds of articles really make me smile and see the good in life(:

  18. Jay

    My brother has been struggling with Crohns now for about 6 years. I have seen it ruin every single relationship he has been in since his diagnosis. He is unable to work and has been fighting for disability for over 2 years. His most recent relationship is in the midst of a crash and I can honestly say it is because he is sick. He really needs some positive vibes, so I’ve been searching the internet for things to send him. This article doesn’t make the cut, but only because apparently where we live women are selfish and shallow and cold hearted. She dumped him less than a week after he had a surgery to repair 3 abdominal hernias in the scar tissue from his bowel reduction. Not a nice person – although she was my best friend in high school.😦

  19. J

    I Wish my guy was like this. He frequently shuts me out no matter how hard I try. I tried to look up some home remedies to help with a flare (he’s exhausting Pharms) he was having but my suggestions were met with angry “you’ll never understand. You don’t know.” I can’t even get him to give me a side dish recommendation so I could cook him dinner since eating out is touch and go. He just says we should eat apart and he’s annoyed with me for asking. I know he genuinely is a wonderful person (I think) but I’m emotionally exhausted and have my own health issues that have come up. I think maybe I should give up and let him be. I wish I could send him this article to show him that we can go through this together and get something good out of it.

    Thank you for writing this.

    1. Sara

      I know that everybody’s different both in how they handle the situation as well as in the severity of the disease and the way it affects their lives. But, just for the record, I really REALLY hate food. I’m scared stiffed of it. There’s no edible substance in existence which does not give me physical discomfort at best. Even food that taste good in my mouth does not feel natural to swallow, and a life time of being forced to eat “normal healthy food” has broken me down mentally. As a result I’ve been unable to cook or even prepare food for several years now. It’s so bad I can freak out by merely looking at an ad with pictures of raw meat or chicken. But everyone’s gotta eat, right? So to survive, I’ve had to develop an attitude that it’s just food and I’ve distanced myself from it. After all, it’s not really the end of the world. It IS just food. I eat because I have to and then I try not to think about it until the next meal.

      Because of this, my husband and I have been eating separate dinners for years. The initial sadness when watching him munch a pizza or other tasty takeaways is nothing compared to the fear of actually having to eat any of those things myself, and as time has passed by, I now don’t really care what he eats any more as long as it makes him happy and he keeps it far away from me.

      Eating apart (or in our case, eating together but different meals) is not the end of the world, and it saves energy that can be used to do other things instead, like watching a movie or just spend a quiet afternoon together.

      If your guy also finds eating more a chore than a joy, and the thought of ordering take-outs is giving him sweaty palms, then perhaps just letting go of the idea of using food to treat yourselves at this moment in your lives could be useful, and instead try focusing on other ways to share quality moments together which does not involve extensive usage of the digestive system.
      (Please make sure that he does eat something though, but don’t be surprised if there’s no joy or pleasure connected to it.)

      Just my two cents.
      I hope things will work out for you and your partner and that your own health issues will take a turn for the better:)

  20. Karen Kerchner

    This made my day. I am dating a man with Crohns. I see all these qualities in him and love him more because of these qualities. He enjoys making others laugh and is very good at putting a smile on the grocery clerk, the bank teller and the waitress and on my face. I think he enjoys their smile reflecting back to him as he has been through a lot of pain and well nasty illness. Mostly, he understands and wants to brighten their days. I love and admire him for this. Thanks for a great article.


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