To Share or Not to Share Your Condition on a First Date?

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Dating with hydrocephalusBy Holly Senatore, guest blogger

On a date, there are certain things about yourself you do not have to tell the other person at first. For example, if you have a child, you do not necessarily share this with someone on a first date. At my age, being 30, several of my friends have kids and are single. When they go on dates, it is up to them when to bring up this topic.

I had my second date last night with a pretty nice guy. Offhand, we got along and could laugh as well as have serious conversations. Then, while sitting next to me, he commented on the way my hair looked that night while simultaneously running his hand through it.

I knew he had felt the areas where I had a shunt. How could he not? What thoughts were running through his mind at that point? To me, the shunt valve creates a raised bump like someone has just been hit in the head by a volleyball…it is so obvious. Yet, he did not say a word. I knew this could happen, though.

Other people have a choice of revealing when and how to tell those in their lives about their vulnerabilities. In my own experience, there have been and always will be many times that I am forced to tell others about my condition. Telling teachers at school about hydrocephalus, explaining my condition to employers or colleagues, and eventually when I feel comfortable, telling those who I would like to be close to me.

Many people whom I am close with or have spoken to, loath the first date with someone new. Myself, I enjoy them the most, because that is when I feel I can be like everyone else. The gentleman does not have to know all of the serious aspects that come along with hydrocephalus. For a time, I can see what it is like to be like someone without hydrocephalus.

It is not that I am afraid of having hydrocephalus; it is not that I feel it makes me weaker. To the contrary, I feel that having hydrocephalus since birth has helped me to be a tenacious person, and it has helped me to understand what other people are going through.

I came to the realization that I cannot fear what has made me so strong, and I obviously cannot run from it. I saw a post on Facebook about fear the other day and I really liked it, as it applies to how I deal with hydrocephalus and how it impacts my life. ”Forget Everything and Run or Face Everything and Rise. “

You can decide when to let someone run their hands through your hair. Life is full of bumps in the road – or on the head, in our case. If that deters them, then maybe they weren’t the right person anyway.


1 Comments for : To Share or Not to Share Your Condition on a First Date?
    • Kris
    • June 22, 2016

    Hi Holly,

    I liked your article and as a woman with hydrocephalus who is entering the dating world, it really resonated with me. The issue seems to be that if you tell a potential romantic partner too early about your condition, they may not get the chance to know you merely as a woman, not a “woman who has hydrocephalus” but if you delay telling them until you are in a relationship or they have become connected to you, they may feel as if you have been deliberately deceptive and that could color their perception of your integrity.

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