My Boyfriend Dumped Me Because He Couldn’t Handle My IBS

He was really smart and funny and appreciated how smart and funny I was, which was promising. It was the first relationship I could see going somewhere, the first one that didn’t just burn out after a few months. Then I was diagnosed with IBS and it all went to, well, you get the idea.

  1. We met online but I made him wait to move things into the real world. While I’ve since gone on an online dating detox, as the time, I was active on multiple sites and apps since I wanted to cast my net as wide as possible. I always liked talking to guys for a while before actually meeting in person to save myself the trouble of going out with someone I wasn’t compatible with. When I matched with this guy, he sent me a funny message and we hit it off right away. He checked off everything on my list. He was exactly my type and I fell hard for it.
  2. My expectations started to rise because of how close we became. Once we started hanging out in person, we got closer quickly both physically and emotionally. He listened to me talk without complaining and that’s essentially my favorite thing to do. Eventually, I wanted to make things official. After a month or two of dating, I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with at least talking about where the relationship is going. After all, I want to know whether I’m investing in something that will end up being a dead end.
  3. I started having health problems that affected the time we spent together.  A month or so in, I started to have some weird issues—stuff that you don’t really want to have to bring up to your brand-new beau. There was one time I was feeling so nauseous and had the urge to go to the bathroom that I ran out on our date. Sometimes I couldn’t even hide the fact that I was uncomfortable because I was also having severe abdominal pains.
  4. I went to a gastroenterologist and was diagnosed with IBS. After countless appointments, medications, an ultrasound and even a colonoscopy, I was diagnosed with IBS. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a really common disorder that affects your large intestine. The symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation or both. My favorite part about it so far is that it’s a chronic condition, which means that it needs to be managed long-term.
  5. He couldn’t cope with my lifestyle change and immediately wanted out.  After I canceled another date one night because I was feeling ill, my boyfriend sent me the classic “I don’t know if I can do this anymore” text. He told me that my “situation” was too much for him to handle and he was bitter about me not being able to see him because I was having symptoms and didn’t want to leave my house. He didn’t care that I was struggling, he just didn’t want to deal with it. Our relationship was over when it had barely gotten started.
  6. It was my first health scare and I needed support. In the end, my ex wasn’t up to the task of being a supportive partner when I really needed him. I want to be with someone that would be there for me through tough times are not only horrifyingly awkward but stressful and painful. If it’s cruel of me to have high expectations of my future partner, then I’m solid with swearing off men forever and living my dog lady dreams in a tiny house somewhere by a lake.
  7. IBS is really hard to manage, FYI. There are a lot of lifestyle changes that have to be made for a person dealing with IBS. You have to do a lot of research to try different things that may or may not work for you individually. The trial and error aspect of it alone is really disheartening, making you feel like you’ll never have any relief. The fact that he wouldn’t stick around while I worked to find a balance sucked bigtime.
  8. It’s taught me a lot more self-control. To ease my symptoms, I have to be more careful with my diet. Anyone that’s tried any kind of dieting knows how annoying it is, and learning self-control is hard to do, especially when it involves something that gives you so much comfort when you need it. It may take a while, but eventually it gets a little easier and it spreads into other areas of your life where you need more discipline.
  9. It’s still affecting my love life even now. Now that I’m single and actually want to get out of bed and date, my IBS affects me before I leave the door. I’m constantly worried about having symptoms while I’m with someone new. No one wants to be stuck in an uncomfortable position like that on their first date—especially not one that involves going to the restroom.
  10. My experience has made me develop higher standards. I’m not making the same mistake twice. I’ve never thought that my standards for men were ridiculously high. After what I’ve been through, I’ve been able to value myself a bit more than I did previously and understand that wanting more from the person I’m dating is normal because I deserve the best.
Marla is a student and freelance writer living in Austin, TX. She loves short stories, naps, and crossword puzzles.