Dating with Hepatitis C: How and When to Share Your Diagnosis
Last updated: July 2023
I know what its like to be single with hepatitis C. I was sick, but it was the loneliest time in my life. After my liver failed, I was told I had the virus. So here I was in the worst shape in my life, fighting for my life actually – and I was lonely. I chatted with a single friend recently about how to approach dating on treatment. It made me think of some simple rules of dating with hepatitis C.
Before the Date
Should you reveal to a potential date that you have hepatitis C? Why even bring it up? No need unless you know the person well. Telling a person that you have hepatitis C can some time. It may be best to wait until you’ve been on a few dates. Get to know each other first.
Kiss and Tell
I had a 3 date rule for kissing and for telling a man I had hepatitis C. No smooching til I knew they were willing to invest some time. There are a few reasons for this. For one thing, it’s was a long story. You can’t just blurt it out and move on to the next topic. For another thing, you don’t know them well enough to know how they will respond.
Be prepared to give your date some basic information about the treatment, symptoms, and ways it is spread. This is a good time to talk about your lifestyle and how it is different because of the virus.
Overkill when dating with hepatitis C
There is no need to go into a long history of your whole life and how it’s affected you. This can come out slowly over time when – and if – the relationship grows.
If you have brain fog, joint pain, lethargy, nausea, or hair loss from treatment, the virus, or liver disease – it is going to show up at some point. Be honest without being a victim. You can tell them what you experience and how you handle it. Example: "I sometimes forget things or repeat myself because of the hep C and it frustrates me so I write things down a lot!"
They are going to notice that you eat fairly healthy. You will not be their fast food or chicken fried steak sweetie. Don’t apologize for it. Let them know that you have a lot to live for and are treating your body right!
Future: Dating with hepatitis C
No matter where you are in the process, you have a bright future. You deserve to love and be loved. Let your date know the potential outcome for your situation. Sharing your truth can help to build intimacy.
I think anyone who dating with hepatitis C is very fortunate. As time goes on and your relationship develops, they will discover all the many ways that hepatitis C has changed you. You have learned valuable lessons about life and yourself while dealing with the virus. So don’t settle for just any ‘ole date. Get out there and enjoy some fun experiences with someone who can share the highs and lows of life with you.