Health + Wellness

Black Love: Dating with Multiple Sclerosis

multiple sclerosis

Falling in love can be special, exciting, and intoxicating. It can also be filled with uncertainty. There are many stages to getting to know another person. Sometimes the path to intimacy includes learning about life with a chronic condition like multiple sclerosis (MS).

MS is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, which are often prime dating years. For those with MS, day-to-day life can be difficult, and dating presents its own unique set of challenges. As a significant other and long-term partner, the best thing you can do is be supportive, informed, and open. 

What is MS?

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord, which make up the central nervous system. The exact cause of MS is unknown, but experts do know that something triggers the immune system to attack the brain and spinal cord. The resulting damage to myelin, the protective layer insulating wire-like nerve fibers, disrupts signals to and from the brain. This interruption of communication signals causes unpredictable symptoms. Common symptoms of MS include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Pain 
  • Fatigue
  • Blindness
  • Paralysis

Everyone’s experience with MS is different. These difficulties may be temporary or lifelong. 

If you are dating a person who has MS or has recently been diagnosed with MS, you may not know where to begin. You may not know what this means in terms of your love life. Know that you are not alone and that you can do things to develop trust and stability in your relationship. 

RELATED: Dating & Diagnosed With MS: Common Questions Answered

What Should I Do When the Person I’m Dating Tells Me They Have MS?

Once you’ve learned that the person you’re dating has multiple sclerosis, you should feel honored. The fact that another individual has opened up to you about their chronic condition means you’ve reached a new, trusting stage in your relationship. 

If you want to know what you can do to continue building trust and moving your relationship forward, keep reading for some tips. 

Keep in Mind That you May be Late

Don’t be offended if your date is late. MS can make getting ready to go out take much longer. Be patient and understanding. 

Be Mindful About Your Gift-Giving

When dating someone with MS, you should be mindful of the gifts you give. Earrings, necklaces, and ties might be difficult for someone with

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