woman brushing off a man from her shoulder

Preparing for Dating as a Crescent

When most people talk about dating and marriage, it’s about the other person. For me, my mental health, self-care, and happiness come first before anyone else.

I think dating is a lot. A lot of patience, time, attention, commitment, understanding, etc. Imagining all that load added to my already draining issues with sickle cell and life at large makes it a no-go area for me. Over the years, I have realized that it is even harder for people without the disease to date people living with sickle cell.

Sickle cell dating lessons

I like to look at things from the other person's point of view. For instance, if someone didn’t want me, to put myself in the person's shoes what could be my reasons? Is it valid? Do they make sense? If I were to be this other person, would I not do the same?

Making excuses for people or trying to look at things from their perspectives is a powerful tool and helps me not to take the actions or reactions personally.

As sickle cell patients, we must learn to be able to live (freely) knowing there is a possibility we might never find a partner because of our health’s shortcomings, and that is ok. It is their loss, not yours. We are amazing and deserve all the love in the world. Too bad they can’t see that.

Abuse and shaming in relationships

More often than not, people make you feel like you do not deserve to be alive. There are also times that the people we choose to date feel they are doing us a favor by being with us.

I dated this guy who would always remind me of my condition and say things like, “you should be grateful I’m even dating someone like you,” and “Humble yourself, you are just a sickler.”

I think it is very important that you pay attention to whoever you choose to date. Look closely for choice of words, attention, and care that you deserve as a person (sickled or not), and be sure that the relationship would not affect your mental health or happiness.

Prepare your mind and body and pay attention to yourself more. Learn to recognize anything that belittles you as a person and refuse to be toyed with. This could come in the form of verbal, emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological abuse.

Red flags

Living with sickle cell does not give anyone the right to treat you anyhow they want and get away with it. I’ve learned to stand up for myself in such situations and this changed my life. I can say people respect me better now.

My confidence has been bruised many times in my dating life. Emotional abuse is almost constant when it comes to my love life. This is mostly because of my sickled state and other times, my stubbornness does the trick.

These are examples of awful comments l got from my exes:

“You are nothing but a sickled girl, humble yourself."“Do you think I’ll marry a sickled person like you?""You should thank God I’m even considering a sick person like you."

I can go on and on and on. What happens is, that when men come into my life, it’s in my strong state. They think they can handle it, but, after seeing how helpless I can be in times of crisis, they begin to back out.

Know that it’s ok to put up walls, checkpoints, and boundaries to protect yourself from hurting and being taken for granted. I feel more confident and in charge, since I stopped dating.

Know your worth

Make it a point to uplift yourself out of any relationship that undermines your person, intelligence, capabilities, worth, and self-esteem.

Unless you are ready to put up with that for the rest of your life, in case it leads to marriage, my advice is: FLEE!

Be ready for anything in life. At work, school, home, or office. If anyone can exit your life anyhow they please, so can you.

Dating, marriage, and love are all amazing. If I ever find someone who will understand my status as a sickle cell patient, be ok with my flaws and love me regardless, I’ll be happy to. But for now, I’m more focused on getting back my life together and taking care of my daughter. That is my only priority right now and I intend to stick to it until further notice.

A love letter to fellow warriors

Dear Warrior,No matter how in love you are, always choose yourself every f*kn time because you are worth it. Defend and fight for yourself. Love yourself and practice self-care. Give no chance to any form of abuse in the name of love or anything else. Someone out there is praying for a miracle like you and he will find you.If someone wants to be in your colorful world, let them work for it and prove it to you to your satisfaction. Drop NOT your standards.Sick or not, you deserve to be treated like the King/Queen you are. And if anyone is not up to the task, help them find the way out.If you never find one like me, that’s ok too. Direct all that good energy to yourself and watch it flourish.Being single is not so bad. If you can give all that care, love, and attention to someone else, why can’t you do the same for yourself? Focus on yourself and live life to the very end. You are amazing and you deserve the universe.Rhedd

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