Dating Update – Protocol for Revealing the Obvious?

I’m in a very awkward position of not really wanting to put dating on hold for the rest of the year, but there is this awkward and kind of weird issue that can’t be hidden. As in, yeah, it isn’t that I’m really fat, I just have this basketball sized tumor in my belly.

There isn’t a really easy, light, let’s not get too personal too fast sort of way to do that. Oh yeah, and then there is the part about I may need to take a break for 4-6 weeks to recover from major abdominal surgery. But we can have fun in the meantime, right?

Sure, even as I become rather self absorbed and given to bouts of crying for no apparent reason, obsessing over who will take care of my dog, how to pay bills while not working, concern over abandoning my clients, and having some real feelings over being rather dependent and not so much independent for a rather long (and totally unprecedented) period of time.

Yeah, so I’m kind of in a vulnerable awkward place where the fun and comfort of dating and physical closeness and hope is still really important. And it is hard to relax about in person meetings when I’m feeling rather physically disfigured. The tumor is growing, and it has become more and more obvious.

My usual style – transparent, up front, generally works kind of well but not all strangers want to hear about huge tumors and blood loss. And I don’t think contemplating 12-16 inch scars on your potential love interest is a huge turn on. But I could be wrong about that. You never know.

So here is my plan.
** Find as much humor in as much of it as I possibly can.
** Provide the info/warning before any in person date.
** Don’t indulge in the temptation to answer everyone who asks “how are you” by making them imagine how a basketball can fit into someone’s belly and what that might feel like.
** Try and believe it when a guy says I’m attractive. Attraction is more than not looking pregnant, after all. I am looking much more slim and fit and yeah nice smile nice hair — not bad except for this bizarre lump in my belly that turns out to be larger than a basketball.
** Look for other descriptors other than basketball. That’s even getting old for me. The surgeon even promised not to start dribbling it in the OR. See humer, above, are there funny ways to describe large tumors? What is wrong with soccer balls?
** Try and expand my comfort zones. I’m comfortable about the surgery. I’m pretty OK with being in pain. Being fed for a week or two has a lot to say for it. Can I get more comfortable feeling disfigured and bizarrely shaped? Just for a few more weeks. I did it before. Well, that part seems to bring on the previously mentioned tears. Needs work.
** Explore this impulse to tell people about the surgery/tumor/medical details so they know it isn’t just being fat. Does it really help, or make things worse and really uncomfortable? At least we are all wearing more clothes since it is fall, is it less obvious?
** Give up on MDs who are condescending and clueless. They have started to emerge, there will certainly be more, no energy need go there.
** If there is an educational component I’m happier. Work that angle. Much much much much better than self absorption and soliciting pity and scaring people.
** If I start to freakout, it is almost always because I don’t understand something, information is missing, or someone is not listening or acknowledging or validating me. I know that, so I also know the solutions. And they are pretty quick and easy, really.
** Keep writing. It helps. And more of that potential for greater education/sharing/helping others.
** I am in a vulnerable spot, so it makes sense that I feel really vulnerable. I can explore that, I can learn more, and it is a good point of contact with people who care. Oh, but it is uncomfortable.

It is going to be a weird couple of months. Maybe I’ll just refer all potential dates to this blog. If they can deal, great, if not, I have yet another screening tool. The other side – meaning somewhere around Jan 1 – is bound to be interesting as well. Much potential. One known fact – I will be feeling much more healthy and happy to have my body back and no future tumors. Yeah. That is something to focus on. Outcome.

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