I Like Long Walks On The Beach …

datingI’ll be candid – I was dumped immediately after my MS diagnosis.

Brutal, huh?

Yep, and then some. Mind you, it made life somewhat easier;

I didn’t have to give two hoots about what a partner thought. What partner? It gave me the space to concentrate on The Teenager and Me.

And for the last five years, it’s worked out superbly. I don’t have to worry about , ‘I’ll do what you want this weekend, dearest!’ (if The Teenager is out, I’m having an epic nap), or ‘what d’you fancy for dinner tonight, my sweets?’ (when your eyeballs are closer to the kitchen worktop than your face).

So, I chunter along, pootling around my plants and talking to The Cat, which, according to The Teenager, is precisely my problem. I’m too used to being on my own.

Perhaps. Or perhaps I’m scared of letting someone in to my space?

Perhaps I’m scared of being rejected?

I’ve mentioned before, but my dating profile is hardly enticing:

’43 year young, multi-lingual, well-travelled, peep. Divorced, single parent (other parent is very absent, like 3,000 miles away), oh, and I have an incurable neurological illness. But I look well!’

Therein lies the nub – I’m suspended between having an illness without looking like I have an illness. It’s mostly invisible, therefore, it’s what I tell you it is. And, like I said before, you only see me when I’m well. When I’m ill, I stay at home, with only Netflix and The Cat for company.

I miss being close to someone. I miss having someone who cares about me on a day-to-day basis, not merely during six month MS check-ups. I care about others, but there is that missing layer, when others will care about me; how I’m feeling, how that old fatigue is going, how my balance is doing.

In the back of my mind, I fear that this is it. Forever. According to some websites, I have more chance of finding love after 40 than I have of being in a plane crash.


Is that it?

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24 thoughts on “I Like Long Walks On The Beach …

  1. Ian says:

    I was divorced before my diagnosis and my marriage would not have survived my health.

    Even before my condition was visible I was up front about it and some women were quiet up front and say I can’t deal with it, others would make up some excuse.

    Life is here and now, I try to socialize with people with MS and I am lucky and meet some really hot women with MS maybe some nice lady with MS will think I’m hot too.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      It’s great you get out and socialise – I think that’s where I’m going wrong!
      I tend to get back from work and crash on the sofa, lol.
      It’s interesting you say you were upfront about the MS; there’s a debate about whether it’s best to be upfront right from the beginning or wait a couple of dates …

  2. Flitterllectual says:

    NO! Not true although I think you have to put yourself out there and that’s scary sometimes. I met my partner post diagnosis although symptoms were initially invisible. I told him early on so he could make a decision with all the uncertainties MS brings. Well he decided to stay and he’s still with me even if our bike rides have been replaced with a wheelchair! It’s amazing what you can find on T’internet these days ?

    • stumbling in flats says:

      That’s so lovely to hear! And yup, you’ve got to put yourself out there to have any hope in finding someone! I doubt someone is going to just so happen to be passing by my sofa one day, lol.

  3. Annie says:

    Nothing is forever ?… hang in there … lots of my friends met the love of their life in their 40s… seriously !!! He’s out there? And he’ll be the lucky one when he meets you! Hope the post A level celebrating is continuing! My girl went off Interailing yesterday ? With the promise of being sensible ?? I was slightly envious of her and her pals, remembering back to being 18….. good luck with neurologist in coming days (I think)x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      It sure is – sixth form leavers prom this weekend, then all manner of concerts, festivals, lads holidays (gah). I know what you mean – it really does feel just like yesterday when I left school and headed abroad. I’m sure your daughter will have a fabulous time!
      Teenager has neuro next week and I’ve got an MS nurse appointment, so hopefully everything will be good!

  4. Screw statistics. You’re not dead yet. Ask yourself, What do you want, dearest? Be your own best friend. Future partners can take note and step up their game.

  5. Ian says:

    I am lucky, I go to 2 or 3 MS Social Groups every month, I think we need to meet people who have the same challenges and want to make the most of life.

    Your point is interesting about telling people about health issues, I decided almost 20 years ago to be upfront about it, it is the elephant in the room, I actually think it is best to be straight with people, they respect it, my issue is I want the real deal and I can’t compromise, I want to love and be loved for the right reasons and not settle for less.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I think you’re absolutely right – it’s so important to seek out people who just … understand!
      It’s really interesting about being upfront. Not that I’m actively dating or anything, but I’ve often wondered how best to approach it – do I keep quiet to get a ‘foot in the door’ so to speak?? It’s not that I am ashamed of MS or anything, just that people have preconceived notions of it.
      Gah. x

  6. Carina says:

    I really believe in destiny – the right person will come along – sometimes when you least expect it! This was the case with my husband and I – He lived in Berlin, I lived in London, but it did not prevent us getting together in the end. We have now been happily married for 28 years in September (despite his MS diagnosis in 2004 and many challenging times).
    On another note, I think it better not to be too upfront immediately regarding illnesses in general. Men, especially, can be frightened off! If you meet someone nice, I would wait for a couple of dates before mentioning MS – then you can see beforehand whether you hit it off and whether there are mutual interests. If he has a caring and loving nature then he will stay. If not, then he was not worth it anyway!
    Good luck and have fun dating!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I love how you guys are still as strong as ever, despite MS! I think I’m going along those lines, about dropping it in to conversation after a first date. Not to be deceitful, but just to give everything else a chance first. If that makes sense! Other people don’t immediately mention everything on the first date. It’s tricky. I just feel that by mentioning MS straight off, it gives it more importance than it deserves. It’s taken so much from me already!! And like you say, if they scarper when they find out, despite liking me at the first date, then ya boo sucks to them, lol.

  7. Ian says:

    In 1998 I had been dating a woman for about 5 months, I thought it was time to tell her about my medical condition, it was hidden then.

    It was after dinner in her home, she got angry, accused me of leading her on etc and told me to get out, it felt like she was about to hit me with a frying pan.

    Almost 20 years ago now, she has since become a born again Christian.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Wow – that’s pretty brutal. Seems a totally out of proportion reaction!
      I hope she’s a nicer person now …

  8. Ian says:

    Hello Barbara what languages do you speak? My hobby is learning languages to good tourist standard. xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I used to speak really good Norwegian and German – sadly, my first major relapse affected the speech part of my brain 🙁 An unusual relapse, lol. Probably why it was first thought I was having a stroke.
      Which languages do you like?

      • Carina Muss says:

        Hi again,
        If you like we can communicate a bit in German ! Just let me know…

        • stumbling in flats says:

          I’d love to, but I’ve lost so much 🙁 Mind you, it was surprising how much came back to me when I went to the Austrian Grand Prix a couple of years back! Having lived in Austria, my German definitely had an Austrian accent, lol. x

  9. Ian says:


    Why Norwegian, an unusual language for people in the UK to speak?

    My favourite languages are Italian and Spanish and I can speak some Russian, Bulgarian, Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi and Kurdish.

    I am planning to start learning French soon.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Wow!! I’m totally impressed – I guess it must have helped as a talking point when you were single and dating? 😉
      My father’s family is from Norway and I moved there when I was younger to learn the language. It’s beautiful – simple, clear and pure.

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