Annemarie Ward - Finding Love with a Weak Heart
Today’s topic is on the subject of dating and relationships, while having a heart condition and/or heart transplant. This can be a difficult topic to discuss, but I wanted to address the concerns, insecurities, and anxieties that can come along with this topic, from my own personal experiences.
We can all admit that dating alone is a serious stressor. Dating entails finding the right outfit, saying the right thing, having the perfect amount of charm, and honestly it is extremely exhausting (even for those without a heart condition).
Disclaimer: having a heart condition or transplant is NOTHING to be ashamed of, but for me personally, it’s something I don’t particularly like to open with. I like to postpone this detail, solely for the reason, that I do not want that person’s sympathy right out of the gate. I tend to worry about how people will react when I tell them and it is still a concern I have to this day.
So, how do we handle this? It is going to be different for everyone, but I personally like to wait until I have built a strong rapport with that person, before “dropping that bomb” per se. There might be people that have a negative reaction and IF they do, please know that they are the ones that have an issue with their heart, not you. You should not view a heart condition or transplant as a limitation to finding love, because everyone deserves it. A part of unconditional love is accepting someone for ALL that they are. I know for me personally, I try to have a very casual delivery when telling someone about it. It is only going to be a big deal if you make it one. It comes down to two things, your mindset and having a solid support system.
My good friend, Emily, went through a painful break-up, where she was discriminated against for having a heart condition. She believed this lie, that she wasn’t good enough and that she was “unlovable.” I asked her how she got through it and how she regained her confidence. She told me she surrounded herself with family and friends who encouraged her and reassured her otherwise. They reshaped her mindset and Emily has now found love again. She waited two years before dating and her patience, her perspective, and her confidence led her into the beautiful and committed relationship she is in today.
How you view your heart condition is how others will view it. If you see it as a flaw, then that is how it will be perceived by others. I cannot change the fact that I had a heart transplant; however, I can change my mindset on how I view my current condition. My heart transplant does not define who I am or change my value in any way. Be patient on finding someone and do not let a heart condition stop you from going out and finding the right person! YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE… so go get it.