Everyone it seems is flocking to the Internet in search of love. But are they finding it? Join me as I unscramble the myths of modern love, in “Lovesick: The Web Series”. Our cultural stories tell us that true love is blind. Online this is anything but the case. We’ve filters to now screen our potential lovers. Anyone who doesn’t meet our criteria gets edged out. But what if you had a trait that nobody liked? A trait that was entirely beyond your control? My name is Amy, I’m a finance student. And I suffer from cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and I’ve had a liver transplant 13 years ago. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease, so I was born with it.
Diabetes and the liver transplant came a little bit later, but they were both complications of having cystic fibrosis. I take 45 pills a day. I have seven doctors. I take insulin and nebulizers. I do physiotherapy to help me breathe and clear my lungs. Cystic fibrosis has a life expectancy of 38. I mean, this number looms over me all the time. I think of it when I go to sleep, I think about when I wake, I think of it when I’m doing my uni assignment. What’s the point of living, if you’re only gonna get to 38? It took me a long time to accept the fact that I wanted a relationship. I came to online dating after very unsuccessfully finding no one in bars and clubs and through friends.
So I thought I would give it a go. Ultimately, cystic fibrosis has to come up at some point, and sometimes it was before the dates, and sometimes it was after the dates. And when I told the guys that I had cystic fibrosis, diabetes and the liver transplan, some of them were asking me questions about what it was. Which was fine, I’m happy to answer their questions. Some of them were a bit offput by it and stop talking to me. Others just ignore the fact altogether. So I met this guy online and it started as a casual affair and then it got deeper and feelings started to grow and the “Ilove-yous” came.
He’d always known about the cystic fibrosis and the diabetes and the liver transplant. And it never seemed like it was an issue for him. He never brought it up, he never talked about his fears about it. And then one day he told me that he didn’t want to be with a sick person and that floored me. I was always afraid that someone would say that to me, and then he did. And I kind of started laughing, and at the same time I was crying, because I was like, “Well this is a fear that I’ve always had.” I think people’s main fear of dating someone with a chronic illness is the burden that they have to take on.
It has to be a selfless person because I’m gonna need you more than you need me. I don’t ask much from partners, with having cystic fibrosis. I don’t want you to come to the doctor’s all the time. I don’t want you to feed me my tablets. I don’t want you to be a constant presence there, always reminding me that I have cystic fibrosis. I want your support, I want your love, and I want you to ultimately come and sit with me in the hospital and watch a movie with me. I don’t need a nurse or a carer. I need someone who is compassionate and will love me. After a string of 16 bad dates, I finally had one good one with a lovely guy, who I’m now seeing.
We met on tinder and on the first date the cystic fibrosis issue did come up, as it always does. And it was really good, because he had his own demons. I felt that we were coming at this at a very dysfunctional, messy level. But it was real and human and the cystic fibrosis didn’t seem like this big daunting issue. It was just something that we both had to overcome. I think online dating has its pros and cons, but it can be a way for people to shut off what they don’t think or deem as normal, and the qualities that don’t fit into a box that they wanted. For all those men who rejected me, and all the men who never wrote back because I have cystic fibrosis, I just want to say that my fears are bigger than your fears.