Whether this is your first date with a near-stranger or the 300th date night with your partner, finding the right option can be tough with a chronic illness. It’s easy to want to overextend yourself on special occasions, but you might end up paying for it in ways that don’t exactly make you see hearts and stars. We’ve pulled together a few date ideas for people with long-term health conditions that prevent them from a romantic tour de force.
Dinner That Fits Your Needs
Many chronic illnesses have flare-ups or bad days when you fall off the healthy eating wagon. One of the most difficult to avoid dining out, for example, is too much salt for people with type 2 diabetes. In larger cities, restaurants that cater to the health-conscious have been popping up left and right. For smaller towns, it might be a good idea to set up a special dinner-and-a-movie at home to keep yourself feeling less lethargic or uncomfortable in the following days.
Spend Time Outdoors
We’ve become a culture that loves doing difficult things. Susan and her boyfriend hiked to the top of that plateau outside of town on their anniversary. Henry ran a 5k with his spouse for his birthday. While these are great goals to have, they’re not always realistic for someone with constant fatigue. Don’t let that stop you from spending time in nature or even just outside in the sun. A blind date can be a leisurely stroll through the park, and your date night can be spent sitting bird watching with your husband.
Go Through Old Memories
If you’ve been together for a long time, it’s easy to let some of those happy memories slip through the cracks in the day-to-day of life. Pull out those old photo albums — physical or digital — and reminisce on fun trips or events in your lives together. The goal is to remember that there have been many good times of life in the past, and there will be even more in the future. If you don’t have all that many shared memories yet in a newer relationship, share ones from your childhood. You’ll learn all about what shaped each other as people and perhaps some embarrassing stories that will make both of you laugh.
The key to keeping date nights alive for couples where one or both of you struggle with a chronic illness is to remember that happiness comes in many forms.