All of these can make datingoften an ego-shattering minefield for those in perfect healtheven trickier."On bigger dating sites the competition is tremendous," says Jim Houran, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and columnist for Online Dating Magazine."And lets face it, depending on what [the illness] is, it could very well make you uncompetitive in the larger dating pool."Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives.
Within her first week on Positive Singles, she went on three dates and has since gone on seven more, which fostered one romantic relationship and a friendship over the past two years. Though Prescription 4 Love didnt yield any dates for Lana, this fast-growing online community offers an alternative to mainstream dating sites for thousands of singles.
Now three years old, the site currently has 8,000 members who represent nearly 40 health conditions ranging from genital herpes (2,425 members) to Tourettes syndrome (32 members). “He was having a hard time with that, so I thought if he could find someone who had the same disease, or someone with a colostomy bag, he wouldnt really have to discuss that.”Since launching the site, Durham, 48, who previously dabbled in the stock market and worked as a bartender, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Ricky Durham founded Prescription 4 Love in 2006, inspired by his late brother Keith, who lived with Crohns disease for 15 years before passing away in 2004. Though he doesnt find it appropriate to be a member of a community he founded, he says he can empathize with his members.
Together these sites now boast tens of thousands of members.
In addition to providing their users with a more hospitable environment, these websites defuse the tension over how and when to disclose an illness, which is often an issue for people with diseases and disabilities who venture onto mainstream dating sites.
When health problems equal heartache After some “horrible” results on other dating websites, Lana joined Prescription 4 Love and the STD-specific site
Both sites require members to disclose their illnesses upfront, clearing the air for what might be a deal-breaking revelation later.
Lana, a 38 year-old publicist in Los Angeles, was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1997.
Since then, she has "kind of been hiding" from the dating scene.
Let's face it: How do you drop that bomb on a potential love interest? She considered a number of online dating venues, but she says asked too many questions on its enrollment form, e Harmony was too "religious," and My Space was too much of a "hookup zone." "I wanted to meet men with my same diagnosis so we wouldnt [need to] have 'the talk,' or fear of rejection and transmitting," she says.
“Most of us with this don't wish to spread it.”While sites like and e Harmony don't discriminate, they also don't cater to people like Lana who are coping with sexually transmitted diseases, disabilities, or mental health conditions.