Grace Johnston has had nothing but positive experiences dating, this is no easy feat for someone who’s a single parent, but also someone who’s living with MS.
Johnston had her son last year and shortly after her boyfriend at the time decided that he didn’t want to be with her because of her illness. Finding herself a single parent at the age of 28 and also dealing with being diagnosed with MS in June 2016, Johnston decided to jump back into the dating scene.
“I had my son last year, and then his dad didn’t want a sick girlfriend, so I become single in March this year,” she told RSVP.
“I’ve been on probably about six or seven dates. It’s interesting; I’m upfront, I say: “I’ve got MS, and I have a son”, and I haven’t had anyone who has had a problem with it.”
Johnston explained that she’s even had people she’s seeing research MS and send her articles to show their support to her.
When it comes to how she’s been meeting people, Johnston says she has a big friendship circle, but she’s also dabbled in online dating, as well as using Facebook to meet people.
Despite relying mostly on her network to find dates, Johnston wasn’t expecting the reaction she got from people she was dating.
“I was expecting people to say: “Oh my god, you have a disease, and you have a child” like two absolute negatives, but every one of the dates I’ve been on has asked for a second date and I’ve been on a third date too.”
One of Johnston’s tips when it comes to dating with an illness is to be upfront.
“It depends on how comfortable the person themselves is with the illness, as soon as I found out I started a support group for people my age,” she says. “I’m pretty proactive, if some people haven’t come to terms with their illness themselves, they aren’t going to be that upfront.
“I would say it’s best to get it on the table in case you start dating someone and they find out down the track, and then they say: “that’s too much for me”.
When it comes to what Johnston would say to someone who may be living with a chronic illness contemplating getting back into the dating scene, she believes: “You’ve got nothing to lose”.
RSVP has again partnered with MS Australia to spread awareness about the disease. To show its support to MS Research Australia, RSVP is asking its user to send kisses to others on the site this coming Sunday, the 28th of May. If users send 40,000 kisses, RSVP will donate $10,000 to the charity. So together let’s #KissGoodbyetoMS.
RSVP members can also change their profile pictures to show them kissing goodbye to MS, with the best image being rewarded with a three stamp pack.