That’s a lot to worry about, not to mention if you’re an individual living with incontinence! Don’t let it get you down. Being prepared, and keeping a few tips in mind, can help take the stress out of the situation and let you confidently enjoy dating…and maybe even have some fun, which is the point of it all, isn’t it?
Planning ahead and being prepared is half the battle. Ensure that you pack adequate changing, cleaning, and disposal supplies. Many absorbent pads come in small wrapped packages that can conveniently fit inside a pocket or purse. There are also products that have odor-preventing features which can help you avoid any potentially embarrassing smells, however carrying a small amount of perfume or cologne is a good idea, if not only to help you smell good (just be careful not to overdo it!)
Be Familiar with your Surroundings
If possible, suggest a restaurant or café that you’re familiar with so that you know where the bathrooms are. This will allow you to easily and conveniently excuse yourself to go to the washroom to change. Another thing to do is double voiding (emptying the bladder twice, 10-15 minutes apart) before your date, which can help you avoid having to frequent the bathroom too often. If you’re stressed about having a severe episode of incontinence, have an escape plan ready. Have a nearby location available where you can take the time to properly clean and change yourself. It’s okay to have a cover story and bring it up early on in the date. Something as simple as texting a friend to give you a call pretending to be a relative who needs to be picked up from the hospital will work fine. Just make sure you let your date know that you’re not ditching him/her and that you would love to have a second date another time (or if you’re not into them, you can simply escape!).
Confidence is attractive! Not only should you be confident for your date, you should be confident in your ability to manage incontinence. You don’t need to bring it up during the date if you don’t want to, and should only bring it up if you feel comfortable doing so. Remember, incontinence is a physiological condition and is nothing to be embarrassed about, just as a person with a severe nut allergy wouldn’t be embarrassed to ask if a dessert contains peanuts.
Depending on the severity of your incontinence, there are a large variety of products available. Choose one that you feel comfortable in and isn’t noticeably visible under your pants. If you are required to wear absorbent underwear or an adult diaper rustling sounds can be a concern. Be sure to wear a product that has a cloth-like backing to keep any potential noise to a minimum. If you plan on doing any physical activities like dancing, bowling, or mini-putting, research products that are designed for active individuals. Wearing the right product in the right size will help you forget you’re even wearing it!
These tips should help you have a fun an enjoyable date. Lastly, remember that your date is looking to get to know you, and if you hit it off with them, the fact that you live with incontinence shouldn’t be a big deal.