Guide to POTS

Hoping this makes a confusing chronic illness diagnosis easier

Dating and Relationships

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I can only speak to my own experience and hope that gives you some insight into what POTS is and how it can affect you or the people around you. 

The number one key to a healthy relationship is communication. This goes double, if not triple, if you have a chronic illness. Communicate from the beginning! Be open and honest so they can make the decisions they need to with the full information about the relationship, just like you are.

Meeting Someone

It can be hard to meet someone with a chronic illness. First of all, it’s hard to work or go to school full time, let alone have a social life. Let alone try to add dating on top of it. Finding someone nowadays is hard. I personally met my now-fiancé on Hinge. It seems most of the people in my life (in my generation) met either in college or through an online dating app.

I made sure to start dating and talking to people online during a time period I knew I would be healthier, which for me is late spring/summer. This allowed me the best chance of feeling well to respond to texts and even go on dates. Before my dates, I would disclose that I had a chronic illness and let the person I was going to meet up with know about POTS. I never had anyone not want to go on a date once knowing that, but also POTS was not as widely known pre-2019. I also think unless you have a chronic illness or closely know someone with one, you have no idea what it entails.


Once I met someone, I was very open about my expectations and how I was feeling day to day, especially if we had an upcoming date. The beginning is the hardest; you’re trying to impress them, you don’t know how much to disclose, but you do need to be honest, and being open helped me the most. Once you’re a few months in and more comfortable, it’s so much easier to disclose how you’re feeling on any given day.

My fiancé has celiac disease, which, while it does not fully impact facets of his life the way my POTS does, it does majorly impact each day of his life. I’m not sure how I would explain half of my daily life, anxieties, and worries if he didn’t have similar experiences. I’m not saying we couldn’t figure it out, but it does make it much easier. When looking for a partner, find someone who is willing to learn and listen about all aspects of your illness and willing to make some compromises to keep you healthy. I’m not talking about big compromises, but maybe you don’t have the energy to drive to them after work and go out on a date, can they come to you? Maybe stay in, watch a movie, and get takeout.

Moving Forward

Everyone is different. One of the things I didn’t feel comfortable with was getting engaged before living together during the winter. Why? I felt like he needed to know how sick I could be during the months I am traditionally sickest. We picked a pretty good year because I have had so many medical problems this year. Throughout the entire thing, he has been supportive and caring, taking on more of the housework and daily tasks than he should have to, but that’s a partnership. I would highly recommend living together if you can before getting married; it will give you both a good idea of what your day-to-day lives will look like.

If your partner does not have a chronic illness or knows someone closely with a chronic illness, they are not going to know all that goes into it. Be gentle with them. I throw things at my partner all the time that I should break down a little more gently so he doesn’t just panic because a lot of the time these are big medical things, but when you’ve dealt with them for so long, it’s just like riding a bike. We’ve implemented a system where he asks me how panicked I am on a scale of 1-10, so he knows how panicked to be. Sometimes he then asks my mom because she is sometimes a more accurate read. They’re learning too, so teach them.


There is no reason POTS should keep you from dating. Be open, be honest, and communicate the best you can about your needs and your illness. Some people will not be able to handle it, but I’m sure there are some things you wouldn’t be able to handle in a partner as well. You’ll find the right person for you; it might just take a lot of trial and error, but to be honest, that has nothing to do with a chronic illness.

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