Living with a disease is tough; opening up to your new love interest about it doesn't have to be.
5. Seek out relationships online
If you tend to meet potential partners through online networks such as Facebook or Match.com, you shouldn't hint in your profile that you're concealing a health secret. However, if you're nervous about rejection or misunderstandings, you might be more comfortable dating someone with similar health issues.
There are many niche sites that cater to people with specific conditions, and they're a great way to be up-front with potential mates who are in the same boat, Davis says.
Daters with STDs can check out STDFriends.com or PositiveSingles.com, while Whispers4u.com is a great site for people with disabilities, according to Davis. NoLongerLonely.com helps those with mental illness seek partners. "[However,] you should discuss the volatility of your specific condition with your doctor before signing up," Davis says.
6. Know when to give your partner space
Even if you do your best to deliver a snag-free speech, it's possible that there could be an awkward moment. "[If that happens], say, 'I can tell by your expression that this is a lot to digest and I completely understand, and I'll give you the time and space to do that,'" Sussman says.
Then, offer some physical distance but stay in contact, Davis says. "Give them the following day to breathe and think," she suggests. "Call them on the third day if they haven't reached out to you. Let them know that they are still on your mind and you can't wait to see them again."
7. Don't take rejection personally
"A good person will listen and be kind and not judge, but if [your health secret is] something they can't live with, that doesn't make them a bad person," says Sussman. "It just makes them a bad match."
And there can be multiple reasons for a rejection—many of which have nothing to do with you at all. "If your mother was an alcoholic and you date someone who's an alcoholic, you might have to make a choice that it's not healthy to be involved with someone in recovery," Sussman says.
Besides, your perfect match will accept you no matter what, Davis says: "If things were going well up until the time you told them, keep in mind that they rejected your health condition, not you. At the end of the day, it means that they were not the one."