Dating after a stroke
A stroke can be life-changing for you and those around you. It can affect all aspects of your life, including dating and sex.
We do have a page all about sex and relationships. It includes information about dealing with some of the physical and/or emotional changes after a stroke. There are also videos about how your stroke may have affected you both physically and emotionally.
But the focus is really on people who are in established relationships. So what about actually getting back out on the dating scene after your stroke?
Meeting someone is difficult. And it can be more difficult following a stroke. But there are resources available to help you get back out there.
Different Strokes is a charity that specialises in helping younger stroke survivors.
They produced a this video all about how to start dating after a stroke. In it Dr Giles Yeates discusses different ways you can meet people after your stroke. Dr Years is a Neuro-Psychologist and Couples Therapist.
He talks about joining groups or activities to meet someone in person. He also discusses different online dating options. These range from "mainstream" apps to exclusive programs for people with disabilities.
The video description has links to many of these sites.
Overcoming physical challenges
You may have new physical restrictions or disabilities following your stroke. Depending on the nature of these challenges, you may wish to speak with your physiotherapist or GP. Although it can feel embarrassing to talk about, it could be vital for your health.
Depending on the problems you’re facing, this could include:
- Exploring what positions best suit your physical mobility and needs.
- Having sex at the times when you have the most energy.
- Using lubricants or medication.
Above all, remember that sex is not a performance. You don't have to 'succeed' or 'fail', it may not always go as planned and that's okay.
Emotional changes after my stroke
After your stroke, you may feel low, angry, emotional or irritable. You may worry about having sex, or feel as if you’ve lost interest in sex.
We often spend time addressing the things we can physically see. But, it’s equally important to look after our emotional wellbeing too.
Talk to your GP about the emotional support available. They may recommend talking therapies or medication to help.
Content warning: The articles on Love Lounge UK are very frank and often contain explicit content.
The Love Lounge UK is a great place to start if you're looking for advice. It is a dedicated sex and relationship advice page for people with a disability. Love Lounge UK is part of Enhance the UK, a user-led charity that aims to change the way people view disability.
Articles on the Love Lounge UK range from practical advice emotional support. For example, there is an article on finding adaptive sex toys. And another from someone who wants an active sex life but struggles with chronic pain and fatigue.
There is also a relationship section on the My Stroke Guide forum. From there you can ask other stroke survivors about their experiences with relationships and dating.