I've had my ileostomy since I was 10 years old - I'm 41 now. Only once have I ever had a guy reject me because of it - but that was his loss! You'll find most guys will only care that you're alive and well and able to be with them.
Nowhere in personal ads have I ever seen "must be tidy, friendly and poop via your rectum and anus". How you poop is simply not a criteria most people base a relationship on. Consider this. If the guy of your dreams came along and you knew nothing about ostomies but he confided to you that he had one, would that stop you from going out with him? I'm betting it wouldn't if he's truly the one for you. So there's no reason to think that no one will ever want to go out with you then, is there? Besides which, I know MANY ostomates who have met the person of their dreams, fell in love, gotten married and had families after surgery.
I don't tell a new partner straight out - I let him get to know me first so he can see that me having a bag doesn't change who I am. It can be a nervous time telling him wondering what he'll think but if he's worth your time, he'll understand. Let him ask questions cos he's probably never heard of it before and answer his questions as honestly as you can. If he does reject you because of it (and there are some guys out there who probably will) then yes, it will hurt, but you can be thankful because you really don't need someone that shallow in your life.
I've come close to getting engaged twice but when it came down to it I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life with either guy. Right now I'm happily single and loving it.
Good luck :)
I have had an ileostomy for 32 years now due to UC.
Moderator of the Ostomy Forum
I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!