UC-Life/Amy - I was just talking to my fiance about your post, as I am about your age and can remember how hard rejection was from any guy, much less with the added UC factor. so, here are my/our thoughts:
1. the guy did you a favor by bailing. if he is that much of a loser, better you know this early than to actually get attached and then find our he is worthless. so, you dodged a bullet and he did you a favor by showing his lameness early.
2. as for the bigger question of when to tell someone, and how, I think some of it depends on:
a) if you're flaring or in remission at the time
b) your goals (you want a relationship or just someone to date)
so, if you are having symptoms when you meet the guy, he'll figure out right away that something is up, right, and then you can just tell him. but, if you're well, I think you can hold off on telling the person until you trust them. my fiance made the point that no one approaches a first date and lays out all their baggage, so you have no need to tell someone about your UC right away. I think that waiting until you have hung out with the guy at least a half dozen times, and have some trust and time with them, helps you assess if they are worth telling and, if so, when. I think that because this disease is not terminal, you don't "owe" an up-front explanation to someone. let them spend some time with you, see who you are as a person, see if they are someone you want to have something with, and then tell them, when you feel you can trust them. and if they can't handle it, then your UC is like a litmus test that weeds out the losers early, as you don't want to spend your life with someone who can't handle it, as UC is not nearly as rough as some other illnesses out there, and a partner needs to be someone who can handle the rough times.
also, do you ever meet people in the medical profession, I mean socially? this may sound strange, but I think dating someone who understands medicine could also be helpful, because then they would understand the disease and the fact that it is embarassing at times, but not the end of the world. I had been dating my boyfriend (now fiance) 2 years when I got diagnosed, but the thing is that he works in medicine, and that makes a huge difference, I think, in how he has approached the disease. whereas I freak out, he tends to jsut research the science behnd my drugs, and tell me why I shouldn't be so scared. so, if you can meet someone who has some background in this stuff, that might be helpful. in any case, just remember that EVERYONE, every single person in the world, has something in their life they have to "confess" to someone they date, not just us. ours is different, but it is totally managable. if the guy can't handle it, that's his problem, not yours, even if it doesn't always feel like it.
hang in there.
Pancolitis dx 3/07
150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent, reached this dose 9/07)
Various vitamins, a probiotic.