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Relationships

A young coupleWhen you start a new relationship, you might wonder when to talk about your arthritis.

When should I tell a new partner about my arthritis?

Your arthritis may feel like a barrier, so it’s better to share your story about arthritis relatively early in a relationship.

You might not want to tell someone everything the first time you meet them and you might want to wait until you have built up trust, and you feel respect and a level of commitment on both sides. But telling them means they can help you and you won’t feel uncomfortable if you’re having a flare-up when you see them.

Your partner is likely to ask a few questions and be interested to know how it has affected your life.

There's no right or wrong way, or time, to start a conversation about your arthritis. You might find it a bit nerve-wracking, but follow your gut and do what feels right for you.

What happens after I tell them?

When you've shared your story about arthritis with your partner, find the right balance between being open and honest about how arthritis affects you while not spending the whole time dwelling on the negative aspects. You won’t want your arthritis to dominate all your topics of conversation with your partner.

It’s also important to stress that while arthritis is a part of your life, it doesn’t define you and that you're an independent person.

Your arthritis is nothing to be ashamed of, and if someone you like has an issue with what you tell them, they’re not the one for you.

If the conversation goes well, you'll feel much better afterwards and your relationship will be stronger as a result.

Read more about relationships, sex and arthritis.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.