Forming new relationships

Get tips and ideas on how you can form a new relationship when you have Parkinson's.

How can Parkinson's affect dating and new relationships?

If you’re single, Parkinson’s shouldn’t stop you dating or beginning a new relationship. At some point, you’ll need to decide whether to tell a new partner about your condition, and how and when you’ll have this conversation. This will often depend on different things, such as the severity of your symptoms and how strongly you feel about the person and relationship.

You may be happy to tell someone you’re dating about your Parkinson’s very early on. Other people are more comfortable getting to know someone better before they choose to share details of their condition.

Opening up to someone else about Parkinson’s is a very personal decision. Some people may not see it as an issue, but others may be anxious about it. It may lead to some people avoiding romantic situations completely, which can be very isolating. Remember, not everyone needs to know, and not everyone needs to know straight away. So wait until you’re comfortable – there’s no ‘right’ time to share your diagnosis.

When you do tell someone you have Parkinson’s, they may have lots of questions for you. They may also have ideas or assumptions about the condition that might not be true. You’re the expert on Parkinson’s, so talk to the person about how it affects you. If someone doesn’t ask lots of questions, don’t assume it’s because they aren’t interested – perhaps they want to get to know you more, not the condition.

You can’t decide for someone else if they want a relationship with you, so be yourself and see what happens. Some people may be put off by knowing you have Parkinson’s, but lots of people won’t – you may be surprised by their reaction.

Video

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Starting a new relationship when you have Parkinson's

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Parkinson's can sometimes make new relationships difficult.

Emma and Shram talk about how they dealt with the condition at the beginning of their relationship in our short video.

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Relationships, sex and Parkinson's (PDF, 611KB)

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