Should Misophonia Limit your dating choices?

dating-with-misophoniaRelationships are one of the most complicated and prominent features of our lives.  I have had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time living with a spouse, as well as experiencing the world as a single person.  Having Misophonia, the entirety of these years have been clouded with uncertainties.  The typical thoughts one may have growing up have a darker filter running through our minds-“Who will I marry?” sounds more like “Who will want me?”

In a world where personal insecurities are bountiful there is an added feature to our flaws: burden.  As much as we may want to keep it to ourselves, it will find a way to manifest itself into our interactions.  In an effort to suppress our trigger reactions we sacrifice our natural expressions and alter the way we act.  Misread signals and lack of communication breed tension and all of a sudden everyone around us is wrapped in.  We are left having to explain ourselves and the damage is done.  They are affected.

We often feel immense guilt bringing others into our world.  We feel that we can be a bother, something they’ll have to “deal with.” There’s extra pressure surrounding this ordeal when it comes to dating and relationships.  I believe that we have an added level of hindrance when it comes to searching for a partner due to the fact that Misophonia is a widely misunderstood and un-heard of condition.  Dealing with day to day stress, feeling like your nerves are shot and not having anyone to turn to can leave us feeling disheartened.  After coming out of a long-term live-in relationship I remember having an overwhelming fear that I would never be able to find someone who would adapt the highly accommodating lifestyle I had developed with my ex.  Hearing that there are ‘other fish in the sea’ offered little encouragement knowing that not just anyone will have the patience for my bothersome disorder.

Misophonia should not limit who we meet or connect with, but some essential things may be considered when becoming more heavily involved.  This is someone we could end up spending a majority of our time with, or potentially sharing our entire lives with.  Their actions, opinions, and overall attitude will play an integral role in the partnership.  Some of the most important aspects that a healthy relationship with a Misophone include are acceptance, cooperation, and fulfillment.  Acceptance is understanding that this is a true disorder, never placing guilt on the other person for something they cannot control.  It is not just a quirk.  They may not be able to relate but they must realize that Misophonia is part of our package-deal.  It most likely isn’t going anywhere and although it does not have to define us, it is a part of who we are.  Cooperation is the willingness to help lessen the other’s pain.  This includes making reasonable accommodations to ease the suffering so that both are happy.  For example, my ex used to turn the TV volume up and eat dinner in another room when we were at home so that I could have some peace.  It was not traditional but it made sense for us. Fulfillment refers to having plenty of other things to focus on together so that the disorder doesn’t control the entire relationship.  Venting about triggers is therapeutic, and frustrations can be shared but should not dominate every conversation.  It is absolutely beneficial, if possible, when a couple is able to find some trigger-friendly ways to spend time together. It is very easy for negativity to flourish when these things are out of balance.

A healthy balance may take time but can be built when both parties are on the same page.  It can be difficult to imagine the right person for the proceeding.  So does Misophonia limit who you actually date?  It’s possible. Some people won’t be able to get on the same page. They may be able to empathize, but struggle to accommodate.  On the other hand, we may be pleasantly surprised at how well it works out with others.  We’ll only know through experience.  Knowing what we can tolerate, while remaining patient and positive, we can decide for ourselves relationships to pursue and which to walk away from.

By Danielle Waterman

Comments on Should Misophonia Limit your dating choices?

  • Sharon

    I agree with what this article is saying entirely. Thanks for writing it. It made me think about my own relationship, and how extremely lucky I am to have someone so accomodating and supportive. Yeah there are “plenty of fish in the sea”, but perhaps more than half of those “fish” won’t be as supportive.

  • Linda

    That depends I guess where you fall on the 1-10 scale of Miso.

  • kschmadeka

    If I were to date again I’d want it to be someone who has it too, and I hope a dating site for us will come around soon. She would actually understand the problem and we could both work together on protecting one another from this as best we could, and that would give us something to build on. That said, I already gave up years ago. The last girlfriend I had never wanted to chew gum until she found out I couldn’t tolerate it, and suddenly it was all about her “right” to chew it. You can only do that so many times before you don’t want to do it anymore.

    • http://www.misophoniainternational.com Admin

      I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m not sure a dating site for misophones would be 100% successful. Many of us have triggers that others use as coping mechanisms. The grass isn’t always greener.

      Just know, there ARE compassionate people in the world.

  • MisoMA

    I wish there was a site so we could meet each other too. Even just a site to meet as friends. It is a true burden to have to explain miso and most people don’t know how handicapping it is. I would feel so much more at ease with someone who already understands it.