Right. Steady yourself. Last time we looked at the social side of dating. What to talk about and when, with regards to our flexible friend Cath (-eter). This time, it’s not When Dating Goes Wrong. It’s almost worse: When Dating Goes Well. Gulp.

Many with health conditions just rule this out, as a (forgive the catheter pun) pipe dream. But it ain’t necessarily so. The future may surprise us, with time, patience, the right person, and a bumper supply of tissues. (I’m sorry but we’re going to have get a bit icky in this one).

We’re all different, and not just those of us who are urologically challenged. We might think we’re the one with the condition – a medical backstory that gives us the monopoly on feeling awkward. But I think we’ve all got conditions, us and our partners… it just might not be medical. Perhaps we’re all like Amazon or eBay packages – condition: acceptable, used, nearly new, or with scratches on the surface that we’re trying to cover up. Us post-surgery types? At least we’re ‘refurbished’.

Still, it doesn’t help that for many of us, surgical happenings have been below the belt. We’ve all got different medical CVs but it might be we have issues with how things look, or how we think things look. Remember though, it’s likely that partners don’t obsess about such things as we do.

Or we might be more concerned about functionality than appearance: standing up to the task, delivering the goods, or maintaining a solid performance. Perhaps we have anxieties regarding pain, enjoyment, or confidence.

Any of these can inhibit us. But our partner is likely to have inhibitions too. Yes, even non-cathies have performance paranoia, or prefer the lights off, or would rather keep their socks on… And any of these mean they’re fixating on their own woes, let alone registering ours.

Maybe their inhibitions don’t help decrease ours – but they help us realize that we’re not alone in all this. And that’s a good start.

The opinions expressed here are of a personal and anecdotal nature, and are in no way a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your doctor or nurse if you have any questions.

Adjusting to cathing can be tough but you don’t have to figure it out alone. Talk to a member of the me+ support team today on 0800 587 7560.