How Do Heart Conditions Affect Dating? - dummies

How Do Heart Conditions Affect Dating?

By Pepper Schwartz

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

As people age, heart conditions and bypass surgery become more common. The good news is that operations that were once so hit or miss now have huge success rates and give people back their energy and their health. Of course, it takes time for that to happen, and for a while you may feel terror or anxiety while you learn whether you can depend on this newly engineered organ.

The rehabilitation period is long, and for some people, it’s harrowing. Strength rebuilds slowly, and it may take time to feel sexual again. Sometimes, drugs that are used to safeguard the heart have compounds that complicate sexual arousal. Sometimes, your sex drive goes away for a long time and then resurfaces again on its own.

Many people are distraught during the period when sexual interest disappears because they think they’ve lost something precious forever. But sexual interest does come back for most people. It may or may not be as strong as it was initially, but there’s a lot of evidence of people forming satisfying emotional and sexual relationships after having surgeries or taking medications.

As with all conditions, talking about a heart condition is important so that, for example, a partner doesn’t imagine things to be worse than they are, and issues like a lack of arousal aren’t seen as personal but as a physical and psychological consequence of the disease or defect.

If you’re taking drugs for a heart condition, tell the prescribing doctor that you’re concerned about sexual and other side effects, and ask whether there’s anything that can be done to minimize those effects without risking overall recovery.