Dating and Tourette Syndrome
TAA NYC Chapter Board Members Chelsea, Gary, Gardiner, and Cara give four young, unique perspectives about dating in the TS community. Garry and Cara, as single adults, offer advice about being transparent in a new relationship. Whether your Tourette comes into the discussion organically or if you mention outright, there is an emphasis on educating people about TS and being honest about your needs. Chelsea, in a long term relationship, also stresses the importance of honestly. TS can be challenging in any relationship, but it’s important keep an open dialogue with your partner about managing tics in certain situations.
There are also ways to manage your tics that can help in social settings. Gardiner talks about how CBIT, or Comprehensive Behavior Intervention for Tics, and therapy has greatly helped reduce his tics. In addition to his treatments, he emphasized working with his wife to adjust and change their habits as his tics change.
Being comfortable and confident in yourself translates to you being confident in your relationship. Remember you have qualities and interests that are important, so when meeting someone new don’t let your Tourette prevent others from seeing them. By focusing on talking about your hobbies, career, and goals, you not only will be able to get to know the other person better, but you may find your tics are reduced by concentrating on the conversation and not your TS.
Whether you are dating, in a relationship, or married, be with a person who is accepting about your TS, works with you to manage your tics, and supports you along the way.
“Too many people, young and old, still misunderstand TS. I think it’s important to show others, especially younger members of the TS community, that we are normal, productive, successful people.” –Gary Scott
“It’s important to raise awareness about Tourette because it’s still a misunderstood and stigmatized disorder. The stereotype that it’s just the “swearing disease” still prevails. Most people don’t realize how complicated and nuanced of a disorder it is and how it affects those who have it in ways far more than what others can observe.” –Chelsea White
“Own it and be yourself when dating with Tourette, because there is no one else to be but yourself.” -Gardiner Comfort
Learn more about Social Situations and Tourette.