Dating A CHD Survivor: Top 10 Reasons


“Love is a battlefield.” Having CHD sometimes feel likes a war. Combine the two and things can get ugly.


I’ve spoken to many CHDers about one of my most studied subjects—love. One CHDer in particular I became close to and exchanged many conversations about love with was our dear friend, Steve Catoe, who is deeply missed. The general consensus in our community is that we’ve all often felt hopeless in love.


We shared many stories of mean girls and mean guys who broke our already broken hearts and wouldn’t give us a chance because of our CHD (or, in pretty much all of my cases, because I cannot have children and they do not want to risk having an unhealthy baby and they refuse to adopt), but that’s beside the point. We exchanged the horrible things people have said to us and although we do not want those people in our lives anyway, that doesn’t take the pain away.


However, with our bright and relentless spirits, we keep fighting, smiling, living, and searching for what’s next. Whatever is around the corner, bring it on! After talking with many CHDers about love, I decided we need a list of positive reasons of why we are so incredibly awesome. Steve tackled the subject head on, as he often did, and although there are far more than ten reasons to love us, we had to narrow it down. I hope you enjoy the list and I strongly encourage you to create your own! Although love is a battlefield, we already have the scars and the strength to walk on and fight through anything.


Top 10 Reasons to Date a Congenital Heart Defect Survivor

#10 – Admit it… scars are hot!

#9 – Our childhood wasn’t “normal” – so it’s alright if yours wasn’t either.

#8 – Listening to a CHDer’s funky heart beat and us listening to your strangely normal one encourages cuddling.

#7 – You have a built-in excuse to check out our smokin’ hot torsos.

#6 – We know from experience that vulnerability is nothing to be ashamed of and can even be a strength.

#5 – Accompanying us to our cardiology appointments can offer fabulous opportunities for travel and sightseeing!

#4 – CHDers need to trust you enough to know that you won’t let them down. If you’re dating a CHDer, you’ve been judged and found worthy.

#3 – Sternotomy scars accentuate cleavage.

#2 – We understand how precious life is and we’re not going to waste it.

#1 – CHDers know EXACTLY how to make your heart race!


Stephanie Romer

HLHS, 1985

Oct. 18, 2011


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