When I first began dating my partner, I was sure to disclose my health situation after the third date. I explained to him what my situation was, which unfortunately for him was much better than I am now; but I did give him fair warning that I could get worse. Surprisingly he responded with affection and almost a sense of respect for the fact that he had never noticed before that I even was chronically ill (we’d known each other for a while before we began dating). He comes from a family of doctors, and his sister is chronically ill as well; he told me “if you don’t deserve unconditional love because you’re sick, then how could my sister ever find someone to love her?”. This was the most amazing sentiment anyone I had ever dated had said to me. When my illnesses began to spin out of control last fall, he was by my side the whole time. I would continuously ask “Are you sure you want to board this sinking ship?”, to which he would always reply “Of course, because you’re not sinking”. I had been repeatedly told by exes that I was a broken person, that I was damaged goods, or that if we had kids they wanted donor eggs because they didn’t want children with my DNA. But my partner has been amazing and kind, he cares for me as if we were already married. He’s held my hair back as I puke on the side of the highway from a migraine, he picked up my colon prep for me from the pharmacy before my colonoscopy, he even offers to drive me to my doctors appointments. As of last week we have been together for one year and 4 months, and he gave me a beautiful promise ring to remind me that when he sees his future it always has me in it. He is the first mate on my sinking ship, and he’s helping me find ways to patch my holes.