Sometimes dating is a great way to get me out of my head and out of bed, even when the latter seems impossible or undesirable at best.

I decided to edit my list to just gluten and dairy, and he chose a Mexican restaurant.

At dinner, it was apparent that we liked each other.

The question of when to share the illness with a prospective partner fills online forums, videos, articles, blogs, conferences, and discussions.

Sharing too soon may scare the person off and sharing too late may lead to a lack of trust.

Having spent a good portion of the last 10 years in a Las Vegas hospital bed, Pierce didn’t even want to entertain the thought of dating. He never backed out.“I never thought someone would marry me with my conditions,” 26-year-old Pierce recently wrote in a Facebook status. Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis—chronic inflammatory conditions that affect the gastrointestinal and digestive tracts and include complications ranging from abdominal cramps to malnutrition.

Besides, if he was anything like other guys she had pursued, she didn’t think he’d be able to handle it. For Pierce, the most extreme cases were when the doctor told her parents she wouldn’t make it through the night, either because she had stopped breathing or was dangerously anemic, weighing in at 63 pounds.

So when I finally received my diagnosis in the summer of 2014, I decided to start a support group to find validation in others who had gone through such a traumatic experience. Facebook has become a sort of coming-out place for illness, be it your pet's, your mom's, or your own.

My coming out was not a dramatic picture of me in the hospital with an IV, but an announcement that I was starting a support group for people with persistent Lyme disease, and did anyone know anyone who might want to join? In the end, I just blocked a few former students and anxiously watched that globe icon for notifications—for the tally of likes to tell me that I had done the right thing.

But I felt the conversation only coasting along at a superficial level, and my interest in him was waning.

So I decided, as an experiment, to "lead with vulnerability" and tell him what I usually avoid discussing until I know someone better.

So there we were, both having revealed really private but pivotal parts of ourselves within the first five minutes.