Afraid of not finding love with TN

A common thought I've had lately is that finding a relationship will be difficult, if not impossible. I am 20 years old and of course I am interested in eventually finding a boyfriend. I'm just scared that my low energy (due to the medications) and facial pain will put me at a lower rank compared to other girls. Did you ladies and/or gents find your companion while having TN? I mean common, a kiss or a simple stroking of the face could set this thing off. It's isolated me from my friends, why wouldn't it prevent me from finding love one day? Not to mention I have vertigo, so a playful wrestle or anything of that sort *hint hint* makes me get dizzy spells :(

Your hopeless romantic,


Hi Korie

I met my boyfriend before my TN started when i was 23. He's stayed with me throughout this even tho there is a lot of added strain because of the condition.

Im sure there are people who can find a companion whilst having this condition. It's so hard having this condition, never mind having it when you are so young. I just hope im right and you find someone who will understand and support you. Sorry i havent been of more help. Take care


Thank you Una. I appreciate your reply. It's hard to think what a life without TN is like since I've had it since I was 9. I am very glad to hear that your boyfriend has stuck by your side. It gives me hope! It is hard to find people who understand let alone support you. I have a hard time explaining to my friends what's going on with me and how it makes me not want to actively function in the world. But they're are good days :) Hopefully those days come sooner and not so far in between.


Hi Korie,

I have type 2 TN. so constant pain. It burns you out, exhausts you, id say its brought my IQ down about 30-40 points because i cant use my brain properly due to pain and medications.

Im 31 and have had some healthy relationships in the past. But my TN started 3 years ago. I had a gf for the first 1.5 of these years but my condition was mild at this stage... the last 1.5 years it has been intense pain and i have been single through out this time.

I too feel like i have "been brought down to a lower rank"... I havent been able to stop thinking that i dont want to burden a nice girl with my problems... Like i feel that i would rather she go out with a healthy guy who she can travel with, go to concerts, galleries... all those things that would tire me out completely...

Like for example, i was out at a bar last night that was very very busy and there were girls flirting with me... and yes i found a few of them attractive. 3 years ago i would have reacted to it and explored where it could go... Now im a vault, i just feel i have to reject the advances, as i dont feel right about it...

It saddens me and i dont know what to do ... im glad you started this topic as it has been weighing on my mind


Hi Luke!

Thanks for you reply!

It's so hard not to be saddened by it. I don't know what to do either, but I just have to keep telling myself that there will be someone out there who will understand. Perhaps a guy living with another sort of chronic pain so he can relate... I don't know.

As of now I've stopped taking any medication because the side effects weren't worth it to me. Have you ever thought of going through will one of the procedures to help TN? I've been thinking about gamma ray recently and am going to talk to my neurologist about it.

It's hard enough finding friends who understand and don't make you feel bad for always having "excuses" to not go out. But then again I do have a couple friends who do understand and are sympathetic towards me. So that gives me hope- on the optimistic days that is lol. On the pessimistic days I can't help but think that nothing will make me happy and I feel so hopeless and helpless.

I am so jealous of the people my age who can go out and party until 2am, crash where ever they please, don't have to constantly worry about whether doing something will put them in pain... and although that's not much of a "responsible" life I would so love to divulge in that and just have fun.

Sorry if I went on a little tangent there. Again, I appreciate your response.

Hey Korie,

watch a movie called "Love and other drugs" :) Its awesome for people like us.

I cant go without medication bc i have ATN which means my TN is burning at 10/10 all the time.. I have to surpress it constantly... but its so powerful i usually cant :(

I saw a nurosurgeon a few weeks back bc i have a compression on the trigeminal nerve shown in my MRI. Because i have ATN and not TN ... surgery is 'rarely' affective.

I dont work anymore and am staying at my parents until i find my direction again. I still have friends also who understand, most are in defferent states tho, but we keep in touch via phone and internet, and catch up when we can.

This disease takes so much from us, but i guess we have to see the light in the darkness and do what we can :)


I think it's likely that you will both find someone eventually. As you get older, people become less superficial and more empathetic. And many people have health problems of their own and they are worried about the same thing. And since you probably don't like going out much, and it's not the best way to meet someone, use the internet. There are tons of people out there, millions of people are at your fingertips. You'd be surprised how many people out there are willing to listen and not judge.

And your idea of meeting someone else with chronic pain is not a bad idea.

I wish you the best of luck.

Korie, I have personally known people with MS, Lupus, brain tumors, mobility challenges and neurofibromatosis who are with fantastic partners, so there is definitely hope for you, too. Around half of those folks were with their partners when they were diagnosed and the others met their significant others after they had been living with these issues for a while.

There is one way that having TN could actually work to your benefit: It will automatically weed out most of the nitwits, since they would never want to date someone who isn't "perfect". That will save you a lot of aggravation right there.

You are may be right in that finding a significant other might be more challenging for you than your average twenty something year old. There are a lot of otherwise perfectly decent people out there who might not be able/willing to deal with a partner's chronic condition because it's just too much for them for whatever reason.

Still, there is hope, tons of it, in fact. You seem really smart, funny and kind. You have been through a ton of stuff that would have knocked most people down, and yet, here you are, making the most out of life. This makes you a total catch, and somewhere out there is someone who will recognize that. This person is worth holding out for.

I agree with Crystal in that the internet is an excellent place to start. Perhaps Ben's Friends should start a dating service! (I'm not serious as they have more than enough to keep them busy, but it's a good idea, huh?)

Luke, if you have ladies chatting you up in the bar, I think you should give them a chance (says the gal who met her partner in a bar when a relationship was the last thing she thought she wanted). I understand completely that you don't want to burden someone else with this and I think that is very honorable. That said, this condition is so isolating that I think you should grab every opportunity to connect with the outside world that you can get. Plus, you never know if one of them might be the girl who doesn't mind at all about TN because she knows how lucky she is to be with a kind, thoughtful, decent bloke like you.

Good luck to both of you and to everyone else out there too.

Take care,


My step daughter is 47 years old and was diagnosed this year with Parkinson's Disease. She also had a neurectomy for severe pain in her lower back and legs unrelated to Parkinsons. Her living-together boyfriend of five years one day last Fall proposed marriage to her out of the blue. That's a commitment of support and faith in the future that some people might find a little astounding (my loved step daughter included). But my new son-in-law isn't the only man of substance whom I've met who was willing to make such a commitment in the face of long odds of rough times ahead.

There are many dimensions and variations of attraction between people, Korie. Some men (and of course no few women as well) are shallow enough not to look beyond a surface energy, sense of light humor and sex appeal. Others go beyond the surface to ask "who is this person and what is important in their life and world view?" As I once wrote in a very different context, "Differences may attract, but it is similarities (of attitude, expectation, and emotions) which sustain." Try doing an inventory of the qualities in yourself which you value and approve. Those qualities are worth emphasizing in the people and places you choose to embrace in experience. If you don't see something to approve, then consider getting some ancillary supportive therapy for a few months, to examine why not.

Hopefully I haven't jumped to any unwarranted or unkind conclusions here, Korie. Nor did I wish to offer useless advice. I've merely been around for enough years to have a little experience with human relationships. My first marriage was a learning experience and an all-round disaster. The second time around, my spouse and I have stuck it out with each other for 32 years, half of which she's been dealing with face pain. And believe me, I'm not the world's easiest person to live with! (smiles).

Go in Peace and Power

Red Lawhern, Ph.D.

Resident research analyst, LwTN

Thank you so much to all who replied! Reading what you have written really does make my outlook on this subject a little more optimistic :slight_smile: I really appreciate you all taking the time to reply!

korie reading your blog reminds me and my wife weve been married 26 years about two years after we were married she got prageant had the baby came down with post partium dep it was so bad she denied the baby and wanted nothing to do with me she told me to divorce her find someone else to love thatshe didnt think she could ever love again no matter what i loved her so much well it took two more years to get better well everything was going well when we have another son and then right after that they diagnosed me with tn ive had 14 surgeries mvd s gk nerve clips mortor cortex stimulator and deep brian stimulator she been threw so much she and my two boys are the love of my life threw all the temper tantrums they understand so dont think this person you meet and fall in love with will all ways be perfect and healthy anything can happen take it one day at a time try and get it fixed and stay off narc they will destroy a relationship please pray never give up gary

Korie Leach said:

Thank you so much to all who replied! Reading what you have written really does make my outlook on this subject a little more optimistic :) I really appreciate you all taking the time to reply!

I am 62 yrs old never been married but i have 2 sons. i started with TN when i was early 50's. i am resigned to the fact i will never find a partner. but thank god for my boys.I cound never put a man thru watching the painful times i have. it drives my boys crazy