Advise please


Help please, in need of female advise, simply put, I have recently meet someone, a very special someone, how do I introduce her to the AVM world without scaring her off ?? I am 30+ year survivor dealing with some complications that effect and limit life in a major way, any advise would be greatly appreciated, she does know I’m a survivor but no real details, I want to be open and honest from the start so she knows what she is getting herself into, I have been alone along time and don’t want to blow any chance I might have of having someone in my life, I have fallen hard for her and heart’s telling me to take a chance.



I’m no good at this kind of advice but I think just talk about it in a brief way and let her ask for more detail as and when she wants it. I think the effect you’re after is always to be accessible, always open, always honest but not overpowering with medical history. This thing has a big enough impact on you to need to talk about it but we guys are often inclined to talk about ourselves a bit too much, so concentrate on asking her about her rather than feeling the need to tell her about you.

This thing doesn’t define you, so be careful not to over emphasise it. On the other hand, it really does give you some limitations and you have good days and bad days, so it does affect you significantly. She needs to get to know about you rather than your AVM or deep medical history.

By the time anyone gets to our age, we all have a long history of something. I think she’ll be interested in you if you go out of your way / put more emphasis in your conversations about understanding her.

When you do explain your AVM, consider doing it in layers, like peeling an onion – today she only gets to see the brown skin on the outside. Next time, you might go one layer in. And so on. But let her ask into the layers rather than you pushing her through the layers or cutting the onion in half and saying “look at this scary thing!”

Like I say, I’m not good at this kind of advice but that’s what I think. For Goodness’ sake get other peoples views!

I hope it goes well… you’re worth it!

Another thing I’d say is that it feels to me like you’re more confident in recent months. Your posts are very encouraging to people and I feel like you’re fitting well into this community. I dont know whether that reflects a change in you over the last 6-12 months but if it does, I think that should offer you some encouragement. You seem a more confident, comfortable person to me than when we first met.

Very good luck!



hi electrician. i don’t have any good advice for how to act with your friend unfortunately. i cud use some advice there as well lol.

as far as being lonely goes. i find that family helps. im younger than u(24), but was living on my own while going to school. i got super depressed + lonely…moved back home, attended school locally and was better.

this may not be option for you, not sure, but just be good to connect with family if you can, being around them help me feel less alone. i also find also having pet helps/being part of online communities…like avmsurvivors is great community…i also have online friends that i follow on twitter, i made them thru common interest

best of luck


Hi Andrew,

I feel Richard’s advice is really good. I think at your age, everybody has had their share of challenges and history. It would be pretty unrealistic to be dating without expecting some kind of history in your partner. I think as time goes on, and you both get more comfortable with each other, at the natural pace of things. Keep making efforts to get to know her story and she will naturally ask about you too. It will lead to deep talks where although your story’s are differant - you will be able to relate one anothers challenges in some ways to bond closer. You have already told her your a survivor, I feel she will naturally want to know more over time without you having to bring up the indepth story to her.

It is natural when your in the early stages of a courtship that we don’t want to drop all our heavy stuff on the person immediately. Try to remember that it is highly unlikely you are the only one - I’m sure she has her own things that she is taking slowly to let you into and has her own insecurities.

As Richard says, your AVM and challenges that have come from it do not define you. If anything these challenges mainly add to your strong character and understanding nature. Your a kind person who goes out of their way to support us all on this site. Although you have found times lonely, you have also developed self sufficiency and your own support network - many people simply don’t know how to function out of a relationship or become codependant but you don’t have that porblem. You are also clearly more in touch with your feelings than many and these are all very attractive points in a man (from a female perspective).

I was concerned myself when it comes to men. I am 23, with a buzz cut since my hair loss after my embo, I’m partially sighted now with more treatment to come at risk of becoming blind. This is quite alot to deal with for any guy my age to expect. But I found people alot of the time respond according to how you say things and your attitude.

I realised this AVM is only a whole load of baggage if I have the attitude it is. I have worked on my confidence alot recently, I do ofcourse have bad days but on the whole I feel alot better. Yes I’ve dealt with stuff, but I’m a stronger person, more understanding, compassionate and open minded. Having this AVM has given me a new perspective on life, more get up and go, adaptability. A guy could chose some other girl with long hair, perfect sight and health and the ability to drive a car. But where this AVM has affected me, I have also gained added points in character many other girls don’t have. I also still have many other great qualities totally unrelated to my AVM that I take pride in. Overall I honestly feel that I am still a catch, and any guy would be lucky to have me, certainly not that I am a burden or they would be a saint to take me on.

When I tell people about my AVM, I keep positive. I make it clear although it not easy it is also just one aspect of my life, I have alot in my life I feel good about. I notice people respond more positively in response to my attitude instead of showing pity or being dramatic.

Same for you, you have your challenges but overall as a person you are still a catch. Your AVM is only one aspect of your life, and there are so many other things about you too. I would also say try not to put too much pressure on yourself for this relationship to work out. It takes two to tango and if its not with her, you will find a loving partner who loves and accepts you.

Best of wishes,



Pardon me for diverting Andrew’s thread but “absolutely you have” :heart:️!


If it’s meant to be it will happen. Just go with it and see what happens. Good luck!


Everyone has baggage, love. The true test of a relationship is acceptance of the other’s “shortcomings”. I found my AVM experience strengthened my relationship with my significant other. He appreciated being involved in the process rather than being shut out. Be as honest as you can and talk, talk, talk. And never forget that the tables can be turned so quickly and she may need your support one day. Don’t sell yourself short. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer. If someone cannot accept you for who you are, are they really worthy of your love and attention. Good luck with it all.


I say the worst thing you can do is not tell her or hide things. At our age we all have baggage, if she’s not willing to help you carry yours (and you hers) then it’s not a good match.

One of the nicest things about meeting my husband was that he understood chronic pain. I have chronic migraines, he had Blount’s Diease and needed both knees replaced when we met. He “got it” in a way a person without chronic pain could not.

As it turns out that wasn’t even the biggest issue he had, he had some IRS problems and was terrified to tell me. He was terrible with money so I told him going forward I would have to be in charge of money or it wasn’t happening. He handed me his check book and debit card, called me his “account nazi” and that was that, issue resolved.

You have to be straight and honest with someone you want to be involved with, their reaction will tell you if it’s an involvment you can live with.

Good luck.



Richard, your to kind, I thank you for the confidence booster and that is some great advise, as you know I’m not much of a poster as replier and I’m a little overwhelmed by the number of replies and advise, I thank you for getting the ball rolling,


A big thank you to all !! I wanted to reply to all individually but realized I would be hear all night, I greatly apperiate everyone’s input and sound advise, very helpful and helps to put things into perspective, I want you all to know your advise will be taken to heart and put to use, THANK YOU



I think I’m in your boat. I’m in my late 40’s. My AVM ruptured several years ago. At this time, I have no interest in dating, but I’m open to possibilities. As for advice? I say go for it. You are in a position to be more honest about yourself than anyone. Tell her how you were, and how the AVM has affected you, and that while, physically, you can’t perform as you once did, emotionally, you are stronger, and are more accepting of one’s shortcommings. If you are really interested, focus on your strengths. Good luck.



Greg, thank you for the great advise, yes, we are in the same boat and I feel the same as you but, I’m also not going to let it pass me by without at least trying, like you I’m not so much into dating/ relationship but I am willing to give her a chance as much as I’m willing to take one, I didn’t even realize she noticed me until she made that clear, I appreciate the confidence booster and sound advise, thank you,


Be HONEST, as soon as possible! Hopefully, she will want to learn more about you. If you wait too long to tell her, that might be hard for her that you were HIDING it???

Ask GOD for guidance in this issue!

LIsa A. Stuckel


Dear @electrician You remind me of my husband I had a huge crush on and other people told him and he did not believe them! He finally asked me and I said yes I was interested…and still nothing… Then a friend of both of us arranged for group of co workers to go see the latest 007 movie but really it was a set up and it was only the two of us who showed up and - We have been together ever since which is 19 years.
I am 10 years younger than him, low bp and low cholesterol in better all around shape and I ended up with a massive stroke and then an AVM etc.

Okay enough about me- everyone has their issues and let her get to know you - I would tell her you have an AVM. She will probably not know what it is. The way I explain it to people is like an aneurysm but in the veins. I tell new friends about my stroke so I cant be lifting things etc. Like last weekend I got to ride in B17 WWII plane and I had to be shoved into the plane cause I could not lift myself into it cause I am still so damn weak. I am sure she will have questions -
Like Dick said It does not define you.

I think honesty is best but dont flood her with it. If you are too tired to do something. Just tell her. I would love to go bowling tonight but I am beat how about tomorrow? if you are better doing stuff in the afternoon make it happen.

It sounds like she is interested in you and just be yourself.
Dont be afraid I am sure she is nervous too!


Hello to all my avmer’s, So sorry I haven’t posted lately, I have really been struggling, thing’s seem to be getting progressively worse, but with all your love and support I continue to fight hard and will never surrender, I am so grateful for all the reply s and great advise, want you all to know things are going well, taking it slowly but she seems to be for real and has made a huge difference in my life, she seems to be willing to accept me for me and has compassion for what it is I’m dealing with, she hasn’t really asked much as far as details but treats me like it’s not what matters to her but I am, makes me feel cared about, feelings I haven’t felt in along time, I will do my best to keep you all informed and once again apologize for the delay, I love you all and thank you so much !! your advise and stories where beyond helpful and encouraging, always remember, non of of asked for this so be strong and know your not alone, take care,


I’m new to this group, as I was just recently diagnosed. I am in a secure relationship, and so far so good with support from him. I do however know what it’s like to bring details of baggage into a new relationship. My ex husband was very verbally abusive, and as I began to fall in love again, I faced many challenges. I hated to unload it all on him in fear that he would think that I was crazy or all about myself, or broken completely. It was very difficult to bring up, but sometimes he would say something that would sound even slightly similar to my ex, and I would go right to my dark place. Slowly, I did eventually let him in, and as we got more comfortable, he would ask about certain things. He’s cautious about what he asks still now, but when he does, I tell him the truth, I remind him that I’m not broken, but that somethings affect me more than they should. He always reminds me to just be truthful, and that if I want to say something, I should just say it. So that’s my advise to you. Remember, you are not broken, just that some things may be more challenging. Experience and the past, makes us who we are today, but today can make us into who we are tomorrow. Be honest with her. If something is bothering you speak up. If all else fails, but her a beer and tell her she’s pretty. Lol. Basically, treat her well and remember to say what you are thinking, wether it’s about you, or if it’s how amazing she is.


Leahr, thank so much for taking the time to share, great timing I needed to hear that, know that your advise I well received and will be put to use, thanks again and my you and your family be blessed, take care,


Hi Electrician,

Really good to hear that things are going well with your lady :slight_smile: sounds like things are going in a really positive direction. Wishing you all the best!

To any other AVMers going into the dating game-

I have been going on dates recently too and I’ve decided to take the direct approach. It naturally comes up when the whole “so what do you do for work?” conversation comes up. I am very open about my AVM and stroke rather than tiptoeing around it - I’ve found it sort of opens up a deeper conversation rather than just standard small talk. I also have an opportunity to see what their response is and I’ve noticed my openness makes others feel more comfortable opening up to me. I am open, laid back answering any questions and I keep causal “ahh well shit happens” and am positive about it all - no drama or victim attitude. I feel this approach puts people at ease and they know they don’t need to approach me with kid gloves and that I’m not looking for a carer or sympathy.

I’ve not had anyone reject me or seem put off by my condition or disability, if anything they apear to like me more. I think with these things a light hearted, positive and honest approach is also a good approach. It is a good filtering process to detect people who aren’t right for you too.

I’d think alot of the time it is our own negative thoughts and low self love that sabotages us and then attracts people who reaffirm our fears of not being good enough. Reaching a point of self acceptance and knowing regardless of your AVM or difficulties as a result of it - you’re good enough and someone would be just as lucky to have you as you are to have one another’s love and support - I think that is key.

I think counselling has also been really useful to help work through personal issues I had before this AVM presented itself. Working though my issues around attatchement, abandonment and boundaries. I can’t control my AVM but I can work on personal development and how I cope
/my mindset with regards to my AVM and how it affects my life. That has been very empowering.

I might have short half curly half wavy hair and be disabled but I feel like a lady with plenty to offer - in demand with plenty of options rather than in a “beggars can’t be choosers” position!




Slightly off topic (AVM plays no part in it) but in February, my 26 year old starting dating a guy with spina bifida. They met online and we were very intrigued as we watched how she handled dating a guy in a wheel chair. He’s been very open, honest, up beat but realistic - they have had good conversations about it (so she tells me) and in 6 short months, the question is no longer “is this the one?” It is now “when will we have time with work and school to squeeze in a wedding and married life.” We couldn’t be happier for her and I am proud of the way she didn’t look “past” his physical limitations but looked at it as just part of the whole package. So, for those of you in that situation and in the dating arena, be real, be yourself, don’t hide what you have to deal with but don’t play the “down card” all the time. As my therapist has told me, the goal is to get the “down card” out only occasionally and to control how long it’s out and when you put it away…

As I believe those of you in England would say, “Cheers!?!”