Dating with Diabetes: How To Meet People And Discuss Having Diabetes with Your Partner
For single adults, meeting someone that is both interesting and attractive can be hard enough without having a chronic medical condition that requires near constant consideration. For individuals with diabetes, any departure from routine can require a lot of extra work and organization, as they often spend a lot of time planning meals, exercising, testing, and preparing and administering their medication. A lifestyle that helps one effectively manage their diabetes often requires a lot of regular effort and care -- and unfortunately, some partners may not be as understanding or patient. This can often make people with diabetes wary about dating or revealing their condition to potential partners.
Dating with diabetes can drudge up a lot of doubts and questions, including how to meet the right person, how to plan dates, how (and when) to bring it up, and how to handle questions. If you have diabetes and are interested in exploring the dating world, there are several things that might help make it easier.
Establishing a Support System
Dating can be emotionally challenging for everyone, and particularly so if you are dealing with the anxiety of how your date will react to your having diabetes (and the lifestyle requirements that come with that). With or without diabetes, dating is easiest when you have a support system of friends and family members with whom you can talk openly about your experiences. If you see a therapist, he or she is also an excellent addition to your support system. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these people when you need someone to confide in.
Meeting the Right Person
As a person with diabetes, it may be important for you to date someone who also has diabetes or is comfortable with diabetes management. There are several different ways to meet other people with diabetes online. Remember to always take steps to stay safe when dating online and remember as well that the “one” may not necessarily share your condition.
Once you’ve met someone, it’s time to plan an outing! When managing your diabetes while on a date, you may need to take certain precautions to plan any exercise around meals and medication, as well as choosing meals that won’t throw your blood glucose levels way off. This may require a bit of communication with your date up-front, but the more you share, the more comfortable and relaxed you’ll be when you’re out together.
If you have to test your blood sugar or inject insulin during your date, you will need to make sure you have your supplies accessible. You could also consider an insulin pump so that you can skip the hassle of injections and enjoy your time together. Some modern insulin pumps look like smart phones, which make it easier to bolus at meals without feeling conspicuous.
When to Have “The Talk”
While every date might not be the best, with a little perseverance, you’re sure to find someone that you genuinely like and want to pursue a more serious relationship with. Some people with diabetes prefer to keep their condition to themselves until they feel comfortable sharing it with the right person, while others may be open about it from the beginning. There is no “right” or “wrong” in these situations, but it’s important that you are comfortable with whatever you decide to disclose, when to share, and how to do it. The right person will understand and support you no matter how or when you decide to tell them.
Questions and Lifestyle
Your new partner may have lots of questions about your condition, how you manage it, how he or she can support you, and how it could affect your lives together. Remember to be patient in answering their questions, as they most likely come from a place of care and concern. Honesty and openness are the cornerstones of any good relationship, so make sure to leave plenty of room for sharing.
If you have questions about dating with diabetes for your partner, your diabetes care team, or even just your friend, don’t hesitate to ask them.