Tag Archives: dating a diabetic girl

Dating and diabetes; All you need is love?

 

When it comes to dating and diabetes, today I ask, is love all you need?

I am assuming you are someone who believes in love being the most important factor in a successful relationship. 

What about a relationship with someone who has a serious illness? 

My instincts tell me love IS all you need.

Realistically speaking however, we all know its more complicated than that.  Someone can absolutely love one of us diabetics and maybe just not logically get it (due to their personality type + prior life experiences). 

I believe it takes a special soul to date a diabetic.  This person doesn’t have to have diabetes or any illness.  They just need to be willing to learn all the facets of a diabetic and also mentally put together all of the facts associated with the disease.  If someone dating a diabetic doesn’t do this they will come to be a lack of support for their diabetic partner.

How so?

Well, for example:  say we have a diabetic girl dating a guy who cannot wrap his head around the reality of how stressful diabetes is due to it’s seriousness, physical and emotional pain, coupled with nagging to do’s like checking blood and administering insulin.  And just for kicks lets also include the fact that it’s never-ending. 

Eventually, this poor guy is going to end up offending or hurting his girl.  He’ll say something like, “You have insulin so it can’t be that bad” or “If I was a diabetic, my blood sugar would never get low”.  I’ve personally heard that last one by the way…I shot a look at him like “excuse me what did you just say? and would you like to quickly take it back?”

Let us remember love is also patience and understanding.  If you have a less than ideal partner when it comes to understanding the complexities of you and your eh… diabeticism if you will, remember this love thing goes both ways.  You should be patient and understanding too!  Over time he ought to be increasingly supportive. 

If he isn’t?  You know what to do…

Dating and the pump; Is it in the way?

       When I switched from my insulin pump to syringes 2 years ago the main reason was to achieve better control.  It worked, too.  My A1c dropped to normal non-diabetic person levels.

This article isn’t about that, however.  Let me share a little secret with you. 

A tiny motivating factor involved my boyfriend (now husband).  He always supported me and the pump and everything I had to do regarding that little machine.  He never complained when it beeped or backed up or gave me a headache.  He understood its importance.

Having said that, I on the other hand, felt it was in the way… who wants to make out with someone and the entire time worry that they might get their hand somehow tangled in your tubing? 

A total mood killer that’s for sure.  My husband once went to grab my hand as we walked through the mall and accidentally looped his thumb through my tubing which was sticking out and jerked my site, causing me to yell out in pain.  A common incidence for pumping diabetics.

Let me make something clear.  This is not about convincing someone to get off of the pump.  It is about relating.  I understand completely about what thoughts and worries you are having because I’ve been there.  I know you are paranoid about what your partner is thinking (I promise they are worrying much less about your pump than you are).  It is inevitable for us, though.  As if it wasn’t enough that we are worried about our appearance, what we say, and how we act.  Then there is this tiny machine which is actually attached to our bodies by plastic tubing.  And it is always there. It isn’t easy.  That is why I’m begging you to believe me when I say that a loving partner is not going to be bothered by your pump. 

I had the pump throughout all of high school and no guy thought it was in the way.  This is because I acted confident all of the time.  I fooled people a bit because often I didn’t feel confident but, faking it works-trust me.  Over time you’ll grow the real thing which is great.  People respond beautifully to confident people.  I’d have to say confidence is important ammo for any diabetic.

Do I enjoy the freedom of not having a pump?  Yes.  I also kind of miss those convenient little buttons so if pumping works for you and you are out and about on the dating scene, don’t fret.  Use laughter to ease awkward situations and honestly, if someone really likes you, they won’t be focusing on your pump.

Does a diabetic woman have to settle when dating?

Only if you want him…

 

      I have come across many diabetic women who feel that when it comes to dating, they have to settle. 

They feel that because they have a serious disease, they can’t expect an attractive or wealthy person to want to be with them.  They also feel they would be too much of a burden on a wonderful individual.  So they think they need to settle for the pudgy little man who loves them to death and would therefore put up with their diabetes.  (By the way there is nothing wrong with a pudgy little man as long as you are crazy about him).

The point is, women with diabetes often seem to suffer from a very low self esteem which is mainly induced by the diabetes itself. 

I understand.  I’ve been there-trust me.  During my most out of control time with the diabetes I was overweight, retaining a lot of water, pale and sallow looking, and without energy.  I didn’t want to date anyone.  I wasn’t ok with myself.  I had to first fix my diabetes control and in doing so managed to improve my health greatly.  I lost all of the extra weight, got a healthy glow back, fit into all the clothes I wanted to fit into, and most of all, felt healthy and therefore looked like a happy person. 

Who wants to date a sad looking girl?

Somehow I snagged a gorgeous guy.  But get this, he liked me during that awful out of control period I just described.  What?  Was he blind?  Well, sort of, because love is blind right? 

This brings me to my next point. 

He was a good guy.  The right one.  The right one doesn’t care if you are struggling with your diabetes.  He can still fall in love with you.  He wants you to take care of yourself for all of the right reasons.  He doesn’t run away. 

I think my husband saw my potential during my difficult years.  He saw a girl trying to get out of a sick body.  He saw me as someone busting with hope and wanting desperately to get better.  He saw the passionate and humorous person I am. 

I didn’t date him for many years because I was getting my diabetes under control.  I really think this is crucial.  How can you love someone if you don’t love yourself?  If you don’t eat right or check your blood sugar as often as you should, are you showing yourself love and respect? 

Everything worked out great for my husband and I when we finally began to date.  This was because I was finally under control and happy and confident. 

He has never had a problem with the fact that I have a terrible disease.  The right man wouldn’t. 

If you are one of those women who feel they should settle when it comes to dating:  First, make sure you have shown yourself the love you deserve and done all you can to maintain good diabetes control.  Second, know that the right guy for you will not back away because you have a disease.  If a guy does, he is not the one for you.  And third, as you work to better your diabetes, remember you are special and totally worthy. 

Only settle for the man you really want.

Dating and diabetes; Should a diabetic date a diabetic?

        This is not a question of whether diabetics should date each other or not.  Rather, should they date each other because they are diabetic? 

It seems in the interest of plenty of diabetics considering dating for diabetics websites exist. 

It is natural to feel that dating someone with the same disease is easier.  After all, there would be a lot less explaining to do.  This person would understand just how you feel, too.  So perhaps in some ways it is easier. 

Perhaps it isn’t.  What if both people have a low blood sugar at the same time?  Can one still help the other?  Will a couple stay together because they are comfortable being with a fellow diabetic instead of finding “the one”? 

The right answer lies within each individual. 

I personally have never dated a diabetic.  There simply were none around.  I can say that the diabetes has acted as a screen of some sort.  Having diabetes filtered out dating prospects for me.  If someone really cared then they would treat my diabetes seriously, with compassion, and with care.  They would learn about my diabetes and support my control of it.  Those who didn’t do these things were automatically no good-no matter what I thought of them otherwise. 

It isn’t easy to feel rejected on the basis of a disease you had no part in acquiring.  I remember often feeling lonely and worried that even girl friends wouldn’t want to hang out with me because I was diabetic. 

Yet just as with dating, being diabetic allows me to know who is a real friend.

In the end I married a non-diabetic man who has particularly great health.  He has never even had a headache.  It is great!  He has even more energy to help me out since he always feels good.  He has numerous great-grandparents still alive and well and I must say I don’t mind adding those genes to our kids. 

He doesn’t know exactly what I go through and the key is that he is well aware of that.  So he doesn’t assume.  He asks, he listens, he empathizes. 

While I wouldn’t recommend a diabetic to only seek out a non-diabetic to date, I can say that dating a perfectly healthy individual worked out wonderful for me. 

Whatever the case be with you, good luck and make sure you get treated right!

What a diabetic should expect from a significant other

A conceptual stethoscope on heart - rendered in 3d

There is a great deal your boyfriend/husband can do to help support you and your type 1 diabetes. First and foremost, they must be willing to learn about your diabetes. Don’t make them read a 200 page book on it (unless they want to) but, DO gradually communicate the things you know about your diabetes in small doses. If he really loves you he will want to know as much as possible. If he is hesitant, try to find out the root of this. For example, maybe he is scared or intimidated. Or perhaps he is does not grasp the seriousness of having diabetes. He will as time goes by. Just be patient and loving and very open to questions.

My husband had no clue how serious and complicated diabetes was for a long time while we dated. He has family members with type 2 so he figured it was something like that. I slowly filled him in though. If my blood sugar was really low I would demonstrate a certain sense of urgency and also explain what might happen if I didn’t get sugar ASAP. When my blood sugar was high I would explain my symptoms and what the consequences were of this. I would explain to him how the diabetes affected me emotionally and how having blood sugar levels out of good range encouraged my moodiness.

Different types of men will call for different modes of communication. You will be able to gauge how much information he can take at once and learn how to “teach” him about your diabetes. If after a good period of time however, he is unwilling to learn or has a low interest in learning about your diabetes, you must consider this a big problem in the relationship. Your type 1 diabetes is very serious and someone so close to you must help and not hinder your goals of staying healthy and getting support when needed. Remember, if he doesn’t support your diabetes, he doesn’t support YOU.

Dating and diabetes; when do you tell someone you have type 1 diabetes?

       Knowing when to tell someone you are interested in or just begun dating is often difficult. You might think, “What if he gets freaked out?” or “How will he take the news?”

This is one of those moments you must remember to be your brave and bold self! It is only fair you let a romantic interest know about your diabetes as soon as you can. You don’t have to be a drama queen and start telling him “I have this terrible disease…” Just be straight forward and let him know that your favorite color is red, you love shoes, you hate liars, and you are a type 1 diabetic. Don’t necessarily say it like that. What I mean is…as you are talking about yourselves and getting to know each other, make sure you mention the diabetes. If he has questions, just be happy to answer them. Questions are a sign someone is eager to learn. If he does not have questions you could ask, “Do you know what type 1 diabetes is?” Then proceed from there. You do want him to have an idea as to how big a role diabetes plays in your life.

I do believe he has a right to know. If it scares him away, then he wasn’t the one for you. Also, all your secret long trips to the bathroom to check your sugar and give insulin might worry him if he doesn’t know what it is about. What if you need to check your blood sugar but can’t get up to go somewhere private? You don’t want to sacrifice your health just to keep a secret. Here is a scenario we don’t want to think about: You pass out from low blood sugar and are seizing. You and he are alone somewhere and he endures one of the scariest moments of his life AND doesn’t know what is wrong with you AND doesn’t have information available to tell the medics so then they have to waste time troubleshooting. Honestly, that scenario is much worse than just telling him and dealing with his reaction.

My husband always knew I was a diabetic because we were friends for a long time and have known each other since middle school. Yet, because we only hung out for short periods of time every so often, he never really saw all that my diabetes entailed. So when we began dating he suddenly had to deal with a lot of surprises. He didn’t know I had to check my blood sugar so often, how disabling a low blood sugar could be, how easily blood sugar control was lost, and how emotionally and physically burdened I was from the disease. He never turned away from me though. I did a whole lot of explaining so that he would know as much as me (spread out over 2 years so as not to overwhelm him) and he did a lot of listening. He cared for me and that included caring about the diabetes, too. Now we are married and we share this challenge of diabetes together. He supports me when I don’t feel well and he helps me remember I need to do my best to stay healthy because I deserve it. My diabetes control improved greatly during our time together and he continues to be a source of support and inspiration. I am glad I was so open with him because not only does he help me so much but, I knew he loved me when all this bad news came at him and he didn’t go anywhere.

Give your partner a chance and be patient, everyone reacts differently and at different speeds. Remember though, eventually, If he/she doesn’t support you and take your diabetes seriously, don’t waste your time or theirs.