Advanced D&D - Dating and

I have been thinking about this a lot since you first posted it. Pre-diagnosis, I had two friends over the years who were T1.

In both cases, they quite honestly scared me with their D-related behavior. When I care about someone, and they don’t take good care of themselves or appear self-destructive, it’s very upsetting. The more I care about them, the more upsetting it is.

The first friend lived on Diet Coke and cigarettes and was going blind from retinopathy. This was way back in the 1970’s, and she was diagnosed as a child. At 18 she was doing downhill fast and it terrified me that she never ate a vegetable, never ate a piece of meat, just wandered around from day to day with a liter of Diet Code cradled in her arm, sucking on a cigarette, and would occasionally eat something like pie or cake but never a salad. It was like watching someone commit suicide in super slow motion.

Of course, I understand now how difficult diabetes management was back then – no home bg monitoring, no pumps, no analog insulins, no Lantus or Levemir, no HbA1C testing, no CGM’s – what 18-year-old in the 1970’s wanted to get up and go to bed at the same time every day, eat the same foods at the same times every day, boil needles, test their urine, the whole thing must have felt like a living nightmare to her and she was coping as best she could, but as her friend it was very frightening.

Fast forward twenty years and I dated a guy who was T1 when I was in my mid-30’s. He was also not taking care of himself, but in a completely different way. He was into very fringe, esoteric diets – the kind of thing that people on the Left Coast were dabbling in quite a bit in the '90’s – like (I’m not kidding) breatharianism. He was working remotely with some guru in Hawaii who told him that he should only eat foods with “yellow food energy” and so he would eat yellow apples but not red and bananas but not green vegetables, no meat of course, but yellow cheese was OK. This all came out over the course of dating him for about two weeks and I just tossed up my hands and couldn’t deal with it. I wonder to this day how confused and desperate someone would have to be to fall for a “yellow food energy” prescription to “heal” T1 and how much he was paying the charlatan in Hawaii for this kind of advice? Yikes.

So my conclusion to this is that I really cared for both of them – the T1 was in no way a barrier to me liking someone and wanting to be close to them – but being super out-of-control and flaky with self-care is frightening to non-D people. Testing is better than not testing and going high/low because of it. Saying, “I need to eat something now.” is less upsetting than turning into a clammy, sweaty, trembling mess because you didn’t eat when you needed to eat. Eating too much of the wrong things on a date without testing/bolusing, getting high BG’s and becoming irritable, snappish because of it is not appealing on a first, second or 150th date.

There is a certain kind of elegance to good self care. Confidence is very sexy. So be confident about who you are and take excellent care of yourself. It makes a person more appealing, in my opinion, than being flaky with self care, or worse, going hypo or hyper because we feel too shy about the D to test or bolus appropriately. I think it’s best to just display our mastery of D with our excellent self-care. Don’t hide it. Don’t make a big deal about it. Don’t talk about it endlessly but don’t be afraid to answer a question or two. Just be on your best behavior – isn’t that what dating is supposed to be about? Showing our best-behaved, best-groomed, most-polite self to a member of the opposite sex that we’d love to know better? To woo them? Well then, let your very BEST self-care be part of the wooing. Show them that there’s no reason to panic about the D, because you have it under control.


I know how you feel. Same thing happened to me - dx a year ago was in a relationship that was 6 years along - after I found at I had D, the bf kind of avoided me - and we lived together so it was very obvious. He would go out with his friends and would sleep downstiars on the couch instead of in the bed with me. He didn’t like it when I talked about it - he wanted me to ignore it I think. He thought I spend too much time researching it and figuring out the diet. Geez, what was I supposed to do you know? Sorry but I wasn’t just going to ignore becuase he was uncomfortable with it. He wasn’t very comforting or supportive about it - I remember the day I came home from the doctor and couldn’t stop crying and he really didn’t do much to comfort me and was too concern with some other problem he had that was totally temporary and lame.

I think any disease freaked him out - his dad died of MS and he was always paranoid he is going to develop it or any disease - so when I got D, out of blue, I think it scared him.What the hell he has to be scared of I don’t know - I’m the one that has it! He said, " I want my old girlfriend back but she is obsessed with her disease." (of course he denies saying this). So I left - of course, he later says he didn’t want me to leave but he sure didn’t act like it. Did he think I was gonna stick around to be treated like that?

Gimme a break, jerk. Should have never been with him in the first place - he messed up my life in more ways than one before my dx anyhow. What a loser. Now he is dating a girl that is 10 years younger than him (we were the same age). Good thing I am better looking than her. :slight_smile:

My boyfriend and I met online. We had many discussions through email, IM, and phone before meeting in person for the first time. He was well aware before the date, so it was not an issue. Mentioning it for the first time wasn’t scary, because he has a Master’s Degree in Public Health Education and worked for an insurance company for one year as a health-screener and had to do fingerpokes to get blood sugars on people; he also worked 2 years for a company that makes medical software for patient education - so he was pretty well-informed about diabetes before our relationship. When I told him, he even did more research on his own about Type 1…what a guy!

He sounds like a catch! But then again, so are you! ;0)

Smart guy for educating himself about T1. That’s a sign of a caring heart and an inquisitive mind.

I don’t ever shoot up in the bathroom. I figure if a person I were dating couldn’t deal w/ shots & bg testing, it’d be better to get it over with as quickly as possible.

Good advice Jean. You’re correct, it’s best to be in control of our health and not hide it, but not be obsessive about it either. Like it or not, it’s a big part of our lives, and if on a date with someone who can’t handle it, it’s best to find out early rather than later.

Same here. The last injection I gave in the bathroom was at 16-17. There’s no less hygienic place you can think of to give an injection. When I was on MDI (and R) I would take my insulin in the car before a first date. But on longer dates it just becomes impractical to try to hide the whole rigamarole. I’d be more worried about them wondering why I’m going to the bathroom so much than about D lol

All of you are awesome, and I’m grateful for what you’ve shared.

If I could steer this a little, I’m interested in finding out how some of you have dealt with disclosing that you use a pump or a CGM as might relate to “intimacy.” (This is a family place.) If you’re type 2 or MDI, you don’t necessarily look sick. But when I take my shirt off, it’s like “Hi, I am the Borg.”

I had the same concern pre-pump, but it’s turned out to be a non-issue. It’s never interrupted anything (except for the annoying CGM alarms), so I take that to mean that the women that I’ve dated have not seen it as a sign of sickness or weakness. I think it’s mostly in our heads, so just be confident with it and it’s ok.

And as far as bringing it up, you’d be surprised at how natural it can go. At least for me, when I anticipate that intimacy is a possibility, my pump is in my front pocket and my CGM and infusion sets are carefully placed out of the way for when it matters but are easily found by wandering hands – usually the side/back of my love handles or towards the top-side/rearish-most-portion of my thigh. In other words, she’s going to find something before we round 1st base whether I tell her or not. But I’ve always told her by this point so it’s kinda moot. And once she knows I’m on a pump, the almost universal first response is ‘how is it connected to you?’ Not in a ‘ooh gross’ way but in a curious way. That’s the signal to whip it out:) It can actually be a nice moment if you can believe it.

And things go on normally from there. There will sometimes be initial hesitation about pulling on this or tugging on that, but once you get to a certain point nature takes over and none of it seems to matter. I suppose that you could try to hide it and then go all Tarzan with it but I’m not sure that would go well!

I just whip it out on the first date. (sounds dirty!)

If they ain’t man enough to deal with it, they ain’t for me. Luckily my boyfriend/love of my life was actually really curious about my tester… Which led to curiosity of my pump… Etc.