How to tell someone you're dating

I don’t mention any disabilities or anything to anybody! Not my co-workers, not my manager/boss, and not a date. The only person who will know any medical issues or disabilities are my doctor(s).

I am afraid they’d not understand, or would overreact. I also have a common mental disability which people make fun of online a lot. I get hiding this stuff out of shame isn’t a good thing, but nobody understands/gets it always

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It’s varied by person for me—I usually don’t fill people in on the details of what I’m doing/why unless I’m very close to them. I also have never had a partner (even my current serious partner who lives with me) follow my Dexcom, nor do I think I ever would, because to me, that feels super weird (although I know others do that and like it, whatever works for folks!). My current partner knows about handling lows, and I’m comfortable with her asking about blood sugars, which she does sometimes, especially if I’m seeming off or something. I do not involve in her dosing decisions or anything like that, although she understands that for some foods I need to “pregame” as we call it. It probably helps that we have great communication in general and that she’s a social worker, so I feel like I can talk to her not only about the diabetes stuff easily when I want to, but can also have discussions outside of the moment about how I find it helpful for her to interact with me about it (in fact, she generally welcomes that kind of information and uses it effectively). She does get concerned at times, but mostly only if I’m very low or if I’m expressing concern about an aspect of my diabetes to her. So she tends to take her cues from me.

I think as you transition from dating to being in a more significant relationship with someone, this is the kind of thing that warrants direct conversations, in terms of letting them know what you want and giving them a chance to ask questions and express any concerns. Way more effective than just hoping you end up on the same page.

Well I’ve never had a negative reaction honestly. And I’m very open about it… I’ll usually tell people straight off. Which makes this person’s reaction to you sharing this very odd to me. You might consider asking why this person said that. Perhaps they lost a loved one? Perhaps they don’t know much about it and you can educate them? All the same, I doubt it was your imagination that the person cooled off. Id try to have a discussion about it but I would be very cautious about dating this person. You deserve someone accepting and supportive. I’ve never had a reaction like that so it seems really strange and inappropriate.

Hey CB11
I understand your concern.
I’m 65 and began dating again five or six years ago after my marriage ended.
Both of my long term relationships, plus the less important ones have been very understanding, concerned and helpful.
But I was having hypoglycemic events that disrupted our time together so I had to explain what was going on and what the implications for a partner could be.
As a result of their openness to learning more and their concern for me, I realized that I had to be completely open and tell them as much as they wanted to know about what was going on.
In the end, my dearest friend, was the person who did the research to discover and encourage me to use CGM. I wasn’t all that thrilled by it but it was better than the downsides and my friend was accepting and I don’t think he cared very much that I had that little CGM sensor on my abdomen.
I still had a couple of whopper lows when the sensor wasn’t working or whatever, including one in St. Paul’s in London, but my friend stuck by me and after we talked it all through remained great about diabetes.
Eventually I ended that relationship for practical reasons, not because if diabetes but because of personal issues he had.
But he showed me that diabetes doesn’t have to be any worse in a relationship than it is our lives.
Be honest, believe in who you are and the value you bring to the world and your relationships will be better than ever.
Diabetes doesn’t define you, even it it takes more effort to manage successfully. It doesn’t diminish who you are, I think it makes you stronger and maybe a little kinder.
But you do have to be open and help your non-diabetic partner understand what it really means. If you do that, I think the good ones will be there for you.
All the best
Brenda

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Thank you all so much. I can’t tell what talking about this means to me. I don’t think this person is the right person long-term for me based on how she reacted. So far, I’ve felt awkward about bringing it up again, aside from mentioning the Dexcom. I might try another time and then gauge how she handles it.

I’m still working on self-acceptance re: diabetes. In a way, I think it’s harder because I was diagnosed at 18 so it was easier to hide if I wanted to. Now I’m realizing that hiding it is just that – it makes me feel like I’m hiding something all the time, and it’s not a good feeling.

I had dinner last night with a friend and she noticed when I went for my insulin pen at dinner, and said something like “you’re doing your thing!” It actually didn’t bother me at all; I used to think I was being slick by hiding it under the table, but now I realize my friends know and notice and don’t care at all. If anything it was good because I could be a little more open and hide it less. It felt great, and I need to remember that.

Thanks so much to all of you for your support.

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Try to remember that most people would be dead if they had to do what we do. People with chronic illness are tough as nails and you should never apologize for it. It give’s you lots of advantages and probably makes you a better person in ways that you just haven’t recognized yet. Many of the best people that I know have chronic illness. They are simply more empathetic and understanding and perceptive and tougher and more sophisticated, creative problem solvers than most people. I’m sure you are too!

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Hey, first of all props to the OG poster for saying out something which has been on my mind for a long time. I have always wondered how my dating life would be had i been able in the matter of physical abilities and not being a diabetic. I also feel like a lot of my romantic possibilities have died an early death either due to the fact that my partner could not handle the truth or because i wasn’t ready to disclose it to them. Hasn’t been easy at all

i know this sounds a little tough, but here goes. If they do not like diabetes, they will not like you. Better to rip the bandage off and get it over with. I have been married for 42 years so I ma little out of practice, but when I was in the market, I said it almost at the second or third thing statement out of my mouth. No sense is messing with it, plenty of people to date, no use in wasting time.

By the way, my wife asked me out, I told and tell everyone I know I have diabetes, get it over with.

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My wife told me she was diabetic but kind of let out the part where the gates of hell opened and she became combative when low.

Luckily when she is low now she is lucid and not combative

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hehehehehe, Tony24. She’s a hellcat. I wish there was a good music video for that.

Now if we only got some of the other Steve Austin parts so we could run faster or have super eyesight or hearing…

You might try… Hellcat by Desmeon

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Oooh, that’s a good one. I’m putting it on my skiing playlist.

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I’m so sorry that you had to experience this less than ideal reaction.

When I met my wife eight years ago, I didn’t tell her initially. I wanted to see if we were going to have a second date, and also assess if I thought we had a good match. IOW, why invest time explaining all things D if we aren’t really going to amount to anything resembling a couple.

I told her during our second date. While she hadn’t dated a PWD before, she was willing to continue dating me.

Many months later, she told me that what convinced her is that it didn’t seem like a big deal to me, coupled with the fact that we seemed to be attracted to each other, with a lot in common, etc.

Five years ago, we married. She’s very empathetic, but isn’t very connected to what I do to manage this chronic condition, in part because I don’t want her to be.

Her biggest concern is what happens when/if I lose the cognitive ability to run my gear. For that, I’m hoping that we will have a closed loop solution or five to choose from.

I would advise that every dating situation is unique, so you have to play it as you best see it at the time. However, everyone has something that makes them less than perfect, so your date may have challenges too. Be open and accepting. Expect your date to be open and accepting too.

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I just watched this video about dating with type 1 on Youtube and it was great.

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Great video!

My dates have usually been coupled together with something edible or drinkable, so I haven’t been able to hide it for more than a few hours. I was once rejected outright because they had had a partner with diabetes who had multiple severe hypos while sleeping, and didn’t want to go through that again. It wasn’t sufficient for them to know that I’ve never had a hypo that severe before. But whatever, it wasn’t serious anyway. Plenty of fish, and all that…
Other than that, initially, it’s usually been that they’ve been worried about hurting me by touching the infusion site or CGM. I tell them not to worry about it.

One short-term relationship I had, was with a very hypervigilant person who would, on occasion, start shoving juice at me when we were arguing because “you’re low!” I noped out of that one quickly.

I’ve been with my current partner since 2016 and it’s been great. We don’t live together due to work and other impracticalities, but when we are together he eats like I do most of the time and is generally supportive, even though he doesn’t live like a diabetic when he’s alone.

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Legit have this same fear. My partner helps me insert arm sensors and I still feel “flawed.”

So, my GF obv knows and such, but telling her and the dread leading up to it gave me anxiety. Before the days of pumps and cgms, it was easier, I would go into the bathroom and inject or test or whatever. These days, I wear a pump and a cgm so it is noticeable as soon as ‘the shirt comes off.’

FOR ME… this is not the firs tthing I want people to know about me when I meet them, I have always had that same like shyness and tend to keep these things to myself. I admire all of you who are so open about it.

ANYWAY. The most recent time, I told them on maybe the second date and it was awkward, but her response was “Why would you think that is a dealbreaker?” and honestly I absolutely adore her for that.

Also most people don’t know anything really about this stuff. It isn’t personal.

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CB11 thank for bringing this topic up. My T1 was diagnosed at age 62, and I suppose by that age one doesn’t really feel the need to be quiet about it. And, indeed, I never have…haha. I do best if my meals are taken at about the same time every day, and so I like to joke about my “feeding schedule.” With that said, I still get a bit anxious when invited out for a meal that is outside that schedule, and then I get a bit shy about expressing my needs and focus more on the companionship than the food management aspect.

Focusing on the companionship is perfect, thank you for saying so.

Any time I’m eating out or at friends, there’s some anxiety, because I can only make guesses at the carb content, when we will actually eat, etc. So I just try and accept that I’m going to run low, or high, or low then high later, or high then low later. sigh

But, when I think back, I always enjoy that I spent time with friends/family.

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