Figured fellow Type 1 Diabetics could relate to the struggles of dating with the disease. For context, I’m LADA and started insulin therapy a little over a year ago (currently 32 years old). Would love to hear others’ stories of struggle and triumph as I still feel like I’m getting used to the idea of living with this condition.
It’s an interesting topic, and one that I think can easily get overlooked. My current partner knew me for a year before we started dating, so she was well aware of my diabetes which made things a little easier.
I’ve personally always felt it’s best to be upfront about it in a dating context, not that I’ve ever really felt like it’s something to hide, but in my experiences it’s often always come into the conversation relatively organically. Whether that was the first date or a few dates in. Regardless of that, when they eventually come over to your house, or vice versa, it becomes a bit harder to hide it. I always found it much easier if I’d spoken about my diabetes during conversation over dinner, or beer or coffee or whatever it happened to be, rather than waiting until the awkward moment when I just whip out my insulin or glucometer and they look at you weirdly.
One thing I used to consider as well was if it felt weird talking to them about it, or they weren’t interested, then maybe that was a sign that things wouldn’t work. It’s definitely important to be able to have a partner you can open up to about your diabetes with!
Really enjoyed reading your post, great writing style you have. Totally relate to the meter mistrust, the delays caused by hypo and the big long saga that you endure with one of those sneaky lows, all the thoughts and calculations that go through your head and finally how you never really bother explaining to a non d just “sorry I’m late”. ive never had an issue with dating and diabetes, I’ve always been up front about it. I once had a boyfriend suggest I use public bathrooms to test my blood but he got the appropriate response to his unwelcome suggestion.
Lovely story, Jared!
I notice time is a theme that you come back to often, such as in your Bluegrass Blues posts. Is it a coincidence, or does time have a special hold on you?
Thanks! That’s a really thoughtful take on the stories. I don’t know do it purposely, but I am fascinated by the passage of time and how things from the past tend to take on new meaning when viewed through our present. I also tend to spend a lot of time (probably too much) ruminating on past events and it’s often through writing about them that I discover what they really mean to me.
Thanks for reading it, Ally! Since this happened and I’ve become more comfortable managing the condition I’ve been much more open about it. Reading stories here and on Reddit have really helped me maintain my sanity while trying to adjust.
Really appreciate you sharing your story and the advice. I’ve definitely been more open with it recently and no longer feel the need to hide it from anyone. Even first dates.
Your writing conveys well the feeling of being low mixed with the drive to get on with life and the unwanted vulnerability that hypos produce. Most people without diabetes can’t appreciate how many balls you’re juggling in the background in an attempt to try to set the table for normal. Well done!
heh, I just realised you’d actually linked a story! I really enjoyed reading it, I can related with so many of your points, I actually laughed at the point about all the used test strips falling on the ground. I’m sure it wasn’t intended to be funny, but it has happened to me so many times, it was nice to read it’s not just my own clumsiness
When I started dating, I was far more blaze about my diabetes control, so I can’t say I ever put the effort to integrate the menu before going, but these days I’ve definitely frustrated some friends and family by spending too long trying to decide on places to eat based off their menus haha.
I was diagnosed at 33. Relate to the “body has failed me” from your story. Did you have good date?
I did. Ended up telling her about it on the date. We saw each other for a couple months before things fizzled out. Since then I’ve been much more open about it with friends and anyone who happens to be around me during a meal. My attitude now is, “I didn’t choose this, so why the ■■■■ should I have to hide it.” Still feel down about it and overwhelmed from time to time, but not ashamed.
Loved the story. Happy to hear things worked out. I really like the internal dialogue, was so frustrating and so very captivating at the same time. Well done.