Dating someone with type 2 diabetes
With approximately 60 percent of all marriages ending in divorce, does diabetes stack the deck against you in a committed, long-term relationship? When Dennis contacted The Diabetes Council last week, he was concerned that dating Susan with Type 1 diabetes may not a good idea. Dennis and Susan have only been out on three dates. Dennis enjoyed his time with Susan, and wanted to see if they could have a future together. However, it was at the end of the third date when Susan informed Dennis about her diabetes.
He was ashamed to say that he had not called her in three days. So what kind of advice should we give Dennis? Although we may not be in the position to give him an answer as to whether or not he should date Susan, what kind of relationship advice might be helpful in this situation? For starters, if Dennis wants to pursue a future relationship with Susan, he should ask himself just how much he cares about her, and whether or not he thinks that he is capable of supporting someone with diabetes through the long haul of life.
If the answer is yes, then a diagnosis of diabetes should not preclude Dennis from pursuing a relationship with Susan. If the answer is no, then Susan is better off without Dennis. As a person with diabetes, Susan will need someone who is capable of supporting her because she may need assistance with some things related to her diagnosis from time to time.
We received another inquiry here at The Diabetes Council. This was interesting -it was from Susan. She said that Dennis said we had some good points, and recommended that she contact us. She wanted to know if she should date Dennis because she has diabetes and if so, how could they have a healthy relationship. Susan sounded unsure if she should get into a relationship having Type 1 diabetes.
Obviously, the two of them have a lot of soul searching to do! But we are here to help. At one end of the spectrum the helicopter boyfriend or girlfriend does just what a helicopter does. What might be a remedy for this particular situation? How about the following method of communication with one another:. I do check my blood sugar every morning. Can you remind me to do that? In this way, the person with diabetes lets their partner know what their exact needs are. There is no guessing. The person with diabetes has already taken responsibility for their own self-management. They have also let their partner know exactly what they need them to do in order to help them in managing their diabetes.
When a person with diabetes takes an active role in managing their diabetes, and are coping with their chronic condition, they make it easier to be cared for in a relationship. Primary care providers would serve a patient better by examining the dynamics of their relationships, and providing referrals and interventions that serve to nurture these relationships. The end result would be better self-management of diabetes where support is enhanced. At the polar opposite, is the Hands-off Harry or Hillary boyfriend or girlfriend.
They may even be in denial. They may not understand the severe consequences that uncontrolled diabetes can have. They may even make you feel like a burden that they have to deal with. This is not helpful and is also hurtful to the person with diabetes that genuinely needs the care and support of their partner. A solution to this is to let the person know of the level of involvement that you would like for them to have. As with many other situations in life, you cannot make the other person do what you want them to do.
You can only ask, and hope that they will come around to supporting you. You can stock your own cabinet or pantry with snacks and foods that are more likely beneficial to you in managing your diabetes. Though it may be harder to avoid snacks that people who live right in the house with you bring in than it is to avoid that annoying co-worker that keeps putting a Krispy Kreme on your desk, it can still be done.
You may have a significant other with either managed or unmanaged diabetes who just so happens to be an independent sort. They just got a new pump, and they know how to use it. They are completely managing things on their own, or are they?
You have an uncertainty because you are not asked to be involved. This happened recently to Isabel, who contacted The Diabetes Council. Her boyfriend, who used to need her help with managing his diabetes, had recently obtained a new pump. He was cell-phone savvy, and he had a new T-slim. He became extremely independent in the use of his pump. He rarely spoke to her of his diabetes anymore. When she asked, Isabel was told everything was fine, and for her not to worry about his diabetes anymore.
In this situation, open the lines of communication. Let your loved one know that you care about them, and it helps you to feel more connected to them when you know how they are doing with their diabetes. Even wore that fancy shirt that looks great but sort of itches. Your comfort level, your date, and a dozen other factors will influence how and when you tell.
7 Simple Dating Tips for People with Diabetes
The biggest concern most people with diabetes have is that a date will stop liking them once diabetes is in the picture. Which is to say, your date probably won't be freaking out as much as you are when you mention your diabetes. True, there's always a chance you'll be dumped because of your diabetes, but that's not likely.
And if it does happen, ask yourself: Do I really want to date someone like that?
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We often project our own feelings about diabetes onto the person we're dating. If you see diabetes as something to be ashamed of, or if you see yourself as somehow deficient simply because of your diabetes, you may expect others to treat you accordingly. The goal, then, is to work through those feelings until you accept your disease and understand that diabetes doesn't make you less worthy of love. In the end, whether you tell a date about your diabetes is up to you. If you're more comfortable keeping it to yourself, that's your choice and it's a valid one. But keeping secret something that affects every aspect of your life may cause problems as your relationship develops.
This is especially true if you have type 1 diabetes because it's harder to hide insulin injections or a pump , and you're more likely to need to treat lows. There's no right or wrong time to tell someone about your diabetes, but earlier is generally better. That doesn't mean you need to reveal it during introductions or even on your first date, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be. Plus, you might devote a great deal of time to a relationship that you wouldn't want to pursue if your significant other isn't supportive.
He's now engaged, but it used to take him about five dates to make sure he liked a woman enough to talk about his type 1 diabetes.
If somebody gets concerned or scared, that's a red flag. How soon is too soon to tell all? That's a matter of individual preference. I don't want to give too much information too soon," says Nancy Garcia, who waits about three weeks to tell a boyfriend about her type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a part of who you are, but it's not who you are, so there's no need to make a huge deal about it when you decide to broach the subject with your date.
Sometimes what you do on your date, such as going out to dinner, will open a window for you to discuss diabetes. I don't know if you've seen me doing this. That's me checking my blood sugar and giving insulin.
7 Simple Dating Tips for People with Diabetes
Remember, your date doesn't need to know the inner workings of your glucose meter or exactly how to count carbohydrates right off the bat. Simply mentioning it—that diabetes is time consuming but treatable, for instance—will get the ball rolling. Even if you plan to share the bare minimum about your disease, there's some basic information your significant other should know. Anyone with whom you plan to spend a great deal of time should know about hypoglycemia and its warning signs—and not just because you might get a bit cranky when low.
Understanding how to treat a low and what to do in an emergency is important for partners of people with diabetes. Plangetis learned how to give glucagon by practicing with a pillow and one of Dallas's expired kits. Teaching a boyfriend or girlfriend how to handle a diabetes crisis isn't just for those on insulin. Garcia, who treats her type 2 diabetes with metformin , still tells any boyfriend about diabetes. Think about how long you've had to get used to the day-to-day tasks of diabetes.
The other way around
Springing everything you know about diabetes on someone who may have no prior knowledge of the disease can overwhelm him or her. Consider how involved you'd like your boyfriend or girlfriend to be in your diabetes management. Do you want him or her to avoid the topic completely? Are you looking for someone to push you toward your goals? There's no right or wrong answer—it's your diabetes so it's your choice. But keep in mind: