So- dating and diabetes-
I know, I know. This topic- been there done that.
I still haven’t decided how I feel about dating- in general- I don’t love it. I would like to make sure that I note this- I identify as a cisgender, straight, white, female.
I’ve definitely noticed two typical “thought camps” for different areas with dating and diabetes. Tell them right away or wayyyyy later. It really matters or eh not really. Diabetes hurts my dating life or doesn’t. But again- I firmly believe in the spectrum, and that you can change where you fall. Plus- is there really a right or wrong?
For most of my dating life- it’s been guys in my life- friends, friends of friends, inner-circles, etc. Needless to say- I did avoid dating in college- eye on the prize- getting out of GA (and several other reasons). So then in general, there was getting back into the swing of things.
So for most of my dating life, exposing the diabetes was very much already done. It wasn’t a factor or a thing. Usually, they had a very decent baseline of knowledge concerning the diabetes. So I never really thought about it.
One guy, I dated for a very long time (well long time for my age)- was in the “sweet spot of things” (hehe punny). He asked about it, looked into, was as understanding as he could be, didn’t talk about it too much, etc (well at the time for my high school/early college self).
He even went as far as looking into diabetes and pregnancy- andddddd que the very very pronounced tires scretching. It actually meant a lot that he looked into it.
But.. that was when it really hit me- I don’t think I want to have kids of my own- which I had been thinking about adoption- but at that moment- I started really thinking do I even want children? And marriage? Maybe A LONG WAY OFF, definitely not now- and is that something I’m interested in? I was still young- and recognized that I was young. I was still figuring things out.
Needless to say- it wasn’t going to work out.
I’ve been fortunate enough to not have relationships end because of or related to my diabetes- I have however had quite a few relationships not even begin related to it. Usually there are factors- when it comes to not working out.
However, since moving to Boston- my dating life has significantly changed. I’m still not in the mindset of being in a committed relationship. But I decided to start dating (and yes this includes online dating). I’m still trying to figure out my type. It has definitely been an adventure. And the diabetes part is very different now.
A lot of my inner-circle in Boston involves people in the diabetes sector- TBH- I’d rather avoid anyone who has and/or works in diabetes- I have it and work in it- but I’m sorry that’s WAY too much diabetes for me.
So that means I’m going on dates with guys who didn’t grow up with me or were in my inner-circle- which really means they don’t know about me and my diabetes. They very well might not even know I have diabetes or work in it. and who knows what their diabetes knowledge is.
So my approach has changed- well the fact that diabetes is still my tool for weeding guys out hasn’t changed (which I know, I know- might be a little harsh).
But if he doesn’t care (in a negative way), doesn’t care to get it, etc. etc. (or is afraid of blood and/or needles)- it’s not going to work- and honestly- I’d rather not waste my time.
It’s like if he didn’t like cats and/or dogs- It’s not going to work. So how is diabetes any different?
Most of the time, they have no idea I have T1D until I whip something out– blood sugar meter, CGM, shot, insulin pen, etc. then I go- oh yeah, I have T1D. Sometimes it comes up in other ways- talking about college, jobs, etc.
If the date is going poorly, I don’t bother bringing it up.
Let’s be honest, it can be a little trying. Usually, it’s giving a mini lesson on diabetes during the date. I’d definitely rather not do that- especially if it’s not going well.
I also know some people, who don’t bring it up until several dates in. Everyone is different and so is every situation.
It’s definitely been an interesting dating experience- even beyond the diabetes. I started thinking about some of the experiences- specifically diabetes related when it comes to dating (especially the first date). I immediately thought about GIFs and laughed to myself of course. So here are my reactions- (none of these images are mine).
Honestly- the biggest deal breaker for me? When my date won’t stop talking about diabetes or asking questions- It’s mostly- the talking about diabetes not the questions. and if they don’t stop talking about it when I ask? It’s probably not going to work out. Like I’ve said- I have a lot of diabetes in my life- we don’t have to discuss EVERY diabetes topic at once.
Oh my friend or a family member had/has it- This can go one of two ways.
Conspiracy theories, spewing myths, diabetes jokes, and advice- (and won’t back down or let me explain at all).
Look of questioning-
Asks me if I can eat that- or my new favorite “will I break you?”-
So you’re like a robot, bionic woman, cyborg, etc? (my favorite!!)-
When they get offended or upset because I won’t listen to the conspiracy theories, “advice,” or comments. (Also when I’ve heard comments about not believing in feminism, healthcare should have been left alone, homophobic/racist/sexist comments, etc)-
General poor reactions-
Asks me questions-
When I notice a test strip or lactaid wrapper-
Is my pump or CGM showing?
Wait, did I tell him I have diabetes yet?
the rare time his reaction to diabetes AND the date goes well-
And to be perfectly honest- diabetes falls behind on my list of “concerns” when it comes to dating. I’m more worried about the kids/marriage topic.
A lot of the time, dating is frustrating-
But it can be fun, a learning experience, etc. At least there’s a plus to diabetes when it comes to dating? Diabetes pick-up lines (FYI- I do not respond to cheesy/crude pick-up lines)
(P.S. I may or may not have had a LOT of fun with this post- and I’m grinning thinking “I’m hilarious.”)
But let’s be real- this is the “real me.”