The Diabetic Dating Thing

Oh dear, I am so underqualified to write this post — seeing as how I haven’t actually dated in what, 20 years or so? (Gads, that makes me feel old).  But I’m going to write it anyway, because it’s an important topic and I’m curious what you all think.

Dating I realize how hard it must be.  A first date… a dinner.  An offer of dessert?  A necessary shot, or a protruding pump, an unexpected low…  Even if we don’t talk about it, we feel different.  Because it’s invisible, yet all-consuming.  Lots of people have shared their angst with me…

Even star triathlete Jay Hewitt told me that he kept his diabetes hidden for eight years, because he was worried the girls who might date him would run screaming from some projected lifetime of health problems. (“I was driven to prove that I was physically fit – that diabetes was not some albatross.”)

The other day I got an email from a guy named Joseph asking about a decent online dating network for diabetics ages 21-40. “They have fantastic groups on MySpace for diabetics… but the oldest kids in there are like 18 :) ” he writes. He read my earlier post about a service called Prescription4Love, but found it not specific enough to diabetes.  I’d guess many PWDs would feel the same about a new one along the same lines called Disability Love (not to mention the wheelchair in the logo, which many of us can’t relate to.)   

Joseph shares: 
“I date a lot and like any other normal 31 year old have had my share of both long and short relationships… despite very deep love I shared with some of them, NO ONE (and not even family members) can understand what a diabetic deals with except another diabetic. I have found that the few diabetics I have met that are in similar situations as I am (single, young, professional, etc) choose to hide the fact that they are diabetic when it comes to dating and socializing. However, the couple that have opened up to me about it shared an immediate bond. The quickness that diabetics ‘click’ is unreal. I can only compare it to the meeting of two cancer survivors.”

What he’s calling for is something like a JDate for diabetics — even asking if I might set up an area here at DiabetesMine.com for singles to greet and
mingle.  I’m actually surprised dLife hasn’t done it yet… I suggested it to them more than once.

Thoughts on dating — Web-based or otherwise — with diabetes anyone?

 

Advertisement

66 Responses

  1. Dave
    Dave May 2, 2007 at 7:12 am | | Reply

    Thankfully I met my significant other before I was diagnosed with diabetes but she is so loving and caring I don’t think it would have ever been a problem with her.
    Me personally, I find that because I now except that I am diabetic and nothing will change that I am better off. I personally don’t care if anyone sees my pump. In fact, it is a great conversation starter because the average public has no idea what an insulin pump is. I didn’t even really know until my endocrine mentioned it to me.
    If you start dating someone and they have a problem with your diabetes or your pump you may want to ask yourself if this is really a person you really want to date.
    Just my opinion–Dave

  2. Molly
    Molly May 2, 2007 at 7:40 am | | Reply

    My philosophy on dating with diabetes is the same as my philosophy for meeting any new person. The first time or so we meet, I’ll go off to the bathroom to test and take my insulin. Not because I’m ashamed, but because some people are terrified of needles. After eating a few meals with someone, the diabetes usually comes up and any needle phobias, too.

    That said, a guy broke up with me after going to see that awful movie “Panic Room”. I’ve always suspected that movie had something to do with why we stopped dating.

  3. Scott K. Johnson
    Scott K. Johnson May 2, 2007 at 7:54 am | | Reply

    Hey Amy,

    Thanks for the shout.

    I too have been “out of the loop” with dating for a LONG time (almost 20 years if you can believe that!), but I can appreciate that it is probably very difficult for many.

    I think dLife would be an awesome place for a service like that!

  4. Kelsey
    Kelsey May 2, 2007 at 8:02 am | | Reply

    I don’t have too much experience with this, since I dated my college sweetheart for 4 years and then met my husband… but my approach when starting out both of those relationships was to talk about my diabetes right away.

    I don’t hide diabetes from anyone in my life, coworkers, classmates, friends, family, etc. When it come to dating, I figure, if someone is going to potentially be very intimate with me I want them to be comfortable with my diabetes.

    I think, ultimately, people will be comfortable with learning about the disease if the PWD displays confidence in talking about it.

  5. Journeywoman
    Journeywoman May 2, 2007 at 8:37 am | | Reply

    Um…wow. Okay granted I’ve been off the dating market for nearly 18 years, but I’m stunned that it makes such a difference.

    The first day I met my diabetic husband he had a low. I took him back to my dorm room and we shared a can of pineapple. We still smile at each other when we open pineapple.

    I fell in love with him. His sense of humor, his patience, his smile, and the way he always supported me in whatever endeavor I could dream up. His diabetes came into it barely at all. I worry about him, but we try not to let it rule our life.

    Most people with diabetes that I have met have far more empathy and are more thoughtful than those without. For those still “out there”, if the person can’t see past the disease to the wonderful people you are–then they didn’t deserve you in the first place.

  6. Tim
    Tim May 2, 2007 at 10:06 am | | Reply

    What exactly are the problems people foresee here? You have diabetes, not leprosy. Everybody knows someone with it, and many people have a family member with it. It’s not contagious, it doesn’t make you smell bad, and guys, I don’t know about you, but when I’m on the brink of a low I can outperform any adult film stud out there.

  7. Jonah
    Jonah May 2, 2007 at 10:52 am | | Reply

    If T1 diabetics married more, that would raise the rate of diabetes. Kids with two T1 parents have a risk of almost half of developing T1, kids wih only one T1 parent have a less than 10% risk.

  8. Anne
    Anne May 2, 2007 at 11:53 am | | Reply

    I know it’s a bit hypocritical, but I probably wouldn’t seek out other T1′s to date for the reasons Jonah mentioned. I read awhile ago that the percentage was more like 30%, but that is still high enough.

    I usually mention it the first or second date in a matter-of-fact way; if it’s going to scare someone off, fine… I’ll find someone else! But I do think that it does make a lot of people nervous to date people with T1. All you ever hear about is how awful the complications are, and that can be a scary proposition.
    -Anne

  9. Sarah
    Sarah May 2, 2007 at 12:19 pm | | Reply

    It is hard to date as a T1 diabetic. Some are OK with it, but many are not. And they may have a right to be that way. Many people do not want a “diseased” person. And that is what we are, like it or not, accept it or not. Yes, we can run marathons, but at the end of the day, we still have a higher risk for other diseases, disability, and death.

    And I cannot blame people. Who wants a sick partner? Potentially sick kids (knowing they will be at higher risk from day 1)? Who wants to deal with diabetes burnout, depression, and mood swings? Who wants to know that a large portion of your income will go to diabetes care or insurance? Who wants to deal with a spouse’s low blood sugar that may cause a car accident and kill your kids riding in the back? It happens.

    To be honest, not many. I once dated a smart, successful, tall, fit, and HOT ;) guy. He was honestly a nice family-oriented guy, but couldn’t deal when I had a low blood sugar after an athletic event. And I don’t blame him. Why should he have a liability when he doesn’t have to? To this day, I have no hard feelings, just sadness that I have this repulsive disease.

    It’s stupid to think that a person shouldn’t care if you’re diabetic. Why not? It can and probably will affect every aspect of your married life. I would never expect someone to want that burden.

    I also agree that people with diabetes should never have children together. That is morally wrong. Why would you do that to a child? If you both have Type 1 diabetes, you may also increase the risk for your child having other severe autoimmune diseases as well. Also, “Double diabetes”, when someone with the genes for T1 AND T2 develops both, leads to increased and earlier severe complications. Just don’t do this folks. No brainer. We know there is a large genetic component to diabetes. And we have no way to prevent Type 1.

    Also, how can two diabetics offer each other the support needed? They both need someone healthy and stable, otherwise it is a drain on the relationship. No thanks! I would never date someone unhealthy. I would not leave them if they BECAME ill of course, but I would not date someone knowing that first. Perhaps if I was healthy, I wouldn’t care. But I’m not.

    I am lucky that my fiance is amazing. 1 in a million, truly. He takes great care of me, and even eats and cooks gluten free meals with me (I have Celiac too). He is a nice family guy and an engineer. However, I was probably only blessed with him because I have lucked out in other categories. I am quite physically attractive and (so they say) smart. If I was “average” I doubt I would have ever found a DECENT guy to stay with me. Most guys are willing to date me, but few can actually deal with the stress of diabetes.

    Humans by nature look for fit, attractive, and healthy partners. 2/3 may cut it, but reality says you may also be passed over if lacking in one area. This is the way society works.

    I don’t know what the solution is. I would say try to be the best you can be, and get an understanding “healthy” partner if possible. If you can’t, I don’t think 2 people with serious health conditions should procreate.

    With the exception of teens with MODY, most young Type 2 diabetics are overweight and unhealthy. This alone limits dating options.

    People are going to irrationally flip out over what I am saying, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

    Most Type 1 diabetics I know have had to settle for a less attractive or financially stable partner, or are outright rejected from long-term relationships. The exceptions to this are when the Type 1 is exceptionally good looking and/or accomplished.

    This is only my experience and insight, so no one can disagree with what I have seen.

  10. Hannah
    Hannah May 2, 2007 at 12:51 pm | | Reply

    I might sound like a total a**hole by saying this, especially because I’m happily married to someone who has always accepted by diabetes, but this topic always pushes my buttons.

    If someone really loves you, they should accept you for EVERYTHING that you are, even if those things aren’t necessarily loveable. If you need to partner with another person with diabetes to find this, great, but you don’t NEED to be hot/smart/rich for a non-D person to love you.

    I think I feel a discussion on my OWN blog coming after this…

  11. Jim
    Jim May 2, 2007 at 1:28 pm | | Reply

    I think that the views held by both Sarah and Hannah have alot of truth. There is a harsh reality out there that we face. I myself could write a book on this subject. It would probably be a dark comedy. I feel that love is magickal – it is what happens when we find our other half or soul mate that we are meant to be with. I have found that person. Despite my being type 1. I am loved for all of me. And that is not to say diabetes doesn’t cause problems for us as a couple – in day to day living – it does. Especially with my mood swings! This is my truth…

  12. Dave
    Dave May 2, 2007 at 2:03 pm | | Reply

    This conversation went from good to bad pretty quick. If you are dating and they don’t like the fact that you are diabetic…oh well. One should never settle because it is not your problem that they can’t deal with it.
    As far as kids go–I am sorry but statistics are over rated. With all the diseased people in the world know one should be having kids if you subscribe to that concept. Diabetes, depression, cancer you name it there is a family history or personal history for most of it–oh wait…I would want to take the chance on having a child who may get one of those diseases I have no control over!!!
    Just my $.02 cents!!

  13. gail
    gail May 2, 2007 at 2:28 pm | | Reply

    I don’t have diabetes. I _had_ gestational diabetes for about 6 weeks 15 years ago, controlled by diet. Blood check 5 times daily – ALL my fingers were sore by the time that baby was born.

    Not like T1, not at all, but I do understand that no one *gets it* like another diabetic. We/They can’t.

    The way other people relate to your diabetes depends mostly on how you relate to your diabetes. Staying private is one thing, keeping secrets is another.

  14. Kassie
    Kassie May 2, 2007 at 5:36 pm | | Reply

    I have T1 and married a man with T1. We have two children. I researched the whole issue of kids getting it pretty thoroughly, and Jonah has his facts wrong.

    Kids with two T1 parents have at most a 15 to 20% chance of passing it on, depending upon the mother’s age at diagnosis and age when having kids.

    As for Hannah’s bold statement that I am immoral, here’s my full take on the subject: http://noncompliant.blogspot.com/search?q=ten+reasons

  15. Kassie
    Kassie May 2, 2007 at 6:06 pm | | Reply

    Hannah, my apologies, I meant Sarah.

  16. Kevin
    Kevin May 3, 2007 at 4:29 am | | Reply

    Wow, after reading all these posts I’m just amazed.

    The love between two people needs to be built on feelings for each other regardless of any conditions. God’s glory says “in sickness and in health.” What I don’t understand is how a person could say they should not date or marry a diabetic but if their partner got diabetes later on that it would be allright. That same applies to cancer and everything else.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I would have no problem marrying someone if there was a 10% chance they wouldn’t live another 5 years. One should be loving the spirit inside the person and not the physical body and it’s ailments. I know that’s not how society is though and that’s a sad case and what is leading to the high rate of divorce these days.

    As for the kids part. There should be no reason two diabetics should not have kids. And the rate is actually lower than all have said. A child has a 3-4% chance of developing diabetes if the father is a diabetic. If the mother is diabetic the child has a 5-6% chance. If both parents are diabetic, the chance is around 15%. Yes, those are high odds in a sense, but what’s to say the child won’t get cancer or something else later on? Those odds can sometimes be just as high and you might not know. My mom got cancer 10 years after I was born, therefore I have an increased chance, but I guess she shouldn’t have had me knowing the chances. The logic to not have kids is highly flawed. God gives all kids equal chances and there should be no reason two loving parents should not have kids.

  17. Reid
    Reid May 3, 2007 at 8:49 am | | Reply

    im a ninja.

  18. adam
    adam May 3, 2007 at 10:24 am | | Reply

    Okay, after reading all your posts last night, I slept without replying. Today I ***might*** consider dating a diabetic woman. As long as she’s had all her shots. :)
    And isn’t fat. And tells me where her glucagon is.

  19. Erin
    Erin May 3, 2007 at 10:50 am | | Reply

    I never made diabetes a secret when I was dating. All the guys I dated were very patient with me when I was low. I had a lot of misunderstandings with them when I was still trying to understand the diabetes; as I continue to work that out, my relationship with my husband only gets better.

    Also, what gail said: “The way other people relate to your diabetes depends mostly on how you relate to your diabetes. Staying private is one thing, keeping secrets is another.”

  20. Sarah
    Sarah May 3, 2007 at 9:42 pm | | Reply

    I never said I’d want to stay with someone who developed DIABETES. In fact, I told my fiance if he ever developed Type 2 I’d leave him. ;) I say this because his grandmother died from Type 2. She was also obese and ate grease all day. I refuse to let him get that way. He’s thin, so he thinks he can eat whatever he wants. I’m trying to help him by giving him extra incentive to stay healthy. Win-win.

    Not all of us want to be married to an obese truck driver type. Can I help it if I want a fit guy? I take care of my body, so should he. I also would hate to deal with another diabetic in a marriage relationship. I have enough to worry about. Plus, if we did have kids, who would care for them when (if) we both died early from complications? How would they deal with seeing this?

    I personally believe the majority of Type 2 cases are preventable. For him to allow that to happen is an insult, unless he really did everything he could to prevent it.

    I’m not having children, but if I did, I’d be terrified to know that my kids would also have the genes for Type 2. No one in my family has it.

    When I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids or not, I always said I would not date someone with a history of any autoimmune diseases in their family. Why be stupid and play with fire? Just because one person can drive drunk and not kill someone, it doesn’t lower the risk that the nest person to do so might.

    Although love is needed in marriage, it shouldn’t replace education, logic, and common sense. THAT’s the reason most marriages fail. There’s nothing there but irrational feelings that fade.

    I think a lack of education and common sense is why the US has such a problem with obesity and poor health. Each generation is less healthy than the previous. Not only do the kids suffer, but we all do.

    Although one T1 may have kids with another T1 diabetic and have perfectly healthy kids, I am sure there are others who are not so lucky. Their kids may go on to develop Type 1, Autsim (linked with the leaky gut), RA, Lupus, and MS over the course of their lifetime. The risk of multiple autoimmunity is heightened if both parents have autoimmune conditions. It would be VERY rare in healthy couples. I know lots of parents with T1 who have autisic kids or kids with juvenile RA. I can only imagine the risk if both parents have T1. Remember, autoimmune diseases cluster and should not be counted seperately. It is wrong to just look at “diabetes risk”. This is not an accurate picture.

    Overall, I am simply saying that not all T1 diabetics are lucky and/or go through life with no problems. T1 has caused problems for me, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Maybe their are others who have also had diabetes affect their dating life. Some of us don’t want to settle for just anyone. The bottom line is, it is very rare for “diseased” people to get the best of the dating pool (good looking, successful, fit, high income, etc.)unless they have other outstanding qualities. I stand by my original answer. T1 affects dating, and two people with T1 having kids may not be “immoral” per se, but it is higher risk, and perhaps not something to gamble with.

    I have heard that the risk is AT LEAST 30%. That’s quite high overall. And that is KNOWN before the child is conceived, unlike any “random” disease the child *may* get. Also for the record, some types of cancer ARE linked to T1.

    If we took emotions out of things that should be analyzed scientifically, the world would have less suffering, not more.

  21. Sarah
    Sarah May 3, 2007 at 9:47 pm | | Reply

    P.S. I know I’m an A-hole…sorry about that! It’s just how I am. I just have certain views that most don’t share. It doesn’t mean I’m worng though, just because majority rules. My views make sense to me.

  22. Sarah
    Sarah May 3, 2007 at 10:05 pm | | Reply

    I also wanted to add that my T1 mom never got any sympathy for having a T1 kid. People would ask her why she went ahead and had a kid that might get it if the disease was that hard to manage and she wanted a cure.

    If you don’t believe me that T1 parents have T1 kids more often than people like to admit, read “Cheating Destiny”. The title says it all. It’s a gamble. With destiny in some cases. I have no idea why the author was surprised or that it was “ironic” that his son also got Type 1. We have known that T1 can run in families for years….

    I’m not here to decide who has kids, just pointing out why I think it’s a big risk for 2 diabetics to have kids. Just my opinion.

  23. Melissa
    Melissa May 3, 2007 at 11:10 pm | | Reply

    Sarah – I couldn’t agree with you more! You are not alone in your views. I had my tubes tied after being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes – no way was I taking the chance of having a child of mine suffer from this disease as well. Although the whole dating thing is right as well, so I may not have needed to actually have my tubes tied, I’m 37 now and I highly doubt I will ever be married or in another relationship again – people don’t want to deal with what the future could be like with a type 1.

  24. amanda
    amanda May 4, 2007 at 5:38 am | | Reply

    OMG – this is a depressing conversation. I don’t want to make it worse but I had to say a few things. Right now, I am working on a website for people with disabilities. One of the items that the clients wanted was a dating component. What we found in all the market research we did is that most people did NOT want to date someone with issues similar to themselves.

    Yes, it is nice to have someone that relates to you but ultimately, when you consider that you are choosing a potential partner for life and, when internet dating, you are making that decision based on a set of characteristics you are reading (as opposed to a person on the street that you just have an immediate attraction to), the question comes up almost every time – Why double my issues/costs/etc by adding a second person with the same ones?

    On another note, this Sarah really should educate herself better. I met my husband 2 months before being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – I was neither obese or a constant grease eater. I was someone who’s body just decided one day that it didn’t want to accept insulin anymore. Should my future husband have walked? Well, who knows but he DIDN’T walk because he loves me and I think that someone that can so easily say they would leave someone for being obese or sick because of it has a pretty different opinion on marriage than I do. One reason why I got married was so I could have someone to help me battle the prejudice and insensitivity of other people, I would never expect him to ADD to it.

    Lastly, as part of a couple who can’t conceive naturally, you discover that you will gladly love and parent most any child, not just the perfect disease free ones. Having a child is always a crapshoot, but, believe me, having a child where their biggest issue is a disease that, if managed properly, won’t impair their mind and will allow them a chance at a normal life span would be a blessing, not a curse.

  25. Wendy
    Wendy May 4, 2007 at 7:17 am | | Reply

    I’ve had T1 for 33 years and am married w/ one child. I agree that the dating pool may be more limited when you have a chronic disease, but if you like yourself enough and don’t define yourself mainly in terms of the functioning of your pancreas, there’s no reason why you’d be perpetually single. For me, the highest end of the dating pool is not just the superficial aspects of looks and money, it’s whether a person is caring, loving, funny, generous, kind, etc. I’ve never thought of my D as repulsive and I don’t think of myself as sick, but if I did, I’m sure other people would too. I realize my child has a higher chance of getting D, but I think it’s a question of how you view the quality of your life. Mine’s been high. Even w/ D almost my whole life. I hate to take the same self-righteous approach as Sarah did, but I question what’s more immoral, having kids w/ a fellow T1 spouse, or leaving a spouse who becomes diabetic. And lastly, I know dozens of T1 women w/ kids and not one has autism or any of the other things mentioned.

  26. Ry
    Ry May 4, 2007 at 8:52 am | | Reply

    I’m a T1 in my mid-20′s, and I usually mention my diabetes within an hour of meeting someone new. I wear my pump openly on my hip so someone usually asks me what that is (I love educating people). I have never had a problem with dating or long-term relationships. I was with my last SO for 4 years, and it was never an issue for him. My current SO does not mind either, and he actually enjoys learning more about the disease. Yes, for some people, there are deal-breakers. If my DM was a deal-breaker for someone, then that’s not the right person for me. It’s part of who I am, and not my whole identity.

  27. Rosalind Joffe
    Rosalind Joffe May 4, 2007 at 10:19 am | | Reply

    I, too, didn’t have MS or ulcerative colitis when I was dating. And, I, too have a wonderful husband who dealt with all the crap we had to deal with (I think we all say our spouses are miraculous for dealing with this — and they are).

    That said, I know that when I had an ileostomy (surgery that removes the colon and leaves you with a little “button” on your belly for your “output” and requires a bag), my biggest fear is that something would happen to my husband. Why? I’d never worried about it before but at 45 I became acutely aware that I had a deformity and it’s not pretty. I don’t know how I’d feel showing it to anyone other than my kids and my husband. Would it be easier if the guy had one too? I suppose so.

    And, I do think it’s easier for people to understand and empathize who’ve been through this. So, I think a website for dating is fantastic. But,I vote for the site to be for all people with chronic illness — not just diabetes. The issues are basically the same and it requires the same level of compassion, patience and separateness from a partner. Rosalind

  28. Sarah
    Sarah May 4, 2007 at 11:45 am | | Reply

    Hi Amanda, you will notice that I said the *majority* of Type 2 cases are preventable. I know you were probably upset when you were reading, so you didn’t look carefully at what I wrote.

    This is true. That is why the UN has a resolution to prevent Type 2 diabetes.

    There are exceptions, such as those who develop Type 2 due to medication, such as steroids, immune suppressing drugs, and anti-psychotic and depressant medications. Still others have genetic forms that run in families like MODY (fairly rare). Still others have other underlying diseases that cause Type 2, like PCOS, Hyperthyroidism, and Cushing’s. However, this is generally rare.

    Also, many adults who are thin and live a healthy lifestyle prior to diabetes are mistakenly diagnosed as Type 2, when they are really slow onset Type 1 (LADA).

    I think you might want to educate YOURSELF on how hard it is to live with Type 1 diabetes. Your comments sound like a typical Type 2 diabetic diagnosed as an adult. If all Type 1 diabetics had to do to stay healthy was pop some pills, follow a healthy diet, and exercise, then yep, it would be a “normal life”. And no one would complain.

    But that is not the case with multiple daily injections, finger pokes, the constant threat of comas and seizures, the impossibility of REPLACING YOUR PANCREAS with inadequate technology, and the fact that you will probably die at least 15 years early and will probably suffer from at least some horrible complications, perhaps at a young age. I know people diagnosed at 13 who are 27 and now blind. They never could control their BG, no matter what they did. We all know our technology is grossly inadequate. In fact, a JDRF study showed that Type 1′s who test 9x per day and use multiple daily injections are only in range 33% (!) of the time! The remainder is spent in brain damaging lows, and body damaging highs!

    I won’t even mention the diabetics who suffer from depression etc. due to their condition. We have already discussed those who have had it affect their social life.

    Yep….all in the day of a ….normal life….

    P.S. On another note, of COURSE I wanted a nice, funny, sweet, etc. guy. That’s an obvious given. But if you ask a guy if he’d rather date a hot women with those traits than an average one with those same traits, you can guess which he’d pick. Same idea. Why should I ever be made to settle for less than the best solely because of my disease. I will point out again that I have never had a problem dating. It’s when they see the “nitty gritty” day in day out of diabetes that problems occur.

    Or their families don’t want them to date a diabetic woman in case you have children. Or he worries about the future. Or he just wants someone healthy.

    These men will date you for 3 years. But they usually will never marry you. They will never say diabetes is the issue in most cases. That would be rude. But it often is.

    Anyway, people can believe whatever they wish. I am simply stating what I think is accurate, and more so, what I have PERSONALLY experienced. I don’t care what people think of me. I want to be the voice for others who may feel diabetes is more of a burden, and who have struggled in life because of this disease. Not all of us are as lucky as others.

  29. amanda
    amanda May 4, 2007 at 12:58 pm | | Reply

    Sarah,

    You are out of control – usually, I don’t respond to people on the internet who are just trying to start trouble but, you win, you fully baited me into responding to your negative, all knowing outlook on life.

    1) Both my aunt and best friend (who I have lived with) are Type 1 diabetics. I have a fairly complete awareness of what Type 1 diabetics go through everyday.

    2) Even if that were not the case, I would be FULLY AWARE of what they deal with because I too am an insulin dependant diabetic with a pump – less than two years after diagnosis (at 28). What you don’t seem to understand here is that MY BODY WON’T RESPOND TO INSULIN – at least not in the way that Type 1 or even most type 2s will – so they keep pumping more and more into me. I promise you, my projected lifespan is considerably shorter than an average type 1 diabetic. There is no pill I can take that can correct my condition – but I appreciate how callously you assume so much about me – thanks. I would gladly trade my situation (and I am NOT the only one, just the most underrepresented group of diabetics) for someone who had a deficiency.

    3) I love the way that you will suggest that I didn’t “read carefully” when all I asked is whether or not my husband should have left me because I wasn’t an obese or grease eating type 2 diabetic. I wasn’t questioning your assertion – I was questioning where your motivation comes from – it is because they are a diabetic or obese?

    Lastly, please remember that when you are posting on a public website making assertions about a group of people that are not yourself that is not what you have PERSONALLY experienced.

  30. Melissa
    Melissa May 4, 2007 at 1:23 pm | | Reply

    I think one thing that is getting missed here is the issue about dating and whether or not a spouse should leave someone after diagnosis. The original issue was dating, not spouses. If you have taken marriage vows you have every right to expect your spouse to stay with you through the worst case scenarios. However, that’s the point of taking marriage vows. Those of us unlikely enough to not be married at the time of diagnosis simply have no right to *expect* someone to stay with us or date us. And Sarah is correct, I’ve been in a few relationships since my last diagnosis, including one engagement where lived together for almost 8 months, but when it really came down to what the future holds for me none of them were willing to stick it out.

  31. Sarah
    Sarah May 4, 2007 at 2:25 pm | | Reply

    Amanda, have you been tested to see if you have ANTIBODIES to insulin? You sound more like a form of Type 1 rather than Type 2.

    You might have a form of diabetes causing antibodies to attach to insulin themselves, rather than true insulin resistance at the insulin receptor sites (Type 2).

    If this is the case, you may want to look into some form of immunoregulation. The recent study done in Brazil would be that kind of thing that may help you to buy more time.

    I hope adoption works out for you! I honestly wish you the best.

  32. Sarah
    Sarah May 4, 2007 at 2:53 pm | | Reply

    I guess I should answer your questions. I DO believe I have a right to say what my opinions are.

    I would never date someone obese, no. Many people won’t. In fact, Adam (sorry to bring you into this forgive me!) specifically stated he would date a diabetic provided she “wasn’t fat”. Scroll up to see. Most people don’t equate obese with healthy, attractive, and fit.

    I take care of myself, and try to keep myself fit and healthy. In MY case, which I was referring to, my fiance most likely does NOT have to develop Type 2. It would be insulting to me (my opinion) for him to “let himself go” and develop an often preventable version of a disease that I struggle with every day. He sees how I struggle.

    No one else in his family has Type 2, and his grandmother who did was obese. That means his risk to get it is not seemingly high even though the genes may be there, provided he does not allow himself to gain weight and live unhealthily.

    So, I would not want to marry an obese person who developed Type 2, was at risk for Type 2, etc. I would not want to stay with someone who abused their body by living unhealthily. It is very rare that people are “genetically fat”. Obese is beyond fat. In this case, my fiance is very thin, so that is not the case. If he developed Type 2 because he starting eating unhealthily and stopped exercising, I would blame him 100%. That again is my opinion.

    Since I am not having kids, I would consider staying with him if he developed T2 anyway (or developed Type 1) despite a healthy lifestyle. I just don’t see how he could be a good support for me when we now BOTH have the same problems. Sort of how to people from broken homes tend to bond together and find that that combination never works out. You are both looking for the one thing that the other is also seeking and neither of you have.

    It would be a stressful nightmare.

    There was a post that explained that disabled people tend to not want to date other disabled people. Same idea.

    I agree that my views are perhaps extreme, but for some they are also reality.

  33. AmyT
    AmyT May 4, 2007 at 2:55 pm | | Reply

    Regarding the dating vs. marriage issue, I just interviewed someone who said “the statics are astounding on how many marriages break up” over a chronic disease. So early partnership vs. long-term partnership can BOTH be disturbed by this thing, unfortunately.

    I PERSONALLY am blessed with a very supportive partner. I like to think he would have been that way during dating, too. But who knows? People deal with adversity in very strange ways sometimes…

  34. Amanda
    Amanda May 4, 2007 at 6:40 pm | | Reply

    Ugh – I am so fired up right now. Amy, I am sure your comment was an attempt to close down this line of discussion down so I will make it brief.

    1) Yes, I have been tested for antibodies, as well as a host of other things. Basically in my case, it worked like this – tramatic accident, followed by multiple surgeries (where blood was pulled and showed no pre-diabetic indicators), month later had diabetes. Not every diabetic is so easily put into one of two categories, though sadly, most doctors and people are more than happy to.

    2) It was my post that said that people with disabilities don’t prefer to date other disabled people. Right now, it is my job to know that. I too, would not want to INTENTIONALLY date or be married to another diabetic but you can’t always control who or how you love. I would also never leave someone for something that was beyond their control, which even obesity can often be.

  35. anon
    anon May 8, 2007 at 9:50 pm | | Reply

    i don’t know what kind of “harsh reality” you all are talking about. i’ve never thought of my diabetes as a limiting factor in dating and it never has been. EVER. there’s always the stupid conversation about it at the beginning, then there’s always a slight freak out moment when i have my first low in front of him. then it’s pretty much forgotten.

    i strongly suspect that those of you whose partners run away because of the seriousness of diabetes are people who spend a lot of time talking about your diabetes and IMPRESSING your partners with the seriousness of diabetes.

    the only bf who’s ever had any sort of problem with it was a guy who had spent his early twenties in and out of chemo for his testicular cancer. yes, he lost a testicle, too. i think my diabetes added a little extra freak-out factor for him to a relationship that already wasn’t right for either of us. but it was HIS disease, not mine, that caused the problem for him.

    i dated another t1 once and, after the first moment of, yay, someone like me! it wasn’t anything in particular. … except, of course, that he was 26 and had already had a heart attack. whoa. not the kind of memento mori you’d wanna get during a date.

  36. John
    John May 14, 2007 at 6:37 pm | | Reply

    It definately can be difficult meeting someone who doesn’t know about the disease. I actually met some other diabetics on http://www.diabeticquest.com that were helpful and had some ggod ideas.

  37. Jonathan
    Jonathan June 11, 2007 at 9:36 pm | | Reply

    I’m new to this site, and I think it is awesome. I’m a 20 year plus type 1 with a pump and CGM and am recently separated from my wife of 15+ years because she got tired of my lows and my being a little overweight (about 10 pounds, according to my endo, which I have lost, and then some) and found aid and comfort elsewhere, blaming me and my lows and weight for her loss of attraction. I tried to forgive and accept, but could not. I’ve started dating a little bit, but don’t know how to raise the topic — checking bg and bolusing is too difficult to do inconspicuously, and it seems to be a turn-off to many women. I think it would be a great idea for a forum to develop for type 1s to find people who understand us — and we need to be understood. None of the traditional dating forums really provide any way to find someone with our condition, and listing it in a description is a sure fire way to get an empty mailbox. Plus, I’m done with children (have a wonderful daughter), and just would like to have a kind woman who accepts me for who I am, warts and all.

    If there is anyone who knows of a resource, I would love to hear about it.

  38. kitty
    kitty June 17, 2007 at 8:28 am | | Reply

    I have type1 diabetes and single. It is hard to date someone or confront my illness. There are many dating website, but no use for my situation. I found one website looks hopeful for someone with illness or have been through illness and start a healty love life. If you are intersted, go to lovehealz.com.
    I am joining as well. See you there.

  39. Kelly
    Kelly September 30, 2007 at 10:13 pm | | Reply

    ok, lets look at this for a moment…in the case of type 1 diabetic males…they most always become impotent and get neuropathy. The neuropathy causes retrograde ejaculation. They are in actual fact infertile. By using insulin, they themselves are being kept alive artificially. It is also proven that males diabetics are more likey to have diabetic children than female diabetic mothers. Almost 10-15% chance. What does that tell you about evolution and Eugenics. Its simple science folks…they were not meant to procreate in the first place! Or be alive themselves! Cruel yes but REALITY!

  40. Ava
    Ava February 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm | | Reply

    I don’t have diabetes, but I’ve dated a man who had Type I. I have to agree with Anne in that not everyone is going to be OK with dating someone with diabetes. I went into dating this guy not knowing much about diabetes, but I did some research. I’ll admit, I was surprised to find out about all the complications, but I didn’t let that get in the way of getting to know him.

    I think there are a lot of people who don’t judge others based on their medical situations and they don’t necessarily have to be unattractive. There are a lot of good-looking, nice, and caring people who wouldn’t care if a person had diabetes—they’d look past that and see the person as a person.

  41. Jackie
    Jackie March 10, 2008 at 4:32 pm | | Reply

    Okay-

    I’m a juvenile (hi older ppl!) and I’m 14 and I have a few things to say.

    While having kids is wonderful, IT’S NOT EVERYTHING. If one or both people in a relationship have diabetes and are married and want a kid, they can always adopt, and love that child as much as if it were their own.

  42. Lexie
    Lexie April 1, 2008 at 9:30 am | | Reply

    I have to say that dating someone with diabetes isn’t easy; but it’s not as hard as you think. I know that I worry more about what he eats and makes sure his levels are alright. I am a worry wart when it comes you that. I don’t think that someone should be looking for that one special person with diabetes. What if your true love doesn’t have diabetes; as in my case. You just have to be open to the fact that your partner has it and just be careful!

  43. Love and Concern overrides Diabetes
    Love and Concern overrides Diabetes April 27, 2008 at 3:03 am | | Reply

    In reading these posts I had to reply. I have been researching T1 diabetes because of an event that happened yesterday.

    A wonderful man that I have met has T1 diabetes. He never made a big deal out of it but last night while out at dinner his sugar became low and I was not sure what to do. I realized something was wrong when he began to sweat and then became disoriented.

    I was able to call 911 and the paramedics arrived after I was able to get some food into him which raised his sugar level.

    While it was scary as I did not know to give him sugar or not it was a learning experience that does not change my feelings for him. He is a very sweet, caring and compassionate man. That overrides any medical condition like diabetes.

    Now I will learn what I need to know just in case I should need the information. Other than that we will go on like all is fine. Diabetes to me will only be a problem if he doesn’t maintain it properly which normally he does so I do not see this happening much in the future. But if it does we will deal with it and move on again.

    I feel bad seeing negativity about diabetes in the sense that diabetes does not make the person. Diabetes to me is like high blood pressure that needs to be monitored and maintained. Being told in the beginning made it much easier for me to know that when something happened to take it seriously but not to panic. This I believe makes the major difference. Never hide the diabetes but be upfront. A person who cares for people will never let this be a decision to date someone or not. A person who cares looks at the person as a person not as a medical condition.
    So just be upfront and honest from the beginning and things will be fine.

  44. angel
    angel April 27, 2008 at 2:39 pm | | Reply

    You should always control your diabetes, but do not let your diabetes control your life.

    I know I am a wonderful person and being diabetic has not changed who I am.

    I have been single for 5 years now. I have dated and have found most guys are ok with the diabetes because I am ok with it.

    I am 37 years old and the way I see it we all have the same chances with problems developing as we get older diabetic or not. I take better care of myself than most of the guys I have dated. The chance of my complications are the same as them developing type 2, heart disease or cancer.

    Reality is, no one knows what is down the road for them. The only thing in life that is guaranteed is change and anyones health can change at any time! If someone doesnt want to date you because you are diabetic I hope they get hitched before reality hits and they are no longer “perfect.”

  45. Ben
    Ben July 9, 2008 at 10:21 am | | Reply

    ok i can agree with a lot of theses comments iam a T1 2000 sent back in time to stop the spread of this terrible disease…. iam jking but yeah theres alota performance anxiety tied up with being a male diabetic and i suppose that adds to it but when all else fails we have other parts that wont. ponder if you must.

  46. Valerie
    Valerie August 7, 2008 at 2:59 am | | Reply

    I would be interested in a dating site for diabetics. They have some for sexually transmitted diseases, why not have our own. At least you would have a chance to meet someone that could have an understanding of the disease. It would just be another level on which to bond.

  47. Richard
    Richard March 7, 2009 at 1:29 am | | Reply

    Interesting reading… well I have been with a type 1 diabetic woman, who is an amazing person who I love. Being someone who didn’t do much research (beyond looking at some definitions) but its one thing to read what low sugar levels may bring and a different one to experience a girlfriend having one… but sooner or later I found out. Well years later we have a baby together and while its not the easiest thing to go through when things get complicated… its not impossible (for us at least) to deal with.

    I will say, many people (esp. the more immature 20s crowd ‘both men and women’) may not handle the tougher moments as easily, but if there is love their is a will. Good luck with the dating esp. finding people with patience and a good attitude.

  48. Damien
    Damien October 25, 2009 at 7:58 pm | | Reply

    I recently broke up with my T1 fiance of 5 years. Her diabetes was never an issue, but what she did with it was an issue. She always had a reluctance to exercise and make excuses whilst she put on weight and let herself go. Then it extended into the bedroom and afected all sorts of things plus making me constantly worry about her and our future. We were so close, but I couldn’t help losing respect for her because of her laziness which led me to think why should I be with her, and how can she expect me to be there with her later on in life when things might get tough (she already had all of her teeth removed, retinopathy, patially blind, 2 cateracts, gastroparesis (where stomach is paralized), depression, loss of libido to name a few complicaions so far). If she can’t try and exercise, then why should I be around later on?
    I have been slowly re-habilitating her as she was unble to even get out of bed at one stage due to migrains due to fluctuating blood suger. Now she is able to go to work, and I really wanted he to have more of on interest in being more healthy.

    I have reaised this is just how she is and why I had to let her go. Am I shallow and unfair?

    I have always been there for her and we are both having a tough time dealing with the break up. I am forcing myself to not allow myself to go back even though I love her.

    But it was never the diabetes that was the problem.

  49. Who Would Date a Diabetic? « Sweet and Sexy: Love, Dating, Sex & Relationships for People with Diabetes

    [...] T. of DiabetesMine actually broached the same subject of dating with diabetes quite some time ago. The comments to her post are what I find to be the most intriguing and [...]

  50. Morgan
    Morgan January 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm | | Reply

    It has certainly been educational and interesting reading all of the responses to this. I came across this page while researching statistics and phycological affects of procreating (sounds so detached.. sorry, couldn’t figure out a better word) with someone with t1. I have been with my boyfriend for a few months and, as most typical women my age, my dream is to get married and have a family of my own. Before we started dating, I admit, I knew absolutely nothing about D. But after doing my own research, in addition to everything that I have learned from him, I realize that there is a fairly high potential risk for our children if that is what we decide. I, personally am not a fan of casual dating, and I don’t want to drag something out that inevitably would end, so that is why I’m trying to make a descision now, instead of “waiting things out” which would possibly lead to worse heartbreak.
    –My concern for my boyfriend’s future is obviously something that I worry about, but is most definitely NOT something that would prevent me from dating and later spending the rest of my life with him.–
    However the worry of spreading the disease by having his children and the worry of my kids living with D is something to make me think twice. Would I be ok with adopting instead? Would he?
    I think that these questions are very personal.. different for every person. I know some girl-friends that would have no problem not having their own kids, and some that would never consider dating a person with D for that reason.
    What about me? At this point, I guess I’m still not sure. Any advice on this topic in particular would be valued SO much. (:

Leave a Reply