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?

 

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66 Responses

  1. Morgan
    Morgan January 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm | | Reply

    ahem. four months. sorry. he might get offended if he catches that mistake. haha.

  2. Mille
    Mille February 9, 2010 at 6:59 am | | Reply

    I just happen to read this blog and found it very helpful. I am not diabetic but a guy i have started seeing is a type 1 diabetic.

    When he first told me about it, i was more concerned about what i can do to help him or what i have to know to be prepared if anything happend. I too was not exposed to diabetes and wanted mostly to understand what it is and what is expected of me. I appreciated that he was honest when he got to know me more and it was not a big deal because he took care of himself well and explained it. I think if you are able to present it like -yeah it’s a part of my life, but it’s not hindering me from living -then it helps partners like me understand that it can be dealt with.

    WHEN HE TOLD ME, I NEVER ONCE FELT LIKE IT WAS A BURDEN OR SOME SORT OF DEAL BREAKER. I thought it more like allergies ( i know it’s not but this is how i thought at first) – we just have to be careful in most situations but it’s ok. I liked him enough to educate myself about it and not let it bother me. for me i just wanted to be there for my partner because i was more attracted to his other qualities. Some people have their preferrences but don’t assume your partner would immediately back off. – i didnt.

  3. bonita
    bonita February 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm | | Reply

    Reading some of the comments concerning T1s gettin gmarried, I find this wrong. I am a T1 almost 35 yrs now and my husband was a T2, we have one child together and the only thing wrong with him is a high IQ. At 18 heis running his own business. My husband passed away several years ago, but not from compilcaions of diabetis. Myself I am healthy and age 55 just starting to have some minor problems with my diabetis.

    I have just started dating again recently and the man I am with now is awesome.

  4. Jeff
    Jeff April 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm | | Reply

    I find all of these comments very interesting. I’m a T1 male who was diagnosed at the age of 14. Growing up, diabetes certainly played a large part in my motivation to succeed in all aspects of life. I attended a highly respected university and graduated in the top fifth percentile. I landed a job at a top firm and was making well over six figures. I married a gorgeous woman at the age of 25 and she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy a year later. I seemed to have it all, right? Not quite. I hired a private investigator after a friend told me he saw my wife out to dinner with another man. It turned out she had been having an affair with the man for quite a while and my son was actually his. I also found out through her email that she didn’t want “her” kids to have my genes. It’s quite disgusting to think about how she used me for my money and status, yet I repulsed her because I have T1 diabetes.

    A couple of years after that messy divorce (which by the way, she got nothing!) I went out with a couple of buddies to a bar downtown. This beautiful girl came up to the bar and ordered a drink: cranberry juice. I made a joke and asked her if she is even old enough to drink alcohol. She smiled and said her blood sugar was low. It was refreshing to hear someone be open about their diabetes. Before she was about to leave the bar with her friends I went up to her and asked how she was feeling. Long story short, we went out the next night and clicked immediately. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel the need to hide something that was no doubt a huge part of my life. I can be myself 100% of the time with her. We’ve been married for thirteen years now and have four beautiful, bright, healthy children. I love how her diabetes has made her the woman she is. She’s very successful in her career, kind to everyone, down to earth, and healthier than most people who do not have diabetes.

    The last time I saw my ex wife was at her son’s funeral two years ago. He had been battling leukemia for a few years before the good Lord called him home. His father’s grandmother died of leukemia, so it must of been in his genes.

    Diabetes is not the worst thing to happen to someone. No one really knows what we go through with this disease unless they have it themselves. It can be hard at times, but the more comfortable you are with it the easier it is for you and your partner. If you are fortunate to find someone who loves you no matter what then God bless you. I consider myself beyond lucky to have found such an amazing person to share my life with.

  5. Bonita
    Bonita April 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm | | Reply

    Okay, take it back after experiencing a low during a late night movie my “date” has decided it isnt worth the hassle to date someone who is “sick”… I am not sick, I am a diabetic. Some people are narrow minded even in today’s world.

  6. Mary
    Mary August 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm | | Reply

    I was very happy to find this blog. For the first time, I was able to see some of my feelings and concerns in a different light. I am female over 30 who was seeing a guy with Type 2diabetes and, never thought much about it. I don’t think our relationship went very far for a number of reasons. But this much, I will share. I think if you have a serious health condition of this nature, and you are getting to know a person of the opposite sex, you should be honest, open up, and tell that person EVERYTHING about your condition. I don’t think it is fair for the other person to have to guess, coax it out of you, or pull their hair out thinking something is wrong. Why would you hide the fact that you are unable to do certain things? You know at some point it is going to be obvious. To me, that is the worse thing. If I met a guy and he became seriously ill or injured after we were together or married, that would be totally different. Because then I would know EXACTLY what to expect and how to handle life from then on. But to meet somebody and only hear snippets about their health issues is really not right in my opinion. It sets up a lack of trust and understanding in the friendship. If you really care about somebody, be honest and tell them everything. It is up to them whether or not they will accept it. By withholding information I feel you leave a potential partner confused, hurt and bewildered – and that is no way to build a relationship.

  7. Jorah Brownstein
    Jorah Brownstein November 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm | | Reply

    My husband has diabetes! I met him through http://www.JewishMatches.com, an online dating community for Jewish singles. It is basically a safe place to Interact with other like-minded singles who share similar values, traditions and beliefs. Thanks!… Jorah Brownstein

  8. Savvy
    Savvy November 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm | | Reply

    To be honest, I never thought about diabetes in relationship to dating, and didn’t worry about it. I suppose I don’t consider diabetes a barrier in my life, and therefore am completely open about it from the beginning. I have never been treated differently because of it, which I feel very grateful for.

    My questions relate more to the logistics of blood sugar control in the midst of some raging hormones and adrenaline and all that other great stuff that comes with first dates, second dates etc. Does anyone else know what I’m talking about? I will be eating normally, my insulin pump is on the same settings, and yet my blood sugar is out of control high, simply from thinking about this guy (not to mention what kissing him does). How do I deal with that? Is there a temp basal setting you use for being turned on? This is really humorous, but I’m not joking about the b.s. control. I’d just like to hear what others have experienced.

  9. anonymous
    anonymous November 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm | | Reply

    Hello All. This happens to be the website where I have found the most updated replies. I’m trying to gain some insight as a non-diabetic person. I know that alot of diabetics have said (in all of the outdated blogs and sites I’ve read) that it’s best to date another diabetic. I really really like this guy and at first everything seemed to be going great. I didn’t even know he had diabetes until date 2 or 3. So, it seemed like he didn’t wear it on his sleeve. Now, mind you…I have ZERO diabetic experience, so please forgive me if I say something that seems out of place. Please, please forgive me. Bottom line…we have been seeing eachother for a little over two months and have argued almost incessantly (once a week it seems). Alot of times he has forgotten things that we have discussed, argued about, or how he’s verbally attacked/accused me of something. Now, when I say “attack”…I use it loosely, because he’s never called me a name or anything like that, but has made many accusations towards me and is VERY defensive/aggro. The biggest part is that he seems to be suffering from some kind of sexual insecurity. He’s asked me almost every week since we’ve been having sex if I’m with other guys, etc. I emphatically and patiently assure him that I haven’t been nor do I plan on it, because I want to really want to try to develop a healthy relationship with HIM. It’s almost as though I’m speaking a foreign language to him and even though he says that I keep going off on him (he doesn’t realize that my comments are in response to his verbal accusations and outlandish things that he says to me), he continues to interact with me. I’ve been patient with him, just as a virtue of who I am as a person, not REALIZING that his diagnosis is debilitating. I just see him as someone who is so stressed out and until now, I hadn’t really wanted to dig into why, because I was being supportive none-the-less so to me, it didn’t matter why…I don’t like prying into other’s business without their permission. I just felt like if I was emotionally supportive enough (forgiving him for hanging up in my face…calmly and rationally trying to talk things out with him, assuring him that I AM exclusively intimate with him despite his lower sexual limbido, etc) that eventually he would either learn to trust me or things would blow over. He’s started working a CRAZY work schedule 3-4 weeks ago since his job is directly related to the holiday influx. I’m patient about that as well. However, it seems the more understanding that I’ve been, the more aggressive his tone and more distant he becomes. I’m not chasing him mind you. When he chooses not to immediately return my call or text…I wait. I don’t consistently contact him or bug him about WHY he’s not contacting me. I just wait it out, knowing that eventually he IS going to call, because he continues to show interest, even if on a milder level. lol Today is the first day that I’ve ever considered that all of what he’s been giving me (the attitude, mistrust, MOOD SWINGS OMG) are related to his diagnosis. I’m so sorry if anyone with diabetes is offended, because of my lack of experience and I hope that you can forgive any of my judgements in light of the “enlightenment” I’ve received due to the research I’ve done…just for today.

    I’m torn as to what to do, because he doesn’t mention the diabetes at all, other than when he told me about his condition. I feel stupid for not researching it right away as I never thought that diabetes COULD take over someone’s life (just plain ignorant, I tell you). Now, it’s to the point to where he’s come to expect me not to understand him. I actually understand him more than ever…or wayyyyyyyy more than I did this morning. Should I approach him with this information or try to open up a conversation about it? He’s very very sensitive and defensive. I actually can see now WHY the sexual convo goes the way that it does, with him assuming that one day I’m just going to find him undesirable or become disenchanted. He’s the one who puts so much emphasis on our sex life…despite his inability to consistently perform. I’ve only asked as a compromise that he is affectionate regardless of his ability to perform as I can deal with the low performance, but will NOT tolerate coldness…from anyone. I don’t care what the diagnosis is. If you’re a quadropalegic and can’t give me a hug, then at least tell me that I’m beautiful (which IS true by the way and it seems to be working against me in this situation. No lie).

    So here I am a healthy 37 almost 38 year old vivacious woman with a full life, spiritually led, wanting to form a deep connection with a man who has shown great potential to do so, but seems to be inhibited by a condition rather than an overall mindset as I first thought. I seriously considered throwing in the towel this morning after something he said to me last night.

    Am I making too much of the diabetes information or am I on track with understanding how difficult it can be for single men, especially one who is losing his sexual stamina? Help. I can’t be a verbal punching bag, but I also don’t want to abandon someone who I am developing feelings for (and the emotional connection on my end has started wavering…because I’m no fool. I won’t be abused or neglected.)

    I’m just looking for answers and a solution at this point, before making a final judgement and walking away from someone who has the potential to be a great partner. At the risk of sounding cliche-ish.

    1. Micka
      Micka August 14, 2012 at 7:31 pm | | Reply

      Hello Girlfriend!

      I completely understand where your coming from. I have been dating a diabetic for almost two years and we had many lows with his condition. It sounds like your man is seriously ill. Mine has had this since childhood and suffers from many high blood sugars in the 450′s. It’s an everyday thing and when he gets this way he is very violent, condensending, threatens suicide, sadistic, and has even screamed for me to hurt him. Ir can be very scary at times.

      I consider myself a very spiritual and compassionate peron so all I do is hear him and not take things personally. At times it’s ard when they yell obscenities and treats of death, suicide, killing a person ect…. What I don’t understand is how people in this blog are giving praise that only two diabetics can understand eacother? I believe that at times you do have that partner who isn’t diabetic and who gives you unconditional love but you fail to see this as your preconceived judgement that non diabetics don’t understand you. I have a hard time believing that two people who act like what I just mentioned can live happily ever after. Anyway, just like you I’m supportive and let the daggers fly past me. When he is normal we have the best of times and this are the times that I treasure the most.

      If he loves you he will make the effort to make it work and he has to get past his insecurities. A good way is to always mention how much he means to you and how no other man will do. Mention what you love about him and when he flares out stay very calm and listen without judgement. Read a lot of books on articles and books to understand and act accordingly to the mood swings. Also understand that their will always be these problems but that with assurance, unconditional love, patience, and understanding you can come throught. It’s up to you to decide if you want to continue on this life path with him.

      I have a questions for you D1′s. Are all of you this violent and volatile? Or are these just special cases of uncontrolled and severe diabetes? Also, there are those as you can see that can love you and want to be there for you no matter the circumstance. It just makes it harder when you start judging us that we will never understand or support you.

  10. Jack Menefee
    Jack Menefee December 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm | | Reply

    I’m an older “T 1.5″, otherwise healthy, active & in decent shape. I’ve been divorced a long time & have dated, both casually & longterm. The problem
    is that I have become uncomfortable (even inhibited) in asking women out,
    because of natural “limitations” related to both my diabetes & aging. I HATE
    IT! The phrase “Oh, it’s alright, I understand” really means “Hey, you’re a
    real nice guy, a lot of fun and we can date until a REAL man comes along!”

    Yeah…it hurts. I ain’t no gargoyle, have a bunch to offer and love having
    interesting times & fun. Thanks for letting me whine! Any thoughts?

  11. Zie
    Zie January 15, 2012 at 6:39 am | | Reply

    I have type 1 diabetes and am twenty four years old. I broke up with my fiance of 5 years and am recently getting into the dating scene. I am not ashamed of my diabetes, but the misconceptions that go along with diabetes make it difficult. There was nothing I could do to prevent this disease. I also live a normal life, you would never guess if I chose to keep it from you.

    I understand that the “one” who is right for you will except you for who you are, diabetes, and all. But, I took enough sociology classes in college where they talk about looking for a mate that is healthy is most important.

    I have no problems dating someone else with diabetes and the thought is kinda of intriguing because they would understand the disease and complications.

    If you are dating someone, how and when do you bring it up? Sticking a needle in my body or forcing my body to bleed in front of someone seems a little forward.

    Just out of curiosity, do you think men and women are equally accepting of dating a diabetic?

  12. Carrie
    Carrie December 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm | | Reply

    Wow! I’ve only just seen this post! I’m writing a book about diabetes and dating – with a wild sense of humour as well as deep questions!! I was wondering if any of you would like me to use your stories, questions or hilarious diabetes dating disasters you may have, in the book? You can be anonymous of course :) (I am T1 myself)

  13. Gloria
    Gloria November 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm | | Reply

    My boyfriend is diabetic and I’m scared to death to consume anything with sugar in it. I had drank one soda infront of him and he took it from me and started drinking from it then started shaking violently. Me not knowing much about diabetes started freaking out and calling for my aunt to help him until he started laughing making me realize he was just trying to scare me. I don’t know much about diabetes, but I do know that I want to spend my life with this guy. Can you give me some websites to help better inform me on diabetes and on some tips on dating some one with diabetes and possibly a few websites for high cholesterol so I don’t fall under the diabetes category as well. Thank you!

  14. Warne
    Warne May 4, 2014 at 3:48 pm | | Reply

    Hey one and al…

    My name is Warne, I am T2 diabetic. After a check up say about 3 to 4yrs ago, my Dr told me I have diabetes I nearly figuratively speaking died. A1C was off the wall…above 7 I think….Blood sugar….what 400 mabey 500 pts or above that. He put me on insulin right away till my numbers came down after 8 months then he took me off it. Im on something else now for it. But as dating goes, I read a few of all your blogs. My first thought would be, I thought the woman would head for the hills….btw I’m 57 this year. when she hears that. I guess the general consences is….just be honest on a first date with a woman and hope she does not run to someone else who is not or does not have what we all have. Im a nice guy other wise, I just have an ordeal on what I can eat and can’t eat. Has anyone here….we all love pasta in some form or another….it does have a nasty way of turning in to sugar. Has anyone here found a way to prepare it or have it once in a while and what have any of you found that is does to our bodies and does anyone here have pasta once in a while. Thanks for letting me sound off her Warne

  15. Warne
    Warne May 4, 2014 at 3:53 pm | | Reply

    Hey one more thing….

    Does any body here know of any good dating sites just for diabetics and only for diabetics. Thanks for any help. Warne

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