20 Responses

  1. Karin
    Karin January 22, 2009 at 9:46 am | | Reply

    I’ve done it both ways, but in the end (the relationship I have with my husband) I realized that diabetes is as much a part of me as my brown hair. I was a package deal when he met me and I didn’t have any qualms about letting him know that…the package included me, my diabetes, my dog and my cat. I wouldn’t live with him until he gave me an injection, because someone would have to if I couldn’t, and he’s been supportive and involved since (that was 7 years ago). I think I’m lucky, but I also think that it is a vital part of who we are when we enter relationships and even it someone isn’t particularly receptive to it, then regardless of how we feel about them, they aren’t the one…I think it’s about making mature decisions and basing the relationship on honesty from the get go…

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  3. Dawn
    Dawn January 22, 2009 at 10:13 am | | Reply

    Karin, that’s all very wise, but you are lucky and married the guy. In my twenties, I didn’t inform everyone I had an intimate relationship with. It is a touch and go thing. Feel out the situation, I would say. For a young woman like Allison, it might be better to be proactive in the beginning, and then reactive. Why would you want to scare someone off with bloody details on the hollywood scala at the very beginning, when just a few facts would suffice. Later, when they are deeply in love with you, and you know it, then they will ask you anyway. When you’ve lived long enough, you come to realize that everyone out there is damaged goods. Everyone is mortal, and those diamonds in the rough will certainly find a pearl in you, Allison. Play it straight and cool…

  4. Suzanne
    Suzanne January 22, 2009 at 10:56 am | | Reply

    I met my husband online, and in the second level of conversation (complicated e-harmony thing), he posed some questions. One was, “What are you most proud of?” — or something like that. I took that as my opportunity to tell him I was proud of how I’d handled my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes at age 30 (this online encounter was only 9 months after I’d been diagnosed, so it was pretty fresh). I figured, if he never contacted me again, that was okay. But if he did, then he might be open-minded and a decent guy. That turned out to be quite true! But he did tell me recently that it took him a while to come to terms with it while we were dating. It was a hurdle, I guess. But he got over that hurdle and he’s awesome! I guess this is a really personal decision – the whole diabetes & dating thing.

  5. Journeywoman
    Journeywoman January 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm | | Reply

    With my husband (he’s the type 1 diabetic, I’m not.) I found out the day I met him. We were talking and then went to dinner (this was in college). He had a low blood sugar episode when he took me back to my dorm. I was trying not to eat sweets, so we only had a can of pineapple which we couldn’t get open.

  6. Jonathan
    Jonathan January 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm | | Reply

    Allison: My experience may not be germane to your situation, as I am in my mid-40s, though recently separated and new to the dating world (though in a great relationship now). It was difficult for me to conceal my diabetes for a long time because I am a pumper and the pump cannot be hidden forever. Like Suzanne, I did my dating online, which started with exchanges of emails. In many cases, I got the diabetes “out there” before the first date or, if not, then on or immediately after the first date. Rarely was the reaction negative, but age may have something to do with it. The people I was dating were virtually always divorced, so they were a little less idealistic about finding the perfect physical specimen, and knew that it was the heart and mind that mattered, rather than the body. How did I educate? The first serious post-divorce person took it upon herself to start learning — here, tudiabetes and others, and asked lots of questions. My current companion is the child of a T2, so knows alot, but wants to learn more. She asks lots of questions, which I answer as best as I can. I try to encourage her curiosity. I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way. But, it is necessary for the person to be interested. In all the years of my marriage, my ex never did any independent research on diabetes, only came to the doctor with me a couple of times, and mostly focused on my lack of control and poor eating habits (which she was right about), but never really took the time to try to understand how hard what we do really is.

  7. Scott K. Johnson
    Scott K. Johnson January 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm | | Reply

    Great post Allison (thanks Amy)!

  8. Kate
    Kate January 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm | | Reply

    Usually, for me, dinner is a part of the first couple of dates. I just pull out my meter with a wide grin and a “Do you mind if I do a blood sugar?” When I first met my partner she knew about as much as the average non-diabetic, so it didn’t really scare her. The nervousness came as we spent more time together and she saw how much it affected everything that I do. I had to learn to share my glucose results. That was big for me because I was very private about my readings, thinking that I was being judged if it wasn’t spot-on (Or worse, judged by type 2 standards…”Isn’t 130 a little high?” Not in my world it isn’t.).

  9. xim1970
    xim1970 January 22, 2009 at 7:11 pm | | Reply

    I’ve been on many dates and if it didn’t come up on the first date (I never made it a priority to discuss it, but once or twice diabetes MADE it necessary) then I would mention it upon acceptance of a second date. No one has ever had a problem with my diabetes (except me, I guess!), and I attribute that to the fact that I have reasonably good control over it and so I’m comfortable with taking care of a low or high…it seems many PW/OD ARE afraid of “what to do” in the event of an emergency…I, however, am not, and I always make sure to take control of that situation.
    Usually a conversation would be: “Oh, can we stop at the next store so I can get something to eat?” I say. “Sure, why?” asks my date. “My blood sugar is low.” I reply. “Oh, what should I do?!?” comes the worried reply. I reply in my most confident and soothing tone, “Nothing. It’s no big deal. I just need to get some sugar in me. This happens from time to time, and I’m used to catching this thing early.”
    I think if you do have decent control, you can put your new love at ease by being confident in your own control over diabetes, and explaining what happens in you and why. All over a period of time. I never try to bog them down with too much information at once.
    Good luck Allison!

  10. pamela
    pamela January 22, 2009 at 9:27 pm | | Reply

    My husband told me I brought it up sometime after the third date. I guess I kind of “hid” it at first, for example testing/bolusing in the bathroom (– his memory, not mine). I guess I just wanted him to get to know my personality before sharing information about my body! But that’s tricky. Db such a HUGE part of who we are in the world… and it’s also just a TINY part of who we are in the world — at the same time! So finding the balance in this paradox requires intuition. My only advice is not to wait too long — then the partner does a lot of back-tracking and re-writing of her/his first period of interactions with you (which can introduce an awkward dynamic). (“So that time you were in the bathroom for 5 mins. was because you were waiting for a low to come up?!” “You mean that time you asked me to grab your wallet was to get a glucose tablet?!” etc.)

    The pro-active re-active education is really all about how each of you learns. My partner tends to be anxious, so I tend to share only a small amount of information. At the same time, he’s very supportive, and will grab anything for me in an instant. So he doesn’t really ask abt my A1C results or new technologies coming down the pike, but, well, he loves me and cares deeply. You go with what works. Good luck.

  11. Jen
    Jen January 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm | | Reply

    I’m the partner of a T-1, and it came up on our first ‘official’ date, which was dinner. He pulled out his kit, explained that he has diabetes and tested. From that point on, it was simply a part of him–nothing to be hidden. It also never occurred to me to be ‘weirded’ out by it or anything, and I’m baffled by the stories I’ve read on blogs about dates who were uncomfortable with it.

    I’m intellectually curious anyway, so I started reading blogs (I actually think I came to Amy’s site the next day, as I do work with blogs and was familiar with her site). I’ve been with him for over a year now, love him madly, and highs/lows/carb counting are just part of our routine. He has the book 50 secrets of the longest living people with diabetes, which I read, it helped me to understand quite a bit. It also made me aware of how I could be a better partner (be supportive, not smothering, etc.)

    Good luck Allison! He’s a lucky guy.

  12. Jim
    Jim January 24, 2009 at 10:47 pm | | Reply

    I always tell the person I’m a T2 in the first meeting. No point in hiding it past that – if they’re not going to accept you because of diabetes better to find out early before you waste a lot of time….

  13. Laura G.
    Laura G. January 26, 2009 at 10:49 am | | Reply

    For me there are layers of truth. I do let the Type 1 diabetes fact be seen right away with the meter and the pump, but I also let people believe that I’ve got it all under control. Then, very slowly, if they’re observant and if I trust them, they begin to learn that “well controlled diabetes” is more complicated than they thought. Some close friends and lovers still believe that I’m really healthy and that it’s no big deal. Others see how much work it really is, and trust me with their own health struggles in return. And my wise and unobtrusively supportive partner of seven years has begun to ask almost each morning when we wake up, not “How are you” (generally, “fine”) but “What are you” (116! 47! 291!) and, unlike anyone else I’ve ever known, actually knows what those numbers mean. I’ve come a long way in trusting her with the whole truth of diabetes.

    I hope you’ve found someone who can really get it. Best wishes to you two!

  14. Jamie
    Jamie January 26, 2009 at 11:01 pm | | Reply

    In my only relationship that has mattered, my current one with my husband, my diabetes has always been something known about. I tend to be very talkative about my having the disease :) , but definitely had to educate my hubby about it. The first real conversation came the first night I slept over, as I brought a glucagon shot and sugar paste over as a just-in-case. I had to explain to my hubby what each was and how to use them. While they have never been used by him in the 6 years we’ve been together, for me my disease and it’s entrapments have always been at the forefront.
    I am a brand-new reader to your blog – are you comfortable talking with everyone (obviously, to fellow diabetics :) ) about the disease? While the last time I was ridiculed and rejected because of the disease was in 5th grade (ew, she has rabies!), I’ve found the easiest way for me and the comfort of those around me is to be open and willing to discuss.

    Good luck and best of wishes! Relationships involving diabetes can be done :)

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  16. QMS
    QMS February 4, 2009 at 7:27 am | | Reply

    My sister is a diabetic person but it doesn’t affect her relationship with boyfriend, peers and of course to us her family..

  17. Vicki
    Vicki October 8, 2009 at 10:46 am | | Reply

    I am new to a relationship with a man that has Type I diabetes. He is not controlled and doesn’t seem to think that life gets any better than what he is now—-tired, hypo, hyper, nauseated, weak….he does go for his 3 month checkups and I want to help him in every way but he gets VERY upset when I discuss his diabetes….can someone help me with suggestions. I am researching and educating myself every day and have even made an appointment with a diabetic educator. I know I am doing the right thing but how do you approach someone that is so sensitive to the fact and has not had the support to realize that he can live so much better than he is with diabetes?

    Thank you for any information or tips!

  18. Mille
    Mille February 9, 2010 at 6:06 am | | Reply

    This is such an interesting topic,i just started seeing someone who has type 1 diabeties. He brought it up to me on our first official date and was very casual about how he said it. He just took out his kit and tested, then said “i don’t know if i told you this, but i have diabeties”. He explained to me what he was doing and what happens with each result and that was that… although i wish i knew how to approach him about it and let him know i am here for him….ive basically been researching on my own so i wont have to make him feel uncomfortable by asking all kinds of questions…any suggestions?

  19. Vita
    Vita March 28, 2010 at 7:13 am | | Reply

    I am in a new relationship with a wonderful guy that has Type I Diabetes which he told me about a week after we met and now we’ve only been knowing eachother for a month. I am certainly concerned about it and have been reading all that I can on the internet and I plan to buy a couple of books today actually to include a cookbook. As soon as he told me of course I was concerned and as he opens up and shares with me the complications he is having I am even more deeply concerned but I am glad that he is comfortable enough with me to discuss it. I can’t lie it makes me nervous a bit after reading about the possibility of him becoming blind etc…, but I think that with my support and his openess we can make a go of it. He does seem to be a little down about it, I don’t know how to make it better other than to be supportive at this point but I’m in it now and I’m going to stay as long as he will let me.

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