Socializing, friends, and close relationships are very important to anyone – with or without diabetes. Telling dates about your diabetes isn’t always easy, and how and when you tell them is a personal decision. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 7, MiniMed Ambassador, Dakota, has had diabetes for 12+ years. Hear how he’s approaching the dating scene with diabetes.
Q. When do you usually tell the person you’re dating or your friends about your diabetes?
A. I have never been shy about living with diabetes, and am always happy to talk about it with anyone who will listen. Usually the person I am dating already knows about my diabetes, as I am usually pretty open about talking about it with people. If they don’t know, the question I most often get asked about is my insulin pump on my side. They’re curious to know what it is.
Q. How do you usually tell the person?
A. Usually, I say I have type 1 diabetes, and have had it for over 12 years, since January 3rd, 2003. Then it is a lot of questions and answers back and forth until the other person feels they understand enough.
Q. How much do you share about your diabetes?
A. I tell a significant other or someone I care about just about everything there is to know about living with type 1. In my eyes, there is no reason to hold anything back and I want to be very open with the other person. I do my best to educate others so they have a better understanding of diabetes and what’s going on if I have a high or low BG. The only difference between you and me is I wear my pancreas on the outside of my body.
Q. What is the biggest challenge in telling someone about your diabetes?
A. Trying to right the wrongs they have been told about diabetes. For example, most people think just because you have diabetes, you cannot eat sugar and have to have a very strict diet and whatnot. So, I must correct that and give them the correct information and basically reteach them what there is to know about living with type 1.
Q. What is the biggest concern you have about dating?
A. My biggest concern has to be the fear of having a seizure while I am with the other person. I think that would be scary for both of us, and I wouldn’t want anyone to have to see that. Also, another concern is with my symptoms sometimes getting in the way of activities or just personal time together having to get up and eat if my blood sugar is low.
Q. What have you learned over time about dating with diabetes?
A. I have learned a lot. When it comes to dating, there are a few main points I always keep in mind that make for some pretty smooth sailing. I am always honest with the other person with what’s going on at that point in time, whether my blood sugar is high or I need a site change, or whatever it may be. Communication is key. Making sure you are both on the same page is always important, especially when it’s just the two of you alone somewhere, maybe on a hike, at a movie, or on a drive. Another thing I’ve learned is to be trustworthy and trust the other person and each other if you want things to last.
, living with diabetes