Well, let’s start off with the fact that I have been through almost every single relationship there is. I have been engaged. I have been in a long distance relationship. I have been with the fun guy, THAT guy, the one that everyone loves, the WTF Caitlin guy…. I have swiped…. I have liked…. I have been and still am single…. Needless to say, nothing surprises me anymore. One thing that adds another level of excitement, though, is how I tell them I have diabetes and the reaction. My favorite way of introducing someone new to my day to day is on our first date when I pull out my insulin pen and needle and say “You aren’t afraid of needles, are you?” (I think this is funny but it has proved to backfire).
In the five and a half years that I have had diabetes I have met every end of the spectrum. One guy would carb count everything with me. He would help me meal prep. He would double check that everything was sugar free. Then there has been the complete opposite end of the spectrum. He would only suggest pizza or pasta. He would never ask me questions when I was testing or taking shots. He would never really acknowledge that I was dealing with this. Then there was the pity brigade…. I literally had a guy tell me once “I have done some research and read all the horror stories of dating someone with diabetes. I did not know it was so horrible. I mean, all the mood swings, dealing with supplies, and you could die. All that aside, though, I am willing to keep hanging out”. Ummmmm, thank you? You are too kind?
Throughout these past few years I have learned a lot to say the least. First, never ever ever be ashamed about having diabetes. If you are out with someone and getting to know them and you need to take a shot, medication, alter something that you are ordering DO IT. Your life LITERALLY depends on it so if they aren’t open to accepting your lifestyle or needs then why waste your time? Second, never let someone make you feel bad for having diabetes. When I first got that “pity” message I thought “wow, he was actually researching diabetes and what it takes etc. so he must care” (ya, no). Third, no matter who you surround yourself with, dating/family/friends, you need to let them know what is going on. This last one is VERY important for many reasons. Who you surround yourself with dictates your attitude, actions, management, and potentially survival.
Dating these days is already like “ The Hunger Games” and every time my friends go out on dates I say “May the odds ever be in your favor”. Add the extra layer of me potentially crashing on a date or a slumber party and it might as well be Armageddon. My point of this is to not deter you from putting yourself out there, by all means do! Just never settle. Be true to yourself. Be true to your needs. Whether you like it or not, diabetes is with you for life. So choose someone who will love you…. and your pancreas.