Dating and Type 2 Diabetes.

Dating and Type 2 Diabetes

I dislike dating. There’s just something incredibly disingenuous about it. We meet people in artificial settings, dress fancier than usual, and present ourselves as better versions of our usual personas. We try very hard to make a good impression, so we’re on our best game.

Some of us play well at this game, and some of us do not. Some of us are mature, understanding adults about the ways of this world, and the frail people within it – and some of us are not.

Enter type 2 diabetes.

My first experience with how negative type 2 diabetes could be for my life and my emotional well-being happened when I didn’t even have type 2 diabetes. I was 20, and full of young and hopeful love for another young man who, apparently, didn’t share those same sentiments. Maybe he just didn’t like me and found his first excuse to dump me, but it was nonetheless a painful excuse: “I have a family history of diabetes, and I can’t be with you because you also have a family history. If we were to get married, our children’s future would be doomed.”

I never told my father why this young man ‘dumped’ me. I knew he had been battling his type 2 diabetes for many years, and had serious issues with depression. I didn’t want to let him see how it was also affecting my life – the lives of his children. But I had a lot of mixed emotions from this experience: I felt discriminated, devalued as a human being, hurt and angry, and also, and most importantly… I felt as damaged goods. I couldn’t understand how he had already assumed our futures would be written in stone before they even happened, and I feared this was the beginning of future discrimination and rejection by potential partners.

It’s normal to fear how a person will judge us for having type 2 diabetes. After all – society judges us all the time, and encourages negative opinions of the person with type 2 diabetes via news outlets, or situational comedies, etc.  When we are dating, as when we are making friends, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

  • There’s no need to make the first date be about diabetes: Revealing too much right away about ourselves is sometimes awkward, and unnerving. Take the date to simply get to know the person you are seeing, and do not turn it into a diabetes lecture.
  • Do not hide your diabetes: Go about your daily life, and daily routines. If the person is curious about your diabetes, they will ask, and that’s okay.
  • Do not expect your date to be a diabetes expert: Most people don’t know very much about diabetes – of any kind. Before we were diagnosed, many of us didn’t know that much either. Don’t get upset with people who may not be well informed.
  • Accept that not everyone is meant to be our partner in care: Some may not want to have the worry; some may feel it’s too much responsibility. Some may not be MATURE enough to handle chronic illness. If they give you grief over needles, over your diet, if they judge you, if they see you as less for having a ‘preventable’ chronic illness – accept that this person is NOT compatible with you, and not meant for you, and move on. Do not waste time trying to impress them, educate them, or change their mind. Any person who is genuinely interested in us will see us as more than a chronic illness, and will honor truth and information versus fear and hysteria.

Having a supportive person that values and understands the challenge of our walk with diabetes is important. Sometimes, it might be scary to introduce an outsider to our world… and sometimes, we might have to kiss a few frogs before we find our true match.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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