by Mistress D., Editrix.
Before you start tripping over yourself to find reasons why diabetes should keep you from a happy, healthy dating life, just do the following: Stop. Take a breath. Take a cue from SNL’s old character Stewart Smalley and say it, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” That kind of negative attitude really pushes my buttons. If you think you’ll never find a satisfying relationship due to your diabetes, you need to stop that self-sabotaging attitude you have, pronto. Do your friends treat you like less of a friend because of The Big D? Do your co-workers tell you diabetes makes you bad at your job? (Psst…if they do, that’s illegal!)
Dating with diabetes is not only possible, but many of us have been rather successful with it. If you’re a regular reader of diabetes blogs, you’ll know plenty of bloggers who are already married, many of them to people who have never known them without diabetes as a part of life. People like George from The B.A.D. Blog, Kerri from SixUntilMe, Hannah from Dorkabetic, and Gina from DiabetesTalkfest.
“But Mistress D,” you’re whining to me now, “those are just a handful of truly lucky people. Who’s going to love meee?” Well, I can assure you right now that you are no less needle-poked, pill-popping, or glucose-challenged than other people with diabetes who are dating, in long-term relationships, married or otherwise domestically partnered. I think finding a date is all about your attitude, regardless of any health conditions which you perceive as barriers to your heart.
Amy T. of DiabetesMine actually broached the same subject of dating with diabetes quite some time ago. The comments to her post are what I find to be the most intriguing and infuriating. One commenter, Sarah, says a couple of things which not only make me especially sad, but also somewhat angry. Excerpted from her lengthy comment:
“I am quite physically attractive and (so they say) smart. If I was “average” I doubt I would have ever found a DECENT guy to stay with me. Most guys are willing to date me, but few can actually deal with the stress of diabetes…
Most Type 1 diabetics I know have had to settle for a less attractive or financially stable partner, or are outright rejected from long-term relationships. The exceptions to this are when the Type 1 is exceptionally good looking and/or accomplished.
This is only my experience and insight, so no one can disagree with what I have seen.”
I am so sorry that this had to happen to Sarah this way. Sure, there are assholes out there who are going to use your being sick as an excuse to break things off, or maybe there are people who are truly terrified to really get to know someone, just because they are “unhealthy”. Yet in my dating life, I’ve always been able to stick with men I’ve found attractive, and they weren’t weirded out by Type 1 diabetes at all. In fact, they’ve been curious about it if I approach it the right way.
Maybe you don’t want to tell someone the nitty gritty details of a day in the life with diabetes on your first date, but here’s a bottom line I think every person dating with diabetes needs to embrace: Love me; Accept my diabetes. You don’t need to love my diabetes. Hell, I don’t even love my diabetes–most days, I want to tell it to piss off–but it’s a fact of my life.
Love me: Accept my diabetes. It’s not going anywhere, and you can find someone who appreciates this fact. Someone who can celebrate your victories and comfort you during the bad times. That person is out there. (Or people, if you prefer a non-monogamous lifestyle!) They should bring you juice when you’re low and put up with your all-night pee-fests when you’re too high. They should love you for you.
That person is out there, the possibly elusive guy/girl who dates diabetics. Stay positive!
To avoid using a cliche, I will make up something for you:
You have to sample a lot of sugar-free candies before you find the one that doesn’t make you feel icky inside.