Effect On Relationships

Hello my dudes. Im 19 and have never really had a serious relationship with a girl, but could potentially be in one soon. So I was just wondering how does being diabetic effect the day to day things in a relationship? Does it add extra strain or challenges to dating?

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okay so congratulations - I am guessing there’s somebody new in your life?

t1 adds the regular amount of extra to a job, a relationship, school, getting sick, travel, and I guess everything else.

so I am a rank amateur at relationships but i can tell you that open honest communications have always worked better for me. If you are doing what you do, and saying what you say, and another person doesn’t like it… in my opinion… it’s better than engineering something to say or acting differently than how you would act in order for a person to like you.

if you are honest about yourself then 2 things can happen, they hate you and go away, or like you and hang around. the same thing works in reverse, and so if she is open and honest with you and you STILL like her, she’s a keeper.

so about having diabetes, i guess it matters more about how you feel about it, do you hide it? are you open about it? are you embarrassed by it? I was embarrassed for a long time. it lead to me being less than honest, and then things generally didn’t work out. I am also a huge caretaker and problem solver, but that is a story for another day.

low blood sugar can make me cranky, so I watch my tongue when I know I am low. lows also gives me huge adrenalin rushes, making “intimate time” difficult, but it’s nothing 15 minutes and juice can’t fix.

this would work better if you spilled: what are you most worried about?

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First to answer your question for how I feel about my diabetes. I’ve always been embarrassed by it; not embarrassed that I have it. I have no issues telling people I’m type 1 diabetic. Im embarrassed by taking care of it in public. I hate having people watch me check my sugar do take my insulin. Especially with the lack of knowledge people have about diabetes. If I don’t specify type 1 people get confused how a young, healthy looking, teen can be diabetic, and even then most people who confront me don’t know the difference between the T1 and T2 so I have to teach almost everyone who asks and it gets annoying. Especially since I’m not a big people person. So I try to hide it as much as possible even to the point of skipping sugar checks just so I don’t have to deal with people’s questions.

Mostly I’m worried that after I find the girl for me, that the mistakes I’ve made with my lack of care for my diabetes already will cause future health issue that create too much strain on the relationship. I’ve been in DKA a few times and I’ve seen what it does to my parents. Nobody should have to be put through that stress and fear of potentially losing their loved one to an illness. Especially if the problems could have been prevented by taking better care of myself during my teen years. I’ve been avoiding serious relationships mostly because I’m scared of the pain it could cause them. I don’t want to live a bachelor’s life but sometimes I think it would be better because that way it’s one less person to mourn for me if I have an untimely end.

Also if I get married that most likely will mean children, (Although currently I’d be fine with never having kids that could change) and since T1 is in my genes I don’t want to risk having to put another person, especially my child, through living the life I’ve been forced to live as a diabetic.

@dunnwitht1 - thanks for replying.

I don’t take care of diabetes (bs checks and when I was on MDI - shots) in front of other people either. There are always nooks and more private areas that helped me deal with it in a “not-as-public” space. It is amazing what people say when THEY are uncomfortable. I was at a training conference recently and the guy across from me pulled out a syringe and vial kit, and without hesitation he did a quick bolus in the middle of the room. I admired his “don’t give a rat’s $$$” attitude but I still prefer privacy. I think when you get a little older people will be less inclined to run up to you and tell you about their type 2 grandma.

Today I can check my BS in the open but sometimes prefer checking it in a bathroom or inside my backpack. Being on a pump means I can bolus in my pocket or at least discretely. Even getting a pump meant dealing with the feelings of being chained to a machine, but I was chained to lantus and shots so for me what the heck is the difference.

this may be forward but I think you are forgetting the other part of the equation. you can only be 50% of any relationship. the other person is an individual and may not feel the same exact way you feel about yourself, or about themselves. If they are normal healthy people they will be individual enough to make up their own minds about risk, happiness, investment, commitment, equitable teamwork, and a ton of other dimensions you may not be familiar with. a good relationship is a combination of teamwork (where 2 people are greater than their sum) and where each person finds value in the other’s company. you are together because you want to be.

as far as not wanting to be in a relationship because you feel you will break someone’s heart if your diabetes gets you - let me just say that no one gets out of this alive. there are plenty of 100% genetically perfect healthy people that get run over by a dumptruck when they least expect it. one thing I can assure you of - life is not gong to be what you think it is going to be, there are many surprises and blind curves.

as a dad your chances of passing diabetes to a son or daughter is about 100:1

again - I am not expert. I was very messed up from diabetes as well as other emotional issues and I met a girl when I least expected it and got married. She was deeply troubled and it was a disaster, nightmare,roller-coaster. When I couldn’t take it anymore I left, financially bankrupt and in anguish. took the next 5 years working on myself and then when I least expected it, met someone else. worked the honesty thing: honesty to myself first, everyone else second. married 3 years later and now I have a son. was this part of a plan? heck no. did I like every moment? heck no. did I end up in a good place and was it all worth it? you bet.


So reading this broke my heart. I think why most people can’t cope with t1 is because your looking at the disease the wrong way. Instead being embarrassed or being so negative just live life and be happy. I’ve had diabetes for 35 years and not once have I ever hated my disease or let it stop me from wanting anything in life I’ve done and tried everything I’ve ever wanted to do. instead I embrace my disease and make it my best friend. This disease is your life so the better you treat it and yourself the longer you’ll live without complications or depression. Im happily married with 2 kids and yes I did give my disease to one of my children. It broke my heart the day we found out I blame myself everyday and I will always carry that burden with me but I teach my daughter to love herself I teach her that she is different than other kids but I also teach her that the most important thing she will ever do for herself IS TAKE CARE OF HERSELF this disease can CONTROL YOU or YOU CONTROL IT…we never know what tomorrow holds so as a young wild free teenager take care of yourself and be happy with your disease take care of yourself your true friends will love and help you regardless and you will find the right woman to fit in your life and love you and wanna be there and help take care of you if ever needed but if your scared and embarrassed how can u love and show someone else how to help you if ever needed? Or go to some jdrf events and find a nice girl who also has diabetes and understands your situation. But you gotta love yourself first and always. Good luck

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I feel you on this I don’t mind saying i’m diabetic but then the actual awkward injecting with people etc just makes me uncomfortable so I start to ignore it which does me no favours in the long run.
It’s actually a lot easier when you have someone close to you as they’ll understand it as well as you do in no time, my partner can tell when i’m low just from my (snappy) mood. It can be a real comfort to have someone so I wouldn’t let it hold you back at all.
And the chances of it being genetic I believe are quite low and most people have something in their genes so there’s worse to have!

I understand completely. I’m in a serious relationship but I wasn’t diagnosed until 6 months ago! Me and my boyfriend have been together for 4 years now and when I was diagnosed he put on his I don’t care face but every now and then you can tell he cares. Like when I forget to check my bs or take long acting insulin before midnight. I follow a lot of diabetics on Insta and lots of the dude diabetics post about how they can’t show they have the t1d because normal girls can’t handle it.

I think if they can’t handle the idea of t1d you shouldn’t be with them. They should atleast try to understand that its just a minor bump in the road and you never know they might help you take care of it better.

And yes I do hate explaining about t1d in public cause no one knows about it. Everyone thinks diabetes means fat, obese people but when it comes out its a little hard to explain it. I just go with a basic explanation or I try to ignore everyone’s stares though its hard. My family helps me with that by joking around about t1d in public like bursting out loud “Rachel Stop going high!” about people look at us crazy then my dad is like shes a type 1 diabetic and they just nod or tell us about there 3rd cousin from there great great aunt or something.

One thing that is difficult for me in my relationship thou is being all excited about my A1C being 6.9 but him not knowing what it is so he always gives me the “Oh cool” and I just wanna share good news but its hard to someone who is not diabetic. I guess you just gotta explain that’s a good number and you want to share it.

Oh and 1 more thing! when you tell this girl try not to spring it on her nor any body. Like hey guess what i’m a diabetic and I can die hardy har har. Nah bro you should ask her to tell you 1 thing about herself and most of the time they ask you that back and you can say your a type 1 diabetic and explain it. If they can’t except that I don’t think its meant to be.

Okay thats all hope it helps!

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I think its incredibly selfless of you to think about your hypothetical partner and unborn children when you are struggling with high and lows every day of your life, quite literally. I am struggling with this choice but I am on the other side of the coin and I do not know what to do.

Diabetes will definitely put a strain on your relationship, and your relationship will definitely put a strain on you! But, with the right person, it can still be worthwhile. Maturity is a major factor. If you marry a girl that acts like a spoiled teenager, and thinks of diabetes as “your problem”, your life is gonna be hell for the next few years.

Dating with diabetes at least initially is interesting. Some people act like it’s not a big deal and some people think it’s appropriate to tell you that their grandma died from diabetes complications on a first date (seriously that happened to me😂)

The point is, no one is perfect. Diabetes is honestly an awful disease and to be blunt it sucks but it also can’t be the reason you hold back from what sounds like something awesome!

I used to hate telling guys that I had diabetes and I actually just had the what happens if this happens someday talk with my boyfriend last weekend because as much as it sucks complications do happen. I even told him that I didn’t want to put him through anything like that and he said it was unfair of me to take away his choice to love me through it.

My point is, anyone who is worth it is going to love you diabetes and all.

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@Tee25 “those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter”


Thank you all for your advice and input! I wanted to send out an update to the world. I’m now in a relationship it’ll be 8 months Oct. 4th so that’s exciting. The girl I’m dating is awesome. She has a mild case of something called Turner’s syndrome, which is a condition that brings with it a risk of becoming diabetic, so she knew more than the average person. She also knew I was diabetic before we started dating. We met at my church basically exactly a year ago now and became friends then more, lol. I feel that I was really too concerned about my diabetes being a factor. It doesn’t seem to be a strain on our relationship. She has been very supportive. She went to a JDRF OneWalk this past weekend with me and helped me fundraise. She’s also been a huge help to me and essentially given me a reason to want to take care of myself. I had what I call a “live fast because you’re dying slowly” mentality. Now I want to take the best care of myself and live as long and healthy as I can. We both have discussed the possibility of getting married in the next few years and the idea of children. She was very upfront and open at the start of our relationship that she can not have kids, and if that was something I wanted, I would have to be open to adoption or surrogacy. For me that was a bit of a relief that I wouldn’t need to worry about passing this on. Anyways, I really appreciate all the feedback on this discussion. This was one of, if not the first, posts I made on TypeOneNation and honestly didn’t expect answers. Thank you all for your support!

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Hi dunnwithit, I have been married 50 years last dec. and have been a type 1 for 66 years last feb. My husband has learned through the years how to help and support me. We dated 3 months before we married and he was an active Marine at the time, VietNam but we worked through all the problems together. The first month we were together I had a hypo. reaction and woke up to the fire dept in the bedroom. Hasn’t happened since, my husband loves and loved me enough to pay attention. So hopefully when you find the right person you’ll become a team and handle your diabetes and other problems together. Just be honest and don’t hide your condition, it’s so much easier with a partner. Have a great day. Bye Jan

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I was diagnosed at age 3 and have always been pretty open about my diabetes. On dinner dates I would tell my partner “I’m diabetic - I’m going to go check my blood sugar” then head for the rest room. When I’m eating out alone, or with someone who knows me, I would check discretely at the table. Some people are sensitive to needles, so before I started pumping a couple of decades ago I would take my shot in the restroom unless purple I was with were comfortable with it, then do it discretely for the sake of them as well as others the in the vicinity. Taking my insulin is easy with my pump - if people notice they haven’t said anything; and since I use Dexcom G6 I only do a fingerstick if my CGM reading feels off. I didn’t date much before I got married almost 12 years ago, but none of the guys I dated send to mind, and some had relatives or friends with diabetes - although not necessarily Type 1. My husband’s mother was Type 2.
I find a person’s own attitude about their medical condition can be the biggest determinant in how their relationships will go. And keep in mind, a lifetime of perfect health is not promised to anyone. Having a medical condition as you go into a relationship can teach you about the character of the other person up front (are they interested? Willing to learn? Willing to help and support you?) rather than finding out they don’t want to be there with you if you get a diagnosis later.