If you’re in the dating phase, it’s extremely important to set the right tone on the way you want your diabetes to be handled from the start. This begins with disclosure. Will you tell a potential new partner that you have diabetes on the first date? Or even before that? Or would you prefer to wait until trust is established?

I’m not going to kid you: there are risks either way.

If you choose to “put your diabetes out there” directly, you risk rejection because of the fear, uncertainty and annoyance that diabetes can inject (pardon the pun) into everyday life. BUT you have learned immediately that this potential partner was probably not for you, since they are unable to cope with your condition.

If you choose to keep quiet about your diabetes until later in the relationship, you’re creating a lot of work and stress for yourself, as you’ll probably have to hide glucose tests, medications, etc., etc. Also, the plan to “tell later” can possibly backfire: 1) if the word gets out before you want it to, or 2) if the person you’re dating feels betrayed that you chose to keep such a big part of your life “secret” from them for so long.

Obviously, I’m a fan of being honest and up-front from the start – although you can ease gradually into sharing the nitty-gritty details of life with diabetes.

There is no right or wrong answer about how to broach the topic of diabetes in a new relationship.  But what is certain is that you, the person with diabetes, need to set the tone.  You need to be clear in your own head about what you want from a partner:

  • Do you want your boyfriend or girlfriend to ask lots of questions?
  • Do you want them to be willing to attend a diabetes education class?
  • Should they get involved in your day-to-day diet and medicine regimen?
  • Or just accept that you have diabetes and not say much? (although being prepared for an emergency is always important)

While you’re thinking it over, you can check out these dating websites created specially for folks seeking partners who share their medical condition:

Prescription4Love - for people with all varieties of chronic illness
Enable Romance - for people with disabilities that effect their physical mobility in some way

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