Finding love as a diabetic

3
minute read
August 21, 2023
A type 1 diabetic together with her fiancé.
Note: Image for illustration only. It does not show the author of this story. Photo credit - Sachin Goes.

I’m a 27-year-old type 1 diabetic and compared to other ‘regular’ 27-year-olds it’s hard for me to manage healthy relationships.

Managing my relationships, I find myself facing numerous challenges. One of the biggest is my lifestyle as a type 1 diabetic. While I’ve learned to cope with the daily demands of my condition, it becomes increasingly hard to build and maintain meaningful connections with others. I’ve had people break up with me after finding out I’m a type 1 diabetic – They thought I was going to die soon or be in the hospital every other week, so they just left me.

My struggles

Another significant setback I face is the constant need to monitor my blood sugar level and take insulin. It’s a routine that requires strict adherence and can be quite time-consuming. While my friends and family have been supportive and understanding, it’s still difficult for them to grasp the full extent of what it means to live with diabetes.

There are times I have to excuse myself from social situations to check my blood sugar or give myself an insulin injection – It can feel isolating.

I worry that I may be perceived as rude or disinterested when in reality I’m simply trying to take care of my health.

Even in intimate situations, if I’m down and not getting close to my partner, they think I’m not interested – Whereas I’m just not feeling energised.

In addition to the physical demands, there’s also the emotional toll that managing diabetes takes on me. There are days when I feel overwhelmed by the constant monitoring, the fear of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, and the uncertainty that comes with this condition. It’s challenging to explain these feelings to someone who hasn’t experienced them and it can put a strain on my relationships – I often worry that my partner or friends may feel burdened or helpless, unsure of how to effectively support me.

And dating has become a whole new maze for me to navigate. When meeting new people, I find myself questioning when and how to tell them about my condition. I fear judgement, rejection, or simply being treated differently because of my diabetes. It’s a vulnerable moment that can make or break the potential for a deeper connection. But if I don’t disclose it early on, it feels like I’m hiding a significant part of who I am.

How I deal with these issues

My frustrations and setbacks can sometimes make me feel disheartened and alone. It’s easy to get caught up in self-doubt and wonder if I’ll ever find someone who truly understands and accepts me for all that I am, diabetes included.

But deep down, I know that the right person will see past the challenges and appreciate me for who I am as a whole.

And despite my difficulties, I’m determined not to let diabetes define me or dictate my relationships. I’m learning to be more open about my condition and to educate those around me and help them understand the impact it has on my life. I’m also becoming more assertive in communicating my needs and boundaries, making sure my health always remains a priority.

I’ve made myself emotionally strong, and I’m ready to embrace the setbacks – I’m learning from them and continuing to pursue meaningful relationships despite the difficulties.

I know it won’t be easy, but I refuse to let diabetes stop me from connecting with others, building valuable relationships, and finding love as well (if I get lucky).

Graphic of a female profile picture.
'Archana'

Archana (not her real name) is a 27-year-old type-1 diabetic who’s looking for friendship and love. She thinks her diabetes puts her behind other people her age, and sometimes feels hopeless. But she’s determined to stay on track and keep trying.

Editor's note: The opinions and experiences reflected in stories from the diabetic community belong to the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of InDiabetes.

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