Teen Topic 36:   How do you deal with dating or crushes?  Do you tell them about your diabetes?  How much do you tell, and when?  Do you worry they will feel differently if they know about your T1?

Cameron (age 17)
Most girls I have dated, I was friends with them beforehand. I wear an insulin pump, so it’s kind of obvious that I have diabetes (because most people don’t have a tube connected to their body). Most girls think having diabetes makes you extra cute, so I use it to my advantage.

Nick (age 19)
I may only be 19, but I’m currently engaged to my girlfriend of nearly 6 years. Letting her know about my diabetes was easy, because at the time she was just another classmate I was explaining to. I would often stand up on the first day of classes and talk to the whole class about it. I know that wouldn’t work in all circumstances, but I would recommend telling any potential crush at the beginning of the relationship. It makes things easier further along.

Claire (age 17)
I’m always 100% honest with my diabetes, to strangers or otherwise. Dating especially,because if something were to happen, they’d need to know.

Ashley B. (age 15)
I don’t date, but I do tell anyone that’s close to me about diabetes and how it affects me. The most common thing I tell them is how to recognize when I’m going high or low, and they eventually learn the difference between the two. If they treat me differently because I have diabetes, they wouldn’t be my friends.

Ian (age 14)
My girlfriend and I knew each other before we started dating, so I didn’t have to explain it to her whence we began going out. There are times when she’ll ask about certain things, and I’ll answer her. I am very fortunate, however, for when she first heard about it, she did quite a deal of research about it.

Lexi (age 15)
I’ve been in a relationship for almost 2 years, and he always reminds me to test my blood sugar when I eat something. Unless it’s school, then he completely forgets.

Jessica (age 20)
I tell every person that I come in contact with and will be around them for a prolonged period of time (i.e. in class, sports, etc). I think this is a vital part of our condition. It is our responsibility to inform others in case an emergency does occur. They need to be aware, know what to do, and be willing to help – crushes and dating is no exception. I do tell my boyfriends about my T1D and explain what I feel is sufficient for them to know and manage an emergency. Diabetes usually comes up in the course of conversation in one way or another; however, I do not force the subject. If they are curious, I explain as much as they would like – I am a pretty open person about my condition.

Jordan (age 18)
You should tell the person you’re dating that you have diabetes because they need to know what to do in the case of emergencies, and it’s not something you should feel embarrassed about.

Mercedes (age 16)
When I have a crush I make sure they know that I have diabetes. It’s important for them to know right away instead of them finding out. If they have a problem with it then you know that they aren’t the right person for you. I do worry that people will feel different, but if they do, they do.

Erin (age17)
My advice to anyone who has a crush or is dating someone is to be open about your diabetes, it tells a lot about the person such as if they care or not. Only tell the person as much as you are comfortable sharing, and tell them early on in the friendship/relationship. As far as worrying if they know about your T1D, only way to find if they feel differently is to just share that you are and take things from there. Take Chances.

Ashley C. (age 14)
Most of the time I’m friends with them first and so they know about it and most of the time they’re interested in it and like to change my site.
Skylyn (age 16)
I haven’t had any boyfriends or dated anyone but when I do, I will definitely tell them. Just like when meeting new friends, I don’t tell the second I meet them but as we become better friends, I tell them more and more. I don’t really worry about people treating me differently when they find out I have diabetes. If they do treat me differently or say rude things about it, then we obviously are not meant to be friends.

Laura (age 16)
My boyfriend really likes to keep in check with me when it comes to diabetes, always asking me how my sugar is, and when he was staying with me (we’re long distance) he’d ask if he could do anything or get anything for me when my sugar was high/low. I like keeping him up to date because it makes him feel better and it’s also nice venting about how frustrating diabetes can be. I used to be embarrassed about all the little beeps and alarms but I eventually learned that it’s a part of me and my lifestyle and if someone doesn’t accept it, then obviously they aren’t the right one for me.

Vanessa (age 15)
For the longest time I felt like if I told my boyfriend I had diabetes he would feel overwhelmed and not want to be with me anymore but then I dated my ex. He was so understanding and helped me with so much. He would check my blood sugar for me, he would make my shots for me, he would also get me food or juice if I needed it and he was always there for me and was my biggest supporter. He would come to meetings with me and would celebrate November (National Diabetes Awareness Month) with me. If you’re starting to date someone it’s hard to hide it especially if you go out to eat with them. You should never feel scared or embarrassed of your Diabetes. It’s a part of you and if they don’t accept that then they don’t need to be your boyfriend/ girlfriend.

***If you have any questions you would like to ask our teens, please email me at michelle.projectbluenovember@gmail.com .

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