by Lauren Bongiorno
For the past five years my boyfriend Kris has been so supportive of my diabetes. He gets me coconut water or a bowl of fruit when I’m low. If I test my blood sugar, he always asks for my numbers and if I’m cranky, the first thing he says is, “test your blood sugar, you might be high”.
Even though for the majority of our relationship he has been more than caring and understanding of the challenges that come with living with this disease, he wasn’t always. And the reason for that is because for the first two months of our relationship, I didn’t give him the opportunity.
Let me explain.
Sharing with family and friends that you have Diabetes is one thing, but telling someone with whom you are just starting to date, that’s a whole other ball game.
Kris and I began dating our senior year of high school and for the first two months of our relationship, I did my best to hide my diabetes from him. I made sure my insulin pump was always hidden in my clothes and I always went to the bathroom to test my blood sugar. I was extremely fearful that he would reject me for having a disease.
One Saturday night after dinner we came back to my house and I decided to break the news to him. All throughout dinner I was playing out in my head how I thought the conversation would go. I believed it would end with him being embarrassed to be dating a girl who had something wrong with her.
When I finally mustered up the strength to tell him, he laughed a little, smiled, and said, “Oh I know already. My friend’s knew you had diabetes and told me months ago. It really doesn’t matter to me! I just figured you’d tell me when you were ready.”
It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I wasted months of freaking out for nothing!
Recently I came across an article in the Diabetes Forecast Magazine on this topic where Tracey Neithercott says, “We often project our own feelings about diabetes onto the person we’re dating. If you see diabetes as something to be ashamed of, or if you see yourself as somehow deficient simply because of your diabetes, you may expect others to treat you accordingly. The goal, then, is to work through those feelings until you accept your disease an understand that diabetes doesn’t make you less worthy of love.”
I think that this is a really strong point that Tracey makes. If we accept ourselves fully, we can then open up and allow our significant others to accept us fully as well. In the small chance that your partner thinks less of you because you have diabetes, that may be an opportunity for you to reevaluate whether this is someone with whom you want to share your time.
If you’ve ever felt nervous or fearful to tell your significant other you have diabetes, you are certainly not alone! But the lesson here is to give your partner the opportunity to be supportive and understanding. Chances are, telling them will go a lot smoother than you can imagine and it will even bring you two closer since you are sharing such a big part of your life with them.
How long do you think is enough time to wait before telling your significant other you have diabetes? Can you relate to these fears above? Let us know.
Lauren Bongiorno is a Type 1 Diabetic, Diabetic holistic health coach, qualified yoga instructor, and motivational speaker. Lauren has lived with Type 1 Diabetes since 2000 and has proven that no matter what your challenge in life is, taking control of it starts from the inside out with a healthy mind and body. With a background in holistic health, personal training, division 1 collegiate soccer, and yoga, Lauren is the Brand Ambassador for Gluco Perfect. You can connect with Lauren on her website at laurenbongiorno.com and follow her Instagram and Facebook pages for daily inspiration.