I started dating someone recently and it’s had a big impact on my life. In addition to a new relationship status — and living arrangement — it’s also meant educating someone new about my diabetes, and my diet.
Dating with diabetes requires paying extra close attention to blood sugar levels. As wonderful as being taken out for dinner and drinks on the town may be, it’s proven to be extra important to monitor blood sugar.
Common food-centric dates like grabbing drinks or meeting for coffee require extra planning, beyond just what to wear.
Alcoholic indulgences are a common hiding place for sugar, and even drinks that aren’t mixed with pop or fruit juice can still cause sugar levels to rise and fall quickly, making it imperative to eat when drinking. And as lovely as a sugar-free, non-dairy latte might be, caffeine too can alter typical sugar levels.
Going out for a long walk together? Ice skating? Dancing the night away? All great date ideas that require just a little extra planning when your date’s a diabetic. Physical activity is great for everyone, not just those of us living with diabetes.
Being active is so effective when it comes to diabetes management that it can even prevent at-risk individuals from developing type 2 diabetes, and can dramatically reduce the amount of insulin type 1 diabetics require. But don’t push it too hard — overdoing physical activity can bring on a low sugar. Listen to your body, and your date.
And dating a diabetic, one that’s off cow’s milk and red meat at that, has brought my new partner his own set of challenges. He’s seen my highs and lows, both emotional and sugar-related, and knows now what to do.
My boyfriend, while not a vegan or vegetarian, has joined me in my quest to eat less animal products and is learning how to live with a girlfriend with a sub-par pancreas.
He’s adjusted to a sharps container in the bathroom, developed a fondness for unsweetened vanilla almond milk, let me test his blood sugar (it was 6.2, but he had just finished scarfing down some holiday baking) and even offered to carry glucose tabs, just in case.
While diabetes can bring with it a unique set of challenges, there’s no challenge that can’t be conquered with the right planning and, maybe, the right partner.
Photo credit: Jan Zajc via Free Images.