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This might sound odd and I'll probably get various opinions on the topic, but I decided to try online "dating." I haven't had success with meeting the right person here in college, so having someone else pick for me seemed like a great idea. My logic is that more mature, serious guys will be on dating sites, rather than the typical college scene.
As I set up my profile on one of the sites, I started to wonder about how to present my conditions (both my diabetes and my other conditions). I decided to leave it out of the "About Me" sections for fear that people might judge me and move on. I didn't want to have my "cover" read incorrectly.
Some of the questions asked about energy level and mood and emotional stability. As I read over them, I realized that my body was lying about who I actually am. My body's energy level doesn't match the way my mind works most of the time. My body decides to have mood swings without my mind deciding that's the right choice. So I went with my mind, instead of my body (who wants a low-energy, moody woman?).
Now that my profile is set up, I've been matched with a few people who have proceeded to communicate with me. As the questions go on, I'm finding myself extremely hesitant to mention my health. Do I lay my cards on the table? Or do I hold them back until I've got the better hand?
In the "real world" of dating, I find myself laying my diabetes cards on the table. It's safer for me, just in case I have a low. And it's a lot easier to check my blood sugar and wear a pump when the other person knows. But I always hold my other health issues back. Those are the ones that are too personal, embarrassing, and shameful for me to talk about. I don't want to tell a date that sometimes I can barely get out of bed or that if I start crying randomly, it's just my hormones.
But the online dating scene is completely different. You're picking and choosing your words and getting to know someone on a different level. It isn't about dinner and the movies. Yet. It's about learning the inside of someone before the outside.
So is diabetes my inside? Or my outside? Are my other health issues only inside? Or do they creep into the outside me as well? Am I lying by omission if I don't "confess" to having health issues? Certainly, I'm holding some things back (like how I'm OCD clean or an extreme perfectionist), but is health so major that it can't be omitted?
I want to be the advocate and tell any potential dates that I do have health issues. But the stereotypes of society tell me that keeping my mouth shut is a better option. I don't want the judgment of being "sickly" or "moody." So can you successfully tell someone about health issues without judgments being passed?
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)